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October 9, 2009

The Week in Review: No Rangel-gate on the Web
Uncategorized — Stanislas Magniant @ 9:24 pm

Will Charlie Rangel become an “albatross around the neck of House incumbents next year” as Marc Ambinder wrote in The Atlantic? Are bloggers up in arms over the Chairman’s alleged corruption charges? Not so much it seems, according to our data.

In spite of the seriousness of the allegations, and the “guilty until proven innocent” drumbeat of Fox News, we are not seeing (yet?) any kind of uprising beyond a relatively limited number of outraged posts.

Buzz level of the Rangel story in the Politicosphere sample this week

Buzz level of the Rangel story in the Politicosphere sample this week

On the left, this week’s vote a was a quasi- non event, genereating 20 posts or so. On the right, out of our sample of 1202 conservative sites and blogs, only 74 sites bothered to write about Charlie Rangel in the past week (from Sept. 30 to Oct. 9), with a peak on October 7th culminating at… 54 posts, accounting for a meager 2.12% of all content published within the conservative universe that day. Hardly a scandal deserving the ever useful “–gate” suffix, at least not yet (let’s wait for the results of the investigation probe).

That being said, the results of this week’s vote on the third attempt to remove Charlie Rangel were hardly surprising and newsworthy. Much more serious over time (and we’ll keep an eye on it) is the continuous “drip drip” of corruption allegations against a prominent Democrat, fueling a “corruption narrative” (Marc Ambinder again) that Glenn Becks and the likes feed upon.

Word cloud for stories related to Charlie Rangel in the conservative blogosphere

Word cloud for stories related to Charlie Rangel in the conservative blogosphere

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out over the next few months and whether the story remains alive online in the meantime.

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