A number of the conservative movement's prominent online figures are battling to be the right's equivalent of Talking Points Memo or Huffington Post--political organizations that report hard news. Many believe that to truly harness the power of the Web, political organizations must report their own news, rather than comment on reporitng from traditional outlets.
"The left needs Daily Kos, but they also need the Huffington Post," Politics Daily columnist Matt Lewis told Politico. He praised the roles of activists and opinion commentators on the right such as Red State's Erick Erickson, but noted that the conservatives have not yet matched the left's capability for original reporting.
Though HuffPo, TPM, and other politcally stilted but journalism-oriented sites, liberals "have the ability to amplify stories into the mainstream media conversation," according to Politico. Conservatives have a large void to fill when it comes to producing original content, rather than solely commenting on what is already out there. There are conservative sites providing original reporting, but there are so far no center-right equivalents to the left's powerhouse online news operations.
In what is easily the dopiest question I've read from a religion blogger in a while, Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear closed her December 8 The Seeker blog post by asking readers if "dissenters" like pro-choice nun Sister Donna Quinn of Chicago "strengthen the church." In November, Quinn went public with news that she has "been rebuked for escorting patients into a Hinsdale clinic that provides abortions."
In "Pro-choice nun still fighting for women's care," Brachear explained how Quinn "is not backing down from her support of abortion rights, applauding the defeat of an amendment today that would have added restrictions to the health care bill for women seeking abortions."
Oh, it gets worse. Quinn apparently used the Virgin Mary as cover for sanctifying her pro-abortion views:
Battling the "Democrat-media complex" is hard work, but Andrew Breitbart shows no signs of letting up. He announced today in an interview with Mediaite that he will launch a new site entitled "Big Journalism" in January designed solely, in his blunt words, to "fight the mainstream media."
Big Journalism will be the latest addition to the prominent network of Breitbart's sites, which include aggregator Breitbart.com, video site BreitbartTV, and center-right blogs Big Government and Big Hollywood. After Big Journalism, he told Mediaite, will come Big Education, Big Tolerance, Big Jerusalem, and Big Peace.
As for Big Journalism, Breitbart says he is determined to combat liberal media outlets "who have repeatedly, and under the guise of objectivity and political neutrality, promoted a blatantly left-of-center, pro-Democratic party agenda."
Newsweek writer and native Australian Katie Connolly set out to lecture American readers today on the magazine's Gaggle blog yesterday about how Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize isn't really about the man or the United States as a country, but rather the U.S. as a lofty ideal -- an ideal she reckons in the eyes of "the collective world" to have been "almost entirely undone" by the Bush administration.
As such, Connolly tells us in her December 9 post that Obama had to show kindly Norweigans that his countrymen aren't such a rude, rabble-rousing lot after all, an impression she insists was given by how many Americans exercised that all-too-American ideal of free speech when they criticized the awarding of the Nobel to the freshman president (emphases mine):
Some climate alarmists are so invested in their beliefs and corresponding policy preferences that even a joke at their expense is grounds for disownment. New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin saw this trend first-hand when he cracked a joke about Copenhagen prostitutes, and was threatened with a "cutoff" by one of the world's leading alarmists.
"My lord. Copenhagen prostitutes push back on warnings about their services & offer free sex for cop15? http://j.mp/cop15sex". So read a tweet from Revkin, which he published on the Times's Dot Earth blog. The University of Illinois's Michael Schlesinger sent a furious email to Revkin, calling his "unbelievable and unacceptable" joke "gutter reportage."
But an even more serious crime on Revkin's part was his audacity in relaying the words of others that criticize the close relationships between climate scientists and liberal advocacy groups:
Voters in state after state have said no to gay marriage. So what's the lesson Newsweek's Sarah Kliff draws?
Well, maybe it's time for the gay marriage lobby to go over the heads of the people and push Congress to act.
Reacting to yesterday's 38-24 vote by the Democratic-majority New York State Senate to kill a gay marriage bill, Kliff suggested in a December 2 The Gaggle blog post:
Rather than pursuing piecemeal, state-level initiatives, which do not have a great track record, perhaps the movement, en masse, ought to focus on pressuring Congress and President Obama to take more decisive action.
I'm not the first to make this suggestion. The issue came to a head in October, when gay-rights activists organized—and argued over—their first large march in Washington since 2000.
Of course, as a journalist, it should not be Kliff's place to pen the game plan for a movement's political agenda. Hers should be to call the game, not the plays, yet the Newsweek writer continued by describing her shift in sideline strategy (emphasis mine):
Media Research Center President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell will appear on a live 20 to 30-minute-long Web cast starting at noon EST. You can submit a comment or question in the comments field below the video window there.
How much can the left-wing blogosphere hate Dick Cheney? Apparently enough to compare him to notorious Seventies serial killers. The blogger calling himself "Meteor Blades" at Daily Kos compared Cheney to Ted Bundy in a post Tuesday afternoon titled "The Last Person Who Should Be Opening His Mouth."
Whatever Democrats think about Obama's plans for Afghanistan, he writes, "the one thing we can all agree on is that we're sick of hearing arsonists hanging around the fire they started telling us the best way put it out." He's furious that Politico would carry Cheney's criticism of Obama:
It takes no special effort or reading between the lines to see the main theme behind Cheney's remarks: Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Nothing any Democratic President can do will ever stop the flow of "weak-on-defense" canards that began 60 years ago with shrieks of "Who Lost China?"....
...is now ending his CourtWatch blog, all the while insisting that his writings over the years were mostly dry legalese and that those which were not, well, that's the fault of the people he was writing about, namely, the Bush adminstration.
A liberal Washington Post columnist laments today of the loss of civility in the public discourse. Strange that he is suddenly outraged that Americans would dare call Obama a socialist or a fascist, given that Bush-Hitler comparisons were widespread during the previous administration.
Liberals in the media spent the summer and early fall bemoaning signs at town hall protests and tea party rallies calling Obama a socialist or communist comparing him to Hitler (incidentally, many of these signs were actually created by supporters of uber-leftist Lyndon LaRouche, as reported by Seton Motley here and here). These pundits had no such admonitions for signs at anti-war rallies during the Bush administration comparing him to Hitler and the Devil, and calling the president a fascist.
So the Post's E.J. Dionne's complaints about the loss of civility in the debate over federal politics fit right in with the narrative liberal pundits have been pushing since last year: comparing an American president to a murderous dictator is unacceptable...if that president is a Democrat.
"In today's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer takes great pains to paint a bleak picture of health care reform as ‘monstrous,' ‘overregulated,' and rife with ‘arbitrary bureaucratic inventions,'" Pfeiffer wrote. "The columnist's argument may be cogent and well-written, but it is wholly inaccurate."
Want to understand the liberal mind? Check out Daily Kos creator Markos Moulitsas on this evening's Schultz show . .
Why does Kos say he hates the Taliban? Because they aided and abetted Osama Bin Laden in the murder of thousands of Americans? Nope. That they are actively engaged in killing American troops in Afghanistan? Guess again. No, the Taliban's real crime—the only complaint Kos mentions— is that . . . they're not PC. Not feminist. Not gay-friendly. Hell, they might even be opposed to stem cell research.
Oh, and for good measure, Kos calls conservative Republicans like Michelle Bachmann "the American Taliban." What was that about dissent being patriotic?
After a Census Bureau worker was found dead in rural Kentucky in September, liberals jumped at the chance to attribute his death to right-wing extremists whipped into a frenzy by the hate-filled sermons of Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck. It turns out the Census employee committed suicide and tried to make it seem like a murder to recoup life insurance payments for his son.
USA Today reports that Bill Sparkman "committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide." He was not murdered by a government-hating extremist with Fox News prime time cued up on his Tivo. Given this revelation, let us review what some in the liberal media and the lefty blogosphere had to say upon the discovery of Sparkman's body.
The scandal surrounding the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has provided a number of case studies in liberal media bias. The initial silence of the vast majority of media outlets on the story, the attempts by leftist commentators to excuse ACORN and discredit the group's critics, and Andrew Breitbart's strategy of rolling out video exposes periodically to counter those commentators, all speak to the liberal media paradigm, and activists' efforts to combat it.
Breitbart and his filmmaking proteges James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles have released another video showing an ACORN employee volunteering her help in establishing an underage prostitution business. This employee, Lavelle Stewart, had been trumpeted by liberal pundits as a shining example of ACORN's refusal to aid in criminal deeds. Stewart, they claimed, had refused to help Giles and O'Keefe as many other employees had.
But the new videos (Part 1 video embedded below the fold) tell a different story. "There are ways, people do it all the time," Stewart told O'Keefe when asked if he could launder prostitution money into his congressional campaign. "Yeah there are ways, especially out here in California," she added. Stewart, who works in an ACORN office in Los Angeles, was the latest staffer of the organization to volunteer her services in smuggling underage girls into the country, setting up a prostitution ring with those girls, and laundering the proceeds into a political campaign.
"This week's abortion conversation is about politics. Let's not pretend it's about anything else," Newsweek's Lisa Miller huffed in a November 18 Newsweek.com post, complaining about how the moral issues surrounding abortion are taking on a life of their own in the health care debate.
We suffer, this week, from a moral myopia. Thanks to the passage in Congress of a health-reform bill, abortion is in the news again, but with the same old warriors brandishing their same old spears.
But while Miller went on to list both pro-life and pro-choice "old warriors," it's hard to believe her beef is with both sides of that fight equally. Miller laments that:
Our entire health-care system (and the proposed reform) is rife with "complex moral issues." To activate our consciences only in the realm of abortion relieves those consciences of too much responsibility.
I haven’t seen “The Blind Side” yet, so I won’t say anything about the quality of the film. But based on the trailer and the true story, my wife and I are as excited about this as any film in a long time. It tells the true story of the adoption of Michael Oher by the Tuohy family in Tennessee and how they helped him go from homeless teenager to professional football star. The book was incredible, the story miraculous. We’re especially excited because we’re big adoption advocates, currently in the middle of our first of many planned adoptions. Also, the Tuohys happen to be conservative Christians like we are, and we don’t normally get to see families like that on screen, at least in movies that are watchable.
Apparently, this makes me a racist.
You see, Michael Oher happens to be black, and the Tuohys happen to be white. I actually think that’s pretty cool, especially because they live in Tennessee, and what gets us farther from the evil days of segregation than an increased number of mixed-race families? One would assume that liberals especially would be excited about that, right?
Openly gay actor Ian McKellen recently told Details magazine that he proudly defaces Bibles left in hotel nightstands, ripping out pages containing verses which condemn homosexual behavior. USA Today's Leslie Miller picked up on this yesterday for the paper's "Faith & Reason" blog, after spying a blog post by colleague Barbara De Lollis in a November 16 post for her Hotel Check-In blog for USA Today.
For her part, De Lollis relayed the news item and wondered, "Could word of McKellen's habit spark a movement?" De Lollis went on to ask:
Shirley noted the remarkable parallels between the Republican Party that Reagan and the conservative movement revitalized in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the situation facing conservatives today.
Then as now liberal Democrats claimed the presidency and liberal ideology seemed ascendant following the tenure of Republican presidents who expanded the size and scope of government (Nixon) and/or were inept (Ford). Now as in the late 1970s, it is conservatives standing outside the establishment who can be the revitalizing and reforming force for the GOP and more importantly the country.
During a roughly 30-minute Q&A session, Shirley answered a series of questions from bloggers in attendance, and shared among other things the following observations:
Saturday's vote to pass ObamaCare out of the House of Representatives was a nail-biter, passing with two votes to spare over the bare-minimum majority of 218. The final vote, 220-215, had 39 Democrats join all but one Republican in voting no.
Yet while a solid 15 percent of the Democratic caucus bucked the party leadership with their no votes, the media have latched on to the sole Republican defector: pro-life, social conservative Catholic Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.), who has a tenuous hold in a solidly liberal Democratic district once held by the corrupt William Jefferson.
Time's Jay Newton-Small made much of the solitary Republican defection in Swampland blog post on Saturday, painting it as an abject failure of House GOP Whip Eric Cantor's "promise" to keep the opposition unified. Newton-Small had to add an update later clarifying Cantor made no such explicit promise:
"Should Anti-Gay Rights Petition Signers Be Exposed?" asked a teaser headline [screencap shown at right] on CBSNews.com's front page.
"Hot Topic: Battle Rages in Washington State over Privacy of Petition Signers" the subheader read.
While the November 3 article itself by staffer Brian Montopoli was balanced -- giving room for a social conservative activist to defend keeping the names and addresses of signatories of the Referendum 71 petition from being made public -- the headline sets the tone for readers to see pro-traditional marriage backers in Washington State as folks motivated to deprive fellow citizens of their "rights."
So what does Referendum 71 actually do? According to Montopoli:
If Democrats get a spanking at the polls today, it's not because American voters are trending conservative or are frustrated with the direction liberal Democrats are leading the country, but because the electorate's disdain for the former Bush administration has abated.
That according to liberal PBS "To the Contrary" host and U.S. News contributing editor Bonnie Erbe.
Perhaps hopped up on the nutritious goodness of Mueslix, CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric took to her Notebook vlog on Friday to nag parents about the need to keep their kids away from the siren song of sugary cereals (transcript hers):
Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, Reese's Puffs - I almost got a cavity just reading that. Yet, they're the kinds of sugary cereals children beg for at the grocery store.
The boxes and T-V ads usually have a colorful cartoon character on them. But, one group of researchers is not amused.
Bloggers and their readers have "joked" about the New York Times being the official house organ of the Obama White House. Maybe it's not a joke.
Earlier this month (as seen at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), several bloggers caught the Times making significant changes to its initial coverage of Chicago's humiliating loss of its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and of President Obama's involvement in that loss. The first Times report by Peter Baker was fairly harsh, questioning the President's judgment in getting involved, while citing his slipping poll ratings.
After Times organ grinder -- er, reporter -- Jeff Zeleny got a hold of the story, most of the harshness went away, as did Baker's original story. All of a sudden, at the same URL, there was no reference to tarnished presidential prestige. A dismissive assertion that the embarrassment "would fade in a news cycle or two" appeared. There was also a mention of Obama's 25-minute meeting with Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal that was not in the original. The reference to falling poll numbers also disappeared.
Well, the Times has just pulled a similar stunt in its coverage of President Obama's Wednesday night/Thursday morning visit to Dover Air Force Base. Once again, Jeff Zeleny is involved.
Barack Obama is just as much a woman-hater as the late conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms in the wild eyes of radical abortion-mongering feminist and PBS "To the Contrary" host Bonnie Erbe.
And just why is Ms. Erbe so steamed at President Obama? Because, and I kid you not, the commander-in-chief doesn't shoot hoops with women.
Some blog posts about Fox News on the Daily Kos blog are so bizarre you wonder if they are real. The diarist "Brentbent" fussed on Wednesday that the socialist bloc should never put Fox in capitals:
CNN and MSNBC are supposed to be all caps because they are acronyms...each letter represents a word. Fox is not an acronym. If marginalization is the goal then people should stop capping it like CNN or MSNBC. It is Fox News or Fox but it is not FOX...Let's stop equating Fox as an equal to MSNBC or CNN by stopping the capping of Fox.
Yes, I am being a bit pedantic here but, in the long run, these things matter. If you grow up seeing MSNBC, CNN, and FOX on your screen over and over it seems to legitimize Fox as a real news agency. So I am hoping to curtail this phenomenon at least amongst the progressive community, where I see it happen all too often. And we all know spelling it FOX will cause a massive butterfly effect that will end up with the soul of Hitler inside Jenna Bush running the nation and starting World War 4. (The media elites kept WW3 hidden from us.) So whatever you do don't spell it FOX!