Sunday, 17 February 2008

US election on the web

I thought that it would be useful to post some sites that are handy if you want to get into the detail of the US political process.

First, let's start with the 'mainstream media.' Two stand out for me:

CNN. Its election night coverage is second to none. Exit poll data appears the moment the polls close and its politics site is so easy to use. With access to billions of pounds of public money, how come the BBC website does not even come close to this?

MSNBC. I include this one because of two programmes in particular: Meet the Press with Tim Russert and Hardball with Chris Matthews. The former is the most cerebral and intellectual US politics show (you can download podcasts of the entire show which is a good way to spend gym time). The presenter of the latter, Chris Matthews, has to be seen for his sheer energy which can occassionally become offensive but is fascinating nonetheless.

Fox News doesn't get a link but one of its pundits, Dick Morris, who used to work for Bill but despises Hillary, does because his analysis, while tendentious, is acute.

On to political sites, two are excellent and one is worth mentioning because its writers are all over the 'mainstream media' but I don't rate it particularly highly.

The best site in this election overall, even edging out CNN's excellent site, is www.realclearpolitics.com. Wow. It selects the best articles on the race every day, provides easy access to all polling data, and very considered think pieces by the site's staff. This site saves me from having to provide an exhaustive list of sites because you will reach other sites through this portal. When you are pointed to a site by www.realclearpolitics.com it will invariably be to an original and illuminating article.

The Huffington Post is reasonably good and contains some very good, on-the-ground, local reporting. It can be a bit hit and miss. But I would recommend the off-the-bus section which has some great eye-witness reporting. That section also contains a list of blogs.

politico.com is the establishment site. It even co-hosts Presidential debates. Maybe it has reached too far into 'mainstream media' land but I haven't really developed an affection for it. Interesting that a political site could become part of the furniture though.

For blog sites, a good place to start is the 'celebrity bloggers.' Jerome Armstrong who is pro-Hillary runs mydd.com. Also check out, the Daily Kos which also has an annual blogger convention, the Yearly Kos in Las Vegas! I will do a review of a book call 'The Argument' which tells the tale of these bloggers in the next few weeks.

There are hundreds of other blog sites (see the Huffington Post list to access a few.) My personal favourite is a little known but growing blog called e8voice. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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