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 â 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 â or it will prove serious journalismâs undoing.
And Franke-Ruta goes on:
At worst, they’re the protÃ©gÃ©s of conservative fund-raiser Richard Viguerie and dirty-tricks master Morton Blackwell, who has tutored conservative activists since 1965….Easongate.com, 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, Virginiaâbased school for conservative leaders founded by Blackwell in 1979. The institute is the organization that had provided âGannonâ? with his sole media credential before he became a White House correspondent.