As PoliticsDaily.com approaches the 100-day mark – we'll clink our virtual champagne flutes on Tuesday, Aug. 4 – I want to thank our readers for showing up every day and making our online magazine the best-read politics site on the Web, according to ComScore, with 2.4 million unique visitors in our first month, May, and 3.6 million unique visitors in June.
Our team -- eight staff and 30 contract writers and editors, plus eight contributors to our student blog, The Cram -- continues to grow. Today, we welcome award-winning religion writer David Gibson to our staff. (Here are just a few of my favorite pieces among those Gibson did for PD before joining us full-time.) His previous incarnations include stints on Capitol Hill, at the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, and Vatican Radio in Rome – an outfit he calls "a cross between NPR and Armed Forces Radio for the pope.'' A winner of the Supple Religion Writer of the Year contest, he also has been named the Templeton Religion Reporter of the Year, has produced documentaries on early Christianity for CNN, and is the author of "The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful are Shaping a New American Catholicism,'' (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003), and "The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World,'' (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006).
In other Dave news, David Corn, Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones magazine, is launching his Politics Daily blog, "Deep Background,'' today. (And in keeping with our polypartisan approach, we are launching a search for his conservative equal. An Alan Colmes to his Hannity? No.)
Recently, we ran our first short story, a meditation on Washington power, and began commissioning original politics-themed fiction. And today, our best-in-the-bizmilitarywriter, David Wood – do you sense a trend here? -- leaves for Afghanistan, where he will be for the next month, blogging the war for "Afghanistan Notebook,'' as well as filing longer magazine pieces.
In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.