Tony Pierce is a California-based blogger who first became an internet celebrity when he’d post about his wild LA escapades on his personal blog. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, and other mainstream news outlets, and has been highlighted on major blogs like BoingBoing. His personal blogging has slowed down somewhat as he’s taken up a gig at LAist, a blog about LA life and culture.
Simon Owens: You received a lot of press in the past over your criticisms of Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds. Do you ever grow frustrated by the right-wing blogger’s ability to gain in popularity even though his (and other bloggers like Malkin and Powerline) lazy reporting gets proven wrong on almost a daily basis? Does it give you the sense that there’s no sense of justice whenever it comes to the media?
Tony Pierce: I’m actually pretty old, almost as old as Glenn, so I’ve seen a few things. I’ve seen Milli Vanilli win a Grammy, I’ve seen Fox News get super high ratings, and I’ve seen George W. Bush somehow become a two-term president. Therefore it no longer surprises me when people make lame things gain a certain amount of popularity.
And personally I might be part of the problem. I don’t read Kos, I don’t read Atrios, and I only skim Huff Post. To me reading the righty blogger over the last few years as they somehow try to explain their allegiance to that train wreck is far more entertaining than watching the lefty bloggers point and laugh.
Anyone who reads the news regularly knows what’s up. So reading the spin mongrels do their thing is purely an opportunity for free entertainment. And to be fair, Glenn’s checks from Rove have either begun to bounce, or he has had a hard time sleeping at night lately because his production of blatant bs has mellowed. Malkin, however, is a lost cause which is why you can’t even get upset with her because there wasn’t anything there to begin with.
Simon Owens: Do you feel that a lot of your readers envy you over the easy-going lifestyle that you portray on your blog? Do you feel that you’re living some kind of western-coast version of the American dream?
Tony Pierce: Perhaps, but they shouldn’t. My blog is full of lies. My fingers haven’t smelled of teens in months. My hits have gone down steadily since I started working at LAist. I’m not the undercover superhero I used to be.
When I think of the west-coast version of the American Dream, I think of a pimped out car, a sweet pad in Malibu with a pool and hot tub, and a crawl space filled with unmarked bills. I don’t have any of those, but I do get paid to blog, so I guess I’m doing some thing ok.
Simon Owens: How hard is it for you to balance between blogging for LAist and your personal blog? I noticed a recent post in which you’ve expressed guilt for not blogging enough on your personal blog, why do you think this is?
Tony Pierce: It’s not hard to balance, because there is no balance. I spend every waking moment thinking about LAist. I do feel guilty that the busblog has become second in my heart. But what can you do? Very few people get the opportunity to be a professional blogger. And there’s no way that I want to ruin things for others who might get this chance. So I want to do everything I can to make LAist more successful so that other publishers will see that if you pay dedicated bloggers a full-time wage that they will give 100% and give you a return on your investment.
There will be a time where I will figure out how to balance both blogs better, but right now pretty much anything that I think is bloggable ends up on LAist.
Simon Owens: How did you find the other bloggers who write for LAist?
Tony Pierce: Every once in a while I will post on LAist that we’re looking for writers for LAist. Recently I wrote that we were looking for a Clippers blogger and a Laker blogger. We got enough responses that I could be picky and we ended up with two really great guys.
Simon Owens: Do you read blogs that center around other cities? Like New York or Chicago (the blog Gothamist comes to mind)? How do these blogs compare to LA blogs?
Tony Pierce: I read way more blogs than I feel comfortable admitting. Yes I read all the Ist blogs as well as many of the Metroblogging blogs. I don’t think anyone can argue the greatness that is Gothamist. They do more on a Sunday than most city-based blogs do on their best weekdays.
Of the LA blogs I like LA Observed the best. I realize he has sort of an unfair advantage with his relationships with the LA Times, but he uses that advantage beautifully and he’s seriously dedicated. At first I tried to compete with what he does, but after a while I just gave up and instead focused on what we could do that he couldn’t, which was music. One day we might get a contributer who’s as obsessed with the local rag as Kevin is, but until then we’ll just have to let him do his thing in awe.
Still, Gothamist kicks ass and they’re my idol, and target.
Simon Owens: What are the ten blogs you’d recommend to supplement the reading of your own?
Tony Pierce: Raymi