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, Democratic activist and political consultant, 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 a gay male escort.[4][5][6][7]

In 2006, Aravosis learned that anyone could buy someone else's cell phone records, as advertised by several websites. He purchased the call records of former Presidential candidate and Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Wesley Clark for $89.95, bringing the issue widespread attention.[8] 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.[9] Clark became an advocate of cell record privacy bills in Congress.[10] Within months, Congress passed a law restricting these records.

LGBT issues[edit]

AMERICAblog has courted controversy within the LGBT community for its support of outing closeted gay Republican Party workers who are seen as supporting anti-gay legislation, and attempts to prevent same-sex marriage in particular. The blog had an adversarial relationship with the former editor of the Washington Blade, Chris Crain.

AMERICAblog is against reductions of gay rights or protections and advocates against the placation of religious right organizations by companies and non-profit organizations. Notable incidents include Microsoft's withdrawal of its support for state and federal gay civil rights legislation[citation needed], and Ford's decision to stop advertising in gay oriented publications[citation needed]. After AMERICAblog launched campaigns criticizing both companies, management at the companies reversed their earlier anti-gay policy decisions. In January 2007, during Super Bowl XLI, AMERICAblog joined TowleRoad.com in calling homophobic a Snickers candy ad that aired during the game. The ad showed two men repulsed by an accidental gay kiss, then showed the men violently attacking each other. The candymaker pulled the ad, one of a series they had intended to run again.[11]

Rankings[edit]

A study of blogs and the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election ranked AMERICAblog is the 18th most popular liberal blog for October–November 2004.[12]

During the height of the Jeff Gannon story in February 2005, AMERICAblog was ranked fifth in page views among all political blogs in an analysis done by MyDD.[13] In 2008, PC Magazine ranked AMERICAblog as one of the "20 best political Web sites."[14] In 2009, AMERICAblog was ranked as one of the top ten political blogs by the Personal Democracy Forum,[15] and as the 23rd most popular political blog by Wikio. And as of January, 2010, Technorati ranked AMERICAblog in the top 100 political blogs and top 100 US politics blogs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wired Strategies International Services
  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. ^ Don Thompson (September 29, 2006). "New law will ban 'pretexting' to obtain phone records". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-02-12. [dead link] Published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ Kristina Dell (March 19, 2006). "The Spy in Your Pocket". TIME magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  11. ^ Dyana Bagby (February 9, 2007). "Many Not Snickering Over Super Bowl Ad". New York Blade Online. Retrieved 2007-02-12. 
  12. ^ Adamic, Lada and Glance, Natalie, The Political Blogosphere and the 2004 U.S. Election: Divided They Blog(March 4, 2005)
  13. ^ "Partisan, Political Blogosphere Traffic Rankings s". MyDD. Feb 27, 2005. Retrieved Sep 28, 2009. 
  14. ^ The 20 Best Political Web Sites | PCMag.com
  15. ^ Top 50 blogs | Personal Democracy Forum

External links[edit]