Netroots 1, Weekly Standard 0

Writing for the conservative magazine Weekly Standard, Louis Wittig draws a parallel between the underwhelming box office receipts of Snakes on a Plane and the exaggerated political impact of left-wing blogs:

Since Howard Dean's 2004 primary sprint, Web sites such as MyDD, Democratic Underground, and Daily Kos have been exalted by as a new and powerful phenomenon, capable of spinning liberal frustration into cash, volunteers, and excitement for Democratic candidates nationwide. The left-wing blogosphere has declared itself the "netroots" and proclaimed a new era of "people powered politics." The Democratic establishment has reluctantly ratified their self-image. ...

The weekend box office numbers came back in and SoaP's big debut pulled in $15.2 million, in line with what a hokey thriller without any Web buzz might have made.

For all the donations and volunteers it may generate, the left-wing blogosphere essentially performs the same function as the SoaP blogosphere.

I think it's time to start judging the netroots movement by electoral victories, not moral ones. But if Daily Kos isn't an influential force in politics, what does that say about the Weekly Standard, given the traffic drawn by both sites?

Weekly Standard vs. Daily Kos, Alexa rankings


The Weekly Standard is a magazine. You are an idiot.

Well, I suspect that this has a lot to do with who's in power, and what part of the year it is. Republicans are in power, and it's not fall yet - both Kos and Weekly Standard will likely spike up over the campaign season.

If Democrats manage to take the house and/or senate, then I expect conservative sites in general to spike up, and liberal ones to trend down - the advocates tend to be more upset when the other guys have power.

The folks at the Weekly Standard,the White House, and Congress may want to take a course in Aristotelian logic.

Political sophistry has a better chance of survival when there's only one or two channels of discourse. However, when political issues/ideas are cast out to the scrutiny of many, the logical argument ususally wins.

Of course there is always the chance for an exception (such as the 2004 presidential election... Then again that may just have been a glitch in the voting machines).

The Daily Kos gets more daily readers than the Weekly Standard's weekly sales.

"Scott" is an idiot.

After reading Wittig's piece, I was left wondering how Richard Gere would have handled all those snakes on a plane--bowing to the Buddha within?

If such a thing happened on Air Force One, I'm sure Georgie would give each snake a nickname, and send Karl Rove after them. No snake would survive, except the King Snake himself, and his Roving Viper.

Wittig thinks left wing blogs are all buzz and no results. He likens them to movie fan-boy sites with the only significant difference being the level of "sincerity".

There was also sommat there about some grapes and their potentiality fer sourness that got edited out later.

Methinks he doth protest too much about lefty leaning blogs.

He fears their power and tries to denigrate them, largely unsuccessfully.

Spud luffs the smell of righty tighty desperation inna morning.

Smells like victory.

Be Well.

This isn't surprising. the right-wing punditry machine is in lock-step. See/hear/read one and you've heard 'em all.

The lefty bloggers and sources are inconsistent, thoughtful and have all of the ammo.

I'm guessing the chart is in membership/signups? Or, does it have some relation to hits, or ratios of commentary to "headlines" ... ?

Leftycoaster says, "This isn't surprising."

[Deathspud said, "Wittig thinks left wing blogs are all buzz..."]

"[T]he right-wing punditry machine is in lock-step. See/hear/read one and you've heard 'em all."

I think you are correct, but I think it is the same for the Leftwing punditry machine(s) as well. Indeed, and for that matter, aren't we being led to infer that the Leftwing blogs are far surpassing the Rightwing sites? That would mean that the Left is far superior to the Right, as far as goosestepping and three-monkey mocking, eh, starting there about the middle of 2004; according to the chart, that is?

"The lefty bloggers and sources are inconsistent, thoughtful and have all of the ammo."

I can agree to the inconsistency, since it seems that there are so many bullets to shoot at the Rightwing. That requires a lot more concentration to keep your newly found propaganda machine going and since the Left hasn't had to actually think in such a long time, and you've only had 2 years to get in practice. With the focus of political issues changing daily -- from Plame on one day, to FISA decisions being used to stop military intelligence, to the economy, pills, mocking the validity of terrorism, discrediting Israel ... well, you get the idea. Of course, the issues aren't actually changed daily, but rather shotgunned at the collective, daily in inferential "Headlines."

The Leftwing actually has too much muck to rake. Say, if the chart is "hits" or some measure of commentary, that would explain things a bit: the more there is to spew, the harder the indoctrinated must work to pump it out?

Bzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz .. .

BTW, Rogers, please email me copies of my removed posts, as you said you would.


"FISA decisions being used to stop military intelligence"
You can't name one example of this, can you?

FISA is a rubber stamp, and approval can be made retroactively, so what is the problem with having FISA provide some sort of record of accountability that can be a check on scum bags spying on their political opponents instead of "terrorists" in this so-called "democracy"? - You don't like the law, change it in congress, you fascist.

I rigged something up:

I only have them going back to the 25th, because deleted comments get wiped out along with spam after 72 hours.

Anyone else who has a deleted comment should be able to retrieve them by editing that link.

Steve Gillmor has been telling us for ages that the page view model is dead. I am surprised that you didn't get the memo. And I don't know what the track record is for the Weekly Standard when it comes to getting people elected, but I do know that Comrade Zniga has a less than stellar track record.

Thanks for the link and the email. Your explanation of the reason for removing the Drudge Retort posts studiously ignores that insults from the left, directed at the right, are not routinely removed for the same "offenses," and as if alluding to someone backslapping a fellow party member's repetition of propaganda as a "good handjob" is such shocking sexual innuendo that it needs removal as one of your category "dumps."

How do they calculated a "Daily Reach" and does Alexa source their statistics? I should probably know that already ...?

Alexa describes its methodology here. The numbers are based on traffic by Alexa toolbar users. I don't know how representative they are of the general population, but a lot of web business is done on the basis of Alexa rank.

Thanks for the reference, and the additional removal of my post for sexual innuendo (I suppose.) My bad. I forget that Southerners are a bit more insulted by such commentary than others -- they are prejudiced against Rap, big time. I've cleaned the removed post up and resubmitted, below.

I said, "FISA decisions being used to stop military intelligence"

Which is taken out of context, in order for a reflexive response from a busy bee intent on misdirecting the subject of this thread, and demonstrating the truth that there is no logic in any of your comments, notwithstanding it being a total non sequitur, with which to start.

Hallonsylt asks, "You can't name one example of this, can you?"

Why should I be required to? The judge handed down her decision based on them, but you ignore that your rhetorical question doesn't contradict what I said:

"In her 44-page ruling, Judge Taylor ordered the National Security Agency to stop monitoring international calls to and from this country, aka "domestic spying" in New York Times style."

Hal goes on, "FISA is a rubber stamp, and approval can be made retroactively..."

See? This is an attempt to twist reality, and which is that this judge did not rubber stamp anthing, but you can't wait to point to some irrelevant (I dare you to try to make them relevant) statistics, and ignore the backlog of translations in the system and the bottleneck of requests in the court, itself!

On top of that, the head of the FISA court, is the same judge that found against the Guantanomo military trials, but the Left will squawk any contradictory propaganda that suits their ends-justifies-the-means characters...

Hal opines, " . . so what is the problem with having FISA provide some sort of record of accountability that can be a check on scum bags spying on their political opponents instead of "terrorists" in this so-called "democracy"? - You don't like the law, change it in congress, you fascist."

Notice that Rogers has left your blatant libel out here for all to read? There is no effort to moderate/edit/censor the Left's accusations.

Nice job, Rogers...

Rogers, your post made absolutely no sense, which is very odd for you.

The entire point of the WS article is that Internet hype and real-world success are not the same thing. So the answer to the Daily Kos vs. Weekly Standard traffic question is answered by the article itself -- it is completely irrelevant.

Despite its small real-world circulation, the WS has clearly had a disproportionately influential impact on American politics over the past decade. Meanwhile, despite all those page views, DailyKos does not seem to have anywhere near the same sort of influence.

And, the difference is that DK is over-inclusive, so it is populated both by thoughtful liberals and complete left wing nutjobs. The strength of WS, meanwhile, is precisely that it excludes views that are outside of its relatively narrow ideological range (which is definitely right-of-center, but clearly has mainstream acceptability in mind).

I think web traffic is a useful metric as long as you don't take it too far. Daily Kos pulls a larger audience of politically engaged online readers than Weekly Standard does -- around four times as many if I understand Alexa's stats.

Though you can argue the Standard's readers are more important people, as someone who parrots the same line when The Nation claims it, I've always feared it's probably empty hype. It's like engaging in an online flamewar and claiming "the lurkers are with me." Give me hard numbers over intangible signs of success any day.

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