This kind of breaks it all down.
Amid a bit of fanfare the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s new donor-funded conservative answer to the HuffPo, opened for business today. Overall it’s not bad, but I have to ask who did the design. A few quibbles:
Who on earth approved this masthead? Arguably, scooping up Jim Treacher was one of Tucker’s better ideas for his fledgling site; Treach’s (or whatever his real name is) victory lap(s) over getting tapped for this gig was actually how I heard about DC in the first place. Certainly somebody could have given him something a bit snazzier.
And somebody needs to tweak the stylesheet already (click for bigger):
Overall, these are just blemishes, and having overseen a few site launches, I can totally understand opening day jitters and all that. But overall, the site is just…meh. Maybe viewing one too many websites has rendered me permanently jaded, but the front page layout doesn’t do much to excite me. I will say the deeper section pages are a bit more inviting, but the front page just feels a bit pedestrian.
There does seem to be some decent original content good for a launch, and here DC is again following the HuffPo template (tiny headshots in the thumbnails, some all-stars in the mix in the form of Ken Blackwell and assorted politicians). But frankly, I’m just not interested in hearing this or that legislator bloviating or spinning; I can get that elsewhere. That stable of reporters Tucker has assembled? Show me what you got.
I really do want to like DC. I’ll probably visit regularly for my Treach fix. But don’t just repackage wire stories, and don’t just act as a platform for the latest Republican apologist. Give me something I’m not likely to get anywhere else, and I’ll happily visit you regularly.