It felt a bit like Groundhog Day reading this Politico article about right-wing sites vying to become the conservative answer to the Huffington Post or Talking Points Memo. How is it like Groundhog Day? Because the right-wing Noise Machine has been vowing for years to finally catch up with liberals online,- to finally create sites that produce original reporting, are professionally managed, and keep the attention of the Beltway press.
But the right-wing keeps swinging, and the right-wing keeps missing.
Why do you think when the White House Correspondents Association recently expanded its roster of eligible reporters for in-town pool report and accepted reps from online sites, there wasn't a single conservative outlet represented? Instead, Salon, Huffington Post, and TPM got the nod. (When it launches in 2010, Tucker Carlson's conservative site, Daily Caller, is reportedly going to join the group.)
Conservatives got locked out in 2009 because there is not one site in operation today on the right side of the Internet that consistently produces original and dependable journalism. And why is that? Because conservative don't do journalism. They don't respect it and they don't have the foggiest idea of how to produce. They're clueless.
Instead, we get sites like Andrew Breitbart's Big Government, which seems to be driven by the guiding principle of posting as much nonsense as possible in a 24-hour cycle. This is a site that has have no idea what an "enemy combatant" is, can't figure out a "hate crime" is, only a marginal understanding of how our laws work, and posted doctored hidden-camera video and now refuses to make public the unedited versions. Yet the comically amateurish Big Government is supposed to represent the conservative media's shining light for the Internet future?
Yeah, good luck with that.
My hunch is that come 2010 and then 2011 and then 2011, we'll read more stories about how conservatives really think that this time they have figured out how to catch-up to liberals who have virtually reinvented politics and the press online in the last five years. We'll see lots of new quotes from right-wing players set to launch new sites about how they have it all figured out.
In truth, the answer that keeps alluding conservatives partisans isn't that complicated. It's simple. Just do produce journalism. Be intellectually honest. Yet in the nearly ten years the Internet has been in the political mainstream, that very simple challenge has completely eluded the conservative movement online.
Why? `Wingers do don't journalism.
UPDATED: Note to Breitbart: the Huffington Post has a strict policy for bloggers when it comes to correcting factual errors. If bloggers don't abide, their HP access is revoked. Is Big Government just too chicken to institute similar guidelines, or does Big Government prefer it when its bloggers just make stuff up?
And conservatives wonder whey they don't have their own Huffington Post or Talking Points Memo?
And conservatives wonder why they don't have their own Huffington Post or Talking Points Memo?