Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Convention Buzz: A Split Decision

by Mark Jurkowitz, Associate Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

The Clinton team and the Obama team shared equal billing — perhaps for the last time — as the online universe reacted to the third night of the Democratic Convention.

To get a sense of the online buzz during the conventions, PEJ is monitoring five online destinations each morning at 9 a.m. The sample includes the top political headline on the Drudge Report, top political headline on the Huffington Post, the political story most linked to by bloggers in the previous 48 hours, according to the blog aggregating site Technorati, the most emailed political story on Yahoo! News, and the most viewed political video on YouTube.

For days, the mainstream media pushed the storyline that the convention might be something of a competition for attention between the Clintons and the party’s nominee. And to some extent, our five online bellwethers suggest that today.

The most emailed item on Yahoo! News dealt directly with that issue. It was a Politico story focused largely on the former president’s speech, headlined “Bill and Hillary, at last, leave the stage.”

For the second day in a row, the most viewed YouTube video was from Tuesday night. Hillary Clinton’s prime-time address attracted more than a quarter million views. (A testy on-air squabble over Iraq between MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and David Shuster was a close second.)

The vice presidential nominee generated the top headline on the Huffington Post, which chose a theme from Joe Biden’s speech that featured one of the more vigorous attacks on the GOP: “Again And Again…John McCain Was Wrong. Barack Obama Was Right.”

Obama — who made a “surprise” convention appearance Wednesday — was the star of the Drudge Report, which again evinced a tendency to focus on drama and tension. Beneath the image of a very pensive looking nominee was the simple headline, “The Speech Of A Lifetime.”

Meanwhile, bloggers monitored by Technorati opted to go in a completely different direction. The most linked to item was an ABC story about the arrest of one of its producers while trying to film Democratic senators and major donors leaving a private meeting. According to the story, the journalist was roughed up by “a cigar-smoking Denver police sergeant.”

That’s not exactly Chicago 1968 all over again. But hey, it’s something.

Check back in tomorrow and throughout next week’s Republican Convention for the latest online political buzz at

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