FAQ | Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll


Q: Who are you?

A: I’m a freelance journalist who’s helped destroy whole forests writing about home theater, and home automation, but they’re far from the only subjects in which I am interested. I’ve also written about all sorts of topics ranging from architecture to menswear, from automobiles to Segways, from computers to the stock market. For more about me, read the page coincidentally labeled…About Me.

I started the Web log, which is at the core of the site, because I wanted a way to painlessly update my content, as well as write more about stuff that I write about all the time, and to write about stuff that I rarely write about, and to write about stuff that I just want to write about. Stuff is good.

Q: So are you a Republican, a conservative, a libertarian, a liberal, or what?

A: The Cato Organization (the think tank, not something set-up by The Green Hornet or OJ Simpson), has a great page on its mission, and calls itself a “market-liberal” organization. I still kind of like the old “classical liberal” phrase, but I would tend to agree with this approach, and their description, which ends with:

Market liberals have a cosmopolitan, inclusive vision for society. We reject the bashing of gays, Japan, rich people, and immigrants that contemporary liberals and [some] conservatives seem to think addresses society’s problems. We applaud the liberation of blacks and women from the statist restrictions that for so long kept them out of the economic mainstream. Our greatest challenge today is to extend the promise of political freedom and economic opportunity to those who are still denied it, in our own country and around the world.

Q: Which writers have influenced you?

A: A bunch. For reasons that I’ll leave to Dr. Freud, I read far more non-fiction than fiction, so Tom Wolfe is a huge influence, as is Alvin Toffler, George Orwell, and P.J. O’Rourke. In the past few years, I’ve also gotten a kick out of Jonah Goldberg’s G-File column, which combines social commentary with discussions of the merits of Marvel versus D.C. Comics, the Prime Directive in Star Trek, and of course, The Simpsons and foreign policy.

Q: What’s a “blog”?

A: It’s short for web log.

Q: Fine, smartass. What’s a web log?

A: Originally, most Web logs (or “blogs” for short, see above) were online diaries, but recently, more and more of them have become a source of news and opinion. Often blogs are made by using the Web-based software created by the folks at www.blogger.com. I suppose it’s a bit like About.com’s Web pages, which often have guides that humanize search engines, and explain why you should bother to read the page at the other end of a hyperlink. See my article in Spintech, called the New, New Journalism for more about blogging.

Q: So why did you do a blog?

A: Like millions of people, I spent many hours in front of my computer on September 11th 2001, trying to find out just what the hell was going on. As I wrote six months later on my Web log, when many traditional news sites were simply blown-out by the number of hits they were receiving, Virginia Postrel’s Web log stayed up, and I clicked to it early and often, as she updated the news and give her opinion on each item.

Soon after, I became a fan of Glenn Reynolds’ InstaPundit site. Reynolds has done a superb job tracking all sorts of news stories, especially during the “quagmire” phase of the traditional media’s reporting on Operation Enduring Freedom.

Seeing the efforts of Postrel and Reynolds, (both of whom I’ve interviewed for a few different articles) helped put the idea of a blog into my head. I knew I needed a Web site, for readers and editors to see my work, learn more about me, etc., and Blogger’s preformatted templates made it easy enough for someone like myself, with few HTML skills, to get a site together quickly and easily. So at the beginning of March, 2002, we went live.

Q: What’s with the word count at the top, and those three weird pound symbols at the end of several of your articles on this site?

A: I wanted to keep a little of the flavor of what my manuscripts look like (after my wife removes the Crayola smears and finds all the typos), when my editors receive them, so I figured I’d leave on the word count, an old newspaper tradition, and the # # # symbol, which is an old newspaper symbol indicating the end of an article. Incidentally, –30– is another symbol for the same thing.

Q: Are you related to the principal of my old high school? The governor of New Jersey from the 1950s? The guy who’s written for Dennis Miller? The strawberry folks? The construction company folks? The…?

A: To the best of my knowledge, the answer to all of the above is “no”. Driscoll is a very common old Irish name, and lots of and lots of people have it. Try searching “Ed Driscoll” on Google sometime, and you’ll see just how many of those there are. Even searching under “Edward B. Driscoll” produces one or two folks who aren’t me. (I think I have a lock on “Edward B. Driscoll, Jr.”, however–thanks, Dad!)

I wonder if any of the other Ed Driscolls ever get asked if they know the guy who writes for Nuts & Volts?

Q: Why is your sports coverage often only about professional football?

A: Because it’s really the only sport I follow, ever since I was a kid. Besides, if you want real coverage of sports, there are a bazillion sports Web sites out there. Like a lot of things on this Web site, writing about football is another of my self-indulgences.Q. How do I get one of those mini-banners that are on The Brothers Judd and other blogs, so that I can link to your site?

A: Just right click on the image below, copy it to your hard drive, then post it on your site with a link back to www.eddriscoll.com. And drop me an email–always nice knowing who’s linking to you!