Historically, the press has controlled the type of information that the public receives about a presidential candidate.  Crouse (1973) reported that the press screens information and chooses which information to relay to the public. This control allows the press the power to either report a politician’s strength to make him the front runner or they could mention his weakness to cut him down (p. 37). This gives the media the power to persuade public opinion. However, today, the Internet has become so influential that traditional media is losing its authority. Graff states (2007), “technology is reshaping that equation, returning power to the individual” (p. 120). One way this power is shifting to the public is through blogging.  The Democratic Party has found that “the energy within the party was taking place online through blogs, meetups, and groups like MoveOn.org” (Graff, p. 82).  With the intent to understand the power of political blogging the following article will compare the conservative blog Michelle Malkin and the liberal blog Firedoglake.

The conservative blog Michelle Malkin seems to have a distinctive conservative code of principles. These principles empower this blog to readily attack the liberals, but it also questions Republican leadership. For example, articles about Obama focus on the way he weasels around issues but using his own definition of words. On the other hand, this blog has a strong code that allows them question the Republican position. For example, this blog disagreed with Republicans on developing a nuclear program in Saudi Arabia.

The liberal blog Firedoglake argument seems to be against the formal media and conservatism. For example, one blog entry exposed how the media failed to inform the public about “white” Americans that were preparing to strike America. They rebuked the media for ignoring the story.  The headline read: The Media Don’t Care about the Other Kind of Terrorists.

Another way Firedoglake is going after the “elite” media is by airing GRITTV. This is an Internet show hosted by Laura Flanders (the founder of the blog). This online talk show presents subjects, ideas, and opinions that the media does not deem valuable for their format.

Blogs are still like the formal media because they have the power to present a presidential candidate in a positive or negative light. For instance, Firedoglake presents the resignation of Johnson, a member of Obama’s VP search team, as a team player that did not want to hinder Obama. Whereas, Michelle Malkin present his resignation as another bad Obama choice in order to show his poor judgment in alliances. Both blogs were able to release the story a day ahead of the newspapers.

Whether you are liberal, conservative, or moderate, blogs give us more perspectives because they present information and viewpoints that the formal media does not give.

References

Crouse, T. (1973). The boys on the bus. New York: Random House.

Graff, G.M. The first campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.