Politico ♥ Left-Wing Blog Think Progress; Says Glenn Beck is Blog’s New Target

October 11th, 2009 11:08 PM

If there was any question which side of the ideological blogosphere a lot of the inside-the-beltway media establishment go to regularly, Politico may have just cleared that up.

In an Oct. 11 Politico story headlined "Think Progress makes its mark," which was the top story on its Web site that evening, Daniel Libit paid reverence to the left-wing Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog.

"Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era - a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame - still make its mark in the age of Obama?" Libit wrote. "In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."

According to Libit, Think Progress is a blog with a clearly defined partisan mission, to "educate and inform" the media and he says it is succeeding at that objective.

"[Think Progress Editor Faiz] Shakir describes Think Progress's mission as helping to ‘educate and inform our side and, I think, the media' about the tactics of the right. Judged by the standard of influencing the conversation, Think Progress is flourishing."

But Libit didn't explain to Politico readers how Think Progress' parent organization, the Center for American Progress, is an organization with close ties to the Obama administration. Following Obama's 2008 election win, Center for American Progress president John Podesta headed the President's transition team.

But more recently, Podesta has been involved in an investigation into the scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN appointed Podesta to head an internal investigation, despite at the same time Podesta's organization's Web site attacked ACORN whistleblowers Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe.

Libit did however point out that one of Think Progress' targets has been Fox News. But since Fox News has the best ratings in cable news and isn't hurt by Think Progress - that somehow makes it OK.

"And conservatives note that while Think Progress rails daily against what it sees as the evils of Fox News, the network is hardly wounded, routinely thumping its rivals in the ratings wars," he wrote.

One of the criticisms leveled against Think Progress is its obsession with attacking conservative personalities, versus focusing on a policy, which FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon pointed out to Politico.

"FreedomWorks spokesman Adam Brandon says that Think Progress would be much more effective if it dedicated its focus to arguing policy as opposed to attacking conservative personalities," Libit wrote. "(The blog does have a section called "Wonk Room," which does just that - albeit with far less attention.)"

But even the "Wonk Room" portion of Think Progress regularly engages in personal attacks against conservatives.

Think Progress has had made it its modus operandi to seek out conservative boogey men and the newest one is Fox News host Glenn Beck.

"Now, Think Progress' attention has shifted to another conservative media personality -- which is why every day at 5 p.m., in the bloggers' pod of CAP's H Street offices, the TVs tend to come off mute in unison just as Glenn Beck's Fox News show comes on the air," Libit wrote.

In fact, Shakir even admitted to Politico that going after Beck and O'Reilly are part of the recipe to gin up "enthusiasm and interest" for it liberal audience.

"We know what our audience wants to read," Shakir said to Politico. "And that helps guide what we put on our blog. So we have a little bit of Glenn Beck, a little bit of Bill O'Reilly, because we know that generates enthusiasm and interest from our readers."