As the right focuses on Twitter, the left is increasing its sizable advantage in a different communication medium: the blog post + graphic. Anyone who follows blogs on both sides of the ideological divide knows what I am talking about. Take Matt Yglesias. Map. Bar graph. Figure. Those are consecutive posts!
Ezra Klein takes time to praise a graphic here. He slips one into a post here. Scared of the Chinese? Relax! He reassures us that the national debt is as American as these pie charts.
And Conor Clarke? He got this baby linked all over the Internet.
Strange, isn't it? The right has empiricists -- Jim Manzi and Heather MacDonald are examples of folks who offer evidence based arguments grounded in quantitative analysis and/or thorough reporting. But even they almost always have their say in words. Is it the left's affinity for arguments from wonkery that's driving this trend? Its association with academia? Its cultural preference for Macs rather than PCs? Its appeal to visual learners? Is there a graphics competition on the Journo-List?
Thinking Big has questions, but as yet, no answers. Have a theory? Write Thinkingbig@theatlantic.com