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Tilting at Windmills

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June 13, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MARK WARNER AND YEARLYKOS....When King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France met in 1520, they demonstrated their power and puissance to each other by spending extravagant amounts of money on decorations and furnishings for their courts. In fact, the meeting became known to history as the Field of Cloth of Gold because of the absurdly lavish use by both monarchs of cloth of gold which is exactly what it sounds like it is.

Emptywheel suggests that presidential hopeful Mark Warner was following the same strategy at the YearlyKos convention this past weekend:

Warner rented out the entire top of the Stratosphere, with a great spread and bars at every corner. I've worked in and out of corporate America for 25 years (and personally witnessed Howard Dean's phenomenal $40 million burn). And I've never been to this kind of truly excessive party. I don't know whether all the free food and liquor bought our loyalty. I actually never saw the candidate ... I was much more interested in meeting the folks from DKos. But who knows whether that was the point? One person suggested the real audience was Hillary, a giant pissing contest over who could blow money with the greatest abandon. "Hillary, money is no object."

Apparently, the blogosphere is the new Iowa. There are worse ways to travel.

I don't much like Las Vegas and I don't much like conventions, but I sort of wish I'd gone to YearlyKos anyway just to see what it was like. Maybe next year. Mainly, though, I wonder what the politicians thought of it. Do they really think the blogosphere is where the action is, or is it, as emptywheel suggests, just the "new Iowa" except with speeches about direct democracy and net neutrality instead of ethanol and crop subsidies?

I'm not yet sure about that. But in any case, should I really support a candidate just because he "gets the internet"? Whatever that means? I'm not sure about that either.

Did any of my regular commenters attend YearlyKos? What did you think?

Kevin Drum 11:21 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (115)

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Comments

I was supposed to go but I got fucking sick. Missed it.

Posted by: paradox on June 13, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the picture of all the Moonbats wearing their tinfoil helemts! What a crazy group!

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 13, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Slate thinks Markos Moussaka is taking himself a bit too seriously.

Posted by: GOP on June 13, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine if the losers and crackers of Redstate or Freerepublikkk decided to have a conference in Vegas. You think Frist, Hastert and Santorum would show up to hang out with the overweight klansmen? Hell no, they wouldn't get 1000 miles of that place.

Posted by: Gordo on June 13, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

It does surprise me that they got so many big names (I didn't think they would when they were in the early planning stages). Definitely a few of the sessions I wished I could attend.

All the 2008-centric swooning Clark fanatics might make me a little nauseus. And I really don't care for conventions unless they are about my field of science.

Posted by: gub on June 13, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

I saw Emptywheel on C-Span and fell in love. Her blog is good, too.

Warner was exposed by Emptywheel when she asked him to compare Pakistan and Iran's nuclear threat.

Posted by: Hostile on June 13, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

they demonstrated their power and puissance...

Power and puissance? Wow.

Posted by: dj moonbat on June 13, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

This may be of interest to you, Kevin. From today's AP wire:

By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) Anti-war activists at a liberal gathering booed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday for opposing a set date for pulling U.S. troops from Iraq. Facing down the jeers, Clinton said Democrats need to have ``a difficult conversation'' about the war.

Another potential presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry, spoke to the group later in the day and offered an emphatically anti-war appeal.

``Sometimes this is a difficult conversation, in part because this administration has made our world more dangerous than it should be,'' said Clinton, D-N.Y.

Kerry, who was widely criticized as the party's standard-bearer in 2004 for being too cautious in his criticism of the war, said Tuesday that politicians ``cannot have it both ways.''

In remarks that could have been aimed at Clinton, Kerry said: ``It's not enough to argue with the logistics or to argue about the details. ... It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake. ... It was wrong, and I was wrong to vote for that Iraqi war resolution.''

Kerry's speech featured some of his strongest comments to date, including a call to ``end a war in Iraq that weakens the nation each and every day it goes on.''

The Massachusetts senator is offering an amendment to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of this year.

While Clinton received loud cheers for her swipes at the Bush administration, many in the crowd jeered her stance on the Iraq war. She voted for the war but has since harshly criticized the Bush administration's handling of the conflict.

``I do not think it is a smart strategy, either, for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government,'' said Clinton, before turning to the anti-war liberals' core beef with her.

``Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain. I do not agree that that is in the best interests,'' said Clinton, prompting loud booing from some at the gathering.

Clinton has been seen as the early favorite among potential Democratic candidates for president in 2008, but she is increasingly at odds with anti-war liberals over her past vote and current position on Iraq.

After addressing Iraq, Clinton quickly turned to the 2006 election, saying her party needs to speak to middle-class Americans and overcome disagreements.

``If we're going to win in November then we have to be smarter, tougher, and better prepared than our opponents, because one thing they do know how to do is win and we have to reach out to people who may not be able to agree with us,'' she said.

``We have to talk about the range of issues that are on their minds that they talk about around the kitchen table,'' Clinton said.

Before speaking to the group, another potential presidential candidate, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, questioned whether Congress had done its part in asking tough questions.

``Congress has a responsibility here,'' Vilsack said, in a subtle criticism of potential 2008 rivals like Kerry and Clinton. ``If the tough questions aren't being asked by the administration, the checks and balances system of our government requires that the other branch of government asks the tough questions.''

Speaking at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Vilsack cautioned against rushing for a quick exit from Iraq now.

``I personally don't think now is a time to say on a date certain we are leaving,'' he said.

Iraq now definitely seems to be Hillary's Achilles heel, and I wonder how the party bosses will softpedal such antipathy towards her.

Posted by: Vincent on June 14, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

The power of these blogs is simple: a search for truth. These are the last best hope for America as we slink off to catastrophe just around the corner. It has grown to 10 trillion. So far, the media has managed to marginalize truth and with it, create an alternate reality where black is white, unemployment is good, out-sourcing is worker friendly, no insurance is good health care, and Energy independence is dangerous. I was heartened by the yearly Kos. I will be more heartened by free and fair elections and the fall of corporate media. We owe it to ourselves and children to boycott large newspapers and cable news when they advocate for dangerous allies.

Posted by: Sparko on June 14, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry, Clinton, Vilsack, Clark, and Warner. The new Iowa indeed.

What a bunch of blow hards. I'll have to support Sharpton until early 2008 just out of contempt for their egos.

Posted by: B on June 14, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko, you forgot Arbeit Macht Frei.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hi:

The left wing bloggers will play an increasingly greater role in shaping the policies of the democratic party for the following reason. The democratic establishment is shut out of the power structure in Washington DC, and the republicans have been ruthlessly effective in neutering the democrats and maintaining their control. As long as this continues, blogs will continue to channel the anger of the progressives at being cast aside. However, I doubt if the leftwing blogosphere will remain effective (or even interesting), if democrats gain any significant victories in the upcoming elections.

For now, as far as the politicians are concerned, blogs constitute an effective means to reach net savvy, reasonably well-informed, loyal progressives, who have shown in the past that they can generate sufficient amount of cash with small donations. No politician can afford not to court this group.

Kari

Posted by: Kari on June 14, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I don't think "getting the Internet(s)" is the only prerequisite, but we need a candidate with a meaningful vision of the future. That means articulating where jobs and security are likely to come from and what policies will support them--in 2008, not 1992.

Posted by: KevStar on June 14, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Gop: That phrase is written drop by drop in the blood of better than you and is ineveitably the last fiction seen by good and decent people. The rantings of the right wing sometimes seem more humourous than dangerous. Until they start building more prisons than factories.

Posted by: Sparko on June 14, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

It was like a thousand virgins cried out at once, and then were suddenly snuffed out with the realization that their hero is shooting 0-20.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 14, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

This talk about the "left wing bloggers" ignores the fact that many of them are not particularly left-wing. For example, Jerome Armstrong, Kos's co-author for "Crashing the Gate" is working for Mark Warner, and Warner is from the moderate, pro-corporate, liberal hawk DLC branch of the party. The DailyKos community goes from center to left, and gets quite a broad range.

Posted by: Joe Buck on June 14, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: How are you going to be sure that a candidate "gets" the internet? Not to be insulting, but you seem to be a bit distant from all of your topics. Just how close are you going to examine anything, including a candidate? What kind of test does one give to determine that a candidate "gets" the internet, and if s/he passes the test, does it prove that s/he is cabable of good governance?

Remember, GWB definitely "connected" with the fundies during his campaigns. He convinced them to their satisfaction (rabid compulsions?) that he "got" them. But after everything is said and done, he is a shitty executive.

I read and participate in many blogs. There is a definitely a constituancy there, but pandering to the blogs would be as transparent as cellophane. Just what are you proposing as a definitive test anyway?

Posted by: jcricket on June 14, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

that would be "capable"

Posted by: jcricket on June 14, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

I read and participate in many blogs. There is a definitely a constituancy there, but pandering to the blogs would be as transparent as cellophane. Just what are you proposing as a definitive test anyway?

Yeah, and what will you do about foreigners such as myself who aren't eligible to vote for either Tweedledee or Tweedledum?

Not much point pandering to me, I would guess.

Posted by: floopmeister on June 14, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, it was where we all got together with our limos, compared trust funds, and conspired to enslave all the poor people in communism, after we've done away with the "Rich" war-mongering republicans.

Posted by: Liberal Strawman on June 14, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

floopmeister >"...Yeah, and what will you do about foreigners such as myself who aren't eligible to vote for either Tweedledee or Tweedledum?..."

Well, we got all those folks at the NSA (wave !) to sort that out

Just sayin...

"...it's the ideas that count, not the number of trees you kill to print them." - Phil Carter@Info-dump.com

Posted by: daCascadian on June 14, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

wonder if Al was there, undercover of course....

Posted by: moe99 on June 14, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

I was there. Warner's people could have spent less. What should they have cut out? How much less?

Just some pretzels and beer? (There's probably a minimum food and drink buy just to rent the joint out).

He sent a message that he takes us seriously. We got the same treatment corporate lobbyists would get.

The message was received.

So we support him? No. We appreciate his support for us. We will listen.

Posted by: demondeac on June 14, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Al would have been there, under cover of extreme stupidity, of course.

Posted by: floopmeister on June 14, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

I watched some of it. The panels were pretty interesting, especially the panel on the South, which I wish could have gone on much longer than it did. It was very heated.

I caught Warner's speech, which was pretty good. Better than I expected, as I'm predisposed to dislike him because of his post-2004 election media rounds in which he blamed the losses on candidates like Howard Dean, but then my post-election state of mind was pretty defensive.

Posted by: Caitlin on June 14, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

GOP >"Slate thinks Markos Moussaka is taking himself a bit too seriously."

Well, DUH !

Is that supposed to a deep insight or something ?

That`s what primates with large egos do

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact....Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." - newshog@gmail.com

Posted by: daCascadian on June 14, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see what the big mystery is about why Warner, or any other Democratic office seeker, would go to Yearly Kos. There's a very big collection of people with established channels of communication who can potentially sway thousands of voters in favor of that candidate.

Duh.

It has nothing to do with "getting the internet" and everything to do with knowing how to leverage a communication channel. Warner seems pretty middle of the road to me. I don't *dislike* the guy, but I'm also not seeing anything other than an ordinary candidate.

I see nothing wrong with him coming to the convention and trying to win supporters. It's just another convention where he's pressing the flesh, kissing babies (and babes), and trying to advance his candidacy.

Nothing new or improved here. Good old fashioned interest polititcs, that's all. And free drinks for those lucky enough to attend.

fercryinoutloud

Posted by: fercryinoutloud on June 14, 2006 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

da Cascadian: I'd be really worried about the NSA if I thought they could tell the difference between Australia and Austria.

Posted by: floopmeister on June 14, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

floopmeister >"...if I thought they could tell the difference between Australia and Austria."

Shhhhhhh !

Don`t give `em the clue or we`ll all be in real trouble

Hi folks on duty, nothing to see here, just a slip of a few keyboard keys; it was an accident I`m sure

What`s that you are watching on the tv ?

"We are all individual molecules of a great social gas." - Huxley

Posted by: daCascadian on June 14, 2006 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

Mark fuckin' Warner. How many times do the Democrats have to get beaten down to realize thinking outside the box might be a better idea. The South is gone for this Party. When Democrats wake up and tailor a campaign to the Mountain West, whom they have a lot more in common with, they'll run the country for a generation. Until then, they'll keep nominating guys who can't take their own state.

Posted by: Double B on June 14, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Of course you realize that this is all just an excercise in futility.

It does, however, amuse us to watch you scramble so, to maintain the appearence of a democracy.

Posted by: Diebold on June 14, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

The only "Democrats [who] need to have 'a difficult conversation' about the war" are those that voted for it, including Clinton - and the conversation should be with themselves and their own consciences.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on June 14, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

The blogosphere may not have the power yet, but it sure has the ideas, which indicates to me that the power will come. I still read the columns in the big newspapers, but it increasingly seems like a waste of time. So many of the ideas already exist on the blogsfor weeks or months sometimes.

Here is a warning to all bloggers, which will go unheard and unheeded, of course. Dont get the big head. Dont let power corrupt. It will happen of course. It is as inevitable as darkness follows the day. Then a new movement will be necessary to knock over the blogosphere establishment just as the MSM needs knocking over now. And life goes on.

Posted by: James of DC on June 14, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

James of DC >"...It will happen of course. It is as inevitable as darkness follows the day. Then a new movement will be necessary to knock over the blogosphere establishment..."

Yea but tween now & then, WOOOOO WEEEEE we gonna kick some booty !

Shake it up !!!

"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept." - Ansel Adams

Posted by: daCascadian on June 14, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why are the trolls commenting on this post at all, and commenting so cluelessly? "Moussaka" indeed. Slime away, ye slugs.

The accounts I've read suggest that the attendees were more adoring of the bloggers than the politicos, and it wasn't just lust for the ladies at FireDogLake.

Posted by: bad Jim on June 14, 2006 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Ideas? Kos isn't about ideas. He banned people for criticizing Senate Dems who voted for illegal NSA snoopmeister Hayden to head the CIA.

Kos is going to be the "progressive" Red State, maybe even LGF or Freeperville within a year.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on June 14, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

I couldn't afford to give up that much work, sadly.

Pam loves LV, but as for me, well, it's an excuse to stay in the pool, and drink during daylight hours.

Posted by: SteveAudio on June 14, 2006 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

I hope this does not reflect a cluelessness among liberal bloggers, but come on! The Stratosphere is hardly the center of Las Vegas, and it is certainly not the place you would rent to impress the hot shots/fat cats (the ride at the top, though, is awesome). Warner would have spent a boatload more if he had rented something at the Bellagio or the Palms, which unfortunately is something republicans can do with their spare change.

Posted by: gyp on June 14, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

I was there. Everyone was respectful in the way you'd expect from a host at a party, but no one came away convinced except those who already were.

I too have been in corporate America for a long time, but since a good part of that has been Hollywood and the dot.coms, I found the party tame enough and not so lavish as all that. Certainly pretty mild considering the location (Vegas).

Also, my wife has thrown a number of events for big supporters of Clinton and Gore back in their day, and those were massively more extravagant. Certainly they were the P and VP at the time, so that should be taken into account. But that just says to me that Warner's team had the scale right.

Posted by: cvcobb01 on June 14, 2006 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

What people have to realize is that Daily Kos only touches the very tip of what the internet and connectivity make possible in the political realm.

So far we've seen the creation of web sites and movements based on organizational models developed in the era of broadcast technology (newspaper, radio, tv). What remains to be seen is what kind of political organizational models will be developed to take full advantage of the new tools.

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Posted by: david on June 14, 2006 at 5:11 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Gray on June 14, 2006 at 6:19 AM | PERMALINK

Not a regular commenter, but a regular reader [and subscriber]. I don't know if I get the internet yet; I certainly don't know what a candidate who got it would look like -- but that's a pretty low standard to set for support. However, I did know enough to be in Vegas. What a pity you didn't come, Kevin. It won't be the same next year.

I went to Warner's party at the Stratosphere and it was in all ways completely over the top. And I'm swanky. Ask anyone. Mashed potato bar? Ice sculptures?

In the end I found it a worrisome [?] sign that he might have a political tin ear. Could that be possible? But of course emptywheel might be right that the real audience was Hillary, not us. emptywheel is very smart.

Posted by: Klio on June 14, 2006 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Slate thinks Markos Moussaka is taking himself a bit too seriously

Talk about pots and kettles...sheesh!

Posted by: Gregory on June 14, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats lack the media channels available to Republicans. Republicans have Fox News, a lot of the talk radio spectrum, their own think tanks and a suite of book publishers. Republicans use these resources to influence the political narrative in the US. They can also use these resources to reward good soldiers that stand up and speak only the party line. (Witness the recent $1 million payout to Mary Cheney for a book that is flopping.)

The Democrats have Air America, a recent radio entry with low market penetration, the Al Gore TV channel, a recent TV entry with low penetration and must rely on a MSM devoted to brown nosing the powerful and he said she said stenography that supports the CW media narrative and does little fact checking and seldom corrects the narrative.

The only media channel available to Democrats is the internet, but that has lower penetration than TV or radio. Less than 50% of Americans have broadband and one in every four Americans does not have access. However, internet penetration is increasing and is positioning to be the next wave in media delivery. Today's bloggers are preparing for the future (10 years out) when everyone purchases their entertainment through the internet. This is why it is so important for Democrats to fight for a piece of the internet that they can use to deliver their unfilitered message.

Al Gore through the filter of the MSM was "stiff and boring". Al Gore in his unfiltered movie is "witty and funny." Owning your own media is important in today's politics.

Posted by: bakho on June 14, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

Imagine if the losers and crackers of Redstate or Freerepublikkk decided to have a conference in Vegas. You think Frist, Hastert and Santorum would show up to hang out with the overweight klansmen? Hell no, they wouldn't get 1000 miles of that place.

There's always the National Review cruises. Swap lines from Animal House and 9 to 5 with JPod! Praise the President with K-Lo! Get cruised by Ramesh Ponnuru!

I actually think a post-election cruise with the Corner posters could be fun in 2006, the way things are going.

Posted by: Brittain33 on June 14, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

I hate people. And I have no friends.

That's why I come here.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I was there, too. I guarantee you that no one saw free sushi and free martinis and an Elvis impersonator and said, "That settles it, I'm voting for Warner." The conversations I was in and overheard were all complimentary to the party, but concerned about Warner's political positions. Ultimately, that's what is going to sway a mob of politically aware, concerned progressives. Not the presence of a mashed potato bar.

Posted by: PZ Myers on June 14, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

I just wonder how many Democrats really want to see another Senator up there come election time as opposed to a Governor.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Does Kevin really have the fire in the belly foir Democrats that it takes to take the plunge with Kos?

Posted by: MNPundit on June 14, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

I see over on DailyKos, a bunch of folks are going on and on about how Warner talked up Iran as worst WMD threat, about Warner's poor foreign policy chops, etc. Then went on and on about needing experience and knowledge.

I've heard this spiel before. It was the Democratic Primary in '04 and what it got us was John Kerry.

Warner's done a fantastic job with Virginia, and while his foreign policy stump needs to be worked on, I think progressives need to get it out of their heads that any candidate is going to say "Let's turn our guns on Pakistan as opposed to Iran." I think he's got the ability to be a good leader. He's definitely a cut above Bush. He's intelligent, for starters.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Ideas? Kos isn't about ideas. He banned people for criticizing Senate Dems who voted for illegal NSA snoopmeister Hayden to head the CIA.

I call bullshit on this claim. It is very hard to get banned at Daily Kos.

Posted by: Steve on June 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

After seeing Warner at YearlyKos, I came away with a positive attitude about him after starting with a "No, not another southern governor!!!!" predilection.

Warner recognizes that the KOS community has tremendous influence in many ways, both positive and negative. It's hard to imagine someone winnint a Democratic Presidential nomination without at least grudging respect from this community.

The crowd at Yearly Kos was far older and more sophisticated than I expected, with an average age at least in the high 30's. To the kids, the Warner reception may have appeared over the top. To people who have worked in the corporate world, it was nothing special.

My take was that Warner is damned savvy and very smart, and he has a very attractive self-deprecating sense of humor. I certainly wouldn't prefer him to Clark or Feingold or Gore, but if he's the anti-Hillary left standing, I'd vote for Warner and his record of success in business, electoral politics, and successful governing.

Posted by: Aeolus on June 14, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Slate thinks Markos Moussaka is taking himself a bit too seriously.

That's a stunningly bad characterization of that article.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Wasn't there, but I can't understand the hype about Warner. This is the guy who's going to win the White House in '08? Gimme a break. The more I see or read about him, honestly, I couldn't be more underwhelmed.

Every day I read the blogs and I am ever grateful we have this new medium. Hard to imagine what life was like before.

But as the blogosphere grows it becomes more like the media -- as out-of-touch as the inside-the-beltway types that are popular on talk shows and in op-ed columns.

And if Warner becomes the guy that that blogs are backing, it shows that blog people can be bought as easily as the media whores on TV.

Posted by: JJF on June 14, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon me while I move this to the proper thread.

But the founder of DailyKos soon moved on. "I reach more people than most of these publications that are interviewing meI don't need them."

If this is an accurate quote from the Slate article, it just proves the point I've made here before - both Duncan Black and Kos are either delusional or hucksters.

More people read the NYT in just NYC ever day than visit DailyKos and/or Atrios. There are more people still watch the CBS Evening News every night than people visiting those blogs in a week.

I would guess that for most people in congress liberal and conservative blogs are mostly a back of the mind thing, unless one has produced something so outrageous that the MSM picks up on it. Right now, I can't think of a single incident that fits this category.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Of course you should support the Barb Boxers and Mark Warners Kevin...after all we support you.

( Re - should I really support a candidate just because he "gets the internet" )

Posted by: professor rat on June 14, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

And pardon me while I move my response to the proper thread:

More people read the NYT in just NYC ever day than visit DailyKos and/or Atrios.

Maybe you don't understand the phrase "most of" very well; or are you suggesting that most of the media outlets that interview Kos have the readership of the New York Times?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

The left wing bloggers

Kos followers are not left wing. They are tepid cloth coat Republicans who happen to be registered as Democrats and oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq. They got at least one thing right in their oppositon to the occupation. They support militant moderates like Wes Clark and that pretty boy who has no clue, Gov. Warner. If the Kossacks prevailed, there would be little difference between their policies and Bush's. That little difference might mean women keep their right to privacy and the US withdraws sooner from Iraq, but not much else would be different. Their support for Clark and Warner suggest the US will invade Iran soon, since even this community accepts the 'conventional wisdom' that Iran is somehow a threat to the US, which it is not.

If there was a real community of left wing bloggers, the Democratic Party would be the new Whigs, and no generals would be asked to participate in their policy debates.

Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, here we go again. Another "You're not left wing enough for me, so you must be a Republican" rant.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kos...He banned people for criticizing Senate Dems who voted for illegal NSA snoopmeister Hayden to head the CIA.

Is that true?


Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe you don't understand the phrase "most of" very well; or are you suggesting that most of the media outlets that interview Kos have the readership of the New York Times? Posted by: cmdicely

No. Just restating the fact that even the most popular blogs are visited daily by fewer people than the circulation of the daily paper in a medium-sized U.S. city. And, as Kos so clearly exhibited in his comment, he a couple of other bloggers have ridiculously inflated opinions of their impacts on politics in the country.

Blogs do not affect American politics at this time. Maybe in a decade, but not for the 2006 elections, and probably not for the 2008 election either.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn, you are too wealthy corporate and militant for me. Sell your Haliburton, Boeing and Exxon/Mobil stocks.

Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

cvcobb is right.

I haven't been at the swankiest of corporate gatherings, something that was pointed out to my by the LA crowd after I wrote the post. I realized that I did my stint in multimedia before it got cool and rich. And when I worked for big pharma, I was managing the shop, so I had to stay in (elaborate party free) UT while all my writers went to Basel for the big parties. Sorry. I'm a nerd.

And Quinn

Warner's done a fantastic job with Virginia, and while his foreign policy stump needs to be worked on, I think progressives need to get it out of their heads that any candidate is going to say "Let's turn our guns on Pakistan as opposed to Iran."

Um, maybe you're missing the point as thoroughly as Warner. You see, we'd do more to eliminate the WMD threat in the Middle East (which is what the question was about) if we worked to stabilize Pakistan and truly shut down the AQ Khan network than any steps we can take in Iran (not least because the quickest way Iran would become a threat would be to get technology from Pakistan). And guess what, because Pakistan is already our ally we might be able to do it without shooting our guns at all.

Yes, it was deliberately a difficult question, but one designed to make people think about what they're claiming. As it was, Warner basically claimed that Hamas was a bigger threat to us than Al Qaeda, which is frankly the logical position you're stuck with if you claim Iran is more dangerous than Pakistan. And obviously, an even stupider comment for a Democratic candidate to make publicly than that Iran is a bigger WMD threat than Paksitan.

FWIW, I don't doubt he has done a good job in VA. Which is why I listened closely, and tried to get him to rethink his regurgitation of ill-thought-out Neocon foreign policy tripe.

Posted by: emptywheel on June 14, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: hurrrr!

Back to the topic....

In regards to the "Why do you think he's the candidate that gets the internet" question, it is truly an inane question. Does Micah Sifry have an answer to the question himself? Sites like DailyKos have served one primary purpose and that is to turn its readers into another interest group. And that's it, really. Therefore politicians are going to cater to blog sites like they cater to other interest groups. Invite them to a meet and greet with a bunch of alcohol and schmooze. That's all that Warner did.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK
Just restating the fact that even the most popular blogs are visited daily by fewer people than the circulation of the daily paper in a medium-sized U.S. city.

DailyKos reportedly runs in the neighborhood of 400,000 - 500,000 unique daily visitors. The most current newspaper ciruculation ranking I can find is from 2004; by that list DailyKos has more unique daily visitors than the circulation of any but the top 9 US newspapers, beating out even the Chicago Sun-Times.

So no, I'd say your "fact" about daily visits to even the most popular blogs vs. circulation of the major daily in even medium-sized US cities is nothing like an actual fact.

And, as Kos so clearly exhibited in his comment, he a couple of other bloggers have ridiculously inflated opinions of their impacts on politics in the country.

Certainly, you've given no reason to believe that his statement was even factually incorrect, much less than the explanation for him making the statement was a "ridiculously inflated opinion" of his impact.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe you don't understand the phrase "most of" very well; or are you suggesting that most of the media outlets that interview Kos have the readership of the New York Times? Posted by: cmdicely

No. Just restating the fact that even the most popular blogs are visited daily by fewer people than the circulation of the daily paper in a medium-sized U.S. city.

This is correct for the average blog, but not for Kos. Kos recieves 500,000 visits per day. (Google TruthLaidBear for the stats).
That adds up to 3.5 million visits a week. This blows away the circulation of an average newspaper.

The next closest competitor is instapundit, and he barely cracks 1mil/week.

Posted by: glasnost on June 14, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

And guess what, because Pakistan is already our ally we might be able to do it without shooting our guns at all. Posted by: emptywheel

Pakistan is no more our ally than is Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, etc., etc. If Pakistan, who initially backed the Taliban, was our ally they'd seal their border with Iraq, shut the madrass, and root out the remanants of both the Taliban and al Qaeda finding refuge in the border regions.

Pakistan does the bare minimum it must in the fucked-up situation we've helped create in the region so they can still get spare parts for the F-16 they should never have been sold.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

I can only hope that Democratic policy is being shaped by the bloggers and commenters of the blogosphere. Most of you guys and gals are complete lunatics, and even when you are not crazy, you are certifiably ignorant.

Be that as it may, my suspicians, backed up by lifetime of doing battle with them, is that the political operatives of the Democrat Party are much smarter than the lot of you.

Posted by: Karl Rove on June 14, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

That's a stunningly bad characterization of that article.

That's an astoundingly false statement.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh. I thought I took out the Sun-Times bit; that was from a 2003 listing I found before I dug up the 2004 one.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think we should stop this "the blogosphere is turning into the media" talk. The Blogosphere is different and DailyKos is especially different. Its content is created by thousands of users. Kos is missing half the year on the site selling books and doing other things yet when he leaves the number of visitors is not effected. He shares the front page with others who earn their way to the front by becoming popular and working hard through the diary section. He rarely bans anyone and he wouldn't ban someone for criticizing Sentate Dems as stated above. If that's not made up it's obviously missing context.

I'm no big fan of Kos's blogging. There are many better bloggers but his site is clearly the best as it is as close to a democratic media that you can find. It's chalk full of info, interesting stories, journalism, and the like and there are always interesting conversations and disagreements. If Kos died tomorrow the site would carry on as it is so long as someone continued to invest in the infrastructure. It will not become like the media because it is completely different. It will likely suffer from other problems, mostly in terms of access. Their is a ceiling on its reach which others forms of media just don't have.

And by the way, Kos is not the purported 0 for 20 that some think in supporting candidates. He almost always picks underdogs which makes the odds long to begin with. He supported Tester and Webb who just won primaries. He supported Obama when he was not an obvious win. He supported Herseth (a very conservative Dem in SD) and she won. There are a couple others. His main problem was not who he picked and who he helped but being too optimistic about their chances. He has adjusted.

Posted by: kj on June 14, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Emptywheel -

Perhaps it's you who is missing the point. How do you propose to bring about greater stability in Pakistan without inflamming anti-American sentiments that are already held by many there? Pakistan is already our ally (gee, thank you for pointing that out), we've already provided millions of dollars in economic and military assistance. We are at least on better footing diplomatically with Pakistan than we are Iran. So I'm not sure what further answer you wanted other than you just didn't want to hear about Iran.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Double B: Mark fuckin' Warner. How many times do the Democrats have to get beaten down to realize thinking outside the box might be a better idea ...

Warner is a moderate, pro-Big Business Democrat from a conservative southern state. The only time the Democrats have won the presidency in the last 30 years, what kind of candidate did they run?

Hostile: Kos followers are not left wing. They are tepid cloth coat Republicans ...

Democrat circular firing squads, Part 17.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a regular reader/sometime commenter, and went to YK. My reason for going is that the internet is the biggest structural change to occur in politics since TV, and it has the power to reverse the damage that TV (capital intensive, top down, one way message, passive recipients)has done to politics in this country. The internet -- and especially the blogs -- are all about participation, and that's what politics is about.

A couple of YK observations:

1. Warner did himself alot of good. He didn't change anybody's mind (I don't think) but that wasn't his goal. He came to introduce himself to the liberal blogosphere and to let it know that he thinks it has relevance. He accomplished both those goals.

2. Howard Dean really gets it. Among other things, he stated the DNC has a three or four person staff that does nothing but troll the blogosphere every day to see what's what.

3. Went to the panel discussion featuring Iraq Vets -- Paul Rieckhoff and others. Rieckhoff's main point/question: Why hasn't the Dem Party made the cause of better treatment for Iraq and Afghtanistan vets one of its burning issues?

4. Went to a panel discussion on the state of the labor movement. Another question came out of this panel: Why haven't progressives/liberals become much more involved in the labor movement?

Someone upthread said that the blogosphere is probably about a decade away from having a major impact on politics; that strikes me as about right. And for all I know, the current crop of bloggers will have faded away by then.

But if things keep going the way they seem to be, political discourse in this country (and every other country for that matter) will be profoundly changed, and for the better.

Posted by: fbg46 on June 14, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

DailyKos reportedly runs in the neighborhood of 400,000 - 500,000 unique daily visitors. Posted by: cmdicely

"Reportedly"? Nice try. That number is hits, not unique visitors. Even if it were true, 500,000 people is meaningless in a nation of 150 million potential voters and 40-50 million that do manage to get to the poll once every four years.

The vast majority of the American public pays no attention to blogs, and many don't even know what a blog is.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

YearlyKos was a blast Kevin. I was kind of hoping you'd be there, but it didn't work out. It's looking more and more like I'm going to have to roll down to one of those lunches at the Farmer's Market to ever meet ya, but that's another story.

Of course, I'm not the best judge, since a number of bizarre events led to me never getting to the convention, but the conspiracy of events did let me attend the Friday and Saturday night parties (public and private), and these were a blast.

As for the Warner party, I was there and it was a shangri-la of views, wine, beer, sushi, cheese, chocolate fondue, you name it. If Warner thinks that's going to do anything but get him a little name and face recognition, he's crazy. But it will accomplish that, and that's not a crime in my book.

It's not like everyone suddenly dropped their champagne glasses full of Italian sausage and ran over to the corner where Warner spoke for about 3 minutes. Basically, people were partying, and it's cool that Warner recognized the value of this event, though it will have exactly 0.5% impact on who I vote or support in 2008.

Posted by: Jimm on June 14, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII

Yes, I agree, Pakistan is only nominally our ally. Still, that's more than we've got with Iran. So if you're going to engage, why not do it with a country you've got diplomatic relations with.

Quinn

Two things, right off the bat. I'd say offer Pakistan the one thing Musharraf has been asking for--a trade deal for textiles, the kind of thing that served to stablize Jordan as a more moderate country. And, as a lot of people have suggested, some aid tied to schooling. Both a heck of a lot cheaper than anything we're proposing with Iran (even before you consider possible tampering with the oil markets).

The underlying point here is that intervention in either country will eventually require nation-building, something we have proven spectacularly bad at in Iraq. So why not try it again in a country that is 1) asking for our help (with Jeff II's comments noted) and 2) doesn't have a long-standing animosity against us for things we did 50 years ago. Furthermore, if we're going to intervene in one country, don't you think it'd be better to do it with the country that was/is proliferating in three other rogue states (NK, Iran, Libya) rather than trying to take out one after another rogue state?

Posted by: emptywheel on June 14, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I was at YKos and concur with those both present and watching at home that Warner is an underwhelming candidate. Seemed like an empty suit. I probably heard a couple dozen of others' opinions and only a handful were really excited about his candidacy.

And I did think it was weird to have this ice sculpture, chocolate fountain-laden spread at the Stratosphere (although agree it's not the priciest joint on the Strip). And the next day, we all came into the largest convention room to find a Warner t-shirt on the back of every chair. He was apparently shmoozing the Young Dems, who also were in Vegas over the weekend. I don't have a problem with people shelling out a buck or two; it just was on such a larger scale of the others' offerings that it just seemed unnecesary and kinda weird. And that coupled with the fact that he seemed like a cardboard candidate gave me the impression that he was exactly what the Dems don't need in 2008.

Posted by: vernonlee on June 14, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Emptywheel -

The issue with Iran that I think underscores everything is that not only have they been extremely public in their pursuit of nuclear weapons, but more importantly, they are positioned to have tremendous influence over Iraq when and if the United States leaves. That is enough to move Iran to the top of the heap so to speak. That is not say that I believe that we will take military action against Iran. Frankly, I don't think we're in a position militarily or politically to do so.

Your points about Pakistan are valid, however by virtue of the fact that we do have diplomatic relations with Pakistan, and none with Iran, is it really that much of stretch to put Iran as the #1 largest WMD threat in the Middle East? I think your question had merit, but I somehow doubt you'd get a different answer from practically any of the prospective candidates.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

And that coupled with the fact that he seemed like a cardboard candidate gave me the impression that he was exactly what the Dems don't need in 2008.

At this point in the campaign, all the Democrats sadly seem rather underwhelming...which is just the way Hillary and the party bosses like it.

Posted by: Vincent on June 14, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

The issue with Iran that I think underscores everything is that not only have they been extremely public in their pursuit of nuclear weapons, but more importantly, they are positioned to have tremendous influence over Iraq when and if the United States leaves. That is enough to move Iran to the top of the heap so to speak.

Ah yes, our hubris and a good deal of Iran's intell activities led us into a great adventure in Iraq and now as a result we have to treat Iran as the number one threat.

I agree that few of the prospective candidates would say this--though Kerry said something similar in '04.

But that doesn't change the fact that the only way Iran will be a nuclear threat in less than a decade is if it gets help. And the one place it has gotten help so far--and the most likely place for it to get help in the future--is Pakistan. Pakistan also has (functional, though not spritely) missiles that can carry a nuclear payload; Iran doesn't. Throw in the rumors that Pakistan has been dealing to Saudi Arabia, too, and I don't think it matters whether we're allies with Pakistan or not--they're the threat, and will continue to be until we disincent their proliferation. Getting them a different means to acquire hard currency would be a smarter approach, IMO, than anything we can do in Iran.

And honestly, I wasn't expecting a stellar response from Warner. He IS still learning foreign policy. But I thought he might think about my question; he seemed to, we'll see what he thinks after he has done some more thinking.

Posted by: emptywheel on June 14, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK
"Reportedly"?

Yes, as in "in most of the reports I've seen"; though, admittedly, prior to putting together this very post, it had been some time since I'd look at any reports, and the numbers now seem higher.

Nice try. That number is hits, not unique visitors.

No, its unique visitors.

See this Chicago Reader story

THE WOMAN who might be Chicago's most-read political writer doesn't have an office. On most days Georgia Logothetis, 23, is either at home in the same Rogers Park three-flat where she lives with her parents or at DePaul University's downtown campus. About four or five times a day, taking a break from constitutional law homework or prepping for a mootcourt trial, she'll type a righteously indignant rant clobbering the Republican Party on Iraq, warrantless spying, and the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Then she'll post it, under the screen name Georgia10, on the front page of liberal blog Daily Kos (dailykos.com), which gets between 400,000 and 800,000 unique visitors daily. The Tribune's daily circulation, just for some context, is about 586,000; its Web site gets a little over three million unique visitors per month, which averages out to around 100,000 a day. (The Tribune won't release stats on how many visitors its blogs or news columnists get.)

OR this from Seattle's The Stranger

The top liberal blog in this country, DailyKos, is run by an activist named Markos Moulitsas Zniga. His site gets more than a million unique visitors every day, a number greater than the circulation of most major daily newspapers in America. Traffic at DailyKos grows by 5 to 10 percent every week, and at that rate, the number of daily visitors to the site will soon dwarf the weekday circulation of the New York Times (currently about 1.1 million). If one looks at the entire liberal blogosphere, which encompasses DailyKos and about 70 other well-trafficked progressive blogs, one finds an apparatus that is now capable of reaching more people than the Democratic National Committee.
Even if it were true, 500,000 people is meaningless in a nation of 150 million potential voters and 40-50 million that do manage to get to the poll once every four years.

So? The comparison between unique visitors to DailyKos and daily newspaper circulation was yours, not mine. Now that you are wrong, you are claiming that the comparison is meaningless?

The vast majority of the American public pays no attention to blogs, and many don't even know what a blog is.

That, even if true, in no way (1) rescues your false comparison, (2) shows that Kos's statement you attacked is even false, or (3) supports your contention that Kos's statement that you attacked shows that he has an overinflated sense of his own importance.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Point taken on Pakistan, emptywheel.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

is it really that much of stretch to put Iran as the #1 largest WMD threat in the Middle East?

It is this kind of thinking that makes me so angry. Iran has no WMD, so it is much more than a stretch to consider them a threat. What can be the deep meaning of anyone who considers Iran to be a WMD threat? I think it is either left over hostility from the 'hostage' taking, that some think still requires a militant response, or it is a threat to Israel's nuclear hegemony in the Middle East.

I do not know why Quinn considers Iran to be a WMD threat, especially since they do not have WMD's. Why?

Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

No, its unique visitors.

How is it possible to measure the number of "unique visitors?"

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: So you don't think they are attempting to build nuclear weapons? I don't require a militant response, I couldn't care less about Israel's position on this, and I don't care about the hostage crisis some 30 years ago. You've already put me into that little box called "DINO with stock in Exxon and Halliburton" so why should I care about whether my thinking angers you?

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea how many unique visitors Kos gets, but I wouldn't trust anyone's claims about readership numbers. There have been too many instances of proven, inflated figures for all types of circulation, sales, etc.

Posted by: Karl Rove on June 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK
How is it possible to measure the number of "unique visitors?"

"Unique visitor" statistics are usually tracked by IP address, as opposed to page hits which are tracked by, well, page hits.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Cmdicely,

And how many IP addresses does one go through during a computer session using various online connections. For example, when using AOL dial up, is the IP address a constant during the session? Same question applies to DSL, cable modems, and using one's computer at work.

I only ask because I literally have no idea what the answers are.

Posted by: Karl Rove on June 14, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

"Unique visitor" statistics are usually tracked by IP address,

A unique IP address is obviously not a "unique visitor," if that term is intended to refer to unique persons. A single person may visit the site from multiple computers (say, a computer at work or school during the day, and a computer at home in the evening), or may use a computer configured to use dynamic IP addresses, in which case each visit by that one person may be counted as a "unique visitor." If you're not referring to unique persons, then comparing "unique visitors" to newspaper circulation is meaningless.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

That, even if true, in no way (1) rescues your false comparison, (2) shows that Kos's statement you attacked is even false, or (3) supports your contention that Kos's statement that you attacked shows that he has an overinflated sense of his own importance. Posted by: cmdicely

The point, apparently lost on you, but I'll restated here again, is that Kos isn't important to nor has any of the influence on the American political process that he thinks. He and Duncan Black are both arrogant, which often comes across in their postings and other public statements, like the one quoted in the Slate article.

Further, none of the political blogs reach are a scintilla of that of newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, and broadcast news, regardless of how many hits their sites receive, inflated, mischaracterize or otherwise. This cannot be disputed.

Posted by: JeffII on June 14, 2006 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn, you said I was ranting about Republican Lites and I replied to you. I really want to know why you are so fearful of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. You responded that it is not Israel and not revenge, but still have not communicated why you are so afraid of Iran's self determination and why the US should intervene.

Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK
A unique IP address is obviously not a "unique visitor," if that term is intended to refer to unique persons.

A unique IP address is exactly a "unique visitor" as that term is usually defined in the collection of web statistics. Its obviously an imperfect measure of actual unique people hitting a site, both for the reasons you suggest and for reasons cutting in the opposite direction (more than one person may hit the site from a single IP address in the study period.)

you're not referring to unique persons, then comparing "unique visitors" to newspaper circulation is meaningless.

Newspaper circulation also is an imperfect measure of unique readers, for reasons fairly similar to those making IP addresses imperfect. People may receive the paper every day without reading it daily; more than one person may read any given copy of a paper.

Then again, I didn't make the comparison, JeffII did. I just pointed out that he was wrong in his characterization. If the comparison is irrelevant, that would be his problem, not mine.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

In fact, even if the assumption "unique IP address = unique person" were valid, the comparison would still be meaningless if "newspaper circulation" refers to the number of copies of a newspaper distributed, because a single copy of a newspaper is often read by more than one person.

Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

A unique IP address is exactly a "unique visitor" as that term is usually defined in the collection of web statistics.

Then, as I said, comparing it to newspaper circulation is meaningless, for the reasons I have explained. Your entire comparison is bogus. It's apples and oranges.

If the comparison is irrelevant, that would be his problem, not mine.

But you obviously were assuming the comparison is meaningful, as indicated, for example, by your post of 12:25pm.


Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well, its "lost" on me only the sense that you've provided no convincing reason to actually believe it; the principal support you've offered is the claim that his quote about the relative reach of most of the media outlets interviewing him are less than that of dKos, a claim you've supported first with the claim that a couple of major national media outlets (NY Times, CBS Evening News) reach more people than dKos, which is true but not on point to the claim, and then with the claim that dKos had fewer unique visitors than the circulation of the daily newspapers of even medium-sized US cities, a claim which might support your argument (presuming that a majority of the media outlets interviewing Kos were medium-sized or larger daily newspapers), except for the problem that it turns out to be false.

He and Duncan Black are both arrogant, which often comes across in their postings and other public statements, like the one quoted in the Slate article.

I don't see how making what is, as best as I can tell, a factually accurate statement about the relative reach of dKos and the media outlets that have interviewed Kos about dKos is evidence of "arrogance".

You are certainly entitled to your opinion that Kos is arrogant, but I just don't get your pointing to that statement as some kind of support.

Further, none of the political blogs reach are a scintilla of that of newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, and broadcast news, regardless of how many hits their sites receive, inflated, mischaracterize or otherwise.

So? Who said that blogs, individually or collectively, had a bigger reach than all of those together?

Being caught make a false claim, you've now resorted to beating irrelevant strawmen.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK
Then, as I said, comparing it to newspaper circulation is meaningless, for the reasons I have explained.

No, its not, for the reasons I explained. Both are the standard proxies in the relevant industry for individual readers, and both have similar shortcomings in terms of mapping back to actual readers.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK
In fact, even if the assumption "unique IP address = unique person" were valid, the comparison would still be meaningless if "newspaper circulation" refers to the number of copies of a newspaper distributed, because a single copy of a newspaper is often read by more than one person.

And often not read at all, cutting the other direction; I already discussed both of these points, which make circulation numbers a similarly limited measure to "unique daily visitors".

(In assessing political reach, the newspaper circulation numbers have a different problem, in that political/public affairs content is a minority of the content of most newspapers, and many people who do read the newspaper may not read that particular type of content at all, whereas with a politically focussed blog, each visitor is almost inevitably accessing the political content.)

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

And how many IP addresses does one go through during a computer session using various online connections. For example, when using AOL dial up, is the IP address a constant during the session?

Using a dynamic IP set up, whether your IP is constant depends on the length of the "lease" on the IP address is; usually, IIRC, with dialup a single online session (from connect to disconnect of the dialup connection) will have one IP address, for high speed dynamic IP setups, I don't know what the usual lease duration is.

Using a static IP address, of course, any connection will have the same IP address.

In either case, many methods of sharing internet connections will result in the IP address being seen by external servers as one IP address for all the computers sharing the connection.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

It was like a thousand virgins cried out at once, and then were suddenly snuffed out with the realization that their hero is shooting 0-20.

You're lying. Name the 20. Back it up with facts. I've seen this stat elsewhere, it's coordinated smear ("Kos only endorses losers").

I can think of, off the top of my head, at least two Kos-endorsed winners against Republican candidates in 2004:

1. Barack Obama (Sen-IL)
2. Stephanie Herseth (SD-AL)

Just yesterday, Kos-endorsed Webb beat Miller in the Senate primary in Virginia. Kos-endorsed Tester also beat Morrison in the Senate primary in Montana. Both wins were unexpected, as the candidates were underdogs running against established names.

So that's FOUR winners. Two in primaries and two in general elections. Shall I continue? There are more.

Posted by: Alderaan on June 14, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hostile: I also couldn't give two shits about Iran's "self-determination". Iran's has funded Hamas and Hezbollah for years, and there's a strong potential for them to undermine Iraq's government. Even if you discount Israel, you still have attacks such as Khobar Towers which killed 20 Americans.

Posted by: Quinn on June 14, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

No, its not, for the reasons I explained.

Yes, it is, for the reasons I explained.

Both are the standard proxies in the relevant industry for individual readers,

Whether they are the "standard proxies" irrelevant. What matters is whether those proxies are reliable. For the reasons I have explained, they're not.

and both have similar shortcomings in terms of mapping back to actual readers.

No they don't. Each has a very different set of shortcomings.

And often not read at all, cutting the other direction;

If a copy of a newspaper is not read by anyone, that only reduces the readership by one person per copy. If a copy is read by more than one person, that can increase the readership by many persons per copy. Conversely, if a person visits a website multiple times with a different IP address each time, due to his use of different computers or dynamic IP addresses on a single computer, that can increase the number of recorded "unique visitors" per person by many "unique visitors" per person. As I said, you're comparing apples and oranges. It's meaningless.


Posted by: GOP on June 14, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

I went to YearlyKos and Governor Warner's Stratosphere party. And yes it takes more than a free drink to buy my vote. It took two free vodka martinis (cleverly called Kos-tinis) and I was sold.

Mark Warner for President in 2008.

Or until the next party...

Posted by: Ed in Montana on June 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

First, to Alderaan: it wasn't that American Hawk was lying; he was merely stating a popular saying going around the right-of-center Internets. By the way, you can add Kentucky's Ben Chapman to your list, also.

To Kevin: This was a good event, summed up this way:

* It was a chance for four putative Presidential nominees (Richardson, Warner, Vilsack and Clark) to meet bloggers/activists/political junkies, etc. If they hold one in 2007 (and I bet they will) there "will be more".

* I, too, think that "getting the internet" is a bit vague, but I think that by attending this, politicos are indicating that they recognize its potential; that they will not be ignoring us in favor of more traditional interest groups (and this would apply to the R's, also).

* It was a chance to hear addresses by Howard Dean, Barbara Boxer and home-state keynoter Harry Reid.

* It was, if you will, a large "meet-up" for those who were interested in the Democratic party. Some of these were purely social (say, for certain daily diaries on Kos), some were for Drinking Liberally, some to meet other bloggers (Kos, Atrios, Arianna, etc.) and others to meet party activists.

* It was a chance to attend seminars of note (i.e., Sterling Newberry on economics, Ralph Neas on civil liberties, etc.)

* It also was a chance to attend book-signings (i.e., George Lakoff, Eric Boehlert, Sam Seder, etc.) as well as the principal organizers.

* And finally, a chance for a vacation: some attended the casinos, I took a plane ride over the Grand Canyon, others lounged by the pool, etc. Vegas won out over Chicago by virtue of the fact that the Riviera came in under $100 - I would exopect a 2007 conference to be no further west than Chicago.

* As others have indicated, the age range went from late teens to people in their 80's. But the bulk came in from 35-55, and as Andrew Sullivan noted on his site June 8th, the conservative Hot Air representative was disappointed to see "so many golf shirts and short hair".

The way I look at it: in the past, in order to go to an event like this, you had to be:

* A large donor
* A major publisher
* A high-up in the party
* Or any combination thereof.

This time, all of the big names came to see us. In a way, the reverse of the norm.

So Kevin, assuming there is a YK-2007, you should try and make it. At the very least, there are many who would like to meet you.

Posted by: Ed Tracey on June 14, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Quinn.

Posted by: Hostile on June 14, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

emptywheel,

What did Mark Warner do poorly in running VA?

Posted by: bob on June 14, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

it was a nice spread. coconut shrimp, caramel corn, sushi bar, carved meats, open bars, the works. i work in hollywood, and the premieres aren't even this nice anymore...

Posted by: lurker x on June 14, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

1. You track unique vistors with COOKIES!! That way, even if I come 10 times a day, on 10 different dynamic IPs from Earthlink, you can see it's one person and not 10. And if you get 1,000 AOL or WebTV users on the same proxy server, you can see that it's 1,000 different people and not 1 person accessing 1,000x as fast as a normal person.

Cookies are browser-specific, so if I come in now on Firefox and back later on IE, I'll appear to be two different people. On the other hand, if I surf to a site in the morning, and my partner comes and uses the same browser to surf there in the afternoon, we'll appear to be the same person unless I log out (clearing my log-in cookie) and he logs in. So it pretty much evens out.

dKos has more than 90,000 registered members.

2. I was also at YK. I told ya, Kevin, you should have gone! (Hi EW, Ed in Montana, and all you other great folks I met.)

Ed Tracey did a great job of summing up the event -- I agree with everything he said, so I'll just follow with a few personal comments.

It was nice to be wooed, not only by Warner but also with Wes Clark's party at the Hard Rock, and to see Vilsack, Dean, Boxer, Richardson, Jack Carter, and Harry Reid, along with all the congressional candidates. That doesn't mean that any of us support them just because they showed up, but they certainly earned a polite listen at the very least. Some earned a good deal more. But we weren't about to swoon because someone threw us a nice party -- I've been to similar tradeshow parties at the Stratosphere and other LV venues a few times when some company wanted to stand out and be remembered.

We weren't the young, geeky (mostly male) bloggers that some of the press reports made us out to be. With all due respect to MoDo, when I read her description of making her way through the bloggers sprawled all over the floor, blogging, IM'ing, texting, and talking on their cell phones, I wondered if she'd taken a turn in time and space and ended up at E3 in May. My guess is an average age of 40 - 45 (maybe even older), and either 50-50 gender or maybe even 55-45 women to men. The youngest attendee I met was 16, and she'd made an awesome video for the event; the oldest whose age I knew was 78.

Most people I met were professionals -- writers, lawyers, medical professionals, film editors, engineers, small business owners. We weren't naive kids, we weren't "lefty ideologues". Progressive, for sure, but also practical and pragmatic. I'm sure most of us wouldn't satisfy Hostile's exalted measure of liberal worthiness, but that doesn't mean that we were all the same, either. There were some really good and rollicking debates, and I thoroughly enjoyed the intellectual stimulation.

If we were "star struck" about meeting anyone, it was about meeting each other. I've been admiring EmptyWheel's work for a long time and was so looking forward to meeting her, and then she spotted me first, came up and said "You're Ducktape!" If you don't participate at dKos, you might not realize, but the dialogue and discussion topics there come from the members. The structure and the dynamics are quite different from a personal or pundit blog, and Kos has been off doing his book tours, anyway.

In fact, YearlyKos itself was neither Kos' idea, nor his work to put it together. It was Gina who did it, entirely with a staff of volunteers.

Posted by: Ducktape on June 15, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Attend Yearly Kos in LV? C'mon, get real! I'm a (ok, professional) working stiff--think job, family community, limited financial and temporal resources.

Do you imagine that a significant segment of your readership or even regular commentership could seriously contemplate attending?

I have to say that while I'm sure the event had much constructive value, there has been a self-referential (and reverential) tone to much of the commentary.

The in-crowd snipes about Byron York's hair and Wonkette's nail polish (or whatever) are pretty off-putting.

And, anyway, nothing justifies Las Vegas.

puissance

Posted by: BroD on June 15, 2006 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

BroD -- obviously, some of his regular readership DID attend.

And since all you needed to do was read the reports to know about Byron York coverage and Wonkette's behavior, you only need to be upset with the snipes if you choose to be one of the "outsiders." I was in Las Vegas, and didn't see either of them, so what I know about it I learned from reading (and hearing the laughs when it was announced that Wonkette had lost her notebook and we should keep our eyes open for it).

So what if it's been reverential commentary? You weren't there, so you can't appreciate the effect it had on the people who were.

Everyone has time and money issues, and other responsibilities. It's a matter of what has priorities. That was my vacation time, and it was a lot more productive than vegetating on the beach for a week.

I would never go to Vegas just for the experience; I don't drink, don't gamble, and am unimpressed with ornate sleaze. But since I have to do Las Vegas for CES, NAB, and at least one other event every year anyway (and yes, if it's your work, that DOES justify Vegas), I had no trouble going.

I think you're just jealous and trying to pass off the experience as sour grapes.

Posted by: Ducktape on June 15, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Duck,

Of course a lot of readers attended and of course I'm jealous. I'd love to hob-nob (although I'm not vewry good at it.) More importantly, it's clear that there was mucho substance.

I just meant to caution that overdoing the in-crowd banter could alienate those of us whose circumstances--and, yes, choices--prevented us from attending.

And speaking of choices, I hope you will invest at least as much in democratic campaigns this year as you spent to attend DK.


Posted by: BroD on June 15, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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