Who Does The New Media Benefit More: Liberals Or Conservatives?
The Washington Post headlines a story: “New media help conservatives get their anti-Obama message out.” It references Erick Erickson of RedState getting out 65,000 emails on an item that gets blasted around the conservosphere.
The ability of a single e-mail to shape a message illustrates the power of the conservative network — loosely affiliated blogs, radio hosts, “tea-party” organizers and D.C. institutions that are binding together to fuel opposition to President Obama and, sometimes, to Republicans.
The conservoshere is energized by the Obama presidency. “Nothing unites like a common enemy,” said Colin Hanna, president of the conservative group Let Freedom Ring. Another group, the Conservative Action Project chaired by Ronald Reagan’s attorney general, Ed Meese, coordinates with conservatives to get their messages out.
CAP has worked with some of the movement’s key national players, who include bloggers such as Erickson and Michelle Malkin and the State Policy Network, a consortium of 57 conservative and libertarian think tanks. One of them, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy in New Orleans, recently hosted a speech by James O’Keefe, the conservative activist charged last week with entering a federal building under false pretenses in an alleged plot to tamper with telephones in the office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).
O’Keefe, as noted in Liberaland months ago, “trained” with conservative groups to get him where he is today (ha!).
O’Keefe formerly worked at the Arlington-based Leadership Institute, which trains conservative leaders, and attended “10 different” institute schools, said Morton Blackwell, the institute’s president. He said his organization “found” O’Keefe when O’Keefe was a student at Rutgers University.
Another component in this message machine is the tea party movement, not the grass roots deal it pretends to be.
Beltway organizations have had more involvement in the tea parties, long portrayed as largely organic expressions of populist anger, than most conservatives have acknowledged. The first nationwide tea parties on Feb. 27 were co-sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, whose president, Grover Norquist, is a paragon of the D.C. conservative establishment, and the Arlington-based American Spectator.
A vast right-wing conspiracy? You betcha!
“What was once a very centralized movement is now very diffuse, across the country,” said Erickson, whose “Morning Briefing Emails” have grown from 498 subscribers when they started in February to nearly 70,000. “There isn’t a centralized right-wing conspiracy, but it really is a vast right-wing conspiracy.”
Many right-wing groups, such as CAP and Grover Norquist’s “Americans for Tax Reform,” conduct weekly meetings including bloggers and top conservative strategists and legislators from both houses of Congress to coordinate message. And well-funded groups are pouring money into the tea partiers.
An ally of the policy network is the little-known Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, formed by the onetime Libertarian Party national director. It works with online activists and provided nearly $1 million to spin off two other rising groups.
Tea party groups held a health care town hall meeting in Norquist’s office in June, and the tea partiers and talk show hosts are provided talking points by the conservative Heritage Foundation and the National Taxpayers Union. Liberals should only be this organized in its efforts to get the progressive message out.Click here for reuse options!
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