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Joined: Oct 1994
Posts: 5,233
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Honcho
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Joined: Oct 1994
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BY DOUG THOMPSON

Somehow, a decision to publish a one-page newsletter on free webspace offered by my internet service provider in Arlington, VA, 24 years ago continues today as the oldest political news website on the World Wide Web.

Capitol Hill Blue turns 24 today, still providing news without partisanship to our readers.

It began when PSI Net, which provided my web service in our condo in Arlington, sent out a notice that any subscriber now had five megabytes of free webspace for any non-pornographic use. Using a simple HTML editor, I wrote a column dealing with my years as a Congressional aide and political operative from 1981-1982 before returning to my preferred profession of newspaperman.

I sent out a few notices to friends with requests they read and give suggestions. They did in far more numbers than I expected, and I began to add news items over the following weeks before deciding, on Jan. 1, 1995, to go daily with help from some volunteers, including some retirees from journalism.

I named it Capitol Hill Blue from the start, telling people that some might consider any reporting on Capitol Hill “blue” or pornographic. It certainly got attention, including a feature in both The Washington Post and The New York Times.

By the turn of the century, we had a staff on board, and reported on the follies of Congress and the Presidency, including the antics of Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky their antics with cigars and semen-stained dresses. On Washington newsletter and the Times called us “a must-read for political junkies.”

We were on the web before Drudge, the Washington Post and some news startups that tried and failed. Somehow, we managed to survive. We made our share of mistakes, but always admitted them and moved on.

But the Post and the New York Times now have successful and profitable internet news publications. So does Politico others, and we could not compete, but I kept Blue alive with wire service subscriptions, syndicated articles and occasional columns by me and some others. A news forum, ReaderRant, continues with lots of help from volunteers.

I thought long and hard about shutting Blue down after the defeat of Donald Trump last November, but the threat he and his minions continues and have decided to keep Blue alive to dry and correct the tsunami of misinformation that floods the landscape.

So we remain, and hope to continue, as long as I and others continue to help and readers remain.

Blue started as a fun project. For the most part, it still is.

So happy birthday to us with our thanks to you, our readers.

Jerry Garcia was right. What a long, strange ride it’s been.

Let’s continue.

_______________________________

Copyright © 2021 Capitol Hill Blue


It is the role of a newspaperman to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
-- Finley Peter Dunne
2 members like this: pdx rick, Jeffery J. Haas
Joined: Aug 2004
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It's the Despair Quotient!
Carpal Tunnel
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It's the Despair Quotient!
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 15,953
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Doug, when I first discovered CHB in 2004, I was on the verge of going down a very dark rabbit hole, and I can honestly say that you and the entire cast of characters saved my sanity.
First I started out reading the columns, and then one day, just on a whim, I decided to see what The Rant was all about.

It's been my rock and my anchor ever since.
I can't thank you enough.


"The Best of the Leon Russell Festivals" DVD
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Joined: May 2005
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CHB-OG
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CHB-OG
Joined: May 2005
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An article about GW Bush being psychoanalyzed by an armchair shrink 2005 brought me here to Reader Rant. I've been Ranter ever since.



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Contrarian, extraordinaire



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