Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Straining At Gnats

Here we go again. Carol Darr, upset because her efforts to shut down the blogs have failed, is now predicting that the Web will soon be overrun with corporate-sponsored blogs and that we will never, ever be able to spot them. Ahem. Has she looked at the ownership of the major TV and radio networks? Or the print media? She might want to worry about that before she worries about the blogosphere. Talk about straining at gnats while swallowing camels! But I digress. All Carol Darr has to do to test her theory that Astroturf Blogs will fool us all is to compare the traffic rankings of DailyKos and TechCentralStation. DailyKos is a site that was built up on a wing and a prayer by Markos and his friends, none of whom are exactly made out of money. They take ads from all sources, but they don't have any big patrons whose bidding they do. (Markos manages to get enough ads to make some money off of the site, so he can buy more servers and not starve.) TCS is lavishly subsidized by Exxon Mobil, and parrots oil-company propaganda "debunking" global warming. Here's the TTLB rankings, which are updated regularly. Hmmmm -- looks like DailyKos occupies the #2 and #3 spots (the diaries at #2, the front page at #3). TCS? I couldn't find it on the list -- can you? Now granted, TCS isn't the only right-wing blog that's propped up in whole or in part by right-wing sugar daddies. Truth to tell, most right-wing blogs fit that description. However, the left-wing bloggers make a point of exposing such support -- so Carol Darr's theory that big corporations can start up Astroturf blogs without anyone catching on is bogus.

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