Blogging backlash against proposal to escalate confrontation with Iran

November 15, 2010

Earlier this month bloggers rounded on a column written in the Washington Post which suggested that Barack Obama could revive the United States’ flagging economy by ramping up tensions with Iran.

In an article in the Washington Post on 31 October, David Broder wrote that the President could "spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the [Iranian] mullahs."

Although Broder was "not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected", he argued that challenging Iran would "help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve."

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the column attracted 35% of the news links on blogs for the week 1-5 November.

A number of bloggers raised ethical concerns with the proposition while others suggested that the economy could be improved by alternative government spending.

The PEJ, which produces weekly round ups of topics covered by bloggers, noted that "online criticism of Broder’s piece produced a kind of blogosphere bi-partisanship and unanimity rarely seen on crucial political and policy issues."