Web Wars

June 12, 2008

It’s the battle of the websites, MeetBarackObama.com vs. Fightthesmears.com. Now, at first glance, it may seem that both are Democratic sites but that is the furthest thing from the truth. MeetBarackObama.com is actually a Republican site designed to chip away at Obama.

MeetBarackObama, according to Mark Ambinder, features a clock showing how long it’s been since Obama has been to Iraq. You can even download it as a widget. This is, of course, a major focus of the McCain campaign. The general message is that what McCain may lack in technology he makes up for in battle. It also features an album of Obama pictures showing no white hair on his head. This emphasizes Obama’s youth as opposed to McCain’s age. Obama is portrayed as an impetuous youth. McCain, therefore would be, a distinguished older gentleman. Obama’s resume is also mocked. Describing him as a “street organizer” plays down his time in Chicago as an activist. Considering what the Republican sites looked liked until their current revamp it looks pretty good. They seem to have lifted the graphics directly off of an Obama campaign page so this might have something to do with it.

Fightthesmears.com, on the other hand, is a Democratic site. The Fix and Techpresident discussed it in their blogs. This site is pretty self-explanatory but I’ll explain it anyway. It is designed to confront rumors about Obama as well as smear campaigns. What rumors might you ask? Well, the tape of Michelle Obama saying not so nice things for one. Obama not being born in the United States for another. It seems that in every election there are emails that sneak into our mailboxes telling us to be wary of a candidate. I personally remember getting one during the Dean campaign saying that he didn’t like Jewish people so bewares. These can have a detrimental affect on the candidate so debunking them is always a good idea. As we discussed last semester if a company, or in this case a candidate, doesn’t address these issues they tend to grow out of control. The best thing to do is address it quickly and often so that voters know that there is nothing to hide.

So, it’s that time. The comparison is about to come to an end. What have I learned? The first lesson is that I shouldn’t pick two blogs to compare based on their names. I liked the name Instapundit so I picked it as the Republican blog that I would follow. The main problem here is that a majority of the postings were not political. This made the comparison harder since it seemed to be apples and oranges most of the time. There didn’t seem to be many strong opinions for the posts that were political. If the posting was discussing something that might be detrimental to a Republican it was very short and trite.

As for The Daily Kos it was very political. Every story was about politics. If something might put a Democrat in a bad light the posting was long and gave counter arguements. It was very heavy handed when it came to Republican mistakes. This is an opinionated blog and proud of it.

What I really learned is that the two blogs, leaning different ways, discussed different stories. Very rarely did the two mirror any stories at all. In this way a completely different view of current events is portrayed. Unless you read both you’d miss a lot of news. Each glosses over what the other found important. These blogs might be nice supplements to other news sources but I wouldn’t recommend either one as a main source of information. Too much would slip through the cracks and opinions.

Today in politics with The Daily Kos. Obama’s campaign will have staffers in all 50 states. This isn’t very far fetched since, as was mentioned in class, the prolonged democratic primaries took both candidates to every state. They just left their staffers there in preparation for the elections. Speaking of democratic primaries, Hillary supporters who are thinking of switching to McCain are mocked. Bush is tweaked because of his surprise at rising gas prices three months ago. Obama being labeled the most liberal senator by Boren is discussed and debunked. McCain is accused of not caring if troops are brought home. Finally Kucinich’s push for Bush’s impeachment is discussed.


In Instapundit today Obama is mocked as an economic flip flopper. Webb is described as a poor potential running mate. Finally though we have some convergence as far as story topics go. Kucinish calling for Bush’s impeachment is mocked in a very short post. Obama being labeled liberal by Boren is briefly mentioned but no real time is spent on the post. Aside from that, the importance of vitamin D is discussed. Rounding out today’s conversation we look into whether Asian’s, as a minority, are held to a higher standard than other groups when it comes to college admissions. Until we meet again tomorrow for right vs. left.