I kind of knew that I would get an email like this:
Wow! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! If you don’t think that PART of your success is attributable to your popularity with your readers —- those readers how felt like they “connected” with you at some personal level thanks to the frankness with which you express your personal views and the personal vignettes that made you seem ‘approachable’ —- then you are taking something pretty important for granted.
As someone who sent you some French jokes, and is a sometimes ‘fan’ (but not a fanatic; I’ve rarely written), a word of advise: If you want to ‘warn’ a co-worker about how annoying your readers are, take it off line. The above actually felt like a slap in the face….
Now, as I have written about 8 billion times about how the “secret” of NRO’s success — and particularly of my column — is my relationship with my readers, I take some exception here. I don’t think any of my readers are annoying for the reasons this reader implies. But it is a simple fact that when you invite and encourage readers to stay in touch, they will sometimes repeat what other readers have told me before. This can be annoying, but it’s the cost of doing business as it were. I don’t have a private email address. The one you see is the one I use.
Sometimes when Drudge breaks a story I might be interested in, for example, I’ll get a dozen emails from people sending me the URL because they saw it for the first time. There’s no way they could know that I’ve seen it already. The same goes for French jokes. I don’t see why I can’t say this phenomena is annoying while at the same time hold that the readers themselves have A) done nothing wrong and B) are acting on an impulse I’m grateful for. Seriously, I love you guys. But if there were a way to have you send me only jokes and URLs I’ve never seen before I’d leap on it. But as the song goes, you take the good, you take the bad and there you have the facts of life. Just don’t call me Tootie.