This week Garrett Graff has assigned us to follow two blogs; one covering the Democratic side of the aisle, and one from the Republican. I have chosen to compare Off the Bus on Huffington Post, on the left side, with Instrapundit on the right side.
Off the Bus (OTB) is a project of Arianna Huffington, founder of the blog Huffingtonpost.com, and Jay Rosen, professor at New York University and blogger on PressThink. It is “a citizen-powered and –produced news site” “founded to better presidential campaign reporting”.
Right now Huffingtonpost.com is the most popular blog on the Internet according to Technorati’s ranking system (authority: 26.208).
Instrapundit is written by Glenn Reynolds, law professor at University of Tennessee. In the section about himself he notes: “I’m interested in everything, but my chief interest is in the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty. The vast majority of my writing touches on this in one way or another.” The blog ranks 507 on Technorati with an authority of 7.328.
For the rest of this week, I will publish an entry about the issues, stories, comments, arguments, and authors of the blogs. (I might be influenced by the techniques you can use in op-eds and speeches to persuade – I am going through all that in my class The Power Of Opinion with Mike Long). I will also keep an eye open on the truthiness of the blogs.
I have the impression that this will take me to a conclusion that the blogs are covering the two different views of the presidential campaigns, and they are not really engaged in the same public discourse. I will compare the issues of the blogs to the front-page stories of New York Times and The Drudge Report. Thereby, I am working on the assumption – inspired by Timothy Crouse’s the Boys on the Bus – that mainstream media is pack journalism; if a story is on the front-page on any of these media “it is undeniable news”.