Wired for Republican control

This is telling: the David Bradley vanity project ranks the “50 most influential political commentators”. Of the first 13, there are 9 conservatives, two liberals, and two other (Tom Friedman and David Broder).

I don’t need to tell you that this is at a time when there is a Democratic president and Republican representation in Congress is at a 40 year low.

Update. I probably shouldn’t be shooting the messenger. For all I know, this list is accurate.

Update update. Michael Calderone points out that it’s about the same as another similar recent list.

The top spots stack up nicely with Mediaite’s power grid, with break things down a bit more over several lists.There, Krugman is number one among columnists with Limbaugh atop the radio host list.






114 replies
  1. 1
    KCinDC says:

    On the other hand, having Krugman at #1 and Glenn Greenwald ahead of Bill Kristol doesn’t exactly reflect our real media environment.

  2. 2
    gyma says:

    And no Balloon Juice! That sucks. I threw up in my mouth a bit when I looked at that list.

  3. 3
    jibeaux says:

    It’s supposed to reflect their influence, not how merited that influence is, though. Still, it’s asinine. the Wire analyzed top commentators on 16 measures of webiness

    Srsly, webiness?

  4. 4
    Jeff says:

    OTOH, he does put Glenn Greenwald and Rachel Maddow in the top 25.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    “Influential?” Who exactly do they influence, and how? Do they qualify for the top 50 list if they consistently influence people with IQs above room temperature to point and laugh at them?

  6. 6
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    OT

    From the ghoolish fail department.

    A death row prisoner was driven to trying to insert lethal injection needles into his own arms after executioners spent more than two hours failing to find suitable veins. Romell Broom was seen sobbing as executioners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in the United States repeatedly botched attempts to attach the IV tubes that deliver three lethal chemicals into the blood stream.

    Tinkering with the machinery of death. Self help chapter.

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    I don’t need to tell you that this is at a time when there is a Democratic president and Republican representation in Congress is at a 40 year low.

    This may come as a shocker to you, but we don’t elect our media.

    The LBJ generation reporters didn’t evaporate when Dick Nixon took office, and that’s when the GOP decided a half-century long media war was necessary.

    I mean, FOX was started back in the 90s, under Clinton. The Daily Show didn’t really take off until the Age of Bush. There are lots of counter-trends you can find comparing TV to the real world.

    I also can’t help but notice that Andrew Sullivan outranks Arianna Huffington and Josh Marshal doesn’t break the top 25. Markos Moulitas isn’t even on the list. But George Will is sitting at the number 3 spot.

    Setting aside partisanship, did George Will herd 70k people into the Washington Mall to scream about death panels and Obama = Hitler? Who in Congress checks to make sure they aren’t going to offend Thomas Friedman before holding a town hall meeting?

    I think David Bradley has his head up his ass.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    The Daily Show didn’t really take off until the Age of Bush.

    Speaking of people who aren’t on the list.

  9. 9
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @DougJ:

    Speaking of people who aren’t on the list.

    Wow, just when I thought I couldn’t hate The Atlantic anymore.

  10. 10
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    What an absolute sewer of conventional wisdom, with very few exceptions. If there’s anything to this list then Carlin was right, this country is finished.

  11. 11
    LoveMonkey says:

    “I don’t need to tell you that this is at a time when there is a Democratic president and Republican representation in Congress is at a 40 year low.”

    So, the fact that there appears to be no empirical link between “influence” and “effect on the influenced” doesn’t stop us from pretending, on a daily basis, that the utterings of the Limbaughs and Broders of the world are not really relevant to the future of real politics?

    I mean, suggesting the complete lack of any such connection to, um, I dunno, some college professor types, is just ….. silly?

    Of is it possible that all this attention we pay to these chattering (cl)asses is unnecessary? Is that possible?

    Never mind. It’s a rhetorical question.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    Well, the criteria include “total audience”, so that’s why the radio blowhards are high on the list. And I guess it’s true that Limbaugh is influential with the millions of people who listen to him. And, therefore…?

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    So, the fact that there appears to be no empirical link between “influence” and “effect on the influenced” doesn’t stop us from pretending, on a daily basis, that the utterings of the Limbaughs and Broders of the world are not really relevant to the future of real politics?

    FWIW, I think Broder et al. do help shape public opinion on things like health care reform and fiscal policy. I don’t claim that he consistently helps Republicans get elected, though I do believe he and his ilk made a difference in 2000.

    Rush doesn’t help Republicans win elections, but he is helping destroy the party long-term by alienating all non-white voters. I think that, in fact, the talk radio/tea bag/Tancredo alienation of non-white voters is, by far, the most important political development of our generation.

    It’s very possible that in 30 years, there will be no Republican party and historians will conclude that racially charged rhetoric from the likes of Rush made the party non-viable in an increasingly diverse America. If that’s not influence, I don’t know what is.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    @MattF: Hey, I won’t argue with Limbaugh. He’s definitely influencial enough to command an eight digit salary, so he’s doing something right.

    But Friedman? Will? Krauthammer? Frank Rich? Who is seriously being influenced by these yahoos? How the hell does Krauthammer – a wingnut wingman – outrank Hannity or Beck or O’Reily? Yeah, more people might physically see him, but only because he plays guest on all three other shows during any given month. He’s a “Yes Man” for the right. Another wall in the echo chamber. What influence does that provide?

  15. 15
    slag says:

    @DougJ:
    The Daily Show didn’t really take off until the Age of Bush.

    Speaking of people who aren’t on the list.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama’s line about private universities being able to compete with public ones in his most recent healthcare speech came from the Daily Show. Even if it is a fairly obvious one. So, I call that influence. A list like this sans Jon Stewart is not worth the pixels it’s printed with.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @DougJ:

    Rush doesn’t help Republicans win elections

    I totally disagree with you there. Rush listeners go out and vote when he tells them to. He doesn’t command an election swinging margin, because two or three million people is still only less than 1% of the population and they’re all die-hard Republicans, not exactly swing voters.

    But he prods a base that would otherwise be perfectly sit on it’s porch and shake it’s fist at all our elected representatives.

  17. 17
    gizmo says:

    All of the above-mentioned pundits have a common mission– to make sure that the political conversation in this country stays between the goalposts of “acceptable” discourse. Heaven forbid that anyone should say something that those guys deem too far left.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    But he prods a base that would otherwise be perfectly sit on it’s porch and shake it’s fist at all our elected representatives.

    I think he alienates an equal number. For now, he’s a wash at best and probably a hindrance.

    He probably did help win elections in the 90s.

  19. 19
    Napoleon says:

    @DougJ:

    Could be a definitional issue. Is he a commentator?

  20. 20
    Zifnab says:

    @gizmo: Goalposts traditionally have two prongs. One on the left AND one on the right.

    They have proven to be exceptional at moving goalposts, however.

  21. 21
    Kris says:

    DougJ,

    What is more telling is that only ONE black person is considered influential. Does this make sense to anyone?

    Is it any wonder why our press continues to demand that Obama account for every single black person’s actions?

  22. 22
    SpotWeld says:

    I would also fall on the side of the argument that Rush does help republicans win elections, in the sense the he can (and often does) stir up sich a noise-storm over utterly puffed up bits of nonsesne that he can allow a poor choice of a Republican canidate to rise through a primary and into office without any media scrutiny of thier actual policy positions.

    The focus on John Kerry’s military career is a prime example.

  23. 23
    OldK says:

    Gotta say that Sullivan also counts as “Other”, for the last couple years, since he became basically a Reagan-nostalgic Obama supporter.

  24. 24
    Sentient Puddle says:

    Jon Stewart says he’s a comedian, not a journalist. I think it’s a pretty weak statement, but I bet people who compile lists like these see that, say “Good enough!”, and don’t include him on their lists because seeing him ranked so high would be a real blow to their ego.

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    What is more telling is that only ONE black person is considered influential. Does this make sense to anyone?

    Look on the bright side: that one person wasn’t Bill Cosby.

  26. 26
    ellaesther says:

    I would like to know how Bradley and Mediaite (the list referred to by Michael Calderone) define “influential.”

    In the absence of a cogent definition of “influential” or (in the case of Mediaite) “power,” these lists really have very little meaning or useful purpose.

    Other than to drive traffic and make people like me/us pull our hair out.

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    Gotta say that Sullivan also counts as “Other”, for the last couple years, since he became basically a Reagan-nostalgic Obama supporter.

    I sort of agree with you, but he calls himself a conservative. All the time, in fact.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    Ashcan at 1:57 nailed it.

    And good point on Stewart. It’s a bizarre list.

  29. 29
    jl says:

    @Sentient Puddle: So, a comedian is our best journalist with a mass audience, and our journalists with a mass audience are our worst comedians.

    They need to factor that in. They probably need to fiddle with the ‘webiness’ formula, using the famous ‘goofy nation’ transform, if they understand that kind of higher mathematics.

  30. 30
    LoveMonkey says:

    If the stock market goes down, the Repubs say it’s Obama.

    If it goes up, the Repubs say …. Obama is the worst person in the world.

    If Repubs win an election, Dems say it’s Limbaugh.

    If they lose, Dems say ….. Limbaugh is the worst person in the world.

    We will soon have a permanently crippled GOP and at least one third party movement in the works.

    Life is not that bad. We have the potatoheads on the run. Let’s grab ’em by the throat and kick ’em in the ass.

  31. 31
    jl says:

    @ellaesther: probably, the Atlantic scores play an important role in some very scientific looking formula.

    We need the weights for this mystery components. How much is the Village Idiot influence weighted. We don’t know. We don’t know how much the ‘audience of millions of ditto heads’ is weighted.

    It’s all mystery meat. For all anyone knows, these lists are accurate, or they are sketchy to the max.

  32. 32
    Cyrus says:

    Like others have said, Jon Stewart should be there, but other than that I don’t find the list too inaccurate. Personality-driven, national political journalism is moribund; the most influential person within and among that industry will not be very influential in the public, or even in politics, as a whole.

    It’s interesting to see Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias on the list. I’ve had beers with those guys! Shouldn’t that put me on the list too?

    @jibeaux:

    Srsly, webiness?

    Web-slinging.

  33. 33
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @jl:

    @Sentient Puddle: So, a comedian is our best journalist with a mass audience, and our journalists with a mass audience are our worst comedians.

    If somebody has come up with a better and pithier description of our politics for much of the previous decade than ‘a black comedy of epic fail’, I have yet to encounter it. Of course a comedian would be our best political journalist, considering the nature of the material. It is like in the movie ‘Back to the Future’ when Doc scoffs at the notion of Ronald Reagan the actor as President in the future and then later realizes that looking and sounding good on TV is really important in an era dominated by that medium.

  34. 34
    wasabi gasp says:

    And no Balloon Juice! That sucks.

    Something I find amusing, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that hippie John Cole is the most influential blogger to come out of RedState.

  35. 35
    ellaesther says:

    @jl: For some of the people included on theselists, it would seem to me that the whole question is: Does this person make significant portions of the blogosphere lose their shit?

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @wasabi gasp: I am a relative newcomer to Balloon-Juice, so am not very familiar with Cole’s conservative past.

    I assume you mean Redstate, the wingnut blog, and not Red State Update with Jackie and Dunlap.

    The latter was the first thing that came to my mind when you mentioned Redstate.

  37. 37
    Jim says:

    @Ash Can:

    “Influential?” Who exactly do they influence, and how? Do they qualify for the top 50 list if they consistently influence people with IQs above room temperature to point and laugh at them?

    Along the lines of what I was thinking: These are people who influence Teh Village/each other. Which explains the absence of Stewart and Colbert, they could never admit to watching, much less being influenced.

    Ruth Marcus? Is she even syndicated?

  38. 38
    Calouste says:

    I don’t need to tell you that this is at a time when there is a Democratic president and Republican representation in Congress is at a 40 year low.

    Most political commentators can still remember that. Which is kind of the problem. The only institution with more members near or over the retirement age than the Washington punditry corps is the Senate.

  39. 39
    gonzone says:

    And then there are all the “experts” that march across our TV sets and publish in the major papers who are the right wing “think tank” whores. But never question their authority comrades! The Mighty Wurlitzer yet lives!

  40. 40
    Michael says:

    Can somebody tell me what metric of success with one’s own life qualifies a punditry to opine and recommend policies on everything?

  41. 41
    jl says:

    Also, no Tunch The Cat on the list. The list therefore sucks. QED.

    One may scoff, but still waters run deep, and the zeitgeist is often moved by things more profound than endless streams of mere babble (which is what two thirds of those listed produce).

  42. 42
    wasabi gasp says:

    @jl: RedState.com – wingnutticus maximus.

  43. 43
    Ash Can says:

    OT, but here’s a little riddle for you all: What do Glenn Beck and Osama bin Laden have in common? They’re both trying their best to sustain that 9/12 feeling among their followers. And it’s really, really hard, goshdarn it. And you know whose fault that is? Barack Obama’s, that’s who, the big meany. ::sniff::

    (h/t BiPM at GOS)

  44. 44
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Michael: Wanking.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    Balloon-Juice cannot be on the list because it has not explained itself, as all non-wingnuts must do before they have any credibility.

    They must explain themselves by answering questions related to their implicit responsibility for anything with which they can bd associated by sundry creeps in the press, endure the resulting Gaffe, xxxGate, or Flap before they can be approved.

    I believe Cole is from West Virginia, so he must explain sundry Robert Byrd eccentricities and the Beverly Hillbillies.

    I believe that there is a mathematician on the staff, who much explain the unibomber and why math is hard and dweeby.

    Until explanations are provided, or sundry miscreants are renounced rejected and reviled, denounced denunciated and defiled, Balloon-Juice has no credibility and cannot be deemd Serious.

    Has Cole had his Sister Soljah moment with RAMPS! No, he has not.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    Sorry, I meant to type:

    “I believe that there is a mathematician on the staff, who Must explain the unibomber and why math is hard and dweeby.”

    You can never ‘much’ explain math, you can just get used to it.

  47. 47
    Woody says:

    The list seems mostly to enumerate the ‘best-known,’ not the “most influential.” Unless “influence” is conflated with “celebrity.” Boorstin: “A celebrity is someone who is known for being known.”

  48. 48
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    You totally baucused that one.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I was gonna feel really bad for him.

    Broom, 53, was condemned to death for raping and murdering Tryna Middleton, a 14-year-old girl, after abducting her at knifepoint in 1984.

    Moderated my compassion a tad. But still, shouldn’t happen.

  50. 50
    shoutingattherain says:

    #34 – The Doughy Pantload.

    Yeah. That list has big creds.

  51. 51
    scav says:

    @WereBear: I’d hope so, especially as people have been wrongly convicted before. Not that I know anything about this case – but it veers too near the “they’re terrorists so we can torture them” rationale for my complete ease.

  52. 52
    Tom Q says:

    The people composing this list swim in the same waters as those on it; naturally they reflect one another’s world view. It’s like the college of cardinals picking a Pope — they’re not likely to stray too far from previous consensus, no matter how much or how fast the world is changing outside their walls.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Thanks. That will come in handy.

    (n) (Lord, that was a real baucus you pulled, now we are in real trouble)

    (v.t.)(we had to get going on this project, please don’t baucus it)

    (v.i) (it is very dangerous to baucus with important issues)

    (adj.) (that is worse than deadwood, it is a baucuc caucus)

    To baucusize.

    Don’t baucus the show!

    That was a backass baucus in my book.

    The boat baucused leeward and sank without a trace, taking all six hands on board.

  54. 54
    gonzone says:

    Has Cole had his Sister Soljah moment with RAMPS! No, he has not.

    @jl

    masterful! i submit to your artistry!

  55. 55
    jl says:

    I need advice before I use this new word baucus which will put Mr. Just Some Fuckhead into the history of the English language forever.

    Should the worst kind of baucus be called a ‘max baucus’, or not? This important issue needs to be resolved, and I am unsure how to proceed.

  56. 56
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jl: Better leave the bathroom fan running. I left a max baucus and it won’t flush.

  57. 57
    Brian J says:

    A few random thoughts:

    1. I’m surprised to see someone like Karl Rove outrank Bill O’Reilly, to give one example. People pay attention to Karl Rove, but I always thought it was in the same way that you’d pay attention to a naked person running through a crowded market screaming obscenities.

    2. I’m surprised to see pretty much anyone from The Wall Street Journal editorial page mentioned. It’s the biggest paper in the country as far as circulation, perhaps the most influential business paper in the world, and it is certainly a driver of news. Its editorial page is (in)famous for its arguments, but aside from Karl Rove and perhaps Thomas Frank, I don’t think I’ve once heard someone talk about a columnist from that page in the same way someone talks about Thomas Friedman or George Will. Maybe I’ve just missed it, but even those who aren’t news junkies seem to have some vague idea of who writes opinion columns for The Times and The Post.

    3. It might have been more helpful to have separate lists for each medium, even if they ended up being smaller.

    4. I really like Mediaite as a site.

    5. My general impression is to think “Isn’t that nice?” These lists probably aren’t just very important.

  58. 58
    KSH says:

    Is it just me, or are most of the liberal voices not associated with the MSM? Seems like there are a lot of bloggers/self starters in there…

  59. 59
    calling all toasters says:

    Not a single PUMA blog? I call sexism!!!!!!

  60. 60
    Brachiator says:

    The list is interesting. The rankings are meaningless. Krugman at #1 seems more to reflect the reputation of the NY Times, and Krugman’s status as a Nobel Stud, than his actual influence. The heavy weighting of other pundits associated with prominent newspapers further reinforces this idea.

    But of course, Krugman has zero influence among the wingnut base, or among those who are convinced that the “mainstream media” is a wholly owned subsidiary of the liberal terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.

    The list also clearly kisses the butts of the “I Live for the Approval of the Beltway” club. You know, those who are still hoping that the Washington Post can start those promised salons.

    I’d like to see a ranking in terms of intellectual worthlessness. Jonah Goldberg be the shining star of that list.

  61. 61
    gyma says:

    And who, exactly, is Kathleen Parker influencing? Atlanta housewives?!

  62. 62
    Tuffy says:

    Nate Silver seems like an omission. Karl Rove (#10) is a 538.com regular, for example.

  63. 63
    Brian J says:

    The list is interesting. The rankings are meaningless. Krugman at #1 seems more to reflect the reputation of the NY Times, and Krugman’s status as a Nobel Stud, than his actual influence. The heavy weighting of other pundits associated with prominent newspapers further reinforces this idea.

    But of course, Krugman has zero influence among the wingnut base, or among those who are convinced that the “mainstream media” is a wholly owned subsidiary of the liberal terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.

    I’d actually say that the lists that have Krugman at the top got at least one thing right. Perhaps he’s not actually number one, but he’s certainly up there.

    You can use a variety of metrics to judge this. Just take a look at the number of bloggers who link to him, or take a look at the amount of hatred that he receives from the right. Granted, his forum certainly makes a difference in attracting an audience, but someone like Bob Herbert or Nicholas Kristof is probably every bit as liberal as Paul Krugman and doesn’t have nearly the same ability to command attention.

    Actually, you want to know my favorite way of judging Krugman’s influence? In In Fed We Trust, a new book about the Federal Reserve and its influence in Washington, David Wessel, who is the economics editor for The Wall Street Journal, takes a fairly nasty swing at Krugman. In a part that discusses Ben Bernanke’s past as head of the economics department at Princeton, Wessel mentions how Bernanke built up the department by bringing superstars like Krugman to the school, a decision he may have regretted since Krugman was supposedly unpopular with students and colleagues and used his column to bash Bernanke while he was at the fed. Leaving aside how accurate any of those claims are or how insightful Krugman’s criticisms were, Wessel’s mention of Krugman was pretty irrelevant to the topic at hand. Who knows exactly what Wessel’s problem with Krugman is, but Krugman wouldn’t be attacked like that if he weren’t as powerful as he is.

  64. 64
    eric says:

    Given that everything Dean Baker predicted about the bursting bubbles has come true, you might think he would be number one, but for the fact that no one in power pays him any mind. So, we should all plot a graph of accuracy and placement on the list.

    And if Krugman is soooooooooo influential, how come we are not talking about the lack of decorum shown when Joe Wilson called Hillary a bitch during her Joint Session.

    eric

  65. 65
    Ash Can says:

    OT for this thread, and I don’t know if anyone else has covered this, but Rod Dreher is in Andrew Sullivan’s corner. I’m starting to wonder who all’s going to be apologizing to whom in the upcoming days. (h/t again to GOS)

  66. 66
    LittleBit says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: I hate the death penalty, but if we are going to do it, hire a decent ICU nurse. I once started an IV in a man’s left armpit. Then, of course, had to set up for a central line.

  67. 67
    Emma Anne says:

    @Kris: Kind of underweighted on women too – none in the top 10.

  68. 68
    tofubo says:

    the telegraph came out w/a list of “The 50 most influential US political pundits” a year and some months ago

    i redid the list

    (gratuitous, self-referential post): http://tofubo.blogspot.com/200.....tical.html

  69. 69
    Laura W Darling says:

    @Emma Anne: Girls are too emo and over-analyze everything.
    Periods. Also.

  70. 70
    Demo Woman says:

    @Laura W Darling: This is so OT plus it’s a long link but whatever.. Crispy Kale
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09.....ref=dining

  71. 71
    Laura W Darling says:

    @Laura W: For heavier periods, Maxi Baucus.

  72. 72
    Demo Woman says:

    @gyma: Certainly not the burbs. Parker would be considered a liberal down here.

  73. 73
    Zifnab says:

    @Brian J:

    I’d actually say that the lists that have Krugman at the top got at least one thing right. Perhaps he’s not actually number one, but he’s certainly up there.

    Why? He’s a liberal counterweight to the mountain of conservative conventional wisdom, but he hasn’t really seemed to move public opinion much. Liberals can point to him and say, “See we’re right” but conservatives just keep listening to FOX and Friends.

    He’s very public, but I don’t see him doing much to shift the debate.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @Brian J:

    You can use a variety of metrics to judge this. Just take a look at the number of bloggers who link to him, or take a look at the amount of hatred that he receives from the right. Granted, his forum certainly makes a difference in attracting an audience, but someone like Bob Herbert or Nicholas Kristof is probably every bit as liberal as Paul Krugman and doesn’t have nearly the same ability to command attention.

    Commanding attention isn’t the same thing as influence.

    And of course, one might ask, exactly who it is that Krugman influences? He certainly doesn’t drive Obama Adminstration financial policy.

    There was a time not long ago when one might reasonably have said that Judith Miller was one of the most influential journalists, since her use of the NY Times as cover as she pushed Dick Cheney’s agenda on the American people helped further the most malignant aspects of Bush Administration foreign policy.

    Actually, you want to know my favorite way of judging Krugman’s influence? In In Fed We Trust, a new book about the Federal Reserve and its influence in Washington, David Wessel, who is the economics editor for The Wall Street Journal, takes a fairly nasty swing at Krugman…. Who knows exactly what Wessel’s problem with Krugman is, but Krugman wouldn’t be attacked like that if he weren’t as powerful as he is.

    You can’t really judge much by insider grudges and petty jealousies, especially when you know nothing about the background to the animosity displayed.

    The sad reality is that an ignorant, bombastic buffoon like Limbaugh is by any measure more “influential” than Krugman in that Limbaugh sets the terms of debate, is the de facto voice of the GOP, and determines how millions of his listeners view the legitimacy of media and government.

  75. 75
    Laura W says:

    @Demo Woman: Sounds incredibly yummy but I refuse to follow recipes (#1) that demand I execute procedures involving words that I do not understand. (#2).

    Stack leaves and roll them together, then slice crosswise into chiffonade strips 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch wide.

    Sounds pretty gay to me.

  76. 76
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @Ash Can: Ash, it seems I must say thanks, again. I only read the post, and brachiator’s comment, cause it looked like it was gonna get ugly, and I didn’t want to lose the better feeling I had from Dreher. If only Dreher could influence the people who read him, what do you think are the odds?

  77. 77
    JK says:

    In alphabetical order, here are the most influential political commentators in my alternate universe

    Spencer Ackerman
    Dean Baker
    Dougj
    Sidney Blumenthal
    Steve Clemons
    Eleanor Clift
    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    John Cole
    Juan Cole
    Steve Coll
    Joe Conason
    David Corn
    Mark Danner
    Kevin Drum
    Barbara Ehrenreich
    James Fallows
    Laura Flanders
    Thomas Frank
    William Galston
    Al Giordano
    Amy Goodman
    William Greider
    Pete Hamill
    Thom Hartmann
    Doug Henwood
    Chris Hedges
    Bob Herbert
    Jim Hightower
    Fed Kaplan
    John Judis
    Ron Kuby
    Errol Lewis
    Jeff Madrick
    Roland Martin
    Markos Moulitsas
    Timothy Noah
    Robert Reich
    Laura Rozen
    Taylor Marsh
    James Wolcott
    Clarence Paige
    Dan Savage
    Robert Scheer
    Norman Solomon
    Matt Taibbi
    Ruy Teixeira
    Michael Tomasky
    Katrina Vanden Heuvel
    Joan Walsh
    David Weigel

  78. 78
    jl says:

    Serious thanks to whoever pointed out the kale recipe. Too bad they had to wreck it with ‘chiffonade strips’. I will fix that by boorishly using just plain strips instead.

    I’ve been chiffonading for years, and didn’t even know it. I just thought is was a sensible way to slice leafy vegatables. Like, how foodie sophisticated am I, or not?

    I’ll try them in scrambled eggs. Poaching is a little too Yurpean fer me.

    signed,
    Kale fan.

  79. 79
    JK says:

    @JK:

    OK, in roughly alphabetical order.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @Ash Can:

    OT for this thread, and I don’t know if anyone else has covered this, but Rod Dreher is in Andrew Sullivan’s corner. I’m starting to wonder who all’s going to be apologizing to whom in the upcoming days. (h/t again to GOS)

    Thanks for the Dreher ref. I even posted a comment there.

    The sad thing is that it is clear that Limbaugh doesn’t care what hatreds he flames. Worse, the hearts of the worst wingnuts are so hardened by their fears, racial anxieties, and fervent belief that only Republicans can be the country’s legitimate leaders that they cannot be reasoned with. It is sad to see how the worst posters to Dreher’s blog simply shrug off his call to simple human decency.

  81. 81
    Crazy Kale Lady says:

    @jl: Well, hello there.

  82. 82
    Ash Can says:

    @Laura W Darling: And for us older gals, Menobaucus.

    @Leelee for Obama: I got the impression from the GOS commentary that his readers were pretty much flipping their shit. Considering the right-wingers’ allergy to viewpoints other than their own, I’m not optimistic.

  83. 83
    DBrown says:

    @LittleBit: Sorry but that is not possible – executions MUST be gruesome, otherwise, no one can get their rocks off. Look, using an altitude chamber is not only humane, painless and easy but the victim gets to enjoy the ride of his life as it ends. Well understood and widely known but one uses that method. Q.E.D.

    As for the fat shit bag being near #1, what a load of shit. That wind bag Lim(p)baugh has maybe 2.2 million listeners max. That 10-20 million # has been shown to be a lie and due to methodology of the sampling technique.

  84. 84
    eric says:

    @JK: are you an LBO subscriber?

  85. 85
    Egypt Steve says:

    And people fear for this country. We should be proud that the Nobel-prize winner beat out the drug smuggler. USA! USA! USA! USA!

  86. 86
    eric says:

    @Egypt Steve: yeah, but he did nto win a real Nobel….tsk tsk tsk

  87. 87
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @jl:

    Before we “Savage” the name “Baucus” we have to decide if we’re from east of the Appalachians, or whatever it is, and pronounce it “Bock-us” instead of “Bawk-us.”

  88. 88
    JK says:

    @eric:

    No, I’m not an LBO subscriber but I listen to Doug Henwood’s radio show Behind the News on WBAI 99.5 FM in New York and I read his blog http://doughenwood.wordpress.com

  89. 89
    gyma says:

    @jl: What? No Rachel Maddow?!

    But I luvs me some Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Whenever I see her on tv, she’s kicking Republican ass.

  90. 90
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Tuffy:

    Karl Rove (#10) is a 538.com regular, for example.

    Cool. Now I know who mulerider is.

  91. 91
    jl says:

    @gyma: If Maddow is not eating her kale, I suggest we rat her out to her mom, who will then surely have a strict talk with that young lady.

  92. 92
    eric says:

    @JK: His Wall Street book is excellent — though not shockingly, out of print. He is another guy that if you had a show on the MSM and wanted to get things CORRECT, you would have him on.

    One of the illusions that I maintained for a while was that Capital wanted honest reporting so as to make sound decisions based on facts. You can kind of see this with the WSJ being the unquestionably best news paper in America. but it only goes so far. If you are reporting on unrest by the lower classes, the elites want to know that so they can shift their money appropriately, but if you are reporting facts that might lead to unrest (growing economic disparity and the illusion of real upward mobility), then that must not be reported at all costs.

    rant off.

    eric

  93. 93
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @JSF:

    Throw in a little psuedo-Latin along the lines of Life of Brian, and call this a baucus maximus.

  94. 94
    Brian J says:

    @Zinfab:

    Why? He’s a liberal counterweight to the mountain of conservative conventional wisdom, but he hasn’t really seemed to move public opinion much. Liberals can point to him and say, “See we’re right” but conservatives just keep listening to FOX and Friends.

    He’s very public, but I don’t see him doing much to shift the debate.

    I don’t think it’s possible to say that he had any direct impact on legislation, so if that’s what the key barometer is, then perhaps you’re right. But then, does anybody on that list fit that description?

    It’s hard to measure, but I’d say that his influence or the attention that he commands (to the extent they are different) can be measured by how he shapes what ideas are being debated. He was one of a few people before it was fashionable to be highlighting the incompetence and malevolence of the Bush administration, particularly when it came to tax cuts. He was out in front on the housing bubble. He was one of the first major mainstream pundits to call for single payer health care. His name was often bandied about when the idea of the stimulus not being big enough was mentioned. People usually referenced him when they talked about how it was a bad idea that the banks were not being nationalized.

    As I said, this stuff is hard to measure, and perhaps he’s not as influential as other liberals or even Republicans like Rush Limbaugh. But even Republicans, whenever they are becoming hysterical over something or other, often mention him. As Krugman himself joked once joked, liberals may have been horrified at the thought of Phil Gramm being Treasury Secretary, but the only person on the left who would instill the same sense of fear in the right was…Paul Krugman.

  95. 95
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    OT but sure to create plenty of schadenfreudegasms: Orl Taitz vs. Larry Sinclair: Battle of the Batshit Crazies!

  96. 96
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Anyone notice another glaring omission from the list? Matt f-king Taibbi. Granted, he’s more of a reporter, but his recent stuff in Rolling Stone definitely got the chattering classes chattering. Sullivan is way too high at 9, imho.

    And just to prove they weren’t homers, Ms. Mcmeagain didn’t crack the list either.

  97. 97
    linda says:

    hitler apologist, tweety and some hack recounting the gossip just leaked from the forthcoming bush book — and laughing uproariously at the insult directed at hillary.

  98. 98
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I love this measurement, too:

    Influence: A survey of more than 250 Washington insiders – members of Congress, national media figures, and political insiders – in which respondents rank-ordered the commentators who most influence their own thinking

    I want the names of these f–king insiders. I wonder if there were lobbyists involved?

  99. 99
    Brian J says:

    Commanding attention isn’t the same thing as influence.

    And of course, one might ask, exactly who it is that Krugman influences? He certainly doesn’t drive Obama Adminstration financial policy.

    There was a time not long ago when one might reasonably have said that Judith Miller was one of the most influential journalists, since her use of the NY Times as cover as she pushed Dick Cheney’s agenda on the American people helped further the most malignant aspects of Bush Administration foreign policy.

    Well, they are technically different, but as I said before, it’s hard to see where any of these people has had a direct impact on legislation. To me at least, it’s more about how they can circulate ideas into the public view, even if those ideas aren’t popular at first or aren’t reflected in policy.

    No, Krugman’s exact advice isn’t enacted by way of the White House, but you have to think they are listening. He was one of the people, along with guys like Joseph Stiglitz, who was invited to a secret meeting in D.C. to discuss economics a few months ago. What’s more, I think it was in that article about the difficulty in seating Al Franken that Rahm Emmanuel mentioned Krugman as a big Obama critic, saying that if he should write a “fucking column” on how to seat the sixtieth senator. He has the attention of the White House. His influence isn’t on the same level as someone like Larry Summers or Christina Romer or Timothy Geithner, but then, he doesn’t work for Obama.

    You probably could have said Judith Miller was influential, by the way, and you would probably have been right. I’m not really sure of what your point is.

    You can’t really judge much by insider grudges and petty jealousies, especially when you know nothing about the background to the animosity displayed.

    The sad reality is that an ignorant, bombastic buffoon like Limbaugh is by any measure more “influential” than Krugman in that Limbaugh sets the terms of debate, is the de facto voice of the GOP, and determines how millions of his listeners view the legitimacy of media and government.

    You’re right that I don’t know exactly what the animosity was caused by. But it seems odd that he’d launch into what seems like a non sequitur. Would he do that about just anybody? Maybe, but that seems unlikely.

    I’d say that Limbaugh has more of a role in who is elected rather than what policy ideas are being debated.

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Directed primarily at LauraW:

    This is way O/T but there are no open threads going at the moment. I just saw the Steelers-Vote-for-Little-Bitsy-This-One’s-for-John ad and am wondering if it’s your work? It’s wonderful!

    As explanation, in case this ad has been up for a while, I almost always read BJ outside of working hours on the BlackBerry outside of working hours, which means I don’t see the ads very often. This is both a good thing (cough*PamAnderson*cough) and a bad thing (Little Bitsy, the beautiful mosaics, etc.) But I’m staying late at the office today and thought I’d just check out the threads.

    Anyhow, LauraW, if you are the creative force behind that ad, it’s brilliant. If you’re not, it’s still brilliant.

  101. 101
    freelancer says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I noticed Taibbi’s absense, and was also very WTF about Moyers’ low placement on the list.

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    Bubblegum, please have some respect.

    Refer to her as Dr. Orly Mandela Taitz.

    -G

  103. 103
    Noonan says:

    After 50 years of GOP dominance I’m not sure you could expect anything else. I know Dems are running things right now, but its only been a couple years. The center is still to the right as far as the media is concerned. This isn’t a bi-annual election thing. It’s a generational thing.

  104. 104
    Shell says:

    Was over at eBay, and saw that the auction for a dinner with Sarah Palin was up to 38K plus. Well, it’s for a good charity. But laughed at the line, “Free Shipping.” Are they sending her UPS or FedEx?

  105. 105
    Crazy Kale Lady says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That is so very kind of you, and all credit goes to my e-pal, Ann. She does all of my ads and a ton of photoshop stuff on the cat blogosphere. She is a 24/7 caretaker in her own home for her mom who is very ill with Alzheimer’s, so this is her own form of escapism therapy. I’ve tried to convince her to run a PW ad for months now, in hopes other lame people like me with no photoshop skills at all could get some ads up through her talents.

    The only thing I do is feed her photos, ideas, text suggestions, and say “love it/hate it” when she sends the first batch to me. Did you see the other new Bitsy ad I just put up? My poor Annie suffers through yet another Humiliation By Accessories photo shoot with me and dons a blue bow (in various places around her head, neck, and mouth.)

    I just posted a few of my favorite BJ-related things Ann has done to my flickr page. Start here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1.....otostream/

    and scroll forward. You’ll see two Steelers Lily portraits she whipped out for John’s amusement, a “Welcome Home Lily” ad we put up the night Lily came home, and some really great specimens for Fuckhead’s last birthday. Hopefully she’ll come take a bow, but I doubt it. She’s pretty humble and gracious.

  106. 106
    Laura W says:

    @Crazy Kale Lady: oops. Guess I’ve blown my deep kale cover now.

  107. 107
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Shell:

    I think “free shipping” means “buy your own fucking ticket to Alaska.”

    I, for one, wonder if any McCain campaign staffers are bidding. It would be awesome if one of them won.

  108. 108
    Eric U. says:

    I believe that Limbaugh killed GHWBush’s chances. He really pushed Perot there until Bush invited him to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom. They made sure he was under control every election after that. Maybe that’s what he meant when he said he had been carrying water for the Republicans.

  109. 109
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Crazy Kale Lady: Annie in a bow is hysterically funny. Poor thing. Or as we say in the South — “bless her li’l heart.” Cats HATE to be laughed at, and I feel terrible even about laughing at the picture. But I just can’t help myself.

    But now I’m totally confused, because I went into the flickr site to see Steelers Lily, and LauraW’s name is on that site. So (please, I’m not trying to blow any covers here or disturb anyone’s privacy) but are Crazy Kale Lady and LauraW the same person? You don’t have to answer that, and seriously am not trying to be nosy.

    Anyhow, I reiterate my admiration for the work your friend Ann does. When my own father was taking care of his Alzheimer’s-riddled wife (my stepmother) and his 99-year-old, demented-but-not-Alzheimer’s mother simultaneously, years ago now of course, he wrote an astonishing and very funny novel. I have the original manuscript and one of my first big retirement projects will be to transcribe it and put it up on line for all to enjoy. It’s vital for the caregivers to carve out creative time for themselves. My hat’s off.

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Laura W: Ooops backatcha. I should have read forward before posting.

  111. 111
    bedtimeforbonzo says:

    No. 8 on the list, Frank Rich questions Obama’s leadership style and offers some of the same criticisms of the president that I have.

    Rich’s conclusion: “When we look back on these months, we may come to realize that there were in fact “death panels” threatening Americans all along — but they were on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and on Wall Street, not in the fine print of a health care bill on Capitol Hill. Obama’s deliberative brand of wait-and-then-pounce leadership let him squeak — barely — through the summer. The real crises already gathering won’t wait for him to stand back and calculate the precise moment to spring the next Do-or-Die Speech.”

  112. 112

    The disparity you note is a consequence not of Republican message dominance over Democrats, but of Republican messaging being centralized and top-down, while the Democratic media machine is decentralized and bottom-up.

    Overall, Democratic pundits have more influence than Republican pundits, but that influence is spread out over a much larger number of voices.

  113. 113
    CalD says:

    I feel so influenced…

  114. 114
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Cyrus:

    Personality-driven, national political journalism is moribund; the most influential person within and among that industry will not be very influential in the public, or even in politics, as a whole.

    It’s interesting to see Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias on the list. I’ve had beers with those guys! Shouldn’t that put me on the list too?

    Yeah, but have you had cocktails with them? ‘Cuz that’s what this list is all about — it’s the RSVP rankings for the Media Village Idiots’ party circuit. You know how Victorian novelists had all these incomprehensible-to-us subplots about who left visiting cards with whom, and which invitations got prominently displayed in the parlor, and how best to weasel out of a prior commitment if a ‘better’ invitation came in? A hundred years from now, assuming there’s still a civilization that can decode such pixels, these “Most Influential” lists will be just as eye-rollingly tedious to our descendants.

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