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Sunday, December 11, 2005
Conservative Blogz Rool II

The article is here.

I must say, that for all the hype, this is a singularly uninteresting take on why conservative blogs are kicking the liberal blogs to the curb in terms of effectiveness.

But Democrats say there's a key difference between liberals and conservatives online. Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders. (Hillary Clinton, for instance, is routinely vilified on liberal Web sites for supporting the Iraq war.) Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates. They are generally less interested in examining every side of every issue and more focused on eliciting strong emotional responses from their supporters.

But what really makes conservatives effective is their pre-existing media infrastructure, composed of local and national talk-radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News Channel and sensationalist say-anything outlets like the Drudge Report - all of which are quick to pass on the latest tidbit from the blogosphere. "One blogger on the Republican side can have a real impact on a race because he can just plug right into the right-wing infrastructure that the Republicans have built," Stoller says.

That's almost two of the three full paragraphs in the article, and essentially what he's saying is that we have outlets for our nonsense, whereas the poor liberal blogosphere (even though they're more careful to examine every single side of every issue), can't get their stories pushed up to the media?

To which I say, bull-pucky. The story which reveals what a bunch of crap this represents, is the Jeff Gannon story. The liberal blogosphere's big scoop of 2005, it immediately got picked up by the major media and was reported endlessly. Contrast that to the Eason Jordan story which the conservative blogs picked up a few days earlier. Now remember, Gannon was a nobody, a reporter for a tiny online-only press organization, while Eason Jordan was running CNN.

The mainstream media tried mightily to ignore Jordan's claim that the US military had intentionally targeted journalists during the Iraq war. it was an outrageous and outlandish claim, one so absurd that even Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, two very liberal Democrats, chided Jordan when he said it (to their eternal credit).

And the notion that Republican blogs don't vent grievances with one another, or rip into Republicans is silly. Take a look back at the Harriet Miers debacle for a good example, or see the responses to Tom Tancredo's claim that our war was with Islam itself. When Michelle Malkin saw that Mike Brown wasn't doing the job at FEMA, she blasted him, while others defended him.

No, the conservative blogosphere is more effective than the liberal blogosphere for three reasons:

1. We don't represent a thin slice of the extremist wing of the party. Take the most extreme positions of the far Left in this country: Abortion on demand up till the date of birth, no handguns, much higher taxes needed especially on the rich, withdraw immediately from Iraq. How many major liberal blogs would disagree with those? Almost none.

Take the most extreme positions of the far Right: No abortion ever, right to own bazookas, eliminate all taxes, and turn Fallujah to glass. How many major conservative blogs would disagree with those? Almost all.

2. We self-police better than the liberal blogs. There are numerous examples of this. Last year I was pitched a story about Kerry supposedly lying about where he was when Martin Luther King died. He'd said he was in Vietnam, when actually he'd been on the USS Gridley, off the coast of Vietnam. I ran the story but included a disclaimer that I personally thought the noton that Kerry lied about his whereabouts was nit-picking. Or how about when a recent commission released a report on the 2004 elections, highlighting malfeasance by Democrats and downplaying any shenanigans by the Republicans. The commission claimed bipartisan credentials, and seemed to have them, with one of the chairs a former leader of the DNC. But the Commissar and I looked into it and discovered that former leader had also been a leader in "Democrats for Bush" in '04.

3. We're more realistic in our goals. Pulling out of Iraq immediately is not an option, not really. Given a chance to vote on it, the House turned it down 403-3. Many liberal blogs belong to a group called the Big Brass Alliance.

The Big Brass Alliance was formed in May 2005 as a collective of progressive bloggers who support After Downing Street, a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups formed to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

They want to impeach Bush. What do conservative bloggers want? Largely a collection of achievable goals--better border enforcement, improvement in Iraq and confirmation of Judge Alito.
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