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December 06, 2007

Rightwing Blogs A Tool of the Bush White House?

This seems so silly I don't really want to post it, but I guess it's something of a story. (Apologies if this has been sufficiently covered by Open Bloggers or cobloggers.)

Liberal bloggers are giddy and their conservative rivals are defensive over the news that the Bush White House sees conservative blogs as an extension of the Republican message machine.

Former Bush communications adviser Dan Bartlett started blogger tongues wagging with an interview he gave to Texas Monthly. A few of the questions were about the White House's outreach to conservative blogs, and Bartlett answered candidly about the White House's view of them.

He called GOP blogs a "direct vein" into the party's base and said, "They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that weve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on."

Liberal bloggers jumped on the report as proof of what they've always claimed -- that Republican bloggers, unlike the netroots who see themselves as crashing the gate of the Democratic Party, are just an extension of the party's establishment in Washington.

"Conservatives do love to be told what to say. Saves them the hassle of having to think for themselves," Markos Moulitsas Zuniga crowed at Daily Kos. Eschaton, My Two Sense, Political Animal and Talking Points Memo were among the other blogs celebrating Bartlett's candor.

First of all, what Bartlett seems to have meant is the typical thing about bypassing the media filters and "gatekeepers" and getting information directly to the public without the typical leftist media spin.

Second of all, as some conservative bloggers have pointed out, that's not even really true. The White House does send me some stuff, but, frankly, it's just press releases. And for some reason I, for one, am only on the economic news mailing list, so all I ever get is stuff about budget and growth and the like, all of which I've already gotten from MSM sources (who presumably get it first). I doubt I've ever actually used a WH thing for a post. Not that I wouldn't want to. Just because it's not juicy enough, or presented in an interesting enough fashion, or blogger-friendly. They'll link, for example, to large PDFs which I'm not going to trouble people by linking to.

The staffs of those running for president are much, much better at this sort of thing, though most of that crap is lame and useless too. (And if Giuliani has any blogger outreach team at all, I certainly don't know about it.)

Finally, the partisan hack and all around sissypussy Kos can cram it up his ass sideways. The coordinated messaging and relentlessly pro-Democratic spin from the lefty sites is far more establishment-dictated than anything on the right.

Hey Kos-- remember immigration? I seem to remember the WH putting out a lot of information, including to myself, and all of it was ignored or directly refuted in almost every rightwing blog you could name. Blogs played an important role in "taking back the party" from the establishment squishes and establishing a more representative "people powered politics," to put it into your childish terminology.

Yeahp... Harriet Miers, the Dubai ports deal, immigration, pork, spending, etc.... all we conservative bloggers and commenters and readers do is endlessly regurgitate the party line coming out of the White House communication office.

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posted by Ace at 02:43 PM

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