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Liberal bloggers seek to extort support from their own April 10, 2009

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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Ken Wheaton (Advertising Age, April 10, 2009) points out the obvious to the liberals who’d like to extort money from their co-hearts (italics are mine):

“Hoooo Boy! It doesn’t get much more brazen than this. According to Greg Sargent:

Some of the leading liberal bloggers are privately furious with the major progressive groups — and in some cases, the Democratic Party committees — for failing to spend money advertising on their sites, even as these groups constantly ask the bloggers for free assistance in driving their message.

Or, as Gawker put it, Left-Wing Blogs Try on Extortion as Business Model.

…Of course, this will strike many — those poor souls who dwell too much on theory — as borderline stupid on a number of levels.

1. Basic advertising. Earth to left-wing bloggers: If I’m a Democratic group, why am I going to pay to advertise on your sites? It’s the epitome of preaching to the converted. Besides — and I know this will strike many as the self-centered sort of “brand” management that gets big companies into trouble — what are you going to do come election season? Switch parties? Go independent? (I can just hear Kang laughing now.) Remember how that worked out with Lamont vs. Lieberman? This is politics, not soda. You don’t have a lot of choices.

2. Your own brand. Remember all your protestations that you’re not a mere water-carrier for the party? Remember that you’re supposed to be better than the mainstream media, which is supposedly in thrall to its Republican corporate interests? This doesn’t exactly hold you up as a paragon of journalistic or civic virtue.

3. You’re now a hostage. Even if these groups do come around and decide to toss a little bit more of their TV or newspaper money your way, they’ll come to believe they own you. That’s not politics. That’s just business. Ask any MSM outlet what happens when they run a story bashing a top advertiser. Many political blogs have already wandered over into the territory inhabited by celebrity and sports journalism, in which punches are pulled in return for access. Now they’ll expect you to play nice just to keep those ad dollars flowing. And let’s face facts: Once those ad dollars start flowing, they’ll probably make up the bulk of what money you’re bringing in. Further, unlike those old-school MSM outlets — which used to have something bordering on local monopolies — you’re in a border-free territory, and you’re easily replaced. Also, see No. 1.

All that said, realistically speaking, no one believes that political blogs on either side of the aisle are anything more than water-carriers for their favorite parties or candidates. They’re not journalists — and don’t pretend to be. And they do provide a useful service: They keep the grass-roots watered and fertilized. Especially on the left, the big-name bloggers have grown and cultivated communities that, jokes about Lamont aside, can have a multiplier effect and provide buzz — and cash.

…But there’s one realistic reason making this sort of commotion might not be so smart for the bloggers in question. It might attract the attention of the Federal Elections Commission, which might revisit previous rulings pertaining to political blogs.”

Be careful what you are greedy for, indeed. Well stated Ken!

Lest we forget: Air America didn’t work even with George Soros’ money and the likes of top liberal entertainers and agitators. What makes bloggers think they can do it with extorted money? Like JR Ewing said: “Once integrity’s gone, the rest is a piece of cake.” Liberal bloggers want to push up to the table for their slices. The resulting indigestion will not be worth the taste.

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