There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

In our August 2005 paper the Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere, Matt and I wrote the following (emphasis in original):Conservatives use the same tactics on blogs that they do in mainstream politics - attack the media and attack progressives. The right wing tends not to build independent online communities, using their existing offline communities to generate web sites that reinforce their politics and their ideology.

Their web presence is nurtured by institutions and is part of the conservative, right-wing media machine. The Drudge Report, for instance, is one of the largest conservative sites and frequently receives its information from Republican operatives.

Most right-wing blogs reiterate talking points that are generated from inside formal conservative institutions; conversations center on feeling victimized for being right-wing, attacking and hating progressives, and attacking and hating the media.

The political successes of this community have been largely founded in manipulating media coverage. The two clearest examples are the John Thune bloggers in South Dakota, and the Dan Rather scandal. I still believe this, only now I feel it has developed to such a degree that the right-wing blogosphere itself has been all but annihilated. Most major right-wing bloggers have now been incorporated into the established news media apparatus. Glenn Reynolds is a columnist for MSNBC. Andrew Sullivan is a columnist for Time. Michelle Malkin is a frequently published columnist in a number of offline outlets. And now, RedState co-founder Ben Domenech has a regular column in the Washington Post. Despite being the latest in a long line of conservative bloggers to achieve "mainstream" status with the established news media, his first column was, predictably, an attack on the same institutions that just hired him and gave him space.

In short, there is almost nothing in the way of an independent right-wing blogosphere operating outside of existing, established news media outlets. The days of the rise of Free Republic have long passed. The right-wing is not building new institutions online anymore. To quote again from the report Matt and I produced: Progressive blogs build communities of activists and generate new political activity online. Blogs and online organizations offer forums where people can actively engage in progressive politics - real involvement from people talking about politics, policy, organizing, their lives, etc. The degree to which progressive blogs encourage active engagement in political dialogue has fueled their rapid growth over the past several years.

The single most important difference between the blogospheres is this: the progressive blogosphere is introducing new actors into the political scene. The right-wing blogosphere is facilitating further organization of what was already a fairly coherent political world."The blogs," as they are known in many media outlets and circles and DC, are now almost exclusively the realm of progressives. The entire term "the blogs" implies a new institution operating independently of established centers of news distribution and political power. That no longer exists on the right. The right-wing blogosphere, as it is now constituted, is simply an extension of a larger message machine that developed long before the blogosphere ever existed. The right-wing blogosphere no longer holds any promise to produce new leaders within the conservative movement, or to alter the balance of power within the conservative movement in any way, shape or form.

John Aravosis recently remarked to me how amazed he was that whenever established news centers and sources of political power comment on "the blogs" anymore, now they always mean progressive blogs. I agreed with him, at the time, and after a little thought I can now see why. The right-wing blogosphere is dead. It should not come as a surprise that there has not been a major successful campaign by right-wing blogosphere for over a year now. Simply put, there are no longer any emerging online institutions on the right. While there are numerous instances where progressive bloggers are working with progressive institutions, in every case I can think of where an "A-list" blogger sis involved, they are working with other emerging progressive institutions: MoveOn, Air America, Media Matters, etc. While conservative bloggers are looking to be absorbed within established institutions, progressive bloggers continue to build new ones.

The right-wing blogosphere is dead. Long live the progressive blogosphere.

Tags: Blogosphere, infrastructure, Media (all tags)

Comments

34 Comments

Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Chris,

I certainly agree.  What we've seen is the bastardization of blogs from the right.  I wrote a paper about it last term, if you'd like to see.  Maps out the purpose of blogs -- I throw in some Lessig, and what I argue is that blogs are transitioning from "the commons" to conglomeration.

Also, was wondering -- how's Anne's campaign going?  I was a Philly4Dean/PhillyForChange-er, and met you at that dinner with Jim Dean.  I live in DC now, so it's hard to keep in touch with all the happenings.

by bradlevinson 2006-03-21 08:23AM | 0 recs
False premises

It's silly to class blogs as "left" or "right", as if blogs are just numbers having a left or right sign.

Silly, that is, unless your point is to grow and allocate a movement centrally, rather than to have the free exchange of ideas.

Besides, I think you're mistaken.  Conservative types in the heartland are just discovering the tools and turning their collective hand to blogging.

But metablogging is mental thumb twiddling ... of which I am now guilty, by virtue of this comment ... and having critiqued myself, I've meta-metablogged ... and meta-meta-metaAAAAaaahhhhh ....

by lheal 2006-03-21 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: False premises
"It's silly to class blogs as "left" or "right", as if blogs are just numbers having a left or right sign."

No its not. It is pretty obvious when a blog is progressive and when it is a conservative. Any attempt to deny that must really stretch the rality-meter for the person trying to do so.
by Chris Bowers 2006-03-21 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Of course, you realize that this clears the decks for legislation restricting blogs.  

I don't think that's the reason; it's more likely that the Right Wing, version 2006.01, is just like most other Righty movements of the past -- authoritarian, applauding the "man on horseback," happy to have someone to tell them what to do.  Righties at the top can't tolerate independent Right-wing voices, and Right-wing bloggers get nervous without the herd all around them, so now everyone's happy.

If only they didn't have to put up with those pesky dissenting Lefties. . .

by drlimerick 2006-03-21 08:36AM | 0 recs
I think the focus has shifted

From the blogosphere to Religious groups.  

They see more power with less work there.

by NvDem 2006-03-21 08:39AM | 0 recs
Want to hear a really funny one?

There was a blog, named "Airborne Combat Engineer".

His tagline in 2004

"proud member of the 'right wing republican attack machine'"

Now, its ...

"Defending our families, our homes, our communities, and our freedom".

-=-

In short, I would say - America has the attack machine on the run, and running to their best defenses.  Whats really interesting about blogs like these, are that they purport to be military centered but rarely question the bush administrations tactics, despite the fact that bush is without a doubt the worst commander in chief in recorded history.

Americans play to win. This guy is funny. Go read his blog.

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-03-21 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Very insightful stuff, Chris. I don't see anything to disagree with.

I find progressive blogs very helpful because they give me the rightie talking points and the appropriate facts to counter them. It made me wonder how righties got similar info.

<snark>Then I realized they don't get similar info on progressive talking points. They just smile and nod happily at being told what to think.</snark>

I know that's not strictly true, but let's face it, without some honest to goodness conversation, Ma & Pa Rightwinger really aren't going to know how to counter reasonable arguments from the left. They're left to say "godless communist" or "9/11" as their answer to pretty much everything.

by KB 2006-03-21 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore
The political successes of this community have been largely founded in manipulating media coverage. The two clearest examples are the John Thune bloggers in South Dakota, and the Dan Rather scandal.

Manipulating media coverage? The Dan Rather scandal was about the media manufacturing documents, for goodness' sake. As a matter of fact, the journalists who were pushing Bill Burkett as an unimpeachable witness knew months beforehand that he was a liar who changed his stories. Still they did nothing because they were willing to ignore the truth because of their hatred of President Bush.

As for the up-and-comers like Air America, if you bothered to take a look at the facts (a tough thing for liberals to do I know), you would know that their listenership isn't growing. Not to mention the fact that they are being investigated in New York for diverting federal and local funds meant for inner-city children and senior citizens  -- possibly up to hundreds of thousands of dollars -- to their own coffers. Nice, caring liberals, aren't they?

And if you had bothered to check your facts a little bit more, you would have found that Michelle Malkin was a columnist and television guest commentator long before she became a blogger.

The fact is that the mainstream media is full of leftwing reporters, columnists, anchors, and opinion commentators. Do you think that they would hire yet another liberal to compete with them?

Sheesh, no wonder you liberals can't ever get anything right. You just can't face reality.

Stingray:  a blog for salty Christians

by Stingray 2006-03-21 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Stingray, you are a riot. You are telling us we cant face reality but you believe in an 'infallible bible', for which there does not exist a primary source? And there are passages in today version of the bible which were not there until the 12th century? Give us all a break. We dont wish to live in a country where you Christians go around telling  everyone how to live. You should have never stuck your head up out of that ostrich hole. And if you decide to debate me I warn you I will eat you alive.

by druidbros 2006-03-21 05:01PM | 0 recs
Today's numbers look bad for the right

on the right, Bush hardly got any coverage for his Sunday press conference in Cleveland, where got grilled by a couple citizens.

Redstate.org was having orgasms over how he bravely faced down Helen Thomas today (what is she 83?). But more to the point, by about 10:00 DailyKOS had over 500 posts while Redstate had 8 posts.

by bernardpliers 2006-03-21 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Five or so years ago I received an e-mail with a link.  When I clicked it, it took me to a web site that simply said: "You have reached the end of the internet.  Now get back to work".  The obvious joke is that it is much too vast to have an end.  Therein lies the problem with with your argument:  If you truly believe that you can quantize Right and Left Blogospheres and see a reduction in one of them, then you are merely indicating that you have narrowed your own focus.  It's time for you to "get back to work".

by ericcatec 2006-03-21 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Rubbish.

It's like the old 80/20 rule: 20% of firms sell 80% of the merchandise, only in this case it's probably more likely 1/95.

Chris doesn't have to be concerned about every conservative blog, he only has to be concerned about the major ones, and there really aren't more than a few handfuls of them.

Could there be some tiny right wing blog that generates a lot of feedback and insight from its readers? Sure, but in the grand scale, it isn't big enough to be important.

by Adam T 2006-03-21 11:39PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

BTW.

I'm not saying that I agree with his analysis (I have no idea, I haven't looked over the right-wing blogosphere), and I'm not saying that he possibly hasn't missed some large area of blogging that isn't directly political, but generates a lot of conservative feedback and discussion (there are a couple possible areas mentioned in the posts on the thread, I'd also wonder about conservative 'family rearing' blogs), I'm only saying that his methodology as far as only needing to look at the major conservative political blog sites is sound.

There is also IRC, but, as an occasional visitor to conservative dominated chat rooms, I can tell you they are almost entirely an echo chamber: they are a complete echo chamber when it comes to discussing current events which each member falling over themselves to be the first to post the Republican talking points, but when it comes to abstract issues, they can break up into the various strains of conservatism: libertarianism, social conservatism, economic conservatism...

by Adam T 2006-03-21 11:49PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

You're right that the wingnut blogosphere is almost entirely an echo chamber. The very same thing is true of the liberal blogosphere. I have been banned from websites on both the left and the right for deviating from their orthodoxies, and can tell you from personal experience that the liberal sites are no less quick to ban people than the wingnuts are.

I have been banned from the following liberal sites:

- Daily Kos

  • Democratic Underground
  • Democrats.com
  • Capitol Hill Blue
  • Americablog

* Note: "Kos" doesn't ban in the same way the others do. Instead, a self-appointed orthodoxy squad "troll-rates" anyone insufficiently left-wing, preventing their meaningful participation there.

by cwilson 2006-03-22 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

I think this is a very insightful entry. But I think its the nature of the right wing blogs that they would die out. I think blogs and the communities they create are a viral event. This by definition would favor those who think with a more flexable thought process.

by druidbros 2006-03-21 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

And I have noticed that many right wing blogs dont have comment sections (like Malkin and powerline). They just want to disseminate information not have any kind of discussion.

by druidbros 2006-03-21 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

A couple of reactions.

First off, Bowers ignores the milblogs, i.e., the military blogs. This is a large and thriving community, and it is very much tilted toward the right wing.

Secondly, in response to druidbros, I would point out that the liberal blogs are no less likely to censor dissenters than the wingnuts are.

I was effectively banned from Daily Kos for posting that Abramhoff's corrupt keiretsu gave one-third of its money to Democrats. I was run out of Democratic Underground for being critical of Kerry's lack of response to the Swiftboaters. That criticism is now conventional wisdom, but it was heresy in the fall of 2004.

Liberal blogs -- especially John Aravosis and his Americablog -- were instrumental in the jailing and silencing of a a blogger who posted gory pictures from the war zone. Liberal blogs hate to be fingered for this sort of stuff, and ruthlessly attack anyone who criticizes their own conduct.

by cwilson 2006-03-21 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

I can't speak for the Democratic Underground, but I can tell you that you weren't "banned" from the Daily Kos for saying that Abramoff gave a third of his funds to Democrats, even though that statement is a bald-faced lie.  You would most likely have been "troll-rated," which is very small potatoes and wouldn't have curbed your ability to post comments or diaries on that site.  If indeed you were banned, it was for something far more flagrant.  Conservative posters are welcomed at DK, as long as they don't indulge in extreme personal attacks.  Contrast this to the average lifespan of a liberal poster's account at, say, the Free Republic, which can be measured in seconds as soon as he or she says something remotely challenging to conservative dogma.

As for Aravosis and other liberal bloggers getting someone arrested for posting pictures on their own blog, I highly doubt this is the actual story, if indeed any of this is true.  I will wait to hear the tale from another source.

by Black Max 2006-03-22 05:53AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Dail Kos's rating system is a form of censorship. "Troll rating" renders a poster's comments invisible except through special effort. That site effectively censors dissent. You won't "speak to" DU because you know that DU bans the unorthodox as quickly as Free Republic does. And you "highly doubt" that Aravosis was instrumental in having someone arrested because it conflicts with your belief that the liberal blogs can do no wrong.

Incidentally, I have been similarly banned from wingnut sites. Don't imagine that I'm saying the liberal sites are the only censors. You are correct that Free Republic is quick to ban. A little quicker than DU, but not by very much. Neither liberal sites nor conservative sites, as a general rule, wish to entertain dissent.

All of this points to the dirty little secret of the political Internet. It does not exist to exchange or examine ideas. It exists as a set of mutually exclusive echo chambers. There is very little cross-fertilization. Oh, I was also banned from Democrats.com over the Abramhoff issue, and Capitol Hill Blue not only banned me but removed all comments from all of its stories after I exposed Doug Thompson's claim of having been threatened by the government as a probable hoax.

You see, there are no ethical benchmarks and no checks and balances in the blogosphere. The situation on the Internet mirrors the situation that's developing in the government, where you have two warring sides that dispute not only opinions but basic facts. We're witnessing the collapse of meaningful discourse in this country, and the so-called "Netroots" phenomenon is part and parcel of it.

by cwilson 2006-03-22 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Here is the story of how the liberal blogosphere teamed up with the Bush administration to throw a blogger in jail. I originally posted it on Nowthatsfuckedup.com, the blog whose owner was jailed and which will shut down in late April. The liberal blogosphere is perfectly okay with censorship.

SUMMARY: Chris Wilson was done in by an alliance of liberal bloggers and the Bush administration, each of which had their own reasons for wanting to suppress his freedom of expression.

Let me introduce myself. I post on number of websites under a number of different names. I have been following this whole drama since late September, when on September 26 the liberal site Americablog posted its first breathless reports about "the military porn for death photos scandal."

I was definitely interested. I was then, and still am, a liberal who is very much against the Iraq War. Americablog had done some outstanding reporting about a different scandal in which a Republican organization had hired a gay hooker, whose specialty was dressing up in USMC uniforms, as a "White House reporter" for a fake news service. This "reporter" had been on national TV asking (ahem) suck-up questions to Bush. Americablog was the go-to blog for that story, so they had some credibility with me when they started making an issue of "the military porn for death photos scandal."

Americablog had picked it the "gore-for-porn" story from Eastbay Express, a liberal weekly in Emeryville, CA, which is located between Okaland and Berkeley on the east side of the Bay Bridge. On Sept. 21, Eastbay Express published an article that, near as I can tell, had been inspired something run the previous day by the Annenberg On-Line Journalism Review.

According to Annenberg's article, the first website to pick up on the gory pictures at NTFU was this one in Italy, which published a negative comment in late August 2005. I will note that the Italian website, unlike later U.S. sites including Americablog, at least told the truth about NTFU, i.e., that it didn't trade pornography for death photos but rather that it waived access fees for proof of military deployment, and that acceptable proof included death photos.

Even though it's not relevant, to be complete I'll also mention that Annenberg noted that, in early 2005, NTFU had created some controversy by publishing pictures of female soliders posing nude in military barracks. This link, referencing a story by The New York Post, comes from the rightwingnut website Free Republic. The Post appears to have deleted the posting from its archives, otherwise I would have linked to the original source.

In any case, I had not known about any of this background in late September. It was the mention on Americablog that first led me to click on NTFU and take a look around. I won't shit anyone here: I'm squeamish, so I didn't look at the gory pics. All I did was notice that there was a section marked, "Pictures From Iraq and Afghanistan - Gory." As for the porn, well, they call it amateur porn for a reason. But hey, there's no accounting for taste including my own.

I didn't care one way or the other about the porn, and as for the gory pictures, well, there is no shortage of gory war pictures -- as the Italian website that originally broke the story noted. In fact, both Eastbay Express and Americablog re-published the gore, and Americablog even thanked another website for hosting the gory pictures. Somebody might have been squeamish, but Americablog and Eastbay Express were certainly not among them.

Nor was the American Civil Liberties Union, which in 2004 had published some pictures, both gory and sexually explicit, from Iraq. As of this writing, the ACLU is in federal court seeking the release of a second set of pictures and videos that, by reliable accounts, are far more explicit than anything on NTFU. Americablog is on record vigorously favoring the ACLU's lawsuit, and is on record saying that NTFU's publication of pornography is not objectionable. Americablog claims not to object to gore and claims not to object to pornography. The latter is believable because Americablog was founded and is operated by a gay man; being a happy homo myself, I have yet to meet or hear of a gay man who objects to porn.

So, what did Americablog object to? I'm not exactly sure. Near as I can tell, they were pissed because Chris Wilson posted the gory pics without also condemning the war. Or maybe Americablog was just looking for a way to build site traffic, and the "outrage" was phony to begin with. Hard to say.

Back to late September 2005. At that time, I continued reading Americablog and saw that it was really getting into the impact that its hyping of the story was having. Here's a quote from one of Americablog's postings on Sept. 26, 2005, in which they brag of how they've raised the profile of the story in the national media:

The Hotline, a VERY influential inside-the-beltway publication in DC political circles, reports today on our story from this morning that US soldiers appear to be posing for photos with dead Iraqis (and their body parts) and then trading the photos for porn online. The Hotline coverage is important because it helps establish this as a "real" story for Washington types, including reporters and politicos. Hopefully it will get some traction

Mind you, the basic premise of Americablog's story was a blatant lie. It was never actually about "military porn for death photos." Americablog's label implied two things: One, that the military was involved, and secondly, that porn was traded for death pics. Neither was true. Members of the military had sent gory pictures, but there was no institutional "military" involvement. In fact, as The New York Post had reported in  February 2005, the military had at least tried to block its personnel from gaining access to NTFU.

Secondly, there was no "trading" of porn for "death pics." NTFU gave free access to its site in return for proof of someone's military deployment in the Middle East; a "death pic" was sufficient, but not necessary, proof of deployment. Figuring out the truth was no rocket science, given that NTFU published gory and non-gory military photos; if "death photos" were required, then what were the non-gory photos doing on the side, and why were they the overwhelming majority?

But Americablog wasn't about to let mere facts get in the way of outrage or a good story. Facts are not how you get attention on the Internet. After its first posting on Sept. 26th, the Americablog site continued to hype the story. On Sept. 27th, Americablog ran three separate items on the issue. On Sept. 28th, Americablog ran three more items, including one calling it "gore for porn" and another calling it "war dead for porn" -- even though this was an out-and-out lie.

Incidentally, Americablog was far from the only liberal website beating the drums. I mention it so prominently for two reasons. One is that it's where I learned of NTFU. The other is that I was banned from Americablog for sticking up for NTFU, which shows that many liberal websites are just as intolerant of dissent as their rightwingnut brothers-under-the-skin. But other liberal sites, including Buzzflash.com and Rawstory.com, were hyping the phony "gore-for-porn" story at that time.

On Sept. 29th, Americablog ran two more stories with the same lie, and a third mentioning in passing "snuff for porn." By then, much of the major media had picked up the thread, enabling Americablog to drop the story in favor of more pressing matters, such as the Harriett Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. But the ball was rolling, and on Oct. 7th Chris Wilson was arrested on obscenity charges.

On Oct. 8th, Americablog noted that "war-dead-for-porn website raided." It disapproved, not of the raid itself but of the rationale. And its owner, John Aravosis, who I'm told was once a staffer for Republican Sen. Ted Stevens but turned then liberal, offered the following teaser:

I still have a few bombshells left on the war-dead-for-porn story. I'm sitting tight until all the scandals blow over a bit, there's no point in putting it out there now, the media won't touch it. Wait for things to slow down, then I'll pounce.

But that was the last mention of the "scandal" except in passing. For example, on Oct. 19, Americablog used its inaccurate reporting as a fundraising tool:

We are about to move and upgrade the blog to a new server, and that is going to cost us thirty to forty thousand dollars over the next year. (And those of you who think it won't cost that, you don't know the details of how much traffic we're getting. We used up 500 gigs of bandwidth just for those war-for-porn photos a few weeks ago. I have a proposal put together by an expert I know and trust, we've already gotten bids from vendors, this is what it's going to cost.)

From there, there was the court case against Chris and his jailing. Eventually the ACLU got involved; I might be wrong about this, but I think the only reason the ACLU got involved was because they were shamed into it.  As for the liberal blogs, they don't get it. I posted twice on DailyKos, the granddaddy of the liberal blogosphere. In both the  first instance and the second instance, the "liberals" of DailyKos lined up solidly with the rightwingnuts of Florida against freedom.

(Note: At dKos my sign-on is cwilson, which is completely coincidental. The posters at dKos, who call themselves "Kossacks" after the Russian Czarist police, repeatedly lied and claimed a connection even after I posted on multiple occasions that I am not Chris Wilson. I did give $500 to Chris's defense fund, but that's the total extent of any similarity or connection between us.)

As I wrote on DailyKos, I think the "Kossacks" joined forces with the Bush administration for two reasons. One is that they don't care about freedom. Second is that Chris simply published the gory pics along with everything else, without adding a cheesy over-the-top condemnation of the Iraq War like the "liberals" would have preferred. The Bush administration, for its part, wants to sanitize the Iraq War to the greatest extent possible; it's why Bush never appears at military funerals and never appears with wounded veterans, and it's why both coffins and wounded veterans are flown back to the United States in the middle of the night. The military was embarrassed, and they don't like to be embarrassed.

The sad thing about this alliance of liberals and rightwingnuts is that it's now showing every sign of spreading to include all kinds of pornography. The Bush administration has already gotten Web search results from Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft - which were only too happy to provide them - and is now seeking them from Google, so as to track down pornography. It's all for the purpose of "protecting the children," of course. Naturally, The Washington Post is on board with the crusade.

I've always believed that one person's freedom is everyone's freedom. We know the rightwingers don't see it that way, but I must admit that I was surprised to see the liberal blogosphere hop on the censorship train. They really should have taken more care in what they wished for. Chris, I wish you the best of luck. You fought the good fight, but very few liberals gave a rat's ass. See, you didn't dot the right i's or cross the right t's when you posted the gore. Unfortunately, that's what it's all about.

by cwilson 2006-03-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

(first time here)...sure hope you are wrong about this elegy, for that would make the Web so much less interesting -- an all Left-Wing blogosphere ... nothing but progressives and their new online institutions as far as the mouse can see, while gone are the wingnuts off to join the Establishment. I enjoyed your previous quantitative posts on blogosphere metrics and it is still a stimulating area of research. But the death of the entire right half of the Global Brain is just not credible based on the anecdotal evidence of the personal successes of several A-list Rightwingers being absorbed by the MSM.The rapid growth of the LeftWing Blogosphere is a story in its own right. No need to over play it though. Perhaps a QUALITY metric is important now. Thanks.

by Rizalist 2006-03-21 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Poor Republicans, they must really be suffering for their lack of an online presence.  They only control corporate America, the Presidency, and Congress.  (I'm not necessarily saying those three are distinguishable.)

by aristoi78 2006-03-21 08:48PM | 0 recs
all the more reason

HR 1606 is so important...

by Cedwyn 2006-03-21 09:16PM | 0 recs
More Rightwing flight seen here
As we can see from the paternalistic Stingray post and the moron cwilson's assertion "Abramhoff's corrupt keiretsu gave one-third of its money to Democrats."
That they cannot get a seperate response as to how this sounds from their respective Rightwing spider holes, because as all of us have found out, there is NO ROOM for debate or dissent on ANY of the RIghtwing blogs. I wouldn't even call them blogs. They are Rightwing "Cogs."
Copies of RIghtWIng talking points with NO Discernable debate or altering. Thus making the Republic-machinery of the Fascist State The dumbshit is taking us down the path to, just like daddy and Prescott (Let's not forget the Nazi sympathizer and profetter Prescott Bush) suits these traitors just fine.
They have their's and that is the way they think they can get eveyone to just shut up, because they have something to say, and we are all supposed to be quiet and let them have the floor because they are the the chosen ones.
Well, let me tell you something You republico-shmucks. I Pray for bush's RAPTURE everyday. I visualize his lifeless corpse hanging from the Whitehouse Portico, swinging to and fro, just like Mussolini's, for all to spit on.
He is a TRAITOR, and anyone who supports, condones or fosters his plans and ideals is giving aid and comfort to the ENEMY of the UNITED STATES.
I will not pass another election cycle while that fucking piece of crap calls himself "president." He is nothing more than the vacuous shell of human protoplasm, the illegal Resident, and Precedent of the United States. He is the WORST leader in US history. And I can't WAIT to hang his and all of your Rightwing sorry asses for supporting this me first conservative bullshit.
Death to ALL REPFUCKNIKKKANS! ANd then the fucking corporations better watch the fuck out.
by Tom Paine 2006-03-22 03:10AM | 0 recs
Re: More Rightwing flight seen here

Tom Paine's posting is exactly the sort of stuff I'm talking about. The wingnut blogs and the liberal blogs are dominated by that kind of stuff, i.e., vicious diatribes against anyone who deivates at all, or who criticizes the dominant ideology. That's why the blogosphere -- both left and right -- serves almost exclusively as a megaphone.

I think when the history of the political blogs is written it will say that they were the MSG in the Chinese dinner.

by cwilson 2006-03-22 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

The other part of the equation, which I think is an interesting juxtaposition, is that bloggers on our side, rather than going into the MSM, go into Democratic elections and work for Democratic candidates. That's unlikely to change anytime soon either.

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-03-22 03:31AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

I was sent this way via Hugh Hewitt's blog, and as you might guess, I am right wing.

You said, "In short, there is almost nothing in the way of an independent right-wing blogosphere operating outside of existing, established news media outlets."

And later you quoted yourself saying, "The single most important difference between the blogospheres is this: the progressive blogosphere is introducing new actors into the political scene. The right-wing blogosphere is facilitating further organization of what was already a fairly coherent political world."

It's interesting to me how you define blogs as needing to be independent and creating new "actors into the political scene" to merit your approval, and if bloggers cooperate with or work for establish organizations, then it's as if they don't exist anymore. I mean I see your point. You're proud that you're part of creating something new, while at the same time you see the right-wing blogs as just being part of the same old political and media world of old. For you, once some of the key right-wing bloggers start working for the MSM, it's as if all those blogs are now just part of the MSM.

This is very interesting indeed.

I can certainly see how this appeals to progressive who by definition are trying to progress to something new and better. But conservatives tend to be happy with what exists and, more or less, want to keep it the way it is. Isn't that what conservative means after all?

Thus, to me, all you have discovered is that independent thinking progressives have discovered a way to forge new communities through the blogosphere, while conservatives have tended to use the blogosphere to work with existing organizations. Which is exactly what one should expect based on the very definitions of progressive and conservative.

Think about it. The left wing blogosphere wants much more radical changes than the existing system allows. They have to form new organizations if they ever hope to achieve their more radical goals.

But the right wing is already in power. And conservatives don't tend to be that "radical" anyway. So why would they even want to create whole new organizations or communities when the exiting ones are pretty close to what they want? They only need to tweak those organizations and provide an alternate flow of information to keep them accountable.

What's more, if you were in the MSM, wouldn't you want to avoid getting burned by the blogosphere (left or right), and wouldn't you want to work with them where it made sense to do so? So, over time, it seems only natural that there should be less "major campaigns". These groups are beginning to learn how to work together.

But the blogs are still independent and they have made fundamental changes in how our system works. True, it's the established system, but it can't get away with some of the things it used to.

As a conservative, that's good enough for me. I'm not a progressive looking for radical changes or trying to form whole new progressive movements. So, to me, your lament of the demise of the right-wing blogosphere is rather pointless.

In the end, all you're saying is that we're not like you. But I knew that all along. And I'm happy with that.

by AZDean 2006-03-22 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Hey cwilson
You are too complacent in your Neocon safe filled with booty from the Halliburton and Kellog, Brown Root stealings that you and your kind have done since time immemorial. I won't stand by and let you unAmerican self-serving sychophants provide cover to this Nazi that you have made. I will fight to uncover every dastardly plan and non-liberal way you have hijack the Constitution and raped Lady Liberty.

Give me Liberty or Give me death.
"Bring it on."

by Tom Paine 2006-03-22 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore
So belligerent! Such a fine tuned, sensible writing style. I guess cwilson is right.
I try to read blogs of all political persuasions, but these type of rants are so boring. Could a reasonable person actually pay attention to Tom Paine?
"Bring it on, I will fight, your kind have done....." How very small.
Wouldn't you just love to know what people who write this type of trash do for a living? True keyboard warriors.
by 4estbird 2006-03-22 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

Tom Paine's posting is exactly the sort of stuff I'm talking about. The wingnut blogs and the liberal blogs are dominated by that kind of stuff, i.e., vicious diatribes against anyone who deivates at all, or who criticizes the dominant ideology. That's why the blogosphere -- both left and right -- serves almost exclusively as a megaphone.

I think when the history of the political blogs is written it will say that they were the MSG in the Chinese dinner.

by cwilson 2006-03-22 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

What you are saying is the right-wing blogosphere has moved into the mainstream...  It remains a mystery to me how the left-wing blogosphere expects to attract political followers when every other sentence contains profanity.  The vast majority of people don't care to read this copulating excrement.

by exguru 2006-03-23 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

It's easy to check the facts on this opinion by visiting http://freerepublic.com.

The site is a non-profit with a transparent user-supported base (verifiably independent from outside funding to a degree that the more popular hard left sites cannot claim) that continues to have very high traffic. You can verify this via an independent link on the homepage where you can easily compare their traffic with others. Further, it continues to offer news analysis that regularly turns up in Google searches to offer an antidote to the leftward spin of the mass media.

Conservative pundits across the board regularly use it to get corrective analysis on breaking news. It has an ongoing and effective anti-insurgent function, regularly putting feet on the ground to counter leftist protest events.

Its true grass-roots deviation from many GOP talking points has even caused Drudge to remove a link to it from his site -- a testimony to its independent nature.

"Independent" Bloggers such as Kos & Arianna are offered a forum in the mainstream media as a means for them to proffer the hard left POV without seeming to fully endorse it, further growing their traffic, but regardless, Free Republic's tangible influence in the Impeachment Campaign, the exposure of the MSM via the outing of Rather, and as a news source to numberless right wing radio shows demonstrats a continuing efficacy far outstripping the meager attention the MSM deigns to give it.

What you wrote:"whenever established news centers and sources of political power comment on "the blogs" anymore, now they always mean progressive blogs..." can be spun however you want to. I'll continue to see it my way. Agenda driven politicos and media outlets fear an effective grassroots movement like FR and so ignore it. DailyKos, Huffington, MoveOn and others that can be counted on to march in lockstep are the useful idiots that can be called up at will to tote the party line for the far hard left, by which the MSM can both attack the Bush administration as they would like to -- devoid of their responsibility to be able to substantiate -- while simultaneously portraying the liberal democrat agenda as centrist.

by ventana 2006-03-23 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

I'll give this much credit to the Freepers: They taught the liberal blogs how to exercise censorship!

by cwilson 2006-03-23 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: There Is No Right-Wing Blogosphere Anymore

i'll say! i've been banned for a second time from a popular right wing site rightwingnews.com. its not so much a blog, but i wrote a bunch of stuff that they obviously didnt like. nothing vulgar or whatever, just calling them out. and here i am lamenting my loss. internet power is good. i'll get on it again somehow.

by buddaz 2006-09-09 12:38PM | 0 recs

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