Yikes... bloggers. They took off their jammies and put on their shorts. They've come out of the house and walk among us. Black socks go with shorts, right, moonbeambushhater?
I'm looking at the paper NYT, and the photo is twice as wide. What are you missing? To the left of the white-legged ones is a slouching young woman with scraggly hair. There's a sign on the wall behind her -- something about "swing states" -- and the photo is framed so that we see the word "swing" is next to her head. To the right, we see a banner -- "Mark Warner/President '08" -- and standing above it is a very tubby man in short sleeves and wrinkled pants. To his right is a guy with a beard and hair growing past his shoulders.
Okay, let's read the text:
They may think of themselves as rebels, separate from mainstream politics and media. But by the end of a day on which the convention halls were shoulder to shoulder with bloggers, Democratic operatives, candidates and Washington reporters, it seemed that bloggers were well on the way to becoming — dare we say it? — part of the American political establishment. Indeed, the convention, the first of what organizers said would become an annual event, seems on the way to becoming as much a part of the Democratic political circuit as the Iowa State Fair.The horror! It's bad enough Iowa gets so much power....
"It's 2006, and I think we have arrived," Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos and the man for whom the conference was named, announced after being greeted with the kind of reception Elvis, or at least Wayne Newton to a more traditional Las Vegas audience, might have received had he walked into the dowdy ballroom at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.Is the tone of contempt subtle enough? Wayne Newton... Las Vegas... dowdy ballroom...
The ceremony and self-celebration notwithstanding, the actual extent of the blogging community's power is still unclear. For one thing, it was hard to find a single Republican in the crowd here, though organizers insisted that a few had registered. For another, as the presidential campaign of Howard Dean demonstrated in 2004, the excitement and energy of the Web does not necessarily translate into winning at the polls.Hey, that's a good tag line for a blog: Spreading the truth like no entities I've dealt with in recent years.
"I do believe that each day, they have more impact," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, who will deliver the keynote speech to the group on Saturday night. "Now how far that will go, I don't think we know that yet."
But, Mr. Reid added: "One of the reasons I so admire them is they have the ability to spread the truth like no entities I've dealt with in recent years. We could never have won the battle to stop privatization of Social Security without them."
Yeah, all you politicians: deal with this entity!
One Democrat who declined to attend: Hillary Clinton. What did Kos say when asked if she was popular with his crowd? "Oh my God, no way!"
Mark Warner was there though. And Howard Dean. Tom Vilsack. Wesley Clark "was spotted on Thursday night looking somewhat out of place as he roamed the halls in a pin-striped suit before heading to the Hard Rock Cafe to hold his own reception for bloggers." The poor man!
Ha, ha... they must all kneel to the lefty bloggers!
Maureen Dowd was there too. If you've got TimesSelect, you can check out her column today. A taste:
I ... wad[ed] through a sea of Kossacks, who were sitting on the floor in the hall with their laptops or at tables where they blogged, BlackBerried, texted and cellphoned — sometimes contacting someone only a few feet away. They were paler and more earnest than your typical Vegas visitors, but the mood was like a masquerade. This was the first time many of the bloggers had met, and they delighted in discovering whether their online companions were, as one woman told me, male, female, black, white, old, young or "in a wheelchair."...How to dress? First, get out of the pajamas. Okay, now, about those socks....
As I wandered around workshops, I began to wonder if the outsiders just wanted to get in. One was devoted to training bloggers, who had heretofore not given much thought to grooming and glossy presentation, on how to be TV pundits and avoid the stereotype of nutty radical kids.
Mr. Moulitsas said he had a media coach who taught him how to stand, dress, speak, breathe and even get up from his chair.