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Kinsley’s Blind-Item Guessing Game

  Exhibit A, courtesy of Slate's Michael Kinsley: The first person I knew who had a Web site of his own was a fellow Washington journalist. This was when many journalists were still just getting into e-mail, but the URL … Read More

By / November 29, 2006

 

Exhibit A, courtesy of Slate's Michael Kinsley:

The first person I knew who had a Web site of his own was a fellow Washington journalist. This was when many journalists were still just getting into e-mail, but the URL for this Web site quickly circulated around town and around the world. Why? Well, we were all impressed by the technological savvy. But we were absolutely astounded by the solipsism. What on earth had gotten into Joe (not his real name)? This was a modest, soft-spoken, and self-effacing fellow, yet his Web site portrayed him as an egotistical monster.

Or so it seemed at the time. All of the elements that struck us as obnoxious maybe eight years ago no longer seem that way. In fact, they are now virtually required for any writer's Web site. The Web address, of course, was his name: JoeJournalist.com. It's hard to recapture why that even seemed pretentious. But it did. Then there was his deadpan list of books he'd written and awards he'd won. And quotes from other journalists about how wonderful he is. It all seemed totally out of character, and terribly immodest. Poor Joe! Had the World Wide Web driven him crazy?

Exhibit B, courtesy of William Beutler:

The list of possibles is vanishingly small. There’s Kinsley’s fellow former TNR editor Andrew Sullivan… maybe fellow neoliberal contrarian Mickey Kaus, and… there’s Andrew Sullivan. Kinsley offers a few more clues:

Exhibit C, courtesy of Slate's Mickey Kaus:

Who's the journalist Michael Kinsley writes about this week–the one who turned into a solipsistic "ego monster" when he started a web site? William Beutler and Wonkette want to know, or at least pretend to want to know. I'm not the accused, I'm pretty sure–the timing and various details are off. Kinsley also writes that this journalist, pre-Web, was "a modest, soft-spoken and self-effacing fellow." So it's not Andrew Sullivan. Beats me. I'll try to find out after I move the laundry from the washer into the dryer. It's the light colors today.

Couldn't be Mickey since Kinsley specifically states it was a www.JoeBlowHard.com URL.

So throw in a Mormon underwear reference. Or don't. The answer's obvious.

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