Convention Buzz Detector -- Republicans Day 1
The Palin Surprise
Hurricane Gustav may have curtailed the festivities for Republicans gathered in Minneapolis on Monday. But online there was a major first-day convention buzz, though it may have been unwelcome.
To get a sense of the online buzz during the conventions, PEJ is monitoring five online destinations each morning at 9 a.m. The sample includes the top political headline on the Drudge Report, top political headline on the Huffington Post, the political story most linked to by bloggers in the previous 48 hours, according to the blog aggregating site Technorati, the most emailed political story on Yahoo! News, and the most viewed political video on YouTube.
The most emailed story on Yahoo! News was an AP story—“McCain vetter defends Palin review”—that came after news that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter was pregnant. The story said Palin had informed the campaign about the pregnancy and her husband’s old DUI arrest, but added that “Since McCain publicly disclosed his running mate on Friday, the notion of a shoddy, rushed review has been stoked repeatedly.”
The same theme was hammered home on the liberal Huffington Post blog. The top headline was “What Did He Know…And When Did He Know Know It,” a reference to the revelations about Palin’s family and questions about the vice-presidential search.
The most linked-to item on the blogs monitored by Technorati was a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd written before the pregnancy revelation. The piece—featuring Dowd’s typically sharp elbows—lampooned the Palin pick, describing her as “a zealot, but…a fun zealot. She has a beehive and sexy shoes…”
A number of widely viewed YouTube videos circulating on Tuesday also focused on Palin, including a few that made Dowd’s commentary seem mild. (One such offering features a McCain impersonator sounding desperate calling up gun-toting Palin impersonator who tells him to act like a man.) But the most widely viewed single convention-related video, with over 150,000 views, was of the arrest of liberal radio host Amy Goodman while covering demonstrations.
If the first day of the convention did not bring McCain the kind of coverage he might have wanted, the site of conservative news aggregator Matt Drudge offered one rationale. “Media Turn on McCain In Election Showdown” read the headline linking to a Bloomberg News story on the growing tensions between the GOP nominee and the press corps, a group he once half-joking referred to as his “base.”
PEJ will continue the Convention Buzz Detector throughout the Republican convention.Mark Jurkowitz of PEJ