Friday, December 09, 2005


Obviously one can't fully comment until the full article is out, but I'm worried Michael Crowley may have missed an important point. E&P preview:

Crowley, a New Republic writer, claims that with the 2006 elections approaching, Democrats are now “trying to use blogs more strategically.” But he concludes by embracing the view of Matt Stoller, an activist who ran a blog for Sen. Jon Corzine during his 2005 race for governor of New Jersey, who believes that next year conservative bloggers “will certain have an upper hand.” Crowley adds: “Again.”

He had opened his piece citing a recent example in New Jersey where talk-radio picked up on personal charges against Corzine airing on conservative blogs, which then caused “damage” to the campaign. “To Stoller, it was proof of how conservatives have mastered the art of using blogs as a deadly campaign weapon,” Crowley writes. Yet Corzine won the election easily anyway.

In fact, Crowley admits that his argument for conservative blog supremacy may seem “counterintuitive,” noting the Howard Dean phenomenon in early 2004 and heavy Web traffic numbers for liberal blogs such as DailyKos. (He does not mention that studies of online traffic show that, overall, there are more highly-popular liberal blogs than conservative ones.) But he explains that “Democrats say there’s a key difference between liberals and conservatives online. Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders….Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates.”

Crowley then comments that what really makes the conservative blogs allegedly more effective is the infrastructure provided by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others--"all of which are quick to pass on the latest tidbit from the blogosphere."

In a sense conservative blogs are more effective because both the massive right wing media and the mainstream media (remember Kurtz inviting Assrocket on to discuss his picked entirely out of his ass theory that the Republican Schiavo talking point memo was a Democratic forgery) are willing to pick up and retransmit their bullshit. So, the right wing wankosphere are yet another cog in the massive right wing media operation, and in accordance with the self-similiarty of the wingnut function, basically identical in all but scale.

But the liberal blogosphere is a much greater value added for our side because we have such a shitty media infrastructure. If all the wingnut blogs disappeared tomorrow it really wouldn't have any impact on the national discourse. Sure they're there and the Right is better at using them but they don't really *need* them. They have plenty of other ways to launder their horseshit.