Ladies and gentlemen, Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, is the Paul Harvey of the Internet.
Now, I realize that many of you who have all the answers have all those answers because you’re not old enough to have the answer to who Paul Harvey was. You can click to Wikipedia, but I’ll summarize it for you: Paul Harvey was a syndicated radio broadcaster whose little programs appeared on a pile of stations. Your grandparents probably trusted him more than each other. He carried quirky offbeat stories interspersed with commercial pitches for national products, and his “The Rest of the Story” segments told you interesting trivia, real or not, about celebrities and famous people.
This comparison occurred to me after I ordered something that Instapundit mentions a lot, and I thought it was a worthwhile purchase because of the good testimonials and endorsement I found there.
So how is Instapundit like Paul Harvey?
- Paul Harvey was everywhere. When I traveled from Wisconsin to Missouri to visit family, the same voice that was on the radio in Milwaukee was on the radio in St. Louis at the same time each day. This was before the real rise of AM syndicated talkers, so it was a big deal. And Instapundit is everywhere there’s an Internet connection.
- Paul Harvey aggregated news from various sources. He didn’t do original reporting; he just scoured the wire services for interesting tidbits and reported those. Like Instapundit does with the news and the blogosphere.
- Paul Harvey came on several times a day. Of course, if you read Instapundit, you read it several times a day, too.
- Paul Harvey had his trademarks. His voice and delivery were distinct, and he had a number of phrases he sprinkled into his broadcasts. Instapundit? Heh. Indeed.. ‘Nuff said.
- Paul Harvey pitched products. During his broadcasts, Paul Harvey had a series of drop-in advertisements for a series of national advertisers, and he placed them smoothly before going on. Instapundit talks about various consumer goods, deals on Amazon, and books mailed to him. Although he’s not compensated by the people whose product he discusses, he does get some dinero from Amazon if people buy through his site. So he talks about what he likes and packs it with testimonials from other readers. And, crikey, if I’m not taken to purchase some of those things.
So he’s not exactly Paul Harvey, but even though it’s a similar set of wires and tubes, the Internet is not the radio.
Other blogs mention things and have ads and stuff, but I ignore most of it. But if it’s on Instapundit with testimonials and it’s something I’m looking for, I remember it. Sometimes I remember it when it becomes something I need to look for (which explains the Midland WR300 weather radio in my bedroom).
(Unrelated, sort of: This post by Instapundit from almost 10 years ago.)
UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. If you’re in IT, you might like my blog QA Hates You. Don’t forget my novel John Donnelly’s Gold, about which Professor Reynolds said, “IN THE MAIL:”, is available for 99 cents on Kindle and in paperback.