Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Post with the Most

Word search on famous blogs resulted in the following number of hits.

.....................Dan...James Guckert..Eason..Armstrong
....................Rather..Jeff Gannon..Jordan...Williams
Matthew Yglesias......34.........13........6.........17
Talking Point.........15..........5........0.........12
Washington Monthly...342.........93.......47.........49
DailyKos...........5,260.....15,750......567........841
Pandagon.............179.........60.......28.........59
Eschaton...............9..........5........2..........4
BuzzMachine...........92.........15.......28.........12
Vodkapundit...........18..........0........3..........1
Michelle Malkin.......76..........6.......66.........28
Instapundit..........115..........5.......55.........12
Power Line............88..........7.......38..........2
Pejmanesque...........24..........0.......15..........3
Sisyphean Musings......7..........0.......26..........2
Andrew Sullivan.......27..........0........2..........4
Jay Reding............25..........2........4..........0


As one would expect the conservative blogs had much to say about Dan Rather and Eason Jordan and little to say about Gannon/Guckert and Armstrong Williams. Conversely, one would expect the count would be generally opposite in the liberal blogs, however it was not. That’s so like the liberals. While there were significantly more post about incidents that would be critical of the Bush Administration than in the right wing blogs, many left wing blogs had significant entries about Dan Rather and Eason Jordan. Dan Rather was mentioned the most of the four names in the left wing blogs, except at DailyKos where Gannon/Guckert got mentioned over 15,000 times. DailyKos had more posts on all subjects than any other blog. They are in a class by themselves.

Why did I do this? I remember a story about MSM and how a MSM considered liberal would be more likely to report critically on Bill Clinton than a MSM considered conservative would report critically of George Bush. I wanted to see, if it was true of blogs. Of course this does not judge the merits of the posts – just the number of occurrences. You can not judge how someone feels about a news event if there is no post. Absents or low numbers do tell you something. While some right wing blogs will comment on events that could be bad for Bush, there is not a lot of meat to chew on. Left wing blogs could have been defending or justifying Dan Rather and Eason Jordan which is more than the right wing blogs did for Guckert/Gannon and Armstrong Williams. Then again maybe they were in agreement with the right wing blogs on Dan and Eason. The point is they were posting and commenting on all four names and the events that surrounded them which is more than the right wing blog were doing.

I was surprise to see that Instapundit out posted Power Line on Dan Rather – an incident that help get Power Line the Blog of the Year title. Maybe it’s the quality of the post. Anyway Instapundit is famous as a clearing house for information on what’s happening on other blogs. Many of the Instapundit’s posts are just a blurb and link and he moves on to another subject. The Blog of the Year may have had more depth in their post justifying their title and position in the Blogoshpere. The Blog of the Year did have slightly more post on Guckert/Gannon than the other right wing blogs, but was sorely lacking in the Armstrong Williams affair.

Dan Rather and Eason Jordan were in a much higher position than Guckert/Gannon or Armstrong Williams, and maybe their offense had more influence and thus was worse than being a ringer/plant in the White House press room or taking money from an office in the government on which you are commenting in your column. Which offense was the worst? By vote of what most blogs posted, it would have to be Dan Rather’s report on Bush’s National Guard service based on probably bogus memos. However, the offense that got the most post/votes would have to be Guckert/Gannon. Maybe if those others had just had a little sex thrown in, they would have gotten more votes – I mean posts.

I would think the Guckert/Gannon and Armstrong Williams stories would be more important to the right wing blogs, but the numbers would suggest otherwise. While it is true that these stories show the Bush administration in a bad light and conservatives generally as a rule don’t criticize other conservatives, these stories and others like them, taint all right wing blogs. How are we supposed to know which is getting paid and which isn’t? Which of those numbers up there are a reflection of the current government’s policy and influence and which are just somebody’s opinions?

Least variation among names by my reckoning is Eschaton. He/They had something to say about everybody. That blog’s tendency toward uniformity in posting on partisan subjects was followed by Matthew Yglesias and then Michelle Malkin. The blog with the highest variation among names was the Vodkapundit followed by Andrew Sullivan. They had something to say about one subject and little to say about any other. Vodakpundit is a site I visit regularly and I remember reading a post in which he said he had gotten burned on the Kerry intern story and generally refrained from posting on such subjects.

I would have done more sites, but Dan Rather’s last day as CBS anchor would lead to additional posts on his leaving, so I quit several days before his last day. I generally used Google and the following format as an example: “Dan Rather” site:[insert site name here]. In some instances, I used the site’s search engine. I don’t know if I was picking up hits in comments as well as post and this could affect the results since not all blogs mentioned allow comments. I realize that searching for James Guckert and Jeff Gannon got redundant hits and would inflate the numbers, but I did the same for all blogs. I did not look for Rathergate, memogate, Easongate or any “gate”. I did not look for last names only. I did not read the post to ascertain the political slant of the post or on which side of the issue the blogger stood. This post only looks at the number of posts as a proxy for involvement.

If you gotten this far and want to go further, I’ve updated Red Word / Blue Word with “The Democracy Spring in the Middle East” and “Privatization of Social Security”.
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