The Right and the News

I don’t agree with much in this Michael Goldfarb item but the last bit is worth quoting:

Still, for online partisan reporting, TPM set the bar pretty high this election. Republicans have no equivalent outlet. Any strategy to revive the party’s fortunes will require developing the kind of online infrastructure the Democrats now have in place, but you can’t do that without a bunch of right-wing Greg Sargents.

The issue, though, isn’t that the right doesn’t have an outlet equivalent to TPM or other progressive sites. There are tons and tons of conservative media outlets, most of them with a web presence, and the web presences of places like Goldfarb’s Weekly Standard blog would be higher if they were breaking interesting news the way ThinkProgress, HuffingtonPost, TPM, Washington Independent, etc. do. What the right lacks are people with the skill to do the job. The one time I can recall the conservosphere leading the charge on a legitimate story, the thing with Dan Rather and the national guard memos, they got tons of traffic and attention. And lord knows the conservative media has lots of money and plenty of staff. But almost none of that stuff is going to people who report competently. Instead, you get a lot of wild conspiracy theories and a lot of commentary. The progressive blogosphere involves plenty of commentary, of course, and relies a decent amount on reporting done by the non-ideological media. But the right, for all its loathing of the allegedly liberal MSM, is actually entirely dependent on it and the cable-Drudge nexus to advance stories. As Goldfard indicates, there’s just no independent capability. But it’s not a lack of outlets that’s the problem.