And the HuffPost's Off The Bus experiment. Congrats.
You would've thought conservative bloggers would have tried to build a counterpart to the liberal netroots before the 2008 campaign. But this cycle has been, in our opinion, a debacle for the right side of the blogosphere which, incredibly, is still trying to build a network of bloggers, commenters, and activists that even vaguely resembles what liberals have created.
Listen in as the Rightroots tries to get off the ground.
P.S. If there's a silver lining for the right it's that it took, for liberals, the heart-breaking defeat of John Kerry in 2004, to truly energize the netroots movement. Perhaps the same will happen to the Rightroots in the wake of McCain's loss, although we have our doubts.
The two are locked in what could be, statistically based on the total number of votes cast, the closest U.S. senate race in history. A recount is underway. And it's a recount required by state law, because the vote was so close. In fact, Coleman's original margin of victory, 725 votes (out of 2.9 million cast), has already shrunk to 236 votes.
So why this Strib headline today [emphasis added]? "Sen. Norm Coleman's Democratic challenger is vowing to push ahead with a recount".
Why the "vowing" language, which makes it seem like Franken's just being a sore loser? Under Minnesota law, recounts are required if the final margin of victory is less than one-half of 1 percent. In the case of Franken/Coleman, the margin's .01 percent. So of course there's going to be a recount.
Also under state law, the person trailing can request that the recount not go forward. But considering there's already been a 500 vote shift in the process, naturally Franken's not going to do that.
Seems to us that once again, the Strib has its thumb on the scale while covering this race.
Writes Megan Garber at CJR. We tend to agree.
Wow. Just wow.
Want to know just how completely spooked CBS was by the right-wing assault on its news division following the Memogate scandal during the 2004 election? CBS suits were so scared that while forming an "independent" panel to investigate the controversy surrounding Dan Rather's reporting on President Bush's military service, the Tiffany Network considered appointing Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter and/or Rush Limbaugh to the panel.
We kid you not. That, according to a New York Observer report, which found that amazing piece of information while digging through discovery documents in connection to the ongoing $70 million lawsuit Rather has filed against CBS, after he got bounced in the wake of Memogate.
Go read the whole thing. Here's a a key passage from a memo written by CBS brass, defending the hiring of an openly Republican lawyer, Dick Thornburgh, who eventually headed the Memogate investigation:
Because of the perception that CBS News and Dan Rather had a liberal bias, CBS purposefully chose a Republican lawyer, not for any nefarious purpose, but to open itself up to its harshest conservative critics and to ensure that the Panel's findings would be found credible.
Rather's attorneys then turned up a list which CBS executives apparently compiled in the fall of 2004, prior to settling on Thornburgh. Under the category of "others," these possible Memogate panel names were mentioned:
- William Buckley
- Robert Novak
- Kate O'Beirne
- Nicholas Von Hoffman
- Tucker Carlson
- Pat Buchanan
- George Will
- Lou Dobbs
- Matt Drudge
- Robert Barkley
- Robert Kagan
- Fred Barnes
- William Kristol
- John Podhoretz
- David Brooks
- William Safire
- Bernard Goldberg
- Ann Coulter
- Andrew Sullivan
- Christopher Hitchens
- PJ O'Rourke
- Christopher Caldwell
- Elliot Abrams
- Charles Krauthammer
- William Bennett
- Rush Limbaugh
Underscoring the point we made earlier this week when we ridiculed the emerging conservative meme that Obama was showered with good press because news orgs have been on a PC/diversity hiring spree, and those minority journalists swooned for Obama, Michael Calderone has a piece at Politico looking at just how few Africa-American journalists there are within the Beltway press corps covering big time American politics:
When then-President Bill Clinton attended an intimate dinner with a group of African-American White House correspondents in July 1999, about nine reporters joined him at the table. "I don't think we could have that dinner today," said attendee Wendell Goler, veteran White House man for Fox News. April Ryan, who covers the White House for American Urban Radio Networks and who also attended, agreed that there's been a decline in the number of black White House reporters during the Bush years, with just four or five regularly in the briefing room.
Honestly, in post-election Nov. 2004, did anybody from CNN go on the TV and warn Bush that he better not govern as a conservative, otherwise he might alienate voters?
See Crooks and Liars for more.
If you don't remember the media coverage surrounding the 1994 campaign when Newt Gingrich led Republicans and the Contract with America to victory, take our word for it: the press was obsessed with touting the influence of right-wing talk radio. The GOP talkers were heralded as the new populist, media superstars who shepherded the Republicans to victory and the talk radio faces (especially Limbaugh's) appeared on the cover of news magazines nationwide.
Now, in the wake of the Democrats second cycle of decisive electoral victories, we keep waiting for the MSM to acknowledge the extraordinary role liberal bloggers and the larger progressive netroots community has played in reshaping American politics. But so far, it's mostly radio silence.
We can't help wondering why the press literally tripped over itself to toast mighty, mighty talk radio in the 1990's, yet today shows amazing stubbornness in acknowledging what's so obvious; that bloggers and the netroots are at the forefront of a political and media revolution.
The best the WSJ can do today is a generic look at how traffic at political sites might go down post-election.