From March of 2009 to July of 2010, I wrote more than 100 blog posts for True/Slant.com, a news venture that featured select journalists, authors and pundits from around the United States. My blog was titled ‘Round the World We Go, and it featured postings on world affairs, politics, arts and culture, and other subjects that moved me. All of my posts are archived here. Many of the posts relied on original research or reporting. Many posts were linked by major online media. Among the blog’s high points:
Dick Cheney’s Literary Past: After reading that the former vice president was trying to land a big book deal, I went to a library and read a tome he had written more than 20 years ago. Kings of the Hill was just awful. My posting provided evidence of Cheney’s bad writing and skewed thinking. Gawker featured the posting, turning it into one of my most popular.
Michael Jackson’s Grave Site: While visiting Los Angeles for an interview, I stopped by Michael Jackson’s grave site, located in a vast cemetery in the hills of L.A. This was just months after the pop star had died. I posted my report around midnight. Within minutes, hundreds of people across the Internet were reading my dispatch.
Iran in the Spotlight: In December of 2009, months after bloody protests had roiled Iran, I interviewed (via email) a photographer in Tehran about political graffiti that was popping up all around Iran’s capital. Thanks to a web site that kept track of the graffiti, I also posted images of the protest art. My posting was linked by many other web sites, becoming one of my most viewed.
Obama’s Nobel: Like most people, I was stunned to hear that President Obama had been awarded a Nobel Prize. Did he deserve it? Obama’s Republican detractors were unified in their derision, but I found a big hole in their opposition: Ronald Reagan would have applauded Obama’s honor. I explained why hours after reading about the Nobel. Newser picked up my posting, giving it a healthy spike in page views.
Prince of Persia: To me, a major movie about Persia — even ancient Persia — should feature a Persian actor, not Jake Gyllenhaal. That’s what I wrote — a view that (unbeknownst to me) was shared by other pundits in the days after “Prince of Persia” opened at the box office. Atlantic Wire, the Atlantic’s online site that spotlights commentators “leading the national dialogue,” noted and linked to my post, making it one of my most popular.
Palin Popular in San Francisco: Much to my surprise, Sarah Palin has a big fan base in liberal San Francisco. I interviewed one of her fans for my posting on the subject. I also listed — by name — a sampling of her other fans. My piece was picked up by web sites around the United States, and it became my second-most-read posting.