Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Right needs new online news outlet

Patrick Ruffini is doing a great job framing the Right's challenges for the future. He's the Republican's preeminent new media tactician. He nailed it in a recent column that pointed out the difference between conservative and liberal online sites and blogs.

Another problem is that conservative bloggers are there to provide you with their opinion. The new pillars of left-wing media are there to provide you with information, such as that on the U.S. attorney firings. Recognizing that page A1 of any newspaper usually trumps the op-ed page in setting the agenda, these outlets have fashioned themselves as dispensers of information — information usually helpful to the Left and its candidates.

This is because TPM, ThinkProgress, and the Huffington Post are all full-time operations employing reporters, whereas conservative blogs usually run the work of amateur or part-time writers. When conservative bloggers are full-time, they are generally commentators and not reporters.

The Left's work over the past six years showed itself in 2008. It tipped the balance of power. In 2004, the MSM tried to blockade the Swift Boat issue and the Right responded with a 527 counterpunch that perplexed the Left and resonated with the electorate.

This time, the MSM media doubled down on its blockade of negative narratives about Barack Obama and the Left was ready to do battle with emerging 527s and other independent expenditure groups. The Obama group attacked the groups in court and the Left online presence, buttressed by millions in donations by wealthy liberals, helped knock down any attacks on Obama. Thus, the Right was left only with talk radio, conservative blogs and Fox News. That wasn't enough to get traction with the electorate.

The problem, as Ruffini pointed out, was content. The legitimate criticisms on Obama were stuffed and the Right had no mechanism to further explore them. There was a desperate need for new content. For example, we all know that Obama and Bill Ayers were lying about the true nature of their relationship but nobody found new facts to rebut the lies. Others narratives were left on the table, such as the Tony Rezko-Obama house sale and Obama's participation in a slum scheme that enriched his top donors and screwed his low-income constituents.

New information matters in a campaign. Hillary Clinton would be president today if her researchers had found the Rev. Jeremiah Wright videos a couple of months before ABC News found them.

What the Right needs is a new online news entity. It should be sufficiently funded to hire at least half a dozen seasoned investigators/journalists to get to the bottom of news narratives the MSM refuses to explore. We need to stop complaining about MSM bias and start making it irrelevant.

Of course we need much more in terms of good candidates, good ideas and a reworked online infrastructure. But we can't ignore that the Left created a massive shield that allowed a largely unexplored and untested poser to get elected president. We know the same shield will be employed in future elections. Let's not get blocked again.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment