Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tuesdays With the Indigent Blogger...

What's in a name? Not much really, unless you're talking about an Internet domain name, such as microsoft.com or whitehouse.gov and other similar domain names. Tim Blair is taking on Autralia's Media Watch (hat tip: Instapundit), which is apparently a government-funded media watchdog organization. The folks at Media Watch seem to see some difference between the online edition of the Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) and the Opinion Journal (opinionjournal.com) from the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Of course, there are content and presentation differences, but that's not what I'm going to get into today.

Today, we are going to learn about a neat little Internet tool known as a WHOIS database lookup. If I open the WHOIS lookup page at Network Solutions and perform a lookup on wsj.com and opinionjournal.com, we see that they are owned and managed by the same registrant.

Dow Jones & Company, Inc
P.O. Box 300
Princeton, NJ 08543-0300
US
Phone: (609) 520-4000
Fax: 999 999 9999

This is, of course, because the Opinion Journal is the editorial page for the Wall Street Journal online edition.

The WHOIS lookup is a useful reference whether your vetting sources for online research or simply double-checking site registry information before making an online purchase from a new site. A WHOIS lookup of instapundit.com reveals that it is, not surprisingly, registered to Glenn Reynolds. So, we could probably safely assume that any opinions or agendas expressed on Instapundit.com would be that of Glenn Reynolds.

Could we also assume a domain name like HuffingtonPost.com would be registered to Arianna Huffington? Not exactly. A WHOIS search reveals that The Huffington Post is registered to Kenneth Lerer Associates. Kenneth Lerer is the former Vice-President of AOL Time-Warner and is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Public Theater in New York. He is also on the Board of Directors of Doctors of the World, a charitable organization. There's nothing wrong with any of this, and Mr. Lerer seems to be an upstanding guy. In fact, while we're doing Internet lookups, we can even head on over to OpenSecrets.org and see if Kenneth Lerer is a political donor.

Wow! He really spreads it around. He donated a total of $43,500 in the 2003-2004 cycle and had a recipient list that included Howard Dean, John Kerry, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, and Barack Obama. Well, it's not like there are any surprises here.

That's your introduction to WHOIS, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Indigent Blogger.

3 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

I'm not sure what your point is. That Arianna Huffington has a liberal bent? I don't read her page, and maybe that's the case, but are you saying it is impossible for someone who donates money to Democrats to own a moderate opinion website? Does that then imply that we cannot trust anyone who has given money to Republicans can be trusted to give balanced, moderate advice either?

1:42 PM  
Blogger The Indigent Blogger said...

Yes, the post is a bit anti-climatic. It is really intended to be a demonstration of the WHOIS tool, coupled with an introduction to OpenSecrets.org.

I wasn't trying to make a point other than it is possible to see who is paying for a domain name, and therefore, what the agenda may be.

There are no surprises behind Huffington's site, certainly not the same questionable ties that are associated with tompaine.com.

Having said that, if this were October 2004, I don't doubt for a second that Huffington's site would be on fire with pro-kerry/anti-bush posts.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Once again I am in awe of your research skills.

6:46 PM  

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