Here’s the most interesting thing about Glenn Reynolds–more interesting, I think, than his opinions: in the liberated information bazaar that’s supplanting the old journalism in this blog moment, the most successful broker of political news and views never had a “press” card, never rode the campaign bus, wouldn’t be recognized in any of Washington’s power restaurants. David Broder or Johnny Apple he is not. The Instapundit is a Yale trained law professor at the University of Tennessee–better described, he says, as a “techno-libertarian” than as a conservative. The intersection of law and technology is the professorial specialty on which he has published abundantly. Blogging was almost an accident and is still an unpaid, unaccredited, off-hours hobby. And he’ll quit, he threatens, as soon as writing Instapundit begins to feel like work.
In the meantime Glenn Reynolds is the reigning eminence in the political blogosphere. For his merry enthusiasm about the war on Iraq, he was fairly dubbed the “warblogger.” But in fairness it must also be said that the pages of Instapundit ventilated all the arguments for and against the war far more thoroughly than any newspaper I read. It was “troubling and stressful,” he told me, to see that much news up close. But the war discourse built his “circulation” up to 220,000 visits a day. And it made Instapundit perhaps the first inescapable and indispensable blog–certainly the model of robust, wide-open electronic axe-grinding at the center of a long political storm. In our conversation on Wednesday afternoon, Glenn Reynolds was high on the purchase hours earlier of a Mazda RX-8 sports car. He is clearly a man of parts–a learned, quick, combative wit who’s interested in everything and most especially music. He is a Creedence Clearwater Revival fan, a guitar player in several bands and part-owner of a no-profit record company, WonderDog Records. And still in his early 40s, he’s a patriarch in the blogosphere. It’s “more a functioning anarchy than a democracy,” he says. Listen in.