During the first week of January, bloggers rushed to their keyboards on stories that ranged from the entertaining (Jon Stewart) to the political (DeLay resigning his leadership post).
Welcome To The Oscars, Jon Stewart
Minutes after the Los Angeles Times' entertainment blog broke the story that Jon Stewart will host the Oscars, bloggers were swept up into the excitement, wasting no time offering recommendations to the newbie. On Jan. 6, the choice ranked second among BlogPulse's top news stories, with Stewart himself coming in fourth among the most-blogged-about people of the day.
Many bloggers on the left welcomed the news, seeing a more political silver lining. AJC88 writes on Daily Kos: "Jon Stewart to host 2006 Oscars! Betcha he works in a few good Bush jokes in his monologue!
But why waste Stewart's political humor on the Hollywood crowd? Blogger Ron Mwangaguhunga writes on Le Corsair, "Stewart would have been a much better host for the White House Correspondent's Dinner, which, as we speak, is still looking for an MC. Then again, could you see Stewart on the same dais as the President and the First Lady?"
But (gasp!) is Jon just one joke away from selling out? Daily Kos reminds readers, "Stewart, by the way, was born Jonathan Stewart Liebowitz. He once told "60 Minutes" that he dropped the name Liebowitz because it 'sounded too Hollywood.' Sorry, Jon. Can't get much more Hollywood than this new gig of yours." And media blogger Gawker's cautionary tale is, "The Oscars might be a big deal, but movies are not your friends, Jon, and you can't just go to go back to Hollywood and act like The Faculty never happened."
Gawker is also probably not alone in questioning whether the host makes any difference in a rather long, tedious show. "Um, yay? Were you actually planning on watching? Or at least staying awake and pretending to watch while you work on your knitting? And, if not, does the presence of Stewart actually change your position on the whole matter? Doubtful."
Perhaps, but I'm curious. I'll be watching.
While the Washington media was off analyzing the implications of Rep. Tom DeLay's alleged misdeeds on the 2006 congressional races, bloggers were eager to weigh in with their own views. If there's any question about whether this story resonates outside a small group of beltway insiders, "Tom DeLay" was one of the most searched stories in the blogs Jan. 8.
David Donnelly of The Daily DeLay lists which members of Congress received contributions from DeLay's PAC, and which members contributed to it. "When you look at these numbers, and take into account that the GOP has 232 members total (right?), you can understand how difficult it will be for the Republicans to set a fresh course," Donnelly writes.
And lest you missed it, left-leaning Crooks and Liars offers the video of Rep. DeLay's press conference saying he will step down from his leadership position.
Taking A Stand
As the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito get under way – a moment bloggers have eagerly anticipated – conservative bloggers seem especially enthusiastic about him sailing through Congress. As Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse writes, "Let's get ready to rumbaaaaaal…It's the mismatch of the century!"
Much of the blog chatter from the right was in reaction to two op-eds in the mainstream press. In response to a New York Times op-ed critical of Alito's position on abortion, law professor Stephen Bainbridge offers some thoughts on what the op-ed did not tell readers, including "Samuel Alito supported limited abortion rights in 3 out of 4 rulings." He concludes Alito "doesn't sound like somebody who will just rubber-stamp the executive branch's decisions." Stuart Buck characterizes the op-ed as "quite unfair."
A Jan. 7 Washington Post op-ed by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) titled "Alito's Credibility Problem" riled up conservative bloggers. Powerline blogs that Alito has been consistent in his views on abortion. He writes: "I hope Alito will say that he believed what he wrote, but that he can't say whether, 20 years on, he would or would not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, particularly since the Supreme Court has subsequently reaffirmed the decision. At that point, the Dems are back where they were with John Roberts -- holding a losing hand."
Make Your New Year's Resolutions Yet?
Word of advice to all budding authors: Once you get your book contract, start blogging about it and others will follow. Perhaps in the spirit of the New Year, one of the most one of his own. Why blog? He explains that, "hanging out with engaged and engaging people, sharing about cool stuff, is my idea of a really good time! So with space and time compressed to almost virtual, I figure this is a great way to play."
His readers agree.
Before expressing praise for Allen's tips, blogger Maki Is Not A Nameless Cat writes: "One of the things I really want to get accomplished this year is to reallyforcryingoutloud de-junk the house and to get better organized."
She's not alone. Wade Hodges writes, "Today was a day of preparation. I had the office all to myself and I used the time to clean up my office, purge old files, and get my head clear of any unclosed loops and fuzzy to-do's and vague projects. If you've read 'Getting Things Done' then you know what I'm talking about."
Gary Slinger, a blogger rather fixated on organization, has tried to implement the book's advice using a Blackberry. He writes, "Collection – getting commitments, obligations and ideas into the trusted system, where they can later be processed – is a key element of the Blackberry's usefulness to me."
This just may make my 2006 reading list.
By Melissa McNamara