Monday, September 19, 2005

Clinton Criticizes Bush on ABC's This Week (Yawn!)- AKA More Harm than Good

Much of the blogosphere is abuzz today because of what former President Bill Clinton said on ABC's Sunday morning politcal program This Week.

Betsy's Page links to the Anchoress who looks at the motivation behind Clinton's comments and what she sees isn't flattering to Clinton.

Powerline also looks into the This Week comments by Clinton and comes to this scathing conclusion:
Again and again, President Bush has tried to work with the Democrats as if they were loyal Americans first, and partisans second. He has treated Bill Clinton with a friendship and respect that, candidly, is disproportionate to Clinton's meager accomplishments. Again and again, the Democrats have rebuffed Bush's overtures and taken advantage of his patriotism and good faith. Clinton's politically-motivated tissue of lies and distortions is just the latest example out of many. But it is unprecedented, coming from a former President. That is a sad thing: the latest wound inflicted on the body politic by the Democratic Party.
Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit calls Clinton's performance "shameless".

Personally, I'm not surprised that Clinton is taking the path blazed by Jimmy Carter (sorry Powerline guys - this act is nothing new). What does interest me is the "old media vs. new media" aspect of this story.

George Stephanopolous hasn't exactly been a ratings darling Let's say the This Week show was slightly better than its normal ratings and had 2.5 million viewers. Who were those viewers? Some were sure to be hardcore Democrats but Clinton was preaching to the choir with them. Others like Lorie Byrd, John Hinderaker and the Anchoress were obviously listening and listening closely.

How many people do you think read what that trio had to say about Clinton's comments (plus Betsy's traffic and the other blogs who commented but I didn't name)? I'll SWAG and say maybe 200,000. That's just today. Unlike This Week (which for all intents and purposes exists just for those precious few moments of Sunday morning airtime) - there will be more people reading what the bloggers wrote about Clinton tomorrow and the next day. In the future when people Google "Clinton This Week appearence" - they won't get George Stephanopolous' show - they'll get the blogs that commented on Clinton's comments.

When all's said and done - I'd bet that the number of people who learned of Clinton's comments with the added context of the blogger analysis will far outweigh the original audience of the original This Week show.

All this without the benefit of an Instalanche from Glenn Reynolds on the subject.

Clinton did himself (and his wife) more harm than good with his comments. I wonder if he's new media savvy enough to realize it.

EDIT: Welcome Instapundit readers - I guess its guaranteed that more people will see Clinton's comments in context now.

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