Did Blogs Tip the Election? (Attn: DC Area Reasonoids)


Well, it's a conversation starter, anyway, for this fabulous panel discussion in a couple of weeks:

IHS and Reason magazine present Ana Marie Cox, Daniel Drezner, Henry Farrell, and Michael Tomasky debating the role of blogs in the election on November 18.

A free-for-all discussion on the role of blogs and politics featuring Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox, blogger and University of Chicago political scientist Daniel Drezner, blogger and George Washington University political scientist Henry Farrell, The American Prospect's Michael Tomasky, moderated by Reason's Nick Gillespie.

Drinks and hors d'oeuvres to follow remarks and Q&A.

Thursday, November 18
7:30-9:00 pm

WHERE:Topaz Bar
1733 N Street NW, Washignton, DC

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies and Reason.

Space is limited, so please reserve a place by RSVPing to Alina Stefanescu.


NEXT: Bill Bennett is Betting...

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  1. Well, Reason’s blog didn’t tip the election.

    Despite your best efforts Bush got elected anyway.


  2. Sounds great… these are all Kerry voters, right? I’m sure they will be able to tell us how to use blogs to win elections.

  3. Bush did not win because of media bias (for or against), brilliant stories that changed voter’s minds, or brilliant ripostes in blog comment sections. Bush won because more people agreed with the overall thrust of his approach than with that of Kerry.To an extent, Bush did not win so much as Kerry lost. Kerry’s campaign was sabotaged by his supporters. The almost hysterical claims that Iraq did not have WMD was disproved on May 17, 2004, when a sarin (nerve gas) attack was launched against US soldiers. Every claim that Iraq did not have WMDs made after that date was a nail in the coffin of Kerry’s hopes.

    The economy is not great, but it good enough to not be a negative factor. Purely economic voting models predicted a Bush win.

    The war in Iraq has problems, but not enough to be a negative. Reasonable people can view Iraq as stunning military victory with minimal casualties, and every major objective met on the initial timetable. Reasonable people can view Iraq as more expensive than it is worth, with more casualties than acceptable. And reasonable people can view the situation in Iraq as in between these extremes.

  4. My impression is that the majority of blogs and bloggers are left-wing, so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone can make the case that blogs tipped the election.

    If 1) Kerry had won from the 2) strength of the young people vote, I might be inclined to give credence to blog influence.

  5. Forgot to mention, since I live a couple blocks from the event location, I’ll be attending. 🙂

  6. I find it entirely possible the phony Dan Rather story could have tipped the scales in Ohio were it not for the quick debunking on a few blogs. Same goes for the hundreds of tons of missing explosives story leaked by the IAEA. Were it not for blogs (and internet journalists), most of us would watch the TV news and/or read the newspapers and say, “wow, thats big news”, without ever catching the retraction/clarification that may or may not be coming. Now we wake up the next day and say, “wow, I always thought Dan Rather was full of shit”.

  7. Regarding those explosives, some of the right-wing blogs went into full Kool-Aid mode. They denied the reports, they echoed administration spin, they outright lied and misrepresented the facts, they did everything except blame it on the French. (AFAIK)

    However, as some of us know, we have video showing the explosives in question were there after U.S. troops arrived. And, there are a few reports about al Qaqaa having been looted of various munitions months after the invasion.

    Some of the right-wing blogs may have helped throw dust into people’s eyes and supported the administration at any cost to their credibility. But, they’ve hardly lived up to their reputation as opponents of media lies. Some have just become media liars with smaller readerships than the MSM. Or: Hugh’s Hackettes.

  8. I’ll add: it’s possible to be opposed to MSM bias and also blogger bias from all sides of the aisle.

    I’ll also add that rightwingnews.com is one of the few Bush-supporter blogs that has any credibility left.

  9. Don’t flatter yourselves. Churches tipped this election.

  10. Quaker120 is right. Evangelical Christians are behind Bush bigtime. Partial-birth abortion was a giant issue. Gay marriage was important, but not nearly as much as partial-birth abortion. When properly motivated, evangelicals will turn out in greater percentages than just about any other group. I know these people. They think they’re doing God’s work. You won’t hear it much in the MSM, but PBA was huge.

  11. Churches were a big component, but when things are close, many things can make a change. I bet that if Kerry had been exactly the same in all aspects and had not done his Vietnam protesting, he would have probably carried Ohio, imho.

  12. i think about .00001 of the populace knows what a blog is, so the short answer would have to be: no. Hope there’s lots of drink tickets to speed up the outbreak of other conversations.

    a more interesting discussion would be: did the run on gay marriages (and backlash thereto) tip the election?

  13. I’ll be the first to admit that Wonkette is easy on the eyes, but seriously, isn’t her 15 minutes over yet?

  14. Same bloody bloggers EVERY time. Wonkette, Drezner, et al. The whole “blogger” bit is running thin: after a brief honeymoon (the underground revolution! anyone can become a pundit!), there is now a blogger elite…same voices, ad nauseum. Like a regular ol’ op-ed page without the benefit of an actual newspaper…

  15. i think about .00001 of the populace knows what a blog is

    It doesn’t matter. A bunch of blogs start talking about something (or collude as they say in the business). Then, Glenn Reynolds decides whether he’ll link to it or not. If so, Hugh Hewitt will link to it. It’ll get on the air. It’ll then go to TV, then to the NYT, then it’ll be written about on the same blogs that featured it. By that time it’s still about 50% fiber.

  16. Blogs blunted the primary establishment media attacks on Bush, one after the other. Enough to swing the election? Nobody knows. But without blogs Bush’s bitterest and most effective enemies would have had a clear shot at him, with the timing and material of their choice.

    As libertarians, you should be celebrating. Power has devolved to the people, barriers to entry to the marketplace of ideas have fallen, and one of the primary props of the cult of the state, the establishment media, has taken a mortal wound.

  17. And we may soon see a blogger cure cancer and land on Mars, too.

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