Did you know that, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll, nine out of ten delegates gathered in Boston think the US should not have gone to war in Iraq and say the gains from the war were not worth the loss of American lives…Only seven percent say “the US did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq,” while eighty-six percent say the US should “have stayed out.”


Blog Triumphalism

This is the first presidential convention that has an official “Blogger Boulevard.” And there’s lots of excitement about the blogging phenomenon. After all, today there are at least two million people who have started one of these online journals. According to Technorati, a website that tracks what blogs are talking about, the number of new blogs is increasing at a rate of 12,000 a day. Yes, it’s true that about one third of these sites don’t last–people get bored with their own musings–but the other two thirds are still going at a steady pace. And according to surveys, something like one to fifteen million people say they spend some of their time on the internet reading other people’s blogs. If I’m not mistaken, that gives the blogosphere at least as much impact as the cumulative subscription base of all the alternative newsweeklies in America.

How will bloggers affect the coverage of this convention? No one knows. But one of the most popular bloggers sounds a cautionary note. Arriving in Boston, Joshua Micah Marshall blogged in Talkingpointsmemo: “I’ve never been much for the blog triumphalism that seems always to be so much a part of the blog universe. Blogs make up a small, specialized niche within the interdependent media ecosystem–mainly not producers but primarily or usually secondary consumers–like small field mice, ferrets, or bats…I’ve always thought of this as just a vehicle for writing–a mix of reporting and opinion journalism, done in a format that allows a maximum degree of flexibility, not bound by limitations of space–the need to write long or short–or any of the confining genre requirements that define conventional journalism. The whole thing is mystifying to me.”

Blog Note:Don’t miss numerous Nation weblogs this week from Boston. Click here to read them all.


Howard Dean on the Convention Floor

Howard Dean on the convention floor, looking subdued when pressed about Nader: “The base will not forgive Ralph…after getting on the ballot in Oregon with help of anti-gay rightwing forces, Ralph appears to be not just like another politician but worse than some he’s attacking.”