The Dish, a political blog founded by Andrew Sullivan in 2000, will be closed, it was announced today on the site.
“It’s been a highly emotional and tough week for the Dish team,” the editors wrote, “especially given the outpouring of love from the in-tray. We’re so grateful and not a little moved by your insistence that the Dish somehow go on, post-Sully.”
“But the truth is: we’ve been grappling with that question now for months, and this is not as sudden a decision as it may appear from the outside. Since last summer, we’ve been thinking through whether a transition to a Sully-free Dish could work, and what it would take to re-launch the Dish as simply an aggregation/curation news and opinion site, who would run it, who would write for it, etc,” the message continued.
The piece goes on to explain the vast array of considerations that went into the editors’ decision to discontinue the site.
“We’ve talked to potential investors; we’ve discussed how it would work editorially; we’ve gone through the numbers; we’ve assessed exactly how heavy a lift it might be. And we concluded it would be a very, very heavy lift. The tipping point was my health, which made a core decision for me (and us) last month, as our auto-renewals loomed. We’re all only human. At some point, the marathon has to end.”
The Dish’s shuttering comes in large part due to Sullivan’s own retirement from blogging. Last week, Sullivan announced his retirement in a poignant post explaining his desire to slow down his media consumption and focus more on substantive journalism.
“I want to read again, slowly, carefully,” he wrote. “I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.”
Sullivan is a pioneer of blogging, known for his strong voice on topics like the Iraq War; which he first favored before admitting he was wrong; marriage equality, and Israel.
When he founded The Daily Dish, it was one of the very first political blogs. He wrote the blog alone for six years, and in 2006 he moved the blog to Time.com and then to TheAtlantic.com, where he was able to employ interns and expand coverage, according to the site.