[Please join us at 9 a.m. Thursday for a live chat with author Eric Boehlert as we discuss his new book, The Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press. -- ed.]
Eric Boehlert's new book is a brave look at the way liberal blogs changed politics and the media that covers it forever. He chronicles the rise of many bloggers, (including CrooksandLiars.com) and brings it into focus on the landscape of politics during its early rise in 2000 until it was recognized by the traditional media and turned into the Alt. Press, so to speak by the millions of readers who drove this Internet train full steam ahead. (We hit over 200 million readers last month.)
He covers the start of the liberal revolution, the bloggers and also traces the wild primary battle (online and in the media) between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. You'll know some of the cast of characters, but he also gives a voice to many bloggers that add so much to what we have achieved and may not get the recognition that they deserve.
Grab a copy and check it out. Chances are you followed politics and the rise of the blogs like I did, all the way until Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. It was freaky for me reading about it and being interviewed for the book and it will be very interesting to hear what you have to say about it.
Bloggers on the Bus traces the online events that rocked the campaign trail and reveals the untold stories of the internet activists who made them all possible. In the tradition of Timothy Crouse's classic, The Boys on the Bus, Bloggers on the Bus investigates the cutting edge of liberal politics to reveal the stories and scandals at its very heart. The cast includes everyone from former professional rock saxophonist John Amato who, years before YouTube, changed blogging forever by unleashing his TiVo and figuring out how to post TV clips online, to sixty-something Oakland housewife Mayhill Fowler, who joined the Huffington Post as a volunteer journalist and went on to break two of the biggest stories of the Democratic primary.
Boehlert tells the story of acerbic West Coast blogger Digby, whose gender shocked the male-dominated blogosphere, as well as that of graphic tech Philip de Vellis, who culture-jacked an iconic Apple ad in order to create the infamous "Vote Different" video that influenced the Democratic primary.
These are just a few of the bloggers pioneering the major shift in today's media who are profiled in Bloggers on the Bus. All of their efforts have set off an industry-wide debate about journalism and privacy and have permanently altered the character of campaign strategy. Using the 2008 presidential race as a dramatic backdrop, Boehlert details the myriad ways these bloggers influenced both the candidates and their campaigns, while also chronicling the bitter blogger civil war that erupted during the contentious Democratic primary season. Offering unprecedented portraits of these new power brokers, Bloggers on the Bus goes behind the scenes to chronicle a media and political rebellion in the making.