It's no secret. Conservative media mogul Andrew Breitbart and libertarian commentator Conor Friedersdorf like to fight. Whether it's about journalistic ethics or left-wing media bias, the two spar relentlessly, passionately and intelligently. Last week, however, emotions got the best of them in a Twitter spat that regressed to "my Web site gets more traffic than your Web site":
Breitbart: "no one cares about your respective approach to journalism. earn your place at the podium & ill be there."
Friedersdorf: "I write for sites with more traffic than yours. How exactly do I earn my place? You're all bluff -- but savvy!"
Breitbart: "which site has more traffic than mine?!"
Friedersdorf: "AOL, Newsweek, The Guardian, and Sullivan, I'm guessing. The Daily Beast? Dunno. Certainly I've earned a place at table."
So who's right? Publicly available data can't settle the matter of "who's on the podium," but it can tell you something about traffic. Breitbart's blog empire--Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism--is nested under a large news site frequently linked by the Drudge Report. Friedersdorf's contributions have also appeared on very large sites. Available data on unique visitors from Quantcast gives you a rough sense of their respective sizes. What it can't tell you about, of course, is what they're really concerned about: clout.