Typing Politics: The Role of Blogs in American Politics

By Richard Davis | Go to book overview

3
Bloggers

In 2007 the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist group within the Democratic Party, held its annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. In the past, the convention had attracted presidents and presidential candidates. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton belonged to the group. But the Nashville convention attracted no presidential candidates.1

A few days later, the Yearly Kos Convention of liberal political bloggers formed through the Daily Kos blog opened in Chicago. The convention attracted 1,400 bloggers and, unlike the DLC meeting, five of the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates.

The new role of the political blogosphere could not have been more starkly demonstrated than by the decision five presidential candidates made concerning which event to attend. Candidate snubbing of the premier Democratic Party organization over the past two decades in favor of a meeting of bloggers derisively dubbed the “pajamadeen” seemed emblematic of a cataclysmic shift in the Democratic Party. But it also was a sign of the arrival of the political blogosphere as a force to be reckoned with by candidates.

If the political blogosphere had arrived, it wasn’t because it had traveled very far in the first place. As mentioned earlier, the blogosphere is not very old; as a mass medium, it is clearly a creature of the 21st century. And political blogging as a genre of the blogosphere is even newer. The first recognized political blog was created by Mickey Kaus, a journalist who started blogging on Slate.2 Kaus had written for Newsweek and the New Republic before starting his own blog. Then he moved the blog to Slate and gained an audience.

Other political bloggers, such as Markos Moulitsas, Glenn Reynolds, and Jerome Armstrong, quickly followed. They came from different backgrounds, but they all adopted blogs as a means for expressing themselves as political opinion leaders. Because blogging was new and the audience small, the idea of

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Typing Politics: The Role of Blogs in American Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Agenda Setting 9
  • 2 - Blogs and Politics 22
  • 3 - Bloggers 33
  • 4 - Inside the Blogs 56
  • 5 - Agenda Seekers 82
  • 6 - Journalists 107
  • 7 - The Audience 155
  • Conclusion 178
  • Appendix - Methodology 194
  • Notes 199
  • Index 233
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