Next Right: Conservatives need more sites like Big Government — and Hot Air

posted at 9:51 pm on October 1, 2009 by Allahpundit

I love the smell of shameless pretexts for self-promotion in the morning.

The institutional Right has realized there’s a new battlefield and they have finally moved into it. But I’m reminded a bit of the British troops versus the Colonists in the American Revolution (the analogy is tactical, not political). The Left built new institutions and adapted their tactics to the new battlefield – guerilla warfare, as it were – while the Right is trying to port over the institutional cultures and tactics that they have built up over generations, regardless of the new battlefield.

Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government and Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air are excellent examples of good, innovative projects on the Right. We need more guerilla media, like Breitbart is doing. And Malkin had the right idea with Hot Air – take successful, iconoclastic bloggers (Ed Morrissey and AllahPundit), give them free rein (rather than pandering and red meat) and build around them.

The continuing cultural divide between the Left and Right approach to online media is best illustrated by this: While organizations on the Right tend to hire a single blogger (generally from internal or junior political staff, rather than the blogosphere), organizations on the Left very often (a) hire successful bloggers and give them freedom, and/or (b) have very large staffs focused on muckraking, research and blogging. Huffington Post has something close to 50. Talking Points Memo has a staff of close to 20…and they’re expanding. Think Progress has something like 14-17 people working on their 3 blogs and daily email. Media Matters has a staff of many dozens, most aimed directly at the web.

The Right cannot invest in simply pushing an institutional message; the Right has to invest in adding value.

Well, Newsbusters certainly fits the second model. I think of it as the right’s answer to Media Matters, frankly, even though it’s vastly less willing to, say, concoct revisionist histories or bowdlerize video clips or just plain lie to its readers to advance its agenda. As for our own little bird’s nest here, I suspect we do well mainly because of the sheer volume of content we provide between the Blog posts and Headlines, not because we’re particularly iconoclastic (which, 95 percent of the time, we’re not). I’ve personally always thought of the site less as a blog and more as a news aggregator, where news junkies can go to get their fix during the day; that’s how most big-traffic political sites tend to work, from Instapundit all the way on up to Drudge. But I am grateful to Henke for noticing that my beloved boss gives Ed and I a lot of leeway in what we post, even if it involves challenging people whom she’s friends with and a fan of. It’s an exceedingly rare person who has that much integrity and is that generous towards her employees. She doesn’t get enough credit for it, so it’s gratifying to see her get a little here. Exit question: Who’s ready to step up and start the next guerrilla media site in the Breitbart mold? Or has ACORN’s lawsuit now made that prohibitively expensive?

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Regarding the news aggregator versus blog comment, I wish it were more of a blog. I’d very much like to see more discussion of the thought provoking kind. There is really no way for someone to follow an interesting conversation. Checkout dpreview.com for a good discussion engine if you’re so inclined.

ClanDerson on October 2, 2009 at 10:46 AM

We need Ace to become more popular, or maybe not since it can be a bit of a safe haven from stupidity.

Rbastid on October 2, 2009 at 11:36 AM

My collie says:

The best thing about HotAir is that they let collie dogs comment openly here. On all the other political blogs, the canine commenters remain “in the closet”. (On the internet, no one knows that you’re a dog.)

Yes, well, I’m sure that Meghan McCain approves.

CyberCipher on October 2, 2009 at 12:26 PM

HA does too much dividing of conservatives, pitting atheists vs theists, evolutionists vs creationists, etc. Anything for more clicks.

jgapinoy on October 2, 2009 at 12:50 PM

If the David Frum and his “Democrat-lite” companions at NextRight endorse this blog, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for content…………

colonelkurtz on October 2, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Over at C4P we have steadily grown traffic during the year, often get linked by other sites, there are 25 of us blogging and we do it all for free….not bad for a “cult” site…lol…

callingallcomets on October 2, 2009 at 2:51 PM

As a newbie going on abt a year and a 1/2, I have had more fun & frustration with HA than any other news medium I’ve ever encountered.
The whole point of this site is to disseminate news & then talk about it.
Aside from the mind controlled robot trolls that sometimes take up space here, many of the debates are eye opening & inspiring.
Also, since I really live out in the stix-I find it a refreshing forum in which to educate people about our way of life in agricultural rural America.
Keep it up HA-you are awesome!

Badger40 on October 2, 2009 at 4:26 PM

HA does too much dividing of conservatives, pitting atheists vs theists, evolutionists vs creationists, etc. Anything for more clicks.

jgapinoy on October 2, 2009 at 12:50 PM

The commenters do that themselves.
It’s good to have opposing viewpoints battle it out in the arena of ideas.
This is how ideas evolve & people get educated.
It’s not just by reading about something. You actually have to think about it & articulate your viewpoint intelligently to fully understand what you believe.

Badger40 on October 2, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Hey allah!
Read your other link to the Rasmussen report stating that the majority of “faith-based”(?????) groups, were atheists…..

Who Knew??????
…uh….anybody with a brain…………..

and yet, there was no place for comments….
hmmmmmm…….

colonelkurtz on October 2, 2009 at 5:14 PM

I’ll take whatever credit I’m sue, of course.

Akzed on October 2, 2009 at 7:16 PM

I miss Bryan. This place is soft

bessex on October 2, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3