Blogging With Authority: Strategic Positioning in Political Blogs

David W. Park


Blogs have quickly become prominent parts of the Internet landscape. Attention has largely been focused on a small subset of blogs — the politically-oriented filter blog. This paper examines four of the most-noticed blogs: Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish, Mickey Kaus’s Kausfiles, Glenn Reynolds’ InstaPundit, and Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo. Using a grounded, qualitative technique, I analyze the methods these bloggers use to cast themselves as authoritative commentators in the world of politics. We find that their authority is largely staked out through their assertions of differences from journalism and of commonality with the audience. Concluding remarks explore the tension between bloggers and journalists and suggest that the success of these bloggers has much to do with how they have managed to position themselves rhetorically.

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