…Not that this is unusual, but the pattern is always worth noting for its most egregious examples. I quote the entire article so that those refusing NYT registration are not left out:
Conservative Blogs are More Effective
By MICHAEL CROWLEY
When the liberal activist Matt Stoller was running a blog for the Democrat Jon Corzine’s 2005 campaign for governor, he saw the power of the conservative blogosphere firsthand. Shortly before the election, a conservative Web site claimed that politically damaging information about Corzine was about to surface in the media. It didn’t. But New Jersey talk-radio shock jocks quoted the online speculation, inflicting public-relations damage on Corzine anyway. To Stoller, it was proof of how conservatives have mastered the art of using blogs as a deadly campaign weapon.
That might sound counterintuitive. After all, the Howard Dean campaign showed the power of the liberal blogosphere. And the liberal-activist Web site DailyKos counts hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. 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.
Earlier this year, John Thune, the newly elected South Dakota senator, briefed his Republican colleagues on the role of blogs in his victory over Tom Daschle, the former Democratic minority leader. The message seems to be catching on. In Arkansas, the campaign manager for the gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson sent a mass e-mail message to supporters in May promoting the establishment of blogs “to comment on Arkansas politics as a counter to liberal media.” With the 2006 elections coming, Democrats have begun trying to use blogs more strategically. But given their head start, Stoller says, conservatives “will certainly have an upper hand.” Again.
The obvious, to anyone but an NYT writer, is that the starting lineup for “pre-existing media infrastructure” is exemplified by broadcasters such as CBS, NBC and ABC. The airwave bench includes CNN and the government funded PBS. In print, we can go back to the legendary Stalinist coach Walter Delanty – who won a Pulitzer by writing Communist apologia for the “newspaper of record.”
It is only since free speech became available to non-exempt mainstream broadcast media – with the demise of “fairness in broadcasting” regulations – that any opinion except the Liberal mantra has even become generally available.
The amazing part here is that the “pre-exisitng” media Crowell claims has “taken over” – if it did so in the face of hugely powerful incumbents – did so because there is a market for it. Unlike NPR, Rush Limbaugh is not subsidized.
The self-proclaimed commercial, Liberal-focused broadcast venue, Air America, is failing. Why? Because it has to compete in the market and the market is already saturated with statist viewpoints. Who needs another?
Of course conservative blogs are more effective, and not because of some juggernaut takeover of the media. The market was underserved.
As the article notes, Howard Dean took advantage of the blogosphere. The problem is that his message was incoherent. It continues to be incoherent to this day.
There are a limited number of Americans who respond to incoherence. Most all of those Americans already send money to MoveOn. MoveOn can’t grow except through plutocrats like George Soros. A billionaire currency speculator’s primacy as a donor to a “grassroots” movement presents, to say the least, a mixed message.
I read many Conservative blogs and as many Libertarian blogs. I read the major Leftwing-statist blogs. The facts of this matter:
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.)
…merely illustrate how far out of touch with reality Liberal denizens of the Web are. The “grievances” are so far outside common sense as to require a special place, like The Daily Kos, to provide any sense of community for the outliars (I know what an outlier is) in daily attendance. Read Kos, and the comments, for a few days. This is the America of Michael Moore and Barbra Streisand. It is an America Osama bin-Laden loves – an America that hates itself.
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.
More thoughtful and incisive blogs than Amy Ridenour, The American Thinker, Captain’s Quarters, Powerline, Democracy Project, Small Dead Animals, and The Belmont Club, to name very few, are hard to imagine. Conservatives generally present arguments which are not predicated on acceptance of the idea that the United States is a “Bushchimphitleraburton” State. Instead, conservatives usually present arguments that are in some way connected to reality. Libertarians do this with even greater frequency. Check out a few sites on The Other Club blogroll.
The contention that so-called “conservative” blogs support the President is undermined by the criticism regarding spending, immigration, trade, free speech and SCOTUS appointments. If you want to see a so-called “conservative” blog ripping the GOP – just browse through The Other Club archives. One example.
That “conservative bloggers'” success is “counterintuitive” is correct in the same way the Mencheviks considered any opposition to Lenin as “counterrevolutionary”. This eventually earned Trotsky an ice-axe in his brain.
Crowell would like us all to accept a more subtle lobotomy:
a conservative Web site claimed that politically damaging information about Corzine was about to surface in the media.
The fact that something does “not surface” in “the media” is circular and self aggrandizing BS. Corzine’s affair with the boss (female – now a necessary qualifier in NJ) of a Union contributing to his campaign did “surface.” It just wasn’t “politically damaging” enough to convince New Jersey voters to reject a sexist billionaire of low moral character.
Mr. Crowell’s implicit interpretation of freedom of speech requires not only that we deplore the existence of a free market in information, but that we accept the fact that The First Amendment was a bad idea in the first place.