Politics on Web tells all the news that’s fit to spin
OK, let's talk politics.
For tech -- (wait ... another deep breath, sip of water).
For tech writers, politics is the elephant (or the donkey) in the room to be avoided at almost any cost. In our too-often narrow, let-them-eat-cake micro-bubble universe, the iPhone vs. Blackberry debate is about as hot as we want it to get.
Often we think politics is simply off our beat. After all, you don't see Vera Wang's new spring line in the Sports section.
But politics is tech. In the Digital Age, EVERYTHING is tech (by the way, Wang's cameo in the recent Microsoft ad has more than a million hits on YouTube).
And with a presidential election only weeks away, it's time for Digital Slobs everywhere to examine the candidates beyond the faux outrage over the murky sound-bited mixed metaphors looped on cable news channels.
Besides, the anchors on most of those channels have blond highlights that are so bright they give me migraines.
BUT before jumping into the salty piranha-infested waters of politics on the Web, a warning: It might sting a little.
Based on years of watching gaming-console zealots duke it out in blog comments, a Slob might think his skin has been battle-thickened to handle any level of flame wars. Think again.
The PC Guy has never told the Mac Guy, "I'm a PC. I crash a lot, but at least I don't try to teach sex ed to kindergartners."
So, emotional flak jackets now firmly secured, let's proceed.
Political blogs can generally be divided into two types: The first advocates one side and spouts propaganda about the other with the help of links and media clips, while the second collects or creates punditry handicapping how well the first types are doing.
Allowing room for the many exceptions and shades of gray (always a shrewd political move, by the way), here are some good examples of the two opposing sides of Type One:
Team Red: NewsMax.com, redstate.com, instapundit.com, littlegreenfootballs.com.
Team Blue: Dailykos.com, crooksandliars.com, talkingpointsmemo.com, MoveOn.org.
Also, keep in mind that while all Type Ones have a point of view, that doesn't mean Type Twos are free of bias (not surprisingly, a quick Google search of the phrase "objective political Web sites" yields no results). Type Two sites include:
Politico.com: This distributor of political journalism actually has a print edition in the D.C. area, and is led by two former Washington Post journalists.
Realclearpolitics.com: This aggregator collects political stories, analyses and columns from across the Internet, and also generates several original blogs.
Factcheck.org: This site fills you with ammo about how the other side is completely distorting the truth, but it comes with a price: the knowledge that your side is doing the same thing.
Wonkette.com: A catty site filled with creative, we-know-this-will-get-your-goat titles like "Palin foolishly says words again," "Michelle Obama to ladies: I'm hot, Sarah Palin is a fat pig," and "Bush emerges from spider hole to mumble some stuff about the economy."
Next week: Familiar political faces in unfamiliar places.