The Conservative Blogosphere

Kevin Drum and Hugh Hewitt link to a piece by American Prospect Senior Editor Garance Franke-Ruta.

Franke-Ruta argues that much of the Conservative blogosphere in the US is not really citizen hackery, but more like organised conservative mobs. As Drum quotes:

Right-wing blogs…increasingly provide cover for professional operatives to conduct traditional politics by other means — including campaigning against the established media. And instead of taking these bloggers for the political activists they are, all too often the established press has accepted their claims of being a new form of journalism. This will have to change — or it will prove serious journalism’s undoing.

And Franke-Ruta goes on:

At worst, they’re the protégés of conservative fund-raiser Richard Viguerie and dirty-tricks master Morton Blackwell, who has tutored conservative activists since 1965…, the blog that served as the clearinghouse for the attack on CNN, was helped along by Virginia-based Republican operative Mike Krempasky. From May 1999 through August 2003, Krempasky worked for Blackwell as the graduate development director of the Leadership Institute, an Arlington, Virginia–based school for conservative leaders founded by Blackwell in 1979. The institute is the organization that had provided “Gannonâ€? with his sole media credential before he became a White House correspondent.

4 thoughts on “The Conservative Blogosphere”

  1. Yeah, the poor “established media”. The blogs are excellent in shaking up media in a small isolated place like South Dakota, where Daschle always got an easy ride from the monopoly local paper. Now to import the trick to Ireland and gang rape the old lady of D’Olier Street!

  2. Gavin, for so many, many years people with (what is called) a conservative perspective have known that the primary media that they had at their disposal (newspapers & television) was dominated by those who were opposed to their world-view. Then along came talk radio, which challenged that dominance in a small way.

    Blogging is another effort by those who feel under-served by the media, which continually denigrates the views of “conservatives”.

    People like Garance Franke-Ruta are in a tizzy because they can’t put this genie back in a bottle. The left grew so comfortable with the media consensus that since it first cracked in the 90s they have been unable to muster any response.

    The old media model is dead and the new one doesn’t suit the power masters of old. It’s a revolution and they don’t get it.

    These people think that everything they’ve witnessed has been driven from the top down, but it’s the reverse. What’s happened is that people tired of being told what to think by “their betters” have been freed from their bondage and no longer turn to their “betters” for instruction. When “conservatives” turn to Rush (or whoever), it’s not to learn what to think, but to enjoy the comfort of knowing that someone out there agrees with them.

  3. I’m not sure the same phenomenon is possible in Ireland, where (from what I’ve witnessed) the media consensus is infuriating, but much closer to the cultural consensus than what you had in the US. We’ll see. Maybe there is a large block of people out there who feel poorly served by the media here and that the internet will meet their needs.

  4. Interesting take John – I guess Ireland might be too small for some of this to happen.

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