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Dept. of Complaints

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but my posts about Sarah Palin have inspired a slew of conservative takes on what I do. Erick Erickson and Melissa Clouthier, two of the right's most influential bloggers, chime in. Both are complimentary, sort of. I like Clouthier's take:

I like Dave Weigel–in the same way I liked the trained Siberian Tigers at the Sigfried and Roy show: they look interesting and exotic, but are extraordinarily dangerous–as poor Roy learned the hard way. A journalist is a wild animal with an appetite for conservative meat and should be interacted with that way–always.

Fair enough. But a lot of people jump onto stories of conservatives "gone wild" -- look at last summer's "birther" explosion, or Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) ability to get to the top of Daily Kos by blinking. What I try to do is understand why the people I cover are doing what they're doing -- where an idea comes from, where a grudge comes from, where a "meme" (like Greece playing the role of "dark future that socialism will bring us" that France used to play).

Sometimes I sympathize with what's going on. Sometimes I'm critical. I try to be open about that. But the people who talk to me know I'll accurately report what they're doing, and my report can either be used by some liberal to attack "those wacky conservatives" or used by some conservative to get a newsy take on something in the movement.

Erickson provocatively titles his post to say he doesn't "take me seriously." I don't care if I'm taken seriously. I only care that the reporting holds up.

By David Weigel  |  May 26, 2010; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  Conservatives  
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