Recount: A Magazine of Contemporary Politics

I Read It On The Internet So It Must Be True

By Sandra Ogle | Dec 14, 2004 Print

On November 2nd, certain bloggers caused a hubbub by releasing exit poll information before the data was verified. Or as John Horn of the Los Angeles Times succinctly put it the next day, “Overflowing with early, and sometimes wildly misleading, exit poll numbers, Web logs became the Internet’s own battleground state on Tuesday, as the bloggers fought even among themselves in reporting the kind of preliminary data television avoids before polls close.”

Most of the data turned out to be slightly skewed, and many conclusions that were jumped to were just wholly wrong. As a result of the missteps, in late November it was announced that exit poll data will not be released to the Associated Press or television networks until 4 p.m. during the next election, instead of 1 p.m. like it was this year.

Votergate 2004—allegations of poll miscalculations—quickly dissipated in the following days after the election. What Votergate 2004? Exactly. As the blogosphere recovered from its credibility hit in the weeks that followed the election, the focus shifted to the war in Iraq, new cabinet appointment chatter, and of course, a whole slew of divergent topics.

So what’s been going on since? Here are some snippets, in loose chronological order, from four highly different, yet widely read blog-type sites.

Zach Braff
Zach Braff, non-political blogger, Garden State writer/director, and Scrubs star, perhaps said it best on his site the day after the election, “Well what can I say, it’s over.” His previously posted “Simple Sonnet on Suffrage” is classic in its straightforward urgency and will evoke bygone days of optimism for some. These entries, on a completely non-political site, are emblematic of how election-talk in the days and weeks before November 2nd was all engrossing and unavoidable, even if you were just trying to be a FOG (friend of Garden State).

Michael Moore
Moore’s site gave his Web site readers “17 Reasons Not to Slit Your Wrists” on November 5th. A day earlier, a list of all the soldiers who have died in Iraq and a composite of George Bush’s face made up of dead soldiers was also posted (and is still available on the site). Links to news articles are added daily, and in the days after the election, most were about voter irregularities. Since then, focus has been on the war in Iraq. However, it’s not all politics, as the most recent “Mike’s Letter” was titled, “People’s Choice Awards Nominates ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ as ‘Favorite Film of the Year.’”

Daily Kos
A week after the election results came in, left-leaning site Daily Kos focused on the war in Iraq. One post ended with the sentence, “The draft is coming.” Recent posts have commented on the possibility of Colin Powell running for New York governor (slim to none), new platforms for the Democratic Party, and a sex abuse scandal at the Air Force Academy. And, on the lighter side, there was a contest for dubbing W’s second term slogan in the mix. Contenders included “Chimpeach,” “Divided We Stand, United We Fall,” and “Bush: Making Tomorrow as Good as Yesterday.”

Nowadays, it’s same old, same old at Wonkette. Lurid innuendo, hot political gossip, and gibes at Ann Coulter are the norm. Don’t miss hilarious headlines like—“Unemployed Kerry Staffer: Watching Paint Dry”-- and the riff on Anderson Cooper’s naked-guy moment.

More Blogs to Check Out:

Talking Points Memo

Berkely Economist J. Brad DeLong

The Decembrist

Talk Left: The Politics of Crime

Tom Paine: The Best Progressive Insight and Action. All Day.

Sandra Ogle can be reached at .

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