A CNN Political analyst has called weblogs the Liberal answer to Conservative talk shows.
] WATSON: Democrats have a new secret weapon.
] For a long time, you have heard Democrats complain that
] Republicans have conservative talk radio, that Rush
] Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and others have
] shaped the agenda and gotten people aroused and excited
] at the base. And finally, in 2004, Democrats have an
] answer. The answer is what? It's the blogs, the so-called
] Web logs, where people go online and write information,
] write commentary, post news stories.
] Very interesting study out of George Washington says
] about 15 to 20 million people are now actively using the
] Internet and these Web logs in particular, sites like
] Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo. And what's significant
] here is that Democrats are using this to shape the
] agenda, because, remember, lots of Washington reporters
] read these. They're using these to excite their own base,
] just like conservative talk show radio does.
] We've already seen that they use the Internet to raise
] money, but also they may turn out voters using this
] critical weapon.
] BLITZER: So you're thinking the these blogs on the
] Internet, these are sort of liberal-leaning, as talk
] radio is conservative- leaning?
] WATSON: Very much so. The blogs are the Democratic answer
] to conservative talk radio. The George Washington study
] says that of the people who they consider online
] political citizens, not 1 percent, not 2 percent, but 50
] percent are considered Democrat. Only 27 percent are
] considered Republicans.
] It doesn't mean that Republicans are not using the
] Internet. It doesn't mean they are not using blogs, just
] like there obviously are some liberal talk radio
] stations. But it means that right now liberals may have
] found their answer and the answer to conservative talk
] radio may be these blogs.
This is an interesting interpretation. The weblog community does seem to be heavily liberal.
The study, which you can grab from ipdi.org, is a discussion of whether online political citizens are what marketing people call "influentials." Basically, bell weathers who tell other people what to buy, who to vote for, etc... Apparently reading newspapers is still a better indicator that someone is an "influential" then using the internet, but for the most part "online political citizens" are people that campaigns need to be addressing.
The study draws a very different conclusion about the democratic bias then this commentator. They think its because the democrats have a primary this year. They seem to believe that if the U.S. had a democratic president the net would be swarming with republicans. I'm not sure I agree that its that simple.
Daily Kos || Weblogs are the liberal answer to talk shows.