Americablog

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AMERICAblog is a liberal American blog founded by John Aravosis in April 2004, with several co-bloggers. The blog helped expose Jeff Gannon in 2005, and in 2006 helped make cell phone privacy an issue by obtaining General Wesley Clark's call records. The blog focuses on U.S. politics.

Members[edit]

  • John Aravosis, lawyer, journalist, Democratic political consultant, and civil rights advocate served five years as the senior foreign policy adviser to United States Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), and wrote as a stringer for the Economist.[1]
  • Joe Sudbay, Democratic political consultant and former gun control activist, held staff positions with Violence Policy Center, and Handgun Control, Inc.[2][3]
  • Chris Ryan, who lives in Paris, France.
  • Steven Kyle, a professor in economics at Cornell University.
  • Naomi Seligman, a communications professional from Santa Monica, California.

History[edit]

AMERICAblog first received widespread media attention after it revealed that Jeff Gannon, a member of the White House press corps with a reputation for asking 'softball' questions at opportune moments for Press Secretary Scott McClellan, was actually James Guckert and had advertised his services as an escort.[4][5][6][7]

In 2006, Aravosis learned that a number of commercial websites were selling people's private cell phone records, and that the practice was legal. In order to publicize what he considered a problem, Aravosis purchased the call records of former presidential candidate and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Wesley Clark for $89.95, and then published the records (with the numbers blacked out) on AMERICAblog, bringing the issue widespread attention.[8][9][10] In September 2006, California passed a state law banning the practice of pretexting, or pretending to be someone else, used by the websites, with the bill's sponsor specifically citing the AMERICAblog coverage.[11] Clark became an advocate of cell record privacy bills in Congress.[12] Within months, Congress passed a law restricting these records.[13]

In 2011, Aravosis received a tip that British oil giant BP (British Petroleum) was posting falsified photos to its website during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He analyzed the photos, then published an article on AMERICAblog proving that the images were doctored electronically.[14] The story received widespread coverage in the media.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

Rankings[edit]

A study of blogs and the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election ranked AMERICAblog as the 18th most popular liberal blog for October–November 2004.[21] In 2005, less than one year after its launch, AMERICAblog was ranked fifth in page views among all political blogs in an analysis done by MyDD.[22] In 2008, PC Magazine ranked AMERICAblog as one of the "20 best political Web sites." At the time, PC Magazine wrote: "You'll want to keep AMERICAblog on your radar."[23] In 2009, AMERICAblog was ranked as one of the top ten political blogs by the Personal Democracy Forum,[24] and as the 23rd most popular political blog by Wikio. In 2010, Technorati ranked AMERICAblog in the top 100 political blogs and top 100 US politics blogs, and in 2013 Pingdom cited AMERICAblog as one of the top 100 blogs.[25] The New York Times includes AMERICAblog among 17 "politics & government" blog that it recommends.[26] And Rolling Stone once wrote of AMERICAblog: "We trust you are all reading AMERICAblog… you’ll be better Amurricans for it.”

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ John Aravosis bio on LinkedIn
  2. ^ CNN.com
  3. ^ Handgun Control
  4. ^ Howard Kurtz (February 16, 2005). "Online Nude Photos Are Latest Chapter In Jeff Gannon Saga". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-02-12. ("The latest developments were first reported by John Aravosis, a liberal political consultant and gay activist who has a Web site called americablog.org. 'What struck me initially was the hypocrisy angle,' Aravosis said. He said he was offended by what he called Gannon's 'antigay' writing.")
  5. ^ Dan Froomkin (February 16, 2005). "Guckert Watch". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-02-12. ("Joe Strupp wrote in Editor & Publisher ... 'In addition, evidence emerged on the site Americablog yesterday suggesting that Guckert not only set up sex sites but also offered his services as a male prostitute. When asked by E&P today about such accusations, Gannon declined to confirm or deny. "I am not going to talk about that," he said.'")
  6. ^ ""Jeff Gannon's" secret life". Salon.com. Feb 15, 2005. Retrieved Sep 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ "See no Gannon, hear no Gannon, speak no Gannon". Salon.com. Feb 25, 2005. Retrieved Sep 28, 2009. (Americablog "has been instrumental in breaking news on 'Gannongate.'"
  8. ^ Frank Main (January 13, 2006). "Blogger Buys Presidential Candidate's Call List". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-02-12.  Republished on the Common Dreams NewsCenter.
  9. ^ Bob Sullivan (June 20, 2006). "Who's buying cell phone records online? Cops". NBC News. 
  10. ^ Associated Press (February 9, 2006). "The Spy in Your Pocket". FOX News. 
  11. ^ "Governor Signs Simitian Bill to Outlaw 'Pretexting,' Prohibit Purchase and Sale of Phone Records". Joe Simitian. September 29, 2006. 
  12. ^ Kristina Dell (March 19, 2006). "The Spy in Your Pocket". TIME magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  13. ^ Jennifer Granick (December 20, 2006). "The Bush Era Draws to a Close". Wired. 
  14. ^ John Aravosis (July 19, 2010). "BP photoshops fake photo of oil spill crisis command center to make it look busy". AMERICAblog. 
  15. ^ Jason Hanna (July 22, 2010). "BP acknowledges another altered photo, posts originals". CNN. 
  16. ^ Steven Mufson (July 20, 2010). "Altered BP photo comes into question". Washington Post. 
  17. ^ Wilson Rothman (July 20, 2010). "BP digitally alters press photo, confesses it's fake". NBC News. 
  18. ^ Kirsten Korosec (July 30, 2010). "BP and the Gulf Oil Spill: Misadventures in Photoshop". CBS News. 
  19. ^ Anjli Raval (July 21, 2010). "Erasing the mistakes: BP’s lessons in Photoshop". Financial Times. 
  20. ^ "Quand BP truque les photos de sa communication de crise". Le Monde. July 21, 2010. 
  21. ^ Adamic, Lada and Glance, Natalie, The Political Blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: Divided They Blog(March 4, 2005)
  22. ^ "Partisan, Political Blogosphere Traffic Rankings s". MyDD. Feb 27, 2005. Retrieved Sep 28, 2009. 
  23. ^ The 20 Best Political Web Sites | PCMag.com
  24. ^ Top 50 blogs | Personal Democracy Forum
  25. ^ "WordPress increases its domination of the top 100 blogs". Pingdom. May 7, 2013. 
  26. ^ Meislin, Rich. "Blogs 101". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]