Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Daily Dose

Tonight, from 8 - 9 pm EST, the GOP's 10 presidential candidates will debate one another at the Reagan library in California. Watch it live on During the daytime, if you're in DC, you might want to swing by the Press Club for a conference on the "Failure of Conservatism."

Without bias and with thorough reporting, Micah Sifry examines the Obama MySpace scandal. My take: the concern of Obama's team that an independent fan, rather than the official campaign, controlled Obama's most-popular MySpace page, was very legitimate. But Obama's team was myopic in refusing to compensate Anthony, given (1) how trivial $40K is compared to the cost of traditional consultants; (2) how much Anthony had done for the campaign; and (3) how the resulting stories would predictably look.

I'm generally skeptical of the next big thing (e.g, QubeTV and Hotsoup). If done right, however, the resulting product can bear out the hype (e.g., Digg, Twitter, Rudy on Your Blog, Hot Air). Indeed, even though online political discussion is oversaturated, Time's Swampland blog,, and the NYT's Caucus blog—all of which began in 2007—have all been quite successful. The common denominator is not deep pockets but a tech-savvy team. With that in mind, I'm expecting big things from and American Solutions. (Related: David All explains why the walled-garden approach, as embodied in QubeTV and Conservapedia, is bound to fail.)

Is Fred Thompson a real celebrity? James Poniewozik, Time's TV and media critic, thinks he's merely famous-for-Washington: "[H]e's not even of the level of celebrity that Ronald Reagan held before he became governor of California. . . . Law & Order is a popular show, of course—decreasingly popular, but still—and people have seen his movies, but he doesn't exactly move magazine covers. He's more what refers to as a 'Hey, It's That Guy': an actor recognizable for establishing a niche, in his case, the president / authority figure in TV and movies. [Update: In fact, he was a Hey, It's That Guy.]"