“Facts Don’t Matter” Says The “Leftosphere”
Facts Don’t Matter! - A stunning revelation stated almost in emphatic unison from three of the most respected and read political weblog posters presenting at Blogworld & New Media Expo.
This bold announcement came out at a lightly-attended conference module held as part of the “Political Track” at Blogworld last week.
Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)
The module held Friday, November 9, 2007, in a Las Vegas Convention Center conference room was entitled “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning The Battle Of The Blogosphere?” It featured a discussion panel of six political commentators (three from the conservative viewpoint and three from the liberal, uh, progressive viewpoint).
The “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning The Battle Of The Blogosphere?” panel moderated by Hugh Hewitt. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)
The members of the panel included on the Right - John Hinderaker (Powerline), Dean Barnett (contributor to TownHall.com, Weekly Standard, & National Review), Henry Copeland (Pressflex, Blogads), and on the Left, Jeralyn Merritt (TalkLeft), Joe Sudbay (AMERICAblog), and Jerome Armstrong (MyDD).
Moderating the discussion panel was radio talkshow host, Hugh Hewitt. He conducted the session using a question / answer approach that allowed panel members to answer each question in rotation. The subject matter was very interesting, the questions posed by Hugh Hewitt were very probative, and the panel members responded with surprising candor.
Midway through the event, audience participation was encouraged intermittently, with questions and additional comments coming from the floor.
Daily KOS Logo - Image Credit: Daily KOS via Wikipedia
Even though the audience for the “Right vs Left: Who’s Winning” session was lightly attended, the members in the audience included some of the most notable political players in the “Blogosphere”, including representatives from Red State and contributors to Pajamas Media. Perhaps the most outspoken audience figure was Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of Daily KOS, who assumed a bit of a role as frequent “admonisher of the moderator” and additional spokesperson for the left.
Pajamas Media podium logo used at the Blogworld & New Media Expo tradeshow floor. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE)
Among the more interesting topics discussed:
1. New Media (NM) and Mainstream Media (MSM) - How can new media superstars be brought together with mainline old media? Or are we looking at an Echo Chamber VS. Monopoly situation?
During this discussion, it was unanimously observed that the Left has a distinct edge over the Right. With only four (4) Rightist bloggers in Washington D.C. and thirty (30) Leftist bloggers, panelists agreed that the Leftist bloggers are better organized and more collaborative, helping the Left to widely communicate its positions. The New Media portal strength of the Drudge Report was also seen as a factor in limiting the growth of Rightist bloggers in D.C.
Panelists seemed to agree that activities of the new media world are distinct, and pointed to the social impact of “blog swarms”, “action alerts” and eventual movement of new issues from the new media world over into the mainstream media world. It was never made clear who the initiator of the message really is … MSM or NM.
Image Credit: Townhall.com & Hugh Hewitt
2. Media’s Treatment of the War in Iraq – A question from the audience was asked, “What about the recent facts on the ground in Iraq? What happens if developments in Iraq go well? Do these facts change or color the effort to pull all of our troops out when it appears we might become victorious for the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq?”
The responses to this question from the audience member were shocking.
First to respond, Jeralyn Merritt stated, in unequivocal terms “Facts Don’t Matter!” The questioner from the audience interjected, “What? Facts don’t matter?” Merritt responded again, “That’s right. Facts Don’t Matter. We want our troops home. Until they are home, the war was just a mistake.”
Hewitt then asked the other members on the panel who were representing the Left, “Do facts matter in Iraq?”
Not only did the other two panelists from the Left (Sudbay and Armstrong) repeat the phrase in agreement, “No, the facts don’t matter”, but Daily KOS founder Markos Zuniga (from the floor) weighed in by repeating the phrase loudly, to the surprise of a few of us in the room. “No. The Facts Don’t Matter.”
The unison was stunning in its word-for-word declaration. This is more than just a talking point. It is a template.
Leftist parties present (on the panel and from the audience) repeatedly stated that 70% of the American populace want the troops out of Iraq and that the US should end the war there now without regard to any other issue.
Image Credit: BlogAds
This event was eye-opening for us at MAXINE. We suspect that the real reason the opinion weblog sites on the Left operate in unison lies in the fact that Mainstream Media is firmly based in promoting Left-of-center political viewpoints. With the MSM as a powerful and centering force, the “Leftosphere” is able to act as an unfettered and undisciplined subset, “MSM.2”.
Further, there is no such thing as an echo chamber for opinions from the Left but with this union, it is more like a megaphone or P.A. effect. The same thoughts and opinions broadcasted and then re-broadcasted through the different mediums.
One of the most disturbing developments of this POV is that on-air news personalities now feel they have to jump into blogging in order to remain relevant. This is a mistake if the MSM news outlets want to be perceived as (just the facts) Real News Outlets! If this catches on, the MSM will become a subset of … your guessed it … ITSELF!
Image Credit: AMERICAblog.com website
The above “Facts Don’t Matter” incident stands as a glaring example of the unfettered and undisciplined nature of the Leftosphere.
With this template that “Facts Don’t Matter”, it makes one wonder what other issues that affect our safety, our culture and our lives is this applied to?
It is time to think about the next election, and it is time to think about it with this “Facts Don’t Matter” template as a backdrop.