GOP Convention Thread

Rudy Giuliani has taken the stage following two other also rans, Mitt Romney (whom Paul Begala said "embarrassed himself") and Mike Huckabee.

Sarah Palin is set to speak in 20 minutes.

Twittering HERE.

Update [2008-9-3 22:13:43 by Todd Beeton]:I think Rudy actually was being sincere about Barack when he said "his rise is remarkable, it's the kind of thing that can only happen in America" but the whole place cracked up. I don't get it.

Update [2008-9-3 22:13:43 by Todd Beeton]:Rudy using Hillary talking points against Barack: "on the job training,""ready for the 3AM phone call" etc. It just feels rehashed and recycled.

Update [2008-9-3 22:23:3 by Todd Beeton]:Rudy: "The Democrats gave up on Iraq and when they did that they gave up on America." That's fucked up.

Update [2008-9-3 22:23:3 by Todd Beeton]:Is it me or does Rudy's attacks on Barack Obama feel very "throw it all on the wall and see what sticks"?

Update [2008-9-3 22:42:38 by Todd Beeton]:The place is going nuts for Sarah Palin. Double the applause McCain will get tomorrow.

Update [2008-9-3 22:42:38 by Todd Beeton]:So far very sweet and likable. But no more Mr. Niceguy: "...and they're always proud of America."

Update [2008-9-3 22:44:37 by Todd Beeton]:Two references to "bitter gate." Seriously, do they have anything new?

Update [2008-9-3 22:47:49 by Todd Beeton]:This is actually a really good speech and her delivery is charming as hell. But as well as it's playing in the hall, I really wonder if it's playing outside of it.

Update [2008-9-3 23:5:45 by Todd Beeton]:Palin is certainly speaking about John McCain as though they've met for longer than 15 minutes. Man, she is a great advocate for his candidacy, best I've seen. If McCain doesn't get a bounce out of this, then he really has no hope.

Update [2008-9-3 23:12:51 by Todd Beeton]:OK, seriously, they look really odd next to each other. But, sorry Johnny Mac, this is as big an ovation as you're likely to get.

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Rudy Out, Grampa Fred In

For some reason, the RNC has dropped Rudy from the bill tonight, giving his slot to the equally energizing former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson.

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We Should Be Damned Grateful

We came way too close to a President Rudy Giuliani.  I'm not saying he was ever really the most likely winner, but the fact that it was ever even plausible scares the hell out of me.

Anybody else really want to consider how amazingly lucky we are here?

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The Media No Longer Picks The Front-Runners

Bloggers love to write about the media. And, as non-corporate, truly independent media outlets, blogs have the moral authority to effectively point out and criticize media bias, media consolidation, and the old media business model.

Perhaps all that criticism is actually having an effect.

It's hard not to see the decline of the old media in today's society. As everyone knows, circulation and audience numbers have been declining for years as more and more people move online:

Across the industry, newspaper ad revenue -- print and online, combined -- fell almost 8 percent last year, the second-worst decline in more than half a century, according to the Newspaper Association of America. The Times Company's ad revenue dropped 4.7 percent last year, when adjusted for a change in the length of its fiscal year.

Over the last year, classified ads continued a decade-long flight to the Web, and display ads for real estate and cars fell sharply as those industries contracted.

Now, some may argue that just because people are getting their news and information online doesn't mean the old media is losing eyeballs yet. And that's probably true; even though more people get news and information online these days, that news and information usually comes from the online outlets of the old media - sites like or

However, there is something fundamentally different about getting your information online, even if you still do use old media sources. Online, pulling up competing viewpoints on a topic or criticisms of an opinion piece is as easy as a Google search. Facts can be checked, myths debunked, and diverse viewpoints consumed in minutes. You almost have to be willfully ignorant to get taken in by media bias in the online universe.

With this fundamental change, I would argue the media has less influence on our politics today than it had even four years ago, and certainly less than it had in the golden eras of mass communication. Take the presidential primaries as a potent example.

When the primaries began almost two years ago, there were two media frontrunners: Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

As we all know well, the old media was filled with stories of Clinton's inevitability and Giuliani's heroics after 9/11. To be sure, these frontrunner picks were based on early poll numbers, but anyone with half a brain could understand these early polls meant little. Clinton and Giuliani were the biggest names in the race - people knew them and their poll numbers reflected that.

In a very real sense, the old media manufactured these two frontrunner narratives and to their surprise, they both collapsed - in no small part because of grassroots organizing and online outlets like blogs.

Now, it would be a mistake to discount the old media completely. Sexism, racism, gotcha politics, and all kinds of media manufactured scandals affected the race. And to be sure, the media abandoned its chosen frontrunners and latched onto other candidates during the course of the primary. The old media still has power, no question. But it is striking when you realize the two candidates our corporate media overlords picked to compete in the 2008 general election both lost.

Let's herald this as a small victory. The old media still commands a vast audience and has vast influence, but its days are numbered. It still has power - I wait in dread for the day when they really turn against Barack Obama - but perhaps that power is waning in some significant ways.

This year, people stood up, read the news, and voted for the candidate they believed in.

J Ro's opinions are his own and do not represent those of any other person or organization.

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Rudy "Red Alert" Retires In Flordia

Readers of this blog know that I am particularly pleased that Rudy Giulilani has lost in Florida, lost his bid to be President of 9/11.

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