Ever since Mike Kinsley first slipped into Gore-Tex and lit out for the coast to found Slate, we at the Doonesbury Town Hall and Web Presence (an older, more established site) have been more than a little interested in whether he and his talented crew could make a go of it. As a comparable online media pavilion featuring the same unstable mix of pungent commentary and little income, the Town Hall felt it had an emotional stake in the fledgling magazine's future.
Well, after seven years, it's time to exhale and scatter a little confetti about. Not only did Slate finally find a winning financial formula (6 million distinct monthly visitors helps), but its restless, voracious search for contrarious content brought them to our doorstep. Not to downplay the agonizing negotiations that ensued, setting otherwise decent people at each other's throats, but today the Doonesbury Town Hall finds itself happily, proudly, annexed.
What does this mean to the typical Slate visitor? Well, if you hate comic strips, not much, but what does that say about you? For everyone else, it's a chance to toggle between serious journalism and spitball satire without having to leave the site. To be honest, we've designed the Town Hall to be a one-stop sinkhole for your discretionary time, but we're not greedy. We're happy to host you on a single page—such as Today's Strip, or Daily Briefing, or our Arcade section, where thousands of lunch hours are blown off every day. For core Doonesbury aficionados, we offer Cast Bios, Flashbacks, GBT's FAQs, and many other features, all at a level of comprehensiveness that closes in on obsession. You can literally wander around for days, toll-free and with no supervision, and some people do. (We don't really understand that kind of single-mindedness, but we're happy to cater to it.)
Some people have commented on the unlikeliness of finding Doonesbury under the larger MSN umbrella, and for them we've cranked up a special edition of Straw Poll this week, where they can go to safely blow off steam. For folks who think we are a natural fit in the Slate environment, we have a special message: We agree, wholeheartedly.
TODAY IN SLATE
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How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?
Here are the facts.
The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender
What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?