October 30, 2006

"E-lection Nite Blog Party."

So what do you think of this?
[CNN] plans to host more than two dozen bloggers from across the political spectrum — including sites like RedState and Daily Kos — at a Washington Internet lounge where they can monitor the election returns on a slew of flat-screen televisions. (Each blogger will get his or her own monitor, which can be tuned to any channel.) There will be free wireless access — and plenty of food and beverages, natch.

CNN Internet reporters Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton have been assigned to cover the gathering and provide regular updates on the air about the topics that are generating the most chatter.

"Bloggers are leading the conversation," said David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief. "You could argue that most of the political dialogue in this country is happening online, so if you don't incorporate that into your coverage, you're missing a major element."

Subscribers to CNN Pipeline, the network's broadband service, will be able to monitor the happenings at the blog party through one of the online channels, which will be dedicated exclusively to footage from the event.
Would you like to have your humble blogger blog the election returns not from my personal TV lounge but from CNN's Washington Internet lounge in some sort of a party atmosphere with two dozen other bloggers (each of whose party mood is going to depend on what shows up on that a slew of flat-screen televisions)?


Mark Daniels said...

I'd be interested in what you might write under such circumstances, Ann. But I'd be even more interested in my doing it. My guess is that many general interest bloggers would feel the same way. So, I wonder how you get one of those invitations?


Gahrie said...

I'm willing to bet that the room tilts strongly to the left.

Jacob said...

I love how they spell "Night" all wrong to show how phat and stupid and poppin' fresh they are.

Anonymous said...

Sure, but bring me with you.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Yes, you should. But you should make sure to wear interesting shoes.

Edward said...

Does this mean you've been invited?

Joan said...

That room sounds like a recipe for a headache to me, although the potential for schadenfrude is great if Democrats fail to live up to pre-election hype.

I think the pressure-cooker type atmosphere is antithetical to blogging, at least for me personally. I need some space to be able to write. I think it would be difficult to not be influenced by 1) the chaos swarming around you and 2) the national network news coverage.

I don't think blogs and TV are a very good mix, actually. There's too much text to put up on a TV screen; people who want to read a blog do it on a computer, and don't want to do it on a TV. People who are watching TV want to watch TV, not read blogs! I'm curious to see if CNN can make listening to news reports and posting to blogs interesting to the average viewer. I find reading and commenting on blogs to be stimulating, but I can't imagine watching television coverage of bloggers. That just sounds boring to me.

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

This is one of those things where some people will criticize or mock those opting to do it, while at the same time wanting an invite themselves.

I think things like this make politics and the process more fun, and if one wants to do it, then why not.

The drawback is that there might be additional pressure to be productive and not look like one is there simply to snack on egg salad, or hook up with cute male bloggers in shorts.

Revenant said...

So I could watch two CNN people tell me what people are blogging... or I could just read the blogs and find out firsthand?

As George Bush or NPR might say it, this use of internet online blogging is the waste of the time.

Ricardo said...

"Would you like to have your humble blogger blog the election returns ... from CNN's Washington Internet lounge ...?"

Yes. Three reasons. First, it's a logical and exciting step in your own progression as a blogger. Second, this election may turn out (in retrospect) to be more important than a presidential election, so you need to be in the middle of it. Third, we NEED someone we can trust to be our eyes and ears in Washington. You're elected!

altoids1306 said...

I think this would be a great opportunity to see if the staff at CNN is as biased as their product. You should devote your attention to the various CNN staff, try to elicit their feelings, and gauge their reactions based on the rise and fall of Democratic political fortunes.

It's a win-win.

If the Democrats win, my guess is in their manic elation, you'll be able to score some pretty damaging chest-thumping quotes. They'd make for a nice morning-after post about the lack of press neutrality.

If Democrats lose, the schadenfraude will have you grinning ear-to-ear through Christmas.

Turn the tables on CNN, and blog about them!

Christy said...

Yes! It will be a totally new experience! To paraphrase Mae West, give into the temptation you've never tried before. If it is a bore, you'll have us out here trying to entertain you.

Joe Giles said...

If you go, load up on disinfectant first.

Or continue to do your own thing, from the comfort and full fury of your own pad.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself:

Does my audience watch CNN?
Will CNN give me some sort of exclusivity, i.e. will I be the only XYZ-type blogger there?
Will CNN guarantee me X amount of air time?
Will CNN run my website address every second I am on-air?

With 24 (!) bloggers in one place, I think you'd be lucky to get a few snippets of air-time, unless you intentionally write/say the most outrageous things that come to your mind.

Personally, I no longer watch CNN or any of the news channels or shows. It's all show-biz junk. Mmm...Jeff Greenfield. I can't wait to see his toupee again.

Having said that, if you yearn to be a glamorous TV talking head and swing the big book deals, it could be a way to get there.

PS-Free wireless access! Plenty of food and beverages! If you go, take pictures of the crackers and cheese and cans of Diet Coke for us.

Titus said...

The question Ann is would you want to do this?

It could be kind of fun though...or not.

You would probably need to stay there for at least two weeks after the election night because there is a good chance we won't know who 1/2 the winners and losers are.

I would prefer to be home biting my finger nails.

But I tend to be somewhat anti-social anyway.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Nah, you do your best work alone.

But that's just my 2 cents- we would be so proud if our little intrepid blogger goes off to the the big, bad, hard-brained beltway and shows what she is made of.

And hell-could open some doors, I am sure you don't want to teach law for another 20 years!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Did I miss an Audible Althouse? You could blog it, vlog it, and podcast it.

But the way you simul-blog, they'll probably only invite you once.

Simon said...

I'm actually rather curious to know what various commenters are thinking about doing on election night. I'm undecided between sitting in front of the TV with a laptop in rapt attention, getting an early night, getting together with some friends and some popcorn, or basically opening abottle of bourbon and see how bad it gets.

Ann Althouse said...

"our eyes and ears in Washington"...

Yes, but mostly just watching TV! Which I get in Madison.

But it will be a chance to observe the other bloggers, who are -- more than I -- invested in all the details. I'll be more the observer. And I'll be able to say which bloggers are nice, which are social nullities, and which are bastards. Don't you want to know?

And yes, Edward, I'm invited. And I'm going. Aren't you excited? It will be -- at least -- weird!

In '04, I did election night on Instapundit, but I was just here in my little outpost in Madison, Wisconsin, watching TV. I like the bizarreness of going to Washington to watch TV, with other people watching TV. Do I really want to meet those other bloggers? Some of them, yes. Others, I think they hate me, so no.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Say Hi to Miss Valenti for us!

Wouldn't it be funny if all the CNN bloggers had their TVs tuned to FOX?

Maxine Weiss said...


Election fatigue.

Peace, Maxine

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

"With 24 (!) bloggers in one place, I think you'd be lucky to get a few snippets of air"

Think so?

MadisonMan said...

I think it would be a really interesting experience -- just observing what's going on, and writing about it. The actual results will be much less interesting.

As for what I'll do -- well, I teach Tuesday nights, which this year means Halloween and Election Night. I'm trying to figure out a way to give extra credit for voting. I don't expect many students tomorrow night, by the way. So I'll get home as results for WI are coming in. I'm sure the local House & Senate Race will be called by the time I get home.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you go, take pictures of the crackers and cheese and cans of Diet Coke for us."

LOL. Well, I'm definitely going. But the whole beverage issue is a tough one. At home, I would drink a couple glasses of wine, without worring about running out of energy. But this thing could go on a long time, and I'll have to keep my wits about me. So I probably will stick to the diet Coke. But I'm not going to blog like the other bloggers. I'll be meta-blogging the thing... It will be different for me. And I'll have my camera, including my iCamera. And I'll do some little YouTube things if I can. Really, for me it will be different. I'm genuinely not partisan, and I'm really in it for the art!

Maxine Weiss said...

"I'm genuinely not partisan"--Althouse


Peace, Maxine

Bruce Hayden said...

Good luck.

I did suspect, before you said it, that you would also be looking at the other bloggers and everything else going on there. It sounds like fun.

MadisonMan said...

I wonder who will be trying to blog the loudest in the group? But as revenant noted: listening to reporters report about bloggers blogging? Ugh. Reading blogs will be more interesting.

Do you know who else will be there? The article doesn't list them -- I'm guessing because not many have confirmed. And diet coke, not coffee?

Are DC internet cafes smoke free?

Fenrisulven said...

I was going to say [before blogger ate my comment]: "It might be a waste of your time Ann. Predictions are that so many races are so close [and so many Dem lawyers are prepared to file for recounts, etc.] that the results won't be in until well after election night."

But on second thought, it sounds like fun. Lots of interesting avenues for you to explore. Go for it. Just be sure to have fun :)

Freeman Hunt said...

I was going to say, "Yes, if you'll blog about the other bloggers," but I see that you already posted that that's what you plan to do. Exciting!

No one will really care about the election returns blogging. (At least I won't.) We can see those on TV. But I'd love to read about who is nice, who is mean, and who is just plain weird. Try to get the weird ones to pop in on vlog posts. How great that would be. If someone loses his cool over the results, can you point the iCamera at him or is the camera integrated into the computer?

Josef Novak said...

"I don't think blogs and TV are a very good mix, actually."

Here in Japan it's almost standard for a large part of the morning news reporting to consist of readings from the newspaper.

They get the paper up on a big poster board, and highlight the sections they want to talk about, then read/skim/comment while following along with a pointer.

At first I found it really annoying, but lately I've found it growing on me. They tend to be pretty good at highlighting the topics I'm interested in, so their live summaries provide a sort of guide, which helps me focus my reading during my commute.

Maxine Weiss said...

".... and plenty of food and beverages"

Ugh. Like what, though? Canapes? Pigs-n-blankets?

I'm getting visions of a Mess Hall, or boiler room. Sort of a sweat shop type set-up. Herded like cattle into a big room. A cog in the wheel.

Not my thing.

I wouldn't do it.

They aren't going to have access to anything better that you can't get at home.

Stay home.

Peace, Maxine

Simon said...

"I'm genuinely not partisan."

That much, I believe. But I find it hard to buy that you don't have an opinion on at very least the Senate race, insofar as what happens there has the potential to radically alter the direction of law. It does not seem unreasonable to suppose that there may be another Supreme Court retirement in the next two years; clearly, the composition of the Senate changes the kind of candidate that is viable, and even if there are no SCOTUS vacancies, the sameholds true about the appellate level.

Who knows - if there's a 50/50 split turning on the vote of Olympia Snowe, you could be in the running. ;)

Fenrisulven said...


If you see any NYTs peeps, pls bop them on the head for me.

And if you see the Instawife, tell her I think she's precious.

Joan said...

I'm with Freeman Hunt: TV coverage of bloggers covering election returns will be boring. Althouse coverage of bloggers covering election returns will be priceless.

Yay, Ann! You've given me something to look forward to on election day.

Joan said...

Captain Ed will be there, too.

LoafingOaf said...

Ann doing this is cool because she really is doing it for the art. I'm getting a little tired of some of the ambitious bloggers, though. I'm reading more and more of the obscure blogs - looking for the new blood.

I'm not excited about this election whatsoever because everyone and everything that has a chance to win on my ballot in Ohio will only do more harm to Ohio (particularly this crazy minimum wage incrase issue that's sure to pass and has all kinds of fine print that will ensure fewer and fewer jobs for my state). Ohio feels like a sinking ship compared with the rest of the country, completely corrupt, and only gonna get worse. The only vote I'm looking forward to is my protest vote for governor, where I'm voting for the libertarian, William Pierce. A big "whatever" to the rest of it. But I am looking forward to Ann's blogging of the scene at that event. :)

Also, as Democrats seem set to get a lot more power next year, I hope they realize we need to stand in firm solidarity with the Kurdish people of Iraq. We owe it to them.

amba said...

I dunno, it sounds like fistfights could break out.

Watching bloggers blog would be like watching grass grow. All the action is inside. It's lke the difference between TV and radio. The TV camera has ADHD; it can't stay on one face or one topic for long. In radio, your voice is the actor and your train of thought is the action, so you can listen to one person meander around indefinitely. The TV camera also can't see about the bloggers what you can see. It's autistic, like a computer; it can't read faces, it will miss all the subtleties of interactions.

That said, it would be an interesting echo chamber to watch the bloggers on TV and read your simulblogging at the same time. Like a movie with a voice-over.

vw: ljbsfwox

Mortimer Brezny said...

I hope you don't get into a cat fight with that breastblogger girl.

amba said...

I'd be particularly curious to see what happens if the Democrats fail.

I'd anticipate some tantrums, at the very least.

mtrobertsattorney said...

With a collection of left wing bloggers gathered in one place watching election returns, I hope CNN will be using metal detectors.

Daryl Herbert said...

99% of the time blogging is done from the home/office. Is there something inauthentic about traveling to a central location to do your blogging?

No, probably not. I concur with the commenters who warn about what could happen should Republicans hold the House and Senate. But I would add, even a narrow Democratic victory won't make these people happy. That would leave control in the hands of a few moderate "traitor" Dems like Lieberman. They're expecting a big victory and anything less will leave them extremely agitated.

If you've been invited, bring your digital camera. I want shots of any tantrums.

Ann Althouse said...

Others I see are going: Captain Ed, Atrios, LaShawn Barber, Lorie Byrd, Kevin Aylward, Betsy Newmark, Jeralyn Merritt, John Aravosis, Patrick Hynes. We'll see how they act in public, in mixed company, with specific political stimulation.

Ann Althouse said...

amba: "I dunno, it sounds like fistfights could break out. Watching bloggers blog would be like watching grass grow."

Sounds contradictory.

I'm interested to see who sits there and blogs, who interacts in a friendly way, who gets ugly, and who keeps her cool. Who will get real TV camera time and who will try to get real TV camera time? I think there will be a lot to observe. And if not, there's always the election returns.

Edward said...

Ann: Yes, of course, I’m excited for you.

But I felt that a few of the commenters here were providing you with all the enthusiasm you would need for this kind of endeavor.

In fact, I felt that some of the enthusiasm on display was unseemly (i.e. much too partisan).

I found absurd the comment about the room being full of so many lefty bloggers that it would begin to tilt.

You know, if it tilts enough, it just might sink, and then you can have a Titanic-like experience on election night. Now THAT would be something to blog about!

But who will be allowed to climb into the lifeboats – the lefties or Ann, our fearless, art-loving (Jesus-loving?) blog leader?

Ricardo said...

"But this thing could go on a long time, and I'll have to keep my wits about me."

One word: Chocolate. Well, maybe two words: Dark Chocolate. Much better for you than diet brown drinks, and a good chocolate can give you an instant understanding of the universe. Get yourself a bag of those Hershey Special Dark Nuggets with Almonds, and you'll also be getting tons of flavonols, as in red wine.

RogerA said...

This is indeed scary--I find myself in agreement with the resident grammarian, brother Brezny: Blog away as long as you treat us to a foot shot every now and then.

Anonymous said...

Amba, I think does have a point. Watching bloggers just blog is boring, but watching them do other things while blogging, or between bouts of blogging, could be interesting. Fisticuffs. Pounding down bottles of scotch. Painting of nails. The wagering of large bets. Sexy medical staff taking blood pressure. Food eating contests. Primal screams.

Monkey Faced Liberal said...


It would be great if you could be there.

During election night, there is nothing I would like to read more about than your take on what TV shows are more entertaining to read about than watch.

And maybe you could take some pictures of Captain Ed. Exciting!

Thanks for giving me another reason to watch MSNBC.


Monkey Faced Liberal

Monkey Faced Liberal said...

Oh, and Ann?

I don't think you can really call yourself a "humble" blogger and yet have "not so humble, in fact desperatly seeking to justify the fact that I am an important and powerful blogger who gets invited to things like CNN's Election Nite Blog Party" quotes at the top of your blog that describe you as "formidable" and "divine."

Just saying.


Monkey Faced Liberal

I'm Full of Soup said...

late comment I know but here is some advice for you Ann.

During the 2004 election, I was out of town in a hotel in Canton. I had my laptop so I was able to go to the state of Ohio website (and other key states) and see the latest county by county results minutes before they got onto CNN, Fox, etc. It was really cool and maybe it was my rooting interest (way against Kerry) but I could actually see the wind go out of the sails of most of the MSM talking heads. So, I suggest you make sure you have your web links pre-saved to the key states. And make sure you can change the TV channels to get the flavor of the MSM.

Anonymous said...

...at a Washington Internet lounge where they can monitor the election returns on a slew of flat-screen televisions. (Each blogger will get his or her own monitor, which can be tuned to any channel.)

I think it'd be frakkin' awesome if all the bloggers in CNN's little lounge spent the whole night watching and blogging about Battlestar Galactica.

A Menken Moment said...

It would be a great opportunity, especially for the meta-blogging, as long as the CNN types don't interfere with your own style. Do keep in mind the negatives your "blog family" here have mentioned. You seem to be a person whose fundamental orientation is one of good will, and although some of the blog company you mentioned will also be good people, there may be (from either side of the political fault line) more than one malevolent character.

Sail ahead but just remember that among those parlous celebrity and mass-media swells, "there be dragons."

Best of luck.