InstaPundit vs. Wonkette

I just watched Glenn Reynolds debating Ana Marie Cox on CNBC’s “Kudlow and Cramer” on tonight’s second presidential debate. I continue to be perplexed by Cox’s inclusion in these things. Cox is attractive and articulate and her site is certainly successful. But she’s a humorist with a penchant for naughtiness, not a policy analyst. We never see, for example, Thomas Friedman debating Dave Barry on these programs.

[Update: Keith Olberman featured Glenn along with Scott Johnson and Markos Zuniga. That’s a much better matchup. Wonkette would make more sense matched up with, say, Scott Ott or Frank J.]

Meanwhile, the mainstream media continues to “discover” blogs:

Blogs Abuzz with Gossip in Caustic U.S. Campaign (Reuters)

The U.S. presidential campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry has prompted a frenzy of gossip and conspiracy theories among Internet bloggers, hybrid online sites that blend news, gossip and opinion. As Bush and the Massachusetts Senator slug it out in a neck-and-neck race ahead of the November 2 election, partisan bloggers have flooded the Internet with alternative views about both candidates, which they hope will help sway voters.

Experts say much of the gossip on the Internet is as loony as supermarket tabloid stories claiming Elvis Presley lives, but that it still has a role to play in the campaign. “Blogs probably pretty accurately reflect the level of polarization and paranoia and frustration among everyday Americans that the entire campaign reflects,” said Vanity Fair media critic Michael Wolff, characterizing the new form of overtly-biased journalism as “the voice of the mob.”

Amusing. The piece cites various conspiracy theories that floated around after the first Bush-Kerry debate, including charges that Bush wore a hidden earpiece (Through which he received his brilliant answers? -ed.). It notes, too, that Cheney’s claim to have never met Edwards was rebutted “within moments.”

What’s particularly interesting is this statistic:

A recent Pew Internet and American Life Project found more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most have few readers but some garner thousands of hits daily as the American public becomes increasingly distrustful of mainstream media.

While two million sounds inordinately high, there are 294.5 million people in the country, so we’re talking about only 0.68% of the population.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere, Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. 42nd SSD says:

    “2 million” also depends on how you define blog, of course.

    It sounds fairly credible though. Let’s look at just one site, livejournal.com–over 2 million blogs listed as belonging to people in the US… most of whom are probably under 18 years old 🙂 Who knows how many of them are updated on a regular basis, and some people have more than one blog. But, overall, 2 million would seem to be a reasonably conservative estimate.

  2. Tiger says:

    I actually believe 2 million to be a conservative number, although I suspect about 2000 or so are actually worth reading. Some who have read mine believe that number to be closer to 1999.

  3. Paul says:

    I was at a friend’s home and his daughter said she had her own blog.

    I went to it and she had exactly 3 posts in 3 months all about Star Wars. I guess there’s blogs and then there’s blogs.

  4. weev says:

    Glenn Reynolds occaisionally spews some unintentional humor.

    A base in comedy does not exclude one from being a policy analyst. Some of the better policy analysis to happen during the Bush administration has come in the form of comedy.

  5. carpeicthus says:

    I think the number is inflated when you relate it to people. I’ve started 7 or 8 blog accounts, but there’s only one of me.