Santelli Barometer

Morningside Analytics, which in my opinion runs some of the most interesting data on the internet, has a barometer of political interest based on how many times an item is linked to in different sectarian spheres of the internet. Below is a screenshot (click for larger image) from their Video Barometer of the success of the viral Santelli’s video.

Santelli\'s Rant on

The orange dot at the top of the scale shows how much higher Santelli’s popularity has spiked over other recent political videos. From this, we can make some preliminary speculations about the video’s web trajectory. For instance, by virtue of its spatial location (slightly right-of-center), it must have been heavily linked by both sides of the blogospheric spectrum, but with a slight statistical advantage on the conservative side.

This seems to add up with what we know of the video’s history so far. Santelli’s initial meteoric rise in the blogosphere following his rant on 2/19 was a largely a conservative phenomenon, amplified by Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin calling for a “Tea Party” movement. After the Playboy article broke 2/27 (for more back story, see my summary here), however, the video must have shifted interest, as news of a right wing astro-turf machine spread like wildfire on the left side of the blogosphere (Daily Kos, for instance). Tossed like a football, the video and the meme was now ricocheting inside the echo chamber of the left instead of the right where it started.

And then the series of blogs, news media and others began doubling back on the Playboy piece to see if it had really done its homework (see my two posts here and here). Now Glenn Reynolds and others began to take issue or debunk the Playboy piece, which was quietly (if such a thing is possible in the blogosphere) removed from the site, likely over concerns of libel, or perhaps to reduce bad publicity.

It is still astonishing to me that so much electronic ink has been spilled in little over the course of two weeks, and unless some brave new development suddenly breaks, I think the flame may now be dead or dying down.

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One Response to “Santelli Barometer”

  1. Blog of Change » The Chicago Tea Party Says:

    […] In my previous post, I embedded two videos. One from the Daily Show about the bad business reporting at the CNBC, and another from Rick Santelli’s rant, which triggered Jon Stewart’s reaction. Rick’s video skyrocketed in the political blogosphere (more info). […]