DURING THE Democratic convention, the trending articles continually were written by right wing blogs, with conservatives following along, before the cable networks caught wind. I noticed this myself when looking at Memeorandum, that it looked like conservatives were swarming over stories and successfully making them float, but didn’t think all that much about it. The Democratic convention was good enough that it really didn’t matter much what conservatives wrote.
David Weigel did a post on this on Saturday laying it out, unpacking how it happened.
I don’t use troll in the pejorative sense. Actually, I may be trying to craft a neutral meaning of troll where none previously existed. The term, in its modern Internet usage, refers to people who want to start fights online to bring the universe into an argument on their terms. It comes not from Grimm literature, but from a fishing technique in which multiple lines are baited and dragged to haul in the maximum amount of cold-bloods.
[...] The Examiner, Washington Times, and Center for American Freedom’s teams were only fractions of the size of the CNN or New York Times teams in Charlotte. But they wrote the convention’s distracting stories. On Wednesday night, CNN scored an interview with Wasserman Schultz on the convention floor. She’d trekked to Tampa for the Republican convention, attempting to step on their message. But in Charlotte, her unique ability to create arguments that are both perfectly formed and supernaturally unconvincing was obliterated by the trolling. “President Obama really felt,” she said, “that it was personally important to him that his personal view—that Jerusalem is and will always be the capital of Israel—was reflected in the platform.” The network cut back to Anderson Cooper.
“I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz just said: It wasn’t a change of language,” said Cooper, mocking the DNC chairman on air. “There was no discord that we saw. It was a two-thirds vote. I mean, that’s an alternate universe.”
On the God, then Jerusalem, stories, let’s face it, Democrats handed two perfect items to the right, so they deserve as much credit for the trolling as anyone. Democrats set themselves up.