WSJ: ‘Twas right-wing bloggers killed the shamnesty beast

posted at 1:49 pm on July 3, 2007 by Allahpundit

If only it were true.

Political activism on the Internet — and in the so-called blogosphere, in particular — has long been considered a liberal stronghold. But conservative bloggers show increasing signs of their own coming of age…

[T]he immigration bill marked the first time conservative Web logs could claim to have targeted and derailed a major piece of legislation. The triumph underscored their increasing influence and signaled that the balance of online power may be evening out in the political arena.

The confluence of blogs and conservatives’ dominance on radio is an especially potent mix. Talk-radio and conservative bloggers don’t always work hand in hand, but they have been effective when they do…

Historically, Republican bloggers haven’t generated the same kind of Internet traffic as liberal writers, even though conservatives have dominated talk radio. The defeat of the immigration bill suggests that may be changing and illustrates the tactics that bloggers could use to influence the 2008 campaign.

It’s an unwritten rule of blogging that credit from the mainstream media must be met with triumphalism, so rare is the occasion and so keen are we to claim importance. I wish I could wave those pompoms but I think Barnett got it right yesterday: right-wing blog readership is so pitifully small that we can’t influence much of anything except when opinion is unusually and passionately united on an issue, in which case Republican legislators might note it as a sort of “early warning system” for how the base at large is going to react. But that’s the extent of it, and even in that case, it’s not quite accurate to say that “right-wing blogs” have influence. Some right-wing blogs have influence — Red State and Powerline in particular from what I hear from friends in Washington, who tell me those are the two that GOP congressmen are dimly aware of. And Instapundit too, of course, and I’m sure the boss’s site got a few looks during this particular debate since she’s famous for her work on the subject. Righties who want to send a message to Congress on some future issue are probably better off treating those four as “feeder blogs” and sending them important links, etc (to the extent they’re not doing so already).

This is all based on the assumption, of course, that Republican legislators care what their constituents think. Which is also, apparently, largely untrue.

I’ll revise my opinion on this subject if and when we help bounce someone in a primary challenge. Ahem.

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Update: Dean claims at one point in his post that Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s audiences are 50 times the size of that of the most widely read right-wing blog, i.e., Instapundit. I think the real factor is considerably larger than that. The numbers I usually hear for Limbaugh and Hannity are 15 million listeners; Instapundit does, at last check, about 200,000 hits a day, but of course not all of those are unique visitors. Let’s guesstimate that the uniques are 75,000 and that each one checks his site on average between two and three times a day. That means the actual factor is 200. We’ll cut into that a bit as time goes on but for the widely foreseeable future, it’s night and day.


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It IS the bloggers Allah. You and all the other pamphleteers out there. Many are trapped at work…no TV no ‘Bigot Talk Radio’….with cubicles that allow a peek into the information available out there.

The lefty sites are all hate, bile, and gas. The righty sites put out information. Just what the doctor (no pun intended) ordered.

Limerick on July 3, 2007 at 1:55 PM

I wish I could agree with you Big A but after the O’Reilly-less Factor last night, I agree with KP – the Boss killed shame-nesty!

On-my-soap-box on July 3, 2007 at 1:59 PM

I remember when Bush first proposed his shamnesty bill, Bill O’reilly tried to defend it and Michelle came on the show and said something to the effect that she couldn’t believe he supported it (and neither could I.) That was the early warning sign that the conservative base was not going to buy it.

Keli on July 3, 2007 at 2:03 PM

Well Allah, I will take the credit if you don’t want it. Yay Me!

RobertCSampson on July 3, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Oh Allah, you’re far too humble here.

If the MSM is conceding ANYTHING to anyone right of Joe Lieberman, you know they were dragged kicking and screaming to it because no other byline would be taken seriously.

Sounds like someone didn’t get their iPhone…

BKennedy on July 3, 2007 at 2:05 PM

I appreciate the humility. But, do not sell HA short. Michelle’s videoblogging and the overall push for journalistic standards are what attracted me to HA and what keeps me here.

My background in Web development tells me that it is a slow burn for some of the swells in this still new medium to turn into tsunamis. I believe Hot Air’s waters are receding and your stormy impact has yet to be fully realized.

I’m a recent j-school fellow. The program I participated in was run by giants of the industry. I learned AP style and hard news reporting. But I also became acutely aware of the chink in the dinosaur media’s armor – interactivity.

Hot Air represents everything that newspapers ignored and are now scrambling to emulate.

The Race Card on July 3, 2007 at 2:06 PM

Bloggers will know when their influence is great when the government moves to impose a fairness doctrine on the Internet.

Valiant on July 3, 2007 at 2:08 PM

I have noticed quite a bit of references to blog articles from the people on KSFO here in the Bay area ( Brian Sussman, Melanie Morgan, the Babe in the Bunker.etc) so I think even if you choose to discount the bloggers effect, there is most certainly an effect that churns up when there is a big issue to be dealt with.

bbz123 on July 3, 2007 at 2:10 PM

That right there is what you call a target-rich environment.

(In the sense that they need to be replaced in office, obviously.)

RyanOH on July 3, 2007 at 2:11 PM

“… little junior is all in a rage. Didn’t you notice he was coming of age?” – Damn Yankees.

Indeed, do not sell yourself short. But we need to do a better job of pointing our elected legislators to the blogs (er, rubbing their noses in it?). Perhaps color it as “look how much you can save on polling!”.

At any rate, we can make sure that the folks we get to run in the primaries to bounce these embaressments are blog-aware.

juanito on July 3, 2007 at 2:11 PM

There may be some difficulty in assigning proper kudos, but there should be no difficulty in assessing those that have no claim whatsoever.

rw on July 3, 2007 at 2:14 PM

I wish fox news would wise up and replace O’Reilly and Greta with Michelle and Mark Steyn. But alas Fox, I feel, is headed down the same dhimmitude road as the rest of the MSM.

Swinehound on July 3, 2007 at 2:15 PM

I think the blogs might have had a miniscule effect that combined with the talking heads to add a molecule of water into the tidal wave of disgust citizens had about Shamnesty.

Radio’s talking heads and the internet’s bloggers helped get out the information on this beast.

The real test will be to pre-empt the Unfairness Doctrine.

While I despise how the DNC, Nutroots, and the MSM are in bed together and use the lock step approach to “the message”, Conservative blogs and radio talk show hosts could work a little closer together. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t, having to carry water for some one I disagree with isn’t my cup of tea.

I enjoy the ability to agree with Michelle, Ann, Rush, Stein, and others, and the ability to disagree with any or all. The liberal’s have nothing even close.

Rode Werk on July 3, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Rode, we absolutely need to work closer with talk radio, and put serious effort into building an effective media machine that can offer a solid counter to the left’s propaganda arm. We’re still fighting at a huge disadvantage in this regard.

Bad Candy on July 3, 2007 at 2:21 PM

The immigration bill as presented was a misconstrued conglomeration of inconsistencies and confusing rhetoric. It was embarrassing to think something that incompetent could actually have been presented on the floor of the U S Senate for consideration. Americans from both parties, liberal and conservative defeated this bill. Without securing the borders first, only insures the immigration act to be the farce it was. The blame should be on those responsible for such a piece of garbage for legislation. The people are speaking and nobody is listening. Nix the 46.

volsense on July 3, 2007 at 2:22 PM

Opening the registration brought in a lot of great new commenters, and it seems to me that one way to get more readership is to open registration more frequently. Last time Charles opened registration over at LGF, 400 new people registered in one hour. I am really curious to know how many new registrations HA got that same day.

I used to read Lucianne. I tried to get registered before the 2006 election. A nice lady emailed me to inquire what nic I would like to use, and to let me know that I was on a waiting list to receive a password. It’s going on 10 months now. I no longer read Lucianne. Hey, if that waiting list is that long, they sure don’t need me.

I recognize that the HA staff has their reasons for infrequent registration, and this is not a criticism. But blogs are wonderful communities with loyal readers. Just the other day I ran into an old friend – big conservative – who had never heard of Hot Air or LGF. He works offshore and has time to read, and I guarantee he is reading this blog now.

*waves to Patrick*

Anyway, I would like to lobby for a more open door for our like minded brethren and sistren, who will continue to spread the word.

RushBaby on July 3, 2007 at 2:27 PM

“WSJ: ‘Twas right-wing bloggers killed the shamnesty beast”

Not true! It was Michelle Malkin. Ms. Powers even admitted it.

Kevin M on July 3, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Id say that big dollars have more voice in Washington than the blogs.

But the blogs are a counter balance to that influence. I think we are more a trial balloon for ideas than the generator of ideas.

Of all my talks with Washington types I feel more preached to that I need to keep in step with them than the other way around.

William Amos on July 3, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Well, AP, you influence me. And since I will one day either be POTUS or a very famous astronaut/cowboy, the influence you have over me with be vindicated in time. Be patient.

VolMagic on July 3, 2007 at 2:29 PM

I’m guessing reporters use blogs to find out details of the bill, actually. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lou Dobbs (or his researchers) check to see what is going on.

Also, many readers forward articles to others who don’t read blogs. I forward quite a bit to my family, and they might forward it, etc.

TK on July 3, 2007 at 2:31 PM

The guy here in Orlando who started RecallMel.com got an hour on the local talk radio guy’s show yesterday, to talk about why we should recall Martinez.

DaveS on July 3, 2007 at 2:35 PM

The people have influence. Some right-wing blogs have influence. And most right-wing blogs reflect the majority’s opinion and mindset.

The blog-o-sphere was simply a megaphone that amplified the resounding HELL NO the people were shouting at congress.

And speaking of congress: the people still need a dookie clean-up on the senate floor. Dookie clean-up on the senate floor.

locomotivebreath1901 on July 3, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Yes…Many of us heard the (true) details of the bill on HotAir or other sites.
The bottom line: Most Americans were against the bill.
I’ve typed these words before: Who works for whom?

(BTW: I don’t get to listen to talk radio much. But NPR was on yesterday and today at work. All (ALL) I hear is about what a crime it is that Libby’s sentence was commuted.
Just five seconds ago: “What a disgusting travesty…”)

No wonder all the young people I talk to think Bush, Cheney, et al are evil!

RedCrow on July 3, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Don’t sell yourself short, AP. The lefty blogs might individually have more influence because they’re larger, with the lefties concentrating around a few large blogs, with the right-leaning blog readers spread out amongst numerous smaller blogs. I’m too lazy to add up hit counts for the top 10 right-leaning blogs, but there’s got to be some serious numbers there.

Then there’s Drudge, who may not have interjected opinion, but is a huge influence in drawing attention to the issues and the confict surrounding them.

You really think people got the e-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers for their Senators from talk radio? Not likely.

Hollowpoint on July 3, 2007 at 2:36 PM

I think this is unsettled. Most of the evidence points to such a massive overweight of power on the side of the MSM – look no farther than the election of the Treason Party to congress just 9 months ago – and, as Allah says, “right wing” blog readership is still a tiny niche group, but shamnesty and Rathergate were victories, if isolated, and against the tide.

Alternative clear-thinking media is on the way, but hasn’t really had its big, watershed breakthrough moment yet. When that happens, the world will be massively rocked. Maybe 2008 is the time…

Halley on July 3, 2007 at 2:41 PM

I’ll revise my opinion on this subject if and when we help bounce someone in a primary challenge. Ahem.

If that assjack didn’t get indicted we’d be sitting pretty. Could he have been ratted out by the establishment GOP?

Theworldisnotenough on July 3, 2007 at 2:43 PM

What these morons keep failing to realize is, we don’t get our marching orders from anyone. We listen/read anyone that we find agrees with us, and gives us an opportunity to talk about/debate/exchange ideas with others that are just like us. This is why talk radio and blogs are so popular with Conservatives. Those who watch the One-way-media are the automatons…not us.

Long live Talk Radio and Blogs! Long live HotAir!

tickleddragon on July 3, 2007 at 2:46 PM

Also (at the risk of bringing our resident troll from under his bridge), note the rise of Fred Thompson. Where’d his support come from? Until recently he got little or no MSM exposure. Hell, I didn’t even know who he was besides a nameless face on TV and the movies before reading his articles on Townhall.com and elsewhere.

I think too many conservative leaning bloggers look at their hit counts compared to DU or DKos and conclude that they’re too small to have influence without considering that they’re a piece of a pretty large and delicious pie.

Hollowpoint on July 3, 2007 at 2:50 PM

I’m new to blogging. I “lurked” a long time before I posted. Hooked now for the following: the immediacy, sort of almost instant news—-the ability to speak MY mind. How many times have I seethed because I had no outlet!!—-knowing that the blogs have the potential to reach EVERY place with a computer and an internet connection—-the transparency, no where to hide(some would say this is NOT good!!!) I predict that sooner or later the blogs or something like them will outstrip even talk radio as a force for change either good or bad. Something of a responsibility what???

jeanie on July 3, 2007 at 2:55 PM

I’m with Dean and Allah — the numbers don’t lie.

Jaibones on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Wow. Who knew the Republicans could whine just as well as the Democrats? I thought Linda Chavez’s editorial that was linked to yesterday was whiny and insulting. I couldn’t even read all of it. First they whine about talk radio and now they target the blogs. Maybe they ought to listen to/read what we’re saying and see why talk radio and blogs get so much attention. Or course, that would mean actually paying attention to the populace.

wherestherum on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Plus, thanks to internet speed we were able to actually read this thing BECAUSE of the blogs posting it. I cannot imagine what would have happned had we not been able to do so. That right there was the biggie.

bbz123 on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

I think many of you are missing AllahP’s point. No matter how much we love our corner of the blogosphere, the statistics show that we are indeed a very small percentage of the electorate. The blogosphere can influence things the way a good essayist might — by shaping the opinion of someone with a very large audience.

Even if AllahP was being falsely modest (instead of realistic), I prefer that to Kos’s blowhard egomania. I also like his idea of a test-case for a primary challenge. A primary challenge in my very backyard, as it turns out. Heh.

Anton on July 3, 2007 at 3:02 PM

Where’s Teddy’s right hand, and why is Graham smiling?

see-dubya on July 3, 2007 at 3:02 PM

Opening the registration brought in a lot of great new commenters, and it seems to me that one way to get more readership is to open registration more frequently.

RushBaby on July 3, 2007 at 2:27 PM

The problem with constantly/frequently open registration is that it allows for “drive-by posters” to register. Try reading some blogs and forums that allow this; you will see that the discussion is not intelligent nor courteous. Instead you will see mainly an exchange of vile insults. On these sites, you will also notice that the worst offenders are usually very infrequent (often one-time) posters that either registered simply to hurl an insult or those that have a number of sock-puppet accounts who argue with themselves simply to stir things up for their own sick self-gratification.

Hot Air is exemplary in the quality of comments and the general insight and courteousness of its posters. Limiting registration has been effective in keeping the discussion here civil and intelligent without the necessity of frequent forceful moderation such as removing posts or banning members. However, it is sometimes necessary to maintain civility.

Michelle recently re-opened comments (registration is now closed) on her site after several years hiatus due to the vile filth that was previously being thrown at her there. She has adopted the periodic registration method employed here, very likely due to its success. Time will tell whether or not it is effective on her site, but my guess is that it will be.

Posters come and go, and the site management opens registration when they feel there is a need for “new blood.” If you click the “site meter” link at the bottom of this page, you will see that traffic to this site has been increasing steadily. Keeping the discussion intelligent and on topic (and maybe another link from Drudge) is the best way to keep up the growth.

mojojojo on July 3, 2007 at 3:05 PM

What does Daily Kos, and other online so-called “advocates” or “organizers”, have to their credit? Turning the tide against Lieberman in a primary? Only to solidify his independence from the Democrats in the general? Pushing the case against Iraq and shifting the party to the Left, but at a time they cannot override the Commander in Chief?

Let’s look at this honestly. The conservative tide against the immigration bill largely arising from the blogs and talk radio actually stopped it. It would otherwise have become law. There is no comparable “win” on the Left side of the blogosphere or talk radio.

Anil Petra on July 3, 2007 at 3:05 PM

It’s not our win, it’s talk radio’s.

Allahpundit on July 3, 2007 at 3:06 PM

AP, you are right again of course. The power of the blogs are overstated by bloggers. But this, I think, is spot on:

a sort of “early warning system”

Anything beyond that is wishful thinking.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 3:26 PM

It’s everybody’s win, everybody that contributed anyway, because we’re all on the same team. You can argue for days over who played quarterback and who was the punter and who was waterboy [Bobby Boucher, naturally], but all that really matters is that the team–America–won. Personally, I could give a rat’s ass who gets the glory, as long as we drove a stake through the heart of shamnesty.

ReubenJCogburn on July 3, 2007 at 3:30 PM

mojojojo on July 3, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I would love to hear others’ experiences/point of view on this as well.

On this very thread, we hear from jeanie 2:55 PM

Hooked now for the following: the immediacy, sort of almost instant news—-the ability to speak MY mind. How many times have I seethed because I had no outlet!!—-knowing that the blogs have the potential to reach EVERY place with a computer and an internet connection—-the transparency, no where to hide(some would say this is NOT good!!!) I predict that sooner or later the blogs or something like them will outstrip even talk radio as a force for change either good or bad. Something of a responsibility what???

This infectious enthusiasm must be invited and nurtured. So AP has to do some stern moderating and sometimes swing the ban stick at cretinous comments. Even those are teaching moments for the rest of us. Speaking for myself, I am just a little less undisciplined when I open my yap in public, thanks to my membership here.

RushBaby on July 3, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Anything beyond that is wishful thinking.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 3:26 PM

If the is true, why are so many people now asking “where’s Tommy”?

On-my-soap-box on July 3, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Because this is an issue that people care about. Compare it to the MM boycott of sponsors of the View? How’d that work out? No impact.

I like blogs, I said it the other day that I think they are gaining power in influencing intellectual arguments. And I think AP is as talented as they come. But they are still a social forum, as much as anything.

Talk radio is still the power on the right, and will remain that way until the audio and video components increase on the web. It’s always easier to listen or watch then to read.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 3:53 PM

I don’t receive talk radio where I live (in the boonies, surrounded by mountains and trees). MOST of my information comes from a variety of blogs which I read consistently (probably way too much). I have been lurking at HotAir and MM for quite some time and got lucky enough to catch the open registration. I felt like I had finally been invited to dinner after pressing my nose against the window watching you guys eat. Thanks for having me.

speed911 on July 3, 2007 at 3:55 PM

I’m with Dean and Allah — the numbers don’t lie.

Jaibones on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Perhaps, but the people who do read blogs are the folks that matter. Advertising has the concept of “first adopters” or something like that. Even though the first adopter demographic is tiny, its importance is huge because these are the folks who influence other (later) adopters. So it is with politics: most people simply aren’t paying attention yet, but when they start to they’ll be asking those of us who are what we think.

I agree with Dean that politicos should use the blogs as an early warning system, but I also think we help set the agenda.

student on July 3, 2007 at 3:56 PM

but, but, but… We’re the *LOUD* people!! Did you forget?? Oh — maybe that’s Talk Radio. But the blogs helped, no doubt. Blogs get linked, articles get forwarded. It’s hard to forward a radio clip when you are driving home from work. Cutting edge baby!!

Also, what’s up with that hee-hawing picture anyway? Can’t they see the “Quiet Please” sign on the wall?? I guess they didn’t have any aides around to read it to them…

lan astaslem on July 3, 2007 at 4:32 PM

Plus, thanks to internet speed we were able to actually read this thing BECAUSE of the blogs posting it. I cannot imagine what would have happned had we not been able to do so. That right there was the biggie.

bbz123 on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Like a school of barracuda.

saiga on July 3, 2007 at 4:32 PM

And for our next act…….

TheSitRep on July 3, 2007 at 4:34 PM

Jaibones on July 3, 2007 at 3:01 PM

Praise the lord and pass the gunsmoke — Jaibones and I agree on something!

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 4:36 PM

AP will know when he’s a “power”. He’ll be making tons of money and he’ll be enduring relentless, vicious attacks on his character from politicians and the MSM. It won’t be hard to follow AP’s rise to the top. We couldn’t miss it if we wanted to.

jaime on July 3, 2007 at 5:16 PM

It seems everyone here is forgetting something. Most Democratic voters didn’t care for this bill either. A number of Democrats voted against it even before there were 40 no votes.

While the MSM might want to blame the failure of a bill they liked on a group of people they detest, the bill failed because a majority of all Americans did not want this bill. While HA and MM did mobilize some people and make it easy to contact your Congressman, the fact remains that an extremly large segment of the population did not want this bill whether they were liberal or conservative.

The WSJ, by blaming a very smae segment of the population, is atempting to distract the people from the fact that Congress almost forced something on us that was against the will of the vast majority of the people.

Buford on July 3, 2007 at 5:23 PM

and by smae, I, of course, mean small,

Buford on July 3, 2007 at 5:25 PM

One point to remember: whereas talk radio has a much, much bigger audience than the blogs, the blogs have as much, or more, influence because the bogs influence talk radio.
Listening to Rush, Levin, et.al., it’s obvious that a good part of their shows are lifted from the blogs, especially Powerline, LGF, and The Corner.

billy on July 3, 2007 at 5:31 PM

One addtional note: You watch and see, this article by the WSJ is the part of the spin that will cast this as the defeat of imigration reform by a radical activist right wing minority intent on intefering with what is best for the country, instead of the truth, which is that a really bad bill was shot down because most of the voters recognized Congress was trying to pull a fast one.

Buford on July 3, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Bear in mind that Rush, Hannity et al read blogs. Rush has name dropped Hot Air and Malkin hasn’t he? Hannity I’m pretty sure reads Malkin.

Alex K on July 3, 2007 at 5:34 PM

AP will know when he’s a “power”. He’ll be making tons of money and he’ll be enduring relentless, vicious attacks on his character from politicians and the MSM.

Won’t happen. Given the blogging pace he keeps up, I’m pretty sure AP isn’t really a person, at least in the traditional sense. Michelle used some of her crazy syndication money to develop the world’s first Blogging Cyborg- half man, half cybernetic machine; kind of a geekier version of Robocop.

With RSS feeds plugged directly into his/it’s brain and a minicomputer plugged into one of his serial ports, he can go non-stop, breaking only for nightly battery recharging. I mean, has anyone here actually seen AllahPundit, or even a picture or video? I haven’t.

This also explains his desire for an iPhone- after all, why would someone who never leaves the house need one? Answer: to integrate the phone’s electronics into his ethernet ports, allowing him to blog using the WiFi port instead of a pesky cord.

Hollowpoint on July 3, 2007 at 5:35 PM

First it’s the Right wing talk radio, now the right wing blogosphere.
How about…It’s the American People, hearing a tid bit on their local news station about what’s going on up on the hill?
How about giving We the People some credit for disagreeing with the high and almighty senators?
I know dozens of people who spend No time on the internet who were outraged enough to call their representatives. Some even went so far as to borrow time on My computer just to read the bill for themselves. Probably read more than most of the people that were voting on it.

bridgetown on July 3, 2007 at 5:36 PM

bridgetown on July 3, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Totally agree.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 5:54 PM

It’s not our win, it’s talk radio’s.

Allahpundit on July 3, 2007 at 3:06 PM

That’s a maybe, Allah…but I know that I took what I found here and talked to everyone I knew about it. And I’m sure that I’m not the only one that did that.

I have friends that had no idea – because they don’t listen to talk radio or read blogs. I was a link between them and this blog. Even led people here.

So the influence might not always be direct…but it’s still influence nontheless.

tickleddragon on July 3, 2007 at 6:00 PM

The reason that the numbers aren’t necessarily right, is because of that chain of influence… if I wasn’t clear.

tickleddragon on July 3, 2007 at 6:03 PM

Well, I gotta’ tell ya’…And, it MAY BE just my imagination, but…

Whenever I watch Brit Hume, he uses a LOT of the material I’ve already read here and on Michelle’s and Ace’s blogs.

franksalterego on July 3, 2007 at 6:14 PM

The immigration bill failed because a lot of liberals didn’t like it either, for their own reasons. With just conservatives alone fighting it, it would have passed. But ultimately, it was not the right that killed the bill, but the middle ground. The right led the charge, but it was the average person, according to polls, that agreed with the right, who was opposed to the bill and called for its defeat. The MSM doesn’t have the chutzpah yet to villify the People. So, instead, they villify those that alerted the People.

What the MSM fears is that the right wing blogs and talk radio can get the word out to the people. Without that, the people would have no access to critical information. The MSM certainly won’t provide it. They control the narrative. Since there are no nationally read conservative newspapers to feed them the information, the internet and talk radio are the only conduits for a reality check. Thus, their loathing of the power of the internet and talk radio to disseminate the message to the People.

Thirty years ago this bill would have passed, and made little news doing so. That was how things were done in Washington. Now, talk radio and the internet can shed light on these backroom deals and corrupt politicians and bring them to the attention of the masses.

So blogs killed the bill only in the sense that they helped, along with talk radio, to let the average Joe know about what was about to happen in Washington. Then it was up to the average Joe to decide if this was good or bad, and if bad, then to call and write, to take political action. Essentially, the MSM is afraid of what happens when the People tune in to what happens in Washington. They have never tuned in before.

The MSM and the liberals think that is a bad thing, they know that’s a bad thing, because what goes on in Washington is far to the Left that what the average Joe will tolerate if aware. The MSM can no longer control the message.

jihadwatcher on July 3, 2007 at 6:18 PM

I had a minor difference of opinion with the excellent thoughts of jihadwatcher. I disagree with the left/right framing of this issue. It was not a left/right issue. It was an elite/mass issue. The elites of both parties wanted to pass this bill. The elites are more concerned about big business getting cheap labor and about their debased moral notion that immigrants are blessed with the stamp of the Messiah than they are concerned about the actual lives of American citizens.

Admittedly, it was agitation on the right that killed the shamnesty, but I was hard pressed to find a left-wing blog that had the slightest in fight for shamnesty. I don’t believe that the rank and file on the left wanted shamnesty either, but they are too cowed by accusations of racism to speak up. When can we drive a stake through the heart of the “anti-racism” vampire? It currently does more damage to America than the tiny residual American racism does.

thuja on July 3, 2007 at 6:37 PM

I think, perhaps pollyannaishly, that COMMON SENSE killed amnesty.

SouthernGent on July 3, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Poor babies, they are such poor losers!!! The people spoke and that was that. Talk radio and related bloggers have finally come into their own and been recognized for the power that they are.

trainwife1962 on July 3, 2007 at 7:01 PM

franksalterego on July 3, 2007 at 6:14 PM

No it was just your imagination working overtime.

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 7:23 PM

I would like to say that Numbers USA and Laura Ingraham provided links to call, fax and e-mails our senators and I believe that those concrete aids allowed “The People” to resoond and give senators their opinions without having to stop everything else they were doing to write letters and look up the senators phone numbers. Where were we the people going to get the e-mail addresses and the ability to be able to fax our senators on a daily basis if it hadn’t been for sites like this one and others? As someone has already said, it is impossible to forward a talk radio clip to friends and neighbors. I like to read all the information that is posted on the blog sites and I don’t even watch the videos much of the time. I just read what is written and then all the comments that follow. I believe that Numbers USA played a big part in the defeat of the shamnesty bill and I thank them and all the other blogs and most of talk radio, with the exception of Michael Medved, who was a “something has to be done” person in this fight. That “something” would have been far worse than doing nothing.

I hope that all these forces can keep up the good work and kill the “Unfairness” doctrine, which is really only a STIFLE bill for shutting down any opposition to the liberal/humanist/socialist/communist/atheist Dumocrat party. If the Dumocrats can shut down the voices in opposition to them, then they can control everything and do whatever the “progressives?” want to do.

Thanks again to all voices which were against this shamnesty bill.

TruthToBeTold on July 3, 2007 at 7:27 PM

As for the football win/lose descriptions everyone lost. Nothing will be done and a year from now while all the candidates flex muscles and talk about how they will enforce immigration another one million illegals will have made it to the US. Largely Republican run businesses such as Agri Coops and Construction companies will not be held accountable and will still be profiting. Emergency rooms will still be overwhelmed. Add another year beyond the election before whoever is elected and you will have gained a second million more illegal immigrants. If the nightmare scenario comes true and Hillary wins… well whatever bills are devised will be decidedly less to talk radio’s preferences.

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 7:28 PM

Ok now just think how powerful we would be if we had a TV station working with us. The blogs, the radio, and TV pushing the same message. The blogs giving information and picking apart something, the radio giving some emotion and some hard earned reasoning, and TV showing the pictures that are worth a thousand words. Conservatives would be unstoppable. We need a conservative TV station. A pure Conservative station none of this fair and balanced crap.

Oh FOX where were you when we needed you? That’s right in the pockets of big Money. So good to know where you stand.

unseen on July 3, 2007 at 7:39 PM

unseen on July 3, 2007 at 7:39 PM

Wow! sounds like propaganda rather than discourse.

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 7:52 PM

sounds like propaganda

It is:

That’s right in the pockets of big Money

Surprised you missed that.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 8:06 PM

Update: Dean claims at one point in his post that Rush Limbaugh’s and Sean Hannity’s audiences are 50 times the size of that of the most widely read right-wing blog, i.e., Instapundit. I think the real factor is considerably larger than that. The numbers I usually hear for Limbaugh and Hannity are 15 million listeners; Instapundit does, at last check, about 200,000 hits a day, but of course not all of those are unique visitors. Let’s guesstimate that the uniques are 75,000 and that each one checks his site on average between two and three times a day. That means the actual factor is 200. We’ll cut into that a bit as time goes on but for the widely foreseeable future, it’s night and day.

In a representative democracy, it’s true that the great masses of people must sometimes be addressed for the sake of good political effect. However, not everyone has to reach masses of people, and no one has to reach masses all the time. The quality of what can be said to, and understood by, great masses of people is often quite low; better speeches can be addressed to better eyes, and better eyes are fewer. There are times when I write chiefly for an audience of one.

Kralizec on July 3, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 8:06 PM

Al Franken didn’t do so well because he wanted to stick to the party line. That was my point in an “all conservative” venue. Does Fox make you think? If it does then I think that is a good thing, don’t you?

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 8:21 PM

Funny thing…I kept giving links to a certain anti-shamnesty site that was sending out 3-4 ACTION ALERTS a day.

I gave Protein Wisdom,HA and Ace. GUESS which one they picked?….Yup,Ace. Even though you folks covered it much better,the morons were going for the lowest common denominator(Sorry Ace,still luv ya like a Viking)

When the bloody hell is the conservative blogosphere going to get serious and at least ATTEMPT to expose the lies of the left…Berger,Wilson,Jefferson,Landreiu,BOTH Clintons…

Actually,I guess the real question is HOW do we do it? I know that as a simple commenter,I have no voice but there HAS TO BE a way. Newspapers won’t print our letters,the MSM won’t even reprt on YON fer chrissakes….so…HOW?

Blitz on July 3, 2007 at 9:55 PM

Of course radio has a much broader audience than blogs, Rush holding the all time record. Bloggers in general and Michelle and the Hot Air gang in particular are more like pamphleteers.

Here’s a quote from Liberty and Culture…

The Revolutionary pamphleteers were not professional writers but common citizens engaged in the debate of ideas; they created a sense of democracy to the intellectual struggle that preceded the call to arms.

Or in the case of Shamnesty, not arms but an avalanche of calls and emails and letters to Washington DC…

Radio is one tool, blogs are another. Ergo, Hot Air et al = Thomas Paine. Simple.

Zorro on July 3, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 8:21 PM

I must have misunderstood you. Either way I don’t watch it, so unfortunately can’t answer your question.

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 11:38 PM

Spirit of 1776 on July 3, 2007 at 11:38 PM

LOL I’m confused now. We must have both badly misunderstood what the other meant. It’s late have a good one.

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Oh FOX where were you when we needed you? That’s right in the pockets of big Money. So good to know where you stand.

unseen on July 3, 2007 at 7:39 PM

If it wasn’t for having Michelle on and Sean H. I also would have deleted them. Give CNN some credit for giving us Lou Dobb’s and not pulling his strings. And I’m sure they felt the heat coming from the ELITIST who problaly own most these companies lock stock and barrel..

Legions on July 4, 2007 at 12:12 AM

Bradky on July 3, 2007 at 11:54 PM

You too.

Spirit of 1776 on July 4, 2007 at 12:25 AM

O.K. AP and MM it is time to have a serious “chat” about this.
First off, we do appreciate your humility, dedication and hard work in all that you do! ((((( enter drum rolls))))))

As far as member comments that serve only to cheapen the value of the content here you have my permission to kick them off or not accept that particular comment with a “black out or gray out” editing technique.
This would be very similar to Rush Limbaugh accepting only callers that prove to be interesting and informative.

This is YOUR gig after all!! It’s your baby. You can make any rules you want for member sign up! If members stray from your guidelines you can zap that comment with the “gray out editor” After the third time they go into probation for awhile and so on.

Further discussion and debate is essential here.

For all of you who love HA as much as I do and are willing to fight with your blood for the right to do so, and make it the most visited blog site, let’s hear from you.

Also, for those that are willing to work on interesting content please read this

It is a lot to read but please do so and let’s discuss further what are the ingredients for a successful blog site.

My comment summary on successful blogs are as follows:
A. Regular and relentless, interesting, informative content.
B. Get linked to from other sites (I found HA from a Youtube posting of O’Reilly.)
C. Get mentioned on Radio and TV, which you are doing (been there done that…? well, where are the T-shirts? free ones I mean. Just kidding)!

I thought it curious when Laura Ingraham said she just loves Michelle Malkin, but.. didn’t mention Hot Air. Very funny. Well, give her a reason to shout your name every day!!
Put a clip of the best of Laura Ingraham on HA everyday, and…. watch the sparks fly. Or just link to her website for interesting topic of the day.

Oh and, AH, I…. think.. maybe you watched too many of The Simpsons episodes, as in “Nobody loves me anyway”.
I wouldn’t try to debunk the WSJ when they say you are GREAT ONE. Let them promote you negative or positive. Makes people curious.

Cheers again to we who run the country, pop them corks, toot them horns!!!!
Happy 4th!!!

Mcguyver on July 4, 2007 at 1:03 AM

Interactive Broadsides like HA stimulated the topical snowball of Shamnesty to start rolling downhill, which got carried over and grew bigger on talk radio, and biggere in the press/media, and crush the bill by the time it hit the tv political venues.

Like coffeehouses of the Revolutionary Era, HA and others (LGF, MM, etc) stir the polemical pot.

A match may seem small, but once it hits a fuse, look out!

The people’s outrage was primed and only needed the heat of focused attention to explode.

Keep striking sparks!

profitsbeard on July 4, 2007 at 1:19 AM

I mean, has anyone here actually seen AllahPundit, or even a picture or video? I haven’t.

I’ve met him. As I’ve commented before, he is the spitting image of Jeremy Piven, the annoying agent on Entourage.

Patterico on July 4, 2007 at 6:56 AM