October 4, 2002

Dearth of "left" bloggers…

When it comes to blogging, it appears that the left is choking on the right’s dust. Why? I have an answer, or, rather, George Lakoff has an answer in his book Moral Politics. The short, over-simplified version is: The political right has, over the past 30 years or so, developed a consistent message in keeping with a conservative moral vision. The left, in keeping with its own moral vision, has a more difficult time creating a unified message. Why? Read Lakoff’s book or this web site.

October 4, 2002

No money…

Weblogs and the Mass Amateurization of Publishing Here’s an interesting article about making (no) money with your web log.

October 4, 2002

Bush to go public on Monday…

Theodore Roosevelt said that the presidency is a “bully good pulpit” because the president can go public and, thus, put political pressure on Congress. Bush will address the nation about Iraq Monday night for exactly this purpose. From the CNN story:

The speech, part of Bush’s public relations campaign for his Iraqi policy, comes on the eve of votes in the House and the Senate on a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq and as the administration faces an uphill battle getting support for a tough new U.N. resolution to deal with Saddam. One U.S. official said the president won’t reveal any “explosive” new evidence about the threat posed by what the administration has described as Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and won’t unveil any new U.S. policy, but will “urge the American people to make sure they are heard” as the country and the U.N. debate what to do about Saddam.

In other words, Bush will do his best to move the hearts and minds of the citizenry to his cause. A recent Gallup poll says most Americans support military action against Iraq for the purpose of removing Saddam Hussein–but with qualifications. Look for Bush’s speech to address those qualifications.

October 4, 2002

Readers more serious after 9/11…

I think we should be careful about assigning a positive cause-and-effect connection between 9/11 and an increase in the circulations of some serious, general interest magazines. The reasons are certainly complex, and 9/11 just as certainly plays a role. Suggesting an easy correspondence, however, makes good copy. Journalism likes easy connections and clear causes and effects.

October 4, 2002

Checks, balances, and strategic voting…

Howard Kurtz takes a look at the differences between beltway thinking and what the rest of us think about the mid-term elections. He asks:

But is there any possibility that those pulling the lever will care about whether Daschle or Lott is calling the shots? Do ordinary voters, as opposed to journalists and political operatives, think about Madisonian checks and balances?

In other words, do citizens vote strategically? Kurtz’ assessment: “Life’s too short.” Add to this that politics is still profoundly local. None of that will stop journalists and pundits from paying far closer attention to beltway thinking.

October 3, 2002

Disappearing Bush quote…

Brendan Nyhan says the Bush “not interested” quote is disappearing from news stories about politicizing the debate over Homeland Security and Iraq.

October 3, 2002

Fleischer vs Gore…

It seems to me that Ari Fleischer’s no-one-is-listening tactic, in response to Gore’s criticisms, could back fire. The press will now make sure people hear, if not listen, because the narrative and fairness biases of journalism demand attention and “balance” be given to this “controversy.”

October 3, 2002

Rhetoric of recovery…

‘Recovery’? Rhetoric vs. Reality I wish more columnists would deal openly with the language issues of politics.

October 3, 2002

Political pathologies…

Howard Kurtz looks at the political usefulness of Bob Torricelli for the GOP. As Kurtz says, he is an “albatross that conservatives want to hang around the neck of every breathing Democrat.” This is called a “pathological stereotype”–a variant of the central model used to suggest that the stereotype is typical of the central model. Democrats and Republicans alike often characterize each other using such stereotypes. Kurtz says:

It’s an age-old maneuver

October 2, 2002

Check your facts…

It seems the story about the eventual extinction of blonds was a hoax. The story, attributed to the World Health Organization, was widely reported and widely blogged. I didn’t mention it here because it didn

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