Friday, July 15, 2005

1269 Does blogging hurt or help your political party?

The Daily Kos is the most popular left wing blog out there, creating a family feel among its regular readers (I've looked at it a few times, but don't read it.) Numbers of visits for political blogs slid after the election in 2004, but the Kos followers are on the increase. Left wing blogging is much more popular than left wing talk radio, which can't seem to find its voice.

"Indeed, there is little doubt that the habitués of the Daily Kos, like their hated cousins who read popular conservative blogs such as Power Line and Little Green Footballs, live in very different worlds than their friends and neighbors. Blog readers are typically voracious gatherers of news. They not only simply know who people such as Ann Coulter are, they usually have strong opinions about these minor public figures, too. This is an unusual trait. After all, while Ann Coulter may be a polarizing firebrand beloved by her supporters and loathed by her detractors, when it comes to fame she's hardly Madonna." Dean Barnett on the rise of the left wing blogger

The problem as Barnett sees it is that party bigwigs are kowtowing to The Kos and trying to get on his front page. Even though most Americans still don't know what a blog is and don't read them, Democrats are adopting (according to Barnett) the shrill, hyper-reporting of the key blogs. Dick Durbin looked like a complete idiot with his comments about Gitmo being a Gulag, and the US being as bad as the Nazis, Soviets and PolPot, but the left wing bloggers embraced him. Barnett sees the party's affinity with these left wing screamers and screeders as bad for Democrats.

Well, maybe it is sour grapes. I've never heard of Barnett's blog until his article appeared in Weekly Standard. His site meter isn't public and his comments aren't enabled. Who knows if people who hunch over keyboards several hours a day sending memos to complete strangers will get out and ring door bells or work the phone banks or even run for office. Hugh Hewitt seems to think the blog is the next BIG thing in communication and has written a whole book on its growing influence.

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