April 17, 2009

When It Comes to Web Pages Drenched in Graphic Garbage,

the all-time "winner" in the endless competition to see who can pile the most crap on a single page has to be Townhall.com.Their home page makes you want to claw your eyes from your head to stop the pain.

It is simply stupefying to see one site with so little sense of lucidity and simplicity in design. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it has become "A site made by an idiot. Full of so much sound and fury it signifies nothing." For all that they have done and will do I'm giving them my "Pinhead Pundits" award.

Too bad. They've got good writers.

Posted by Vanderleun at April 17, 2009 1:46 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

NPR's site has got to be a close second...


Posted by: darkcoffee at April 17, 2009 8:59 AM

I've wondered why it is that I skip the Townhall Homepage during my morning tour of the political sites, and now I know.

You're absolutely right: It's a jumbled mess, notwithstanding the number of good writers linked from that page, life's just too short to find them there.

It's even bookmarked and tabbed; I glance at it and close the tab without even scrolling down, moving on to the next site (The Truth About Cars).

Weak. Very weak.

Posted by: Mike Lief at April 17, 2009 9:14 AM

Now I'm embarrassed to admit it's my homepage! You are right of course and it has only gotten worse. It was recently "updated" again so that now you can barely distinguish between the author's name and the title of the article. I quickly scan "Today's Conservative Opinion" column for Dennis Prager, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, George Will, Jonah Goldberg and especially Charles Krauthammer. Then I move onto my favorites tool bar, which means I spend about 1/3 of my internet time at AD! More updates please! Better! Faster! Cheaper?

Posted by: Western Chauvinist at April 17, 2009 10:34 AM

Thank you. I'm working on faster and better but I can't get it any cheaper.

Townhall seems to be run by some beancounter on meth. "Let's squeeze every centime out of this page." Of course the more they do this the less they get.

A better daily page to scan would be "Real Clear Politics."

Posted by: vanderleun at April 17, 2009 10:39 AM

I used to occasionally read Ed Morrisey when he had Captain's Quarters website, then he moved to Hot Air. Wow, what a mess that site is. It's ugly, hard to read, and full of adolescent contemptuousness. I check in once a month or so to see if it has changed, but it is not worth my time, regardless of the merit of any of its content.
Town Hall is too much trouble to visit, also.
Time better spent at a thinking site like Belmont Club

Posted by: Dan D at April 17, 2009 10:44 AM

Gerard, I am hurt. DEEPLY hurt! I thought my page had the most crap on it!

Posted by: Jewel at April 17, 2009 11:32 AM

Don't despair Jewel. It's pretty bad but at least it can, after waiting a long long time for loading, be read. Still it is a distant second to Atlas Shugs in the realm of blogger bletch and doesn't even approach Town Hall.

You still have mountains to climb!

Posted by: vanderleun at April 17, 2009 11:58 AM

You know who's really gone to seed, complete with nasty pop ups and all? American Thinker, that's who. Sigh. Lifson's site was once a navigable thing of beauty.

Posted by: Jewel at April 17, 2009 3:52 PM

Speaking of graphics, and, by extension, site design, why do you hide your sharp logo on the back pages of your blog and why isn’t it clickable? Moreover, why do you jump from a fixed-frame body on your front page to a floating-frame body on your back pages? It’s a great site, but there’s no design continuity.

Just curious.

Posted by: CTN at April 17, 2009 6:25 PM

Oh, and for the record, you’re right about townhall. It is the cyber equivalent of an ecological disaster zone. They should clean it up and present their articles in a manner that suggests they actually care about the reader. As it stands, I refuse to go there because it’s such a visual and practical annoyance.

Posted by: CTN at April 17, 2009 6:30 PM

Town Hall has some good columnists on occasion,
but it's become infested with trolls in the comments section, and at least one columnist C.P. Liebau, I've had to correct the record, on several occasions, guess on which topic Gerald?

Posted by: narciso at April 17, 2009 8:51 PM

Why is the site the way it is? I just don't have the time to do more with the back end. I keep thinking about moving to word press and such, but life is short and I'm not in the mood right now to learn a new platform and program.

Maybe I'll hire someone to do it.

Posted by: vanderleun at April 17, 2009 8:59 PM

Gerard, once again you give voice to the thing I have thought but not said out loud. The spectacular lameness of Townhall is indeed amazing to behold. Then there's the unbearable ugliness of being that is foxnews.com. No wonder it seems rarely linked to.

Your site has always been among the nicest to look at which is definitely a part of why I come back. I do miss the old logo on the front page though.

Posted by: The Count at April 18, 2009 7:46 AM


While I might agree with you about American Thinker as far as design and visuals, etc. the sheer content of AT makes it my first stop daily with American Digest a close second.

AD is the only site on the right to rival the internet left in terms of site design and content.

Posted by: Adagny at April 23, 2009 10:19 PM