Way way back in January, we looked at the question Who’s got juice?
Who influenced coverage the most in the 2004 campaign? There is no doubt that the Media’s coverage of the very close 2000 campaign influenced the outcome; There is perhaps some doubt as to the mass media’s impact on this election. The absence of any of bloggers — especially Markos, Glenn, Eschaton, Andrew, Wonkette, Kevin, Josh, James, Eric — make the entire list suspect.
Regardless, lets take another look at that list (via Newsday) and see how well those old media predictions stacked up:
“Influence can be shaped by new technology (blogging) or old (Rush Limbaugh’s dittoheads). It can rise with the sun (“Today”) or set after dark (“Tonight”). It can get out the votes (Tom Joyner) or effectively convince people why voting is an exercise in utter futility (Jon Stewart). It skews young or old, black or white, Hispanic or Anglo, male or female, rich or poor.
Influence, in other words, is often just a strange and bewildering reflection of our strange and bewildering media landscape that has been balkanized along racial, economic and demographic lines. The consequence of all this noise jostling for our attention is that each of us seeks solace – and most of our information – from just a few sources, and not necessarily the more traditional ones.
So who had the juice in Campaign ’04? According to interviews with consultants, journalists and academics, here are the top players:
1. Jon Stewart Host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and anchor of its “Indecision ’04” coverage.
Surprisingly accurate. There’s no doubt Stewart is a major playa.
2. Tim Russert NBC News
Less so than you might have think. Watching Russert over the months, one isn’t left with a sense that he asked penetrating questions or rose to many occassions. Meet the Press itself has Insitutional Juice, less so for lil Tim.
3. Sean Hannity Fox News Channel, syndicated radio host
Way too high here; He preaches to the choir. Besides, doesn’t O’Reilly — even after the whole phone sex vibrator thingie — still swing much more weight? I’d bump Hannity down to 10 or so.
4. Tom Joyner Dallas-based syndicated radio host
No idea. A little help here?
5. Tom Brokaw NBC News
He only gets better with age.
6. Jon Macks “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”
One cannot underestimate the influence of Jay on middle America . . .
7. Rush Limbaugh Syndicated radio host
Dude! Where can I score?
In terms of influence, it has been waning for quite some time; I suspect Al Franken may even be passing him. BTW, where is Al on this list?
8. Michael Schur, Tina Fey “Saturday Night Live”
Tina Fey flexes some babe muscle. Good pick.
9. Jorge Ramos Anchor, “Noticiero Univision”
The rising influence of Hispanics in the nation and the Latino vote is crucial.
10. Jude Brennan “Late Show With David Letterman”
Smaller audience than Leno’s, but hipper. However, may also be preaching to the choir.
11. Steve Scully Political editor, C-SPAN
Calling all wonks! A narrow but influential slice of America . . .
12. Mark Halperin Political director, ABC News
Sure, why not. The note is a big score, and he has a good rep.
13. Katie Couric “Today”
Um, no. I’d slap Oprah here before lil miss Couric. (I cannot tell you how much fun it was to type “I’d slap Oprah” just now)
14. Carl Cameron Chief political correspondent, Fox News Channel
Again, where is O’Reilly on this list?
15. Gideon Yago Correspondent, MTV News
Apparently, the youth of America don’t vote. So I have to push him off the list. (The ultimate irony would be if the draft were reinstated).
Ted who? Can’t say I can place the name.
Sure, why not. Except Rather kinda shot his bolt. Where is Jim Lehrer on this list?
18. The network “off-airs” of ABC and NBC
19. Lori Montenegro Telemundo’s Washington correspondent
Same as #10.
20. Tucker Carlson CNN
Unless being called a Dick — live on your own show! — by the #1 name on this list qualifies as “Juice,” we have to conclude no.
Not Necessarily the News
Newsday, January 19, 2004