Bloggers force re-think on 9/11 docudrama

Excellent piece in the Guardian today by Ed Pilkington on how influential US lef-wing bloggers are gaining more political and media clout.

Pilkington notes that: “When historians come to write the definitive account of the rise of the liberal blog in the US, it is quite possible they will identify a small meeting in Harlem this week as a tipping point. The gathering looked unremarkable enough, a group of about 20 men and women sitting round a boardroom table, but it represented something highly significant.

“The people assembled were the elite, if that's not a contradiction in terms, of the Democrat-leaning blogosphere. And the man at the centre was Bill Clinton.”.
Clinton told the group that over the past two years he had become an avid reader, and that he now included blog posts in his daily news cuttings service.

Bill Scher, who edits the Liberal Oasis blog, thinks blogs are now emerging as real forces. His "Right-wing blogs have been very good and very fast at putting out book, Wait! Don't move to Canada, is published next week and records how liberal blogs first came to public attention when they raised substantial amounts of money for the 2004 primary campaign of the anti-Iraq war Democrat, Howard Dean.

These blogs recently forced ABC re-assess a docu-drama about the lead-up to September 11, The Path to 9/11, which portrayed the counter-terrorism efforts of the Clinton administration in a poor light. The exposed inaccuracies, mistakes and a certain right wing agenda.

According to the Guardian an “army of bloggers… ignited a firestorm that enveloped ABC and brought Clinton and several of his former aides into the furore”. ABC was forced to re-edit several of the disputed scenes.

They just need to get rid of Bush now.

Liberal blogs to check out include:

Think Progress
With a staff of just five, Think Progress punches well above its weight, as was seen by the impact it had on the ABC docudrama, The Path to 9/11. It is connected to the Washington- based liberal thinktank, the Centre of American Progress, whose director is the former chief of staff under Bill Clinton. It has about 100,000 visitors a day, and its focus is on monitoring rightwing blogs and the mainstream media. It calls itself a movement of "guerrilla fact checkers".

Daily Kos
Founded in 2002 by Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga and run by him from Berkeley, California. The site now attracts 20 million unique visits a month. The blog is named after the nickname Moulitsas acquired when he was in the army (it rhymes with "dose").

The site by and for young feminists. The executive editor is Jessica Valenti, a 27-year-old feminist writer from New York. Its mission statement says that: "Young women are rarely given the opportunity to speak on their own behalf on issues that affect their lives and futures. Feministing provides a platform for us to comment, analyse and influence."

Liberal Oasis
The blog, edited by Bill Scher, publishes original commentary every morning from Monday to Friday. It carries the motto: "Where the Left is right and the Right is wrong."

Founded by Jane Hamsher, who produced the Oliver Stone film, Natural Born Killers. Its blogger, Christy Hardin Smith, who was present at the Clinton lunch, writes on the site that there is a need for "better messaging and coordination/ cooperation with blogs and the Democratic leadership, who seem to constantly be trying to work at cross-purposes with all of us."

America blog
Focuses on US politics, particularly the Bush Administration, the radical right, and gay civil rights. Why turn to it? Because, it says, "at some point you tire of the lies". It is run by John Aravosis, a Washington-based writer and political consultant.

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