Sunday, February 13, 2005

Blogosphere Focus And Goals

US News columnist Michael Barone highlights the differences between the left and the right sides of the blogosphere. I think he hits it pretty good:

::::::::The Democratic Internet constituency was and is motivated by one thing more than anything else: hatred of George W. Bush. To see that you only have to take a look at, run by Democratic consultant Markos Moulitsas, which gets 400,000 page views a day--far more than any other political weblog--and which received funding from the Dean campaign (which Moulitsas disclosed). It seethes with hatred of Bush, constantly attacks Republicans, and excoriates Democrats who don't oppose Bush root and branch. When four American contractors were killed in Iraq in April 2004, wrote, "I feel nothing over the death of the mercenaries. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them." This repulsive comment produced no drop-off in page views. This was what the left blogosphere wanted. Kos was an early enthusiast for Dean's campaign for Democratic chairman and disparaged other candidates.
But the right blogosphere was different from the left. There was no one dominant website and no one orthodoxy. Glenn Reynolds, the University of Tennessee law professor whose gets 200,000 page hits a day, supports Bush on Iraq but disagrees with him on abortion, stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage. The focus of hatred in the right blogosphere is not Kerry or the Democrats but what these bloggers call Mainstream Media, or MSM. They argue, correctly in my view, that the New York Times, CBS News, and others distorted the news in an attempt to defeat Bush in 2004.
So what hath the blogosphere wrought? The left blogosphere has moved the Democrats off to the left, and the right blogosphere has undermined the credibility of the Republicans' adversaries in Old Media. Both changes help Bush and the Republicans.

I'm definitely of the "Instapundit" persuasion in terms of my politics and therein lies the primary difference as I see it. The left side of the sphere, with very few exceptions, has little to say except offering up "anything but Bush" commentary, sprinkled with references to Nazism as often as possible. My colleagues on the center-right have no such vision of the left as evil, merely as wrong on certain points. I personally agree with the left on a number of issues, but actual discussion seems to be nearly impossible the second most of them learn I'm a Republican. One hopes that will change in the next couple of years.

Hat tip: Power Line