News & Politics

Best of 2004: Blogs

Warning: these blogs are highly addictive.

One of the stars of the "Blogger Alley" at this year's Democratic National Convention was Duncan Black, senior fellow for the Web site Media Matters for America–and better known by his pseudonym, Atrios. Black fills his blog, Eschaton (, with staunchly to-the-left political news and incisive media criticism.

Among the first big-name bloggers, Time and New Republic social critic Andrew Sullivan gets some 85,000 visitors a day to His smart, conservative commentary has even inspired Sullywatch (, a critical blog about his blog.

Count on the DC message-board users at Chowhound ( to sniff out the newest restaurants before the critics can get into print and to argue for pages over who serves the best banh mi. For more concise analysis, we like software engineer Jason Storch's D.C. Foodies (, a chronicle of his adventures in Washington dining.

The editors at DCist (, an offshoot of New York's popular Gothamist, collect tidbits of political and cultural arcana–like news that former Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug was selling her armoire in Arlington and an obituary for the "historical" bathroom at Georgetown's late Au Pied du Cochon.

CapitalWeather (, run by EPA climate analyst Jason Samenow, calls itself the "power center for DC weather." Look for meticulous reports from experts on sunrises, snow, and tornadoes plus interviews with meterologists and snowfall-prediction contests.

The curmudgeonly missives at Why.i.hate.dc ( are equal parts comedy and contempt. Blogger "James F." calls Washington a place "where common sense is kidnapped and hunted down for sport." Recent rants take aim at Marion Barry's reelection to the DC Council, the dimness of Arlington streetlights, and–surprise–the Redskins.

In the great tradition of the Onion (, ScrappleFace ( crafts hilarious fake news stories with headlines like KERRY: BUSH OUTSOURCED BIN LADEN VIDEO PRODUCTION and BUSH SWATS KOFI ANNAN WITH ROLLED NEWSPAPER. Editor-in-chief Scott Ott doles out slaps to both parties, and the short reads are perfect for procrastinating at work.

Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl.  Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.