Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Revolution Will Not Be Twittered

TPM has a list of the top seven "new media" blunders by conservatives, but for as bad as these specific blunders were, the overall concept of conservatives using this "new media" to fix their woes was the biggest blunder of them all.  Because the problem isn't that liberals were better at using the internet than conservatives were, or that conservatives weren't connecting.  The problem is that conservatives had a free ride before the internet.  And that ride is never coming back.

Before, conservatives owned talk radio and were very good at manipulating the media.  And all the internet did was level the playing field, allowing liberals to get the word out about conservatives and tell everyone what they were doing.  Before the internet, a politician could get away with calling someone "Macaca" or likening a black politician's wife to an escaped gorilla.  And if it somehow became a national story, talk radio would defend the guy while the media would get bullied into ignoring it.

And those days are now long gone.  We don't need to wait for the bobbleheads at CNN to be interested in a story for it to talked about.  One post by Atrios or Josh Marshall can have far more impact than a story by Wolf Blitzer, even if it's seen by fewer people.  Where as conservatives once had carte blanche to invent whatever lies they wanted, they now get called on it from a variety of influential blogs.  We can post video or audio clips of conservatives saying offensive things, or simply post the quote from their blog or Twitter account.  We've got the goods and they aren't going away.

And so the current problem for Republicans isn't that people aren't hearing enough from them, but rather that people are finally hearing everything from them.  The problem is with too much information getting out there.  And that's why the Twitter solution was always such a joke.  At best, it helps them communicate using incomplete sentences to the same people who already live in the conservative bubble.  And at worst, it gets them in the habit of writing the first thing that popped into their heads and freezing it forever for us to mock endlessly.  

And this isn't going to get any better for them.  The easier it is for conservatives to get their message to the public, the easier it is for us to expose what fraudulent jerks they are.  Authoritarians require message control, which is why their new media revolution only serves to bury them further.  This is what democracy is all about.

1 comment:

LanceThruster said...

The amazing thing is that even when confronted with their glaring inconsistencies and other irrefutable BS, they still press on. This is made easier by the fact that true believers are able to filter out anything that might conflict with their belief system. Their capacity for ego protection in the face of demonstrable facts is astounding.