Stanley Kurtz and Paul Mirengoff: Research and Writing


“This just in…oops, too late,

the bloggers got there before us.

from The Wall Street Journal Bloggers are first and best with the best rumors. But are bloogers always first with the best story? Is there really a difference in the research and writing styles in the best blogs compared to other writers?

Last week Charmaine and Your Business Blogger attended a gathering in Washington, DC. Alert Readers will remember two concurrent confabs: The National Review Institute and the Anti-WarPeaceNowGobalWarmingRally.

Guest where we cheered…

Anyway, we sat behind Paul Mirengoff from Powerline at the National Review event. (Surprise!) I ask him, “Will you be live blogging?”

“No,” he says instantly. “I never live blog.”

He was taking notes on a reporter-like skinny spiral note-pad just like MSM-types. I was expecting a yellow legal pad from the famed Washington attorney.

Paul then says “I like to think about the topic and write later.”

I’m disappointed. I was hoping for a flaming slash and burning-brief from our favorite counselor. But no. This is a thinking, contemplative blogger.


This measured, thoughtful writing strategy was exactly what (some) paid journalists do. Charmaine and I talked with old friend Stanley (not Howard) Kurtz, now at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. We are big fans of his work.

“So how do you write?” I slobber. “Do you sit at a keyboard and open a vein — rewrite and rewrite?”

“No,” says Stanley. “I spend 80% of my time on research — writing it over and over in my head — and after a while I just sit and write it out.”


Chasing a thought-phrase around like that would have it leave my head on the first lap. Hence the need for instant posting/instant messaging.

This must be what the academics call the “Life of the Mind.”

So it would appear that Paul Mirengoff and Stanley Kurtz both have the same writing strategies:

Think First.

Who knew?


Thank you (foot)notes:

Power Line graced Reasoned Audacity with a citation. This is an unpaid link.

Be sure to read about Stanley Kurtz’s conservative conversion. Dr. Kurtz received degrees from Haverford College and Harvard University. (Not a typo.) Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle Their Political Journeys

The Chronicle of Higher Education didn’t care for the book.


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