PEJ New Media Index: By Nearly 3-to-1, Bloggers Criticize Obama’s Withdrawal Plan for Afghanistan

Jun 30, 2011

Bloggers, last week, responded strongly to President Obama's June 22 speech about the U.S. role in the Afghan war. Reaction to the announcement, which proposed to remove 10,000 troops this year and a total of 33,000 by next September, received 18% of the news links on blogs from June 20-24, making it the No.1 topic, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

And by a margin of almost 3-to-1, the reaction was negative. In a broader examination of more than 11,000 blog posts, utilizing computer technology from Crimson Hexagon, 36% of bloggers' assessments were negative compared to just 13% that were positive. About half (51%) of the conversation was neutral.

These responses were more critical than public sentiment overall. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post following the speech found that a plurality (44%) of Americans think Obama will remove troops from Afghanistan at about the right pace.

Read the full report By Nearly 3-to-1, Bloggers Criticize Obama’s Withdrawal Plan for Afghanistan on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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