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There Are No Conservatives Worth Following on Social Media
SF Weekly ^ | Tue., Sep. 11 2012 | Dan Mitchell

Posted on 09/13/2012 4:14:03 PM PDT by nickcarraway

"Follow liberally," exhorts Liz Heron. "You never know who will lead you to discover something unique or important." This is one of "The Rules of Social Media" that Fast Company thinks we all should adhere to.

Heron, who runs social media for the Wall Street Journal, doesn't mean "liberally" in a political sense. But if she did, I would tell her that I don't really have any choice: When it comes to politics, there are no conservatives worth following. This is not good for the conservative movement, and it's not good for America.

Heron is right: The more different kinds of people you follow on Facebook and Twitter, the more likely it is you will come upon something interesting or useful that you might not see if you limit yourself too much. (On the other hand, it's certainly possible to be too liberal -- if you're following tens of thousands of people on Twitter, are you really following anyone at all?)

Social media has the ability to bring us the "serendipity" that was supposedly lost with the advent of new media. Critics of new media warn that we're all encasing ourselves in our own little bubbles, paying attention only to people with whom we already agree. My own experience is just the opposite: I see a lot more different stuff now than I did when all I had was print and broadcast news.

That includes conservative opinion journalism. I see a lot more of it than I used to. The difference is that now, it's nearly all nonsense -- and that's when it's not outright insane. I don't seek it out; it just makes its way into my feed, usually when it's being mocked by one of the smart people I follow. Rush Limbaugh this week declared that President Obama engineered the Chicago teachers' strike so that he could step in and save the day to boost his electoral chances. Before new media, I never heard anything Limbaugh said. Now I hear it all the time.

I've always been open to all credible, honest opinions, including from the right. Before new media came along, I read George Will all the time. And William Safire. And Bill Buckley. And James Kilpatrick. And Robert Novak, who actually did reporting for the column he wrote with Rowland Evans, providing more analysis than mere polemics. I regularly disagreed with all of these people, but I was able to read them, and learn from them, because they were, for the most part, honest brokers. Partisan, but honest. Novak eventually revealed himself to be the Prince of Darkness, and then he died. The rest of them are dead, too, except for Will -- but he's degenerated horribly. I stopped paying attention entirely after he wrote his diatribe against "denim blue jeans" a few years back.

And what are we left with? You might think someone like Erick Erickson might offer something of substance, given that CNN decided he was worth that network's money and airtime. These days, though, the support of CNN means less than nothing. Erickson was chosen only for "balance" by news executives who are driven by ratings, fear, and cluelessness. Erickson is as hacky as the rest of them -- all clichés, empty talking points, and lies. He's an Internet commenter with a big salary.

I really, really want to follow conservatives on social media, but I can't, because they're nearly all hacks now. I tried some libertarians such as the once-very-good Reason magazine and its writers and editors, but among their many other problems, they have allied themselves with the likes of John Stossel, who is about as big a buffoon as a person can be without actually putting on a clown suit. Give me a break, indeed.

Most recently, I tried David Frum, who to his credit is willing to disagree with his ideological cohorts -- even to the point of being labeled an apostate and cast out. But when it comes to it, he's just as much of a witless propagandist as any of them. The New York Times today published an astonishing report by Kurt Eichenwald revealing that the Bush administration was warned far more before 9/11 about an impending attack by al Qaeda than had been previously known. Frum responded with an appalling bit of hackwork that doesn't even really acknowledge Eichenwald's revelations -- whereupon I dumped Frum from my Facebook feed. With his departure, that feed is now almost bereft of conservative or libertarian thought. I think that's a shame.

I follow lots of liberals on social media. Yes, I tend to agree with them more than I do with conservatives -- but that's just the point. I want to also follow people with whom I disagree. I just want them to not be cheap, disingenuous hacks and water-carriers. I have the same test for liberals. The people I follow, such as Salon's Alex Pareene and Mother Jones' Kevin Drum, reliably acknowledge and address the facts that might weigh against their arguments. I don't follow feeds like those from Daily Kos or Michael Moore.

Of the few remaining conservatives who might have something to offer, none are on social media. Frank Fukuyama, sadly, doesn't participate much, and ex-pols who are still on the circuit, like Allan Simpson and George Schultz, don't do social media. Who else is there? Serious question -- I'm open to recommendations.

Meanwhile, the fact that the right has almost nobody left who might appeal to non-allies/moderates/non-partisans -- especially the younger ones who get most of their information via social media -- can't be a good sign for the future of the conservative movement. And if you care at all about the future of American democracy, you'll find that disturbing.

Dan Mitchell has written for Fortune, the New York Times, Slate, Wired, National Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, and many others.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blacklist; echochamber; socialistmedia; thoughtcrime

1 posted on 09/13/2012 4:14:05 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Who do these people think they are kidding?

Why anyone need to follow a liberal on social media, all they do is parrot each other. Deviation from the established party line is not allowed.


2 posted on 09/13/2012 4:19:02 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: nickcarraway

Mark Steyn is awesome and witty for one.

liberals:0


3 posted on 09/13/2012 4:20:19 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: nickcarraway

Sham article. Conservatives own Twitter.


4 posted on 09/13/2012 4:21:36 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: GeronL

And they cover for each other. I just watched an AP reporter on Brett Baeier (?sp)who was squirming in her seat while attempting to get out of the Romney attacks vs the emptychair coverup by her colleagues. She failed big time. I’ve never heard such a buzz around the town as today...people aren’t buying their crap anymore.

Romney has gained more votes by speaking out firmly and forcefully than anything else he could have done. I know at least two dems who are voting for Romney because of this alone. How many more are there...many I’m sure.


5 posted on 09/13/2012 4:24:27 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: nickcarraway; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows

The chill wind blows. Or maybe in SF it sucks.


6 posted on 09/13/2012 4:25:11 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: nickcarraway

7 posted on 09/13/2012 4:27:54 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: nickcarraway

Top Conservatives on Twitter:
http://www.topconservativesontwitter.net/Default.aspx


8 posted on 09/13/2012 4:28:44 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: nickcarraway

9 posted on 09/13/2012 4:28:49 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: bronxville

The media went nuts. They spent 20x more network news (ABC, NBC, CBS) time attacking Romney than mentioning Obama’s mistake (total: 25 seconds)


10 posted on 09/13/2012 4:28:59 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

One more journalist who is angry that a bunch of citizens without “journalism degrees” have a bigger following than he does. Recently I read an article where a journalist whined that it is no longer “fun” being a journalist because, - from his perspective, a journalist writes a brilliant, informative, “accurate” article designed to educate the great unwashed public, and some blogger somewhere snags a particular part of it, pulls a string and the entire narrative is then lost, based on one small detail and the journalist has then lost control of the story — (or to be more accurate, he has lost the opportunity to spin the truth to suit his bias.) Which is another way of saying that they are pi**ed off that they are no longer the only ones with a bullhorn!


11 posted on 09/13/2012 4:30:37 PM PDT by onevoter
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To: nickcarraway; JoeProBono; Daffynition; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
"Heron, who runs social media for the Wall Street Journal, doesn't mean "liberally" in a political sense. But if she did, I would tell her that I don't really have any choice: When it comes to politics, there are no conservatives worth following."


12 posted on 09/13/2012 4:31:26 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: nickcarraway
My own experience is just the opposite: I see a lot more different stuff now than I did when all I had was print and broadcast news.

I tend to agree with this. And I'm sure that not watching TV at all influences this.

I heartily disagree with the "The Rules of Social Media," because, as far as I can tell, there are no rulez in Social Media. One reason why I dislike it so much.

13 posted on 09/13/2012 4:33:06 PM PDT by upchuck (If nobama is reelected and gets to choose more SCOTUS judges, this country is finished.)
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Ring! Ring!

The circle jerk store is calling.


14 posted on 09/13/2012 4:33:19 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: onevoter

Now that warms the cockles of my heart. heh


15 posted on 09/13/2012 4:34:26 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: upchuck
... as far as I can tell, there are no rulez in Social Media.

The MSM has no rulez anymore either. They are firmly up Obama's butt.

16 posted on 09/13/2012 4:34:32 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: nickcarraway
Most recently, I tried David Frum ...

Auspicious beginning. Garbage in, Garbage out.

17 posted on 09/13/2012 4:35:12 PM PDT by x
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To: iowamark

Steve Poizner?! You have to be kidding.


18 posted on 09/13/2012 4:36:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: onevoter

bump


19 posted on 09/13/2012 4:36:35 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

I completely agree. Mark Steyn is very sharp and witty.


20 posted on 09/13/2012 4:37:41 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: GeronL

I completely agree. Mark Steyn is very sharp and witty.


21 posted on 09/13/2012 4:37:49 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: GeronL

And the people aren’t buying it. Even the Daily News, NYC, which slants left, wrote about their shenanigans. They’re slowly but surely being exposed for the little wimps they are...Greta had a couple on last night, one from ABC, and the other from ?Newsweek or Time along with a “neoconservative” who was as bad as them. They all appeared to speak logically and tolerantly but the hidden agenda couldn’t be hidden. Iin general they believe we’re fools. They couldn’t be more wrong.

One of the people I over heard was on the street and later heard him on the same topic in CVS. He was mad as hell.


22 posted on 09/13/2012 4:38:38 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: nickcarraway
Yes, I tend to agree with them more than I do with conservatives

People simply dont understand how biased they are. The author does say this, and it is a start, he never comes to grips with his bias. His bias is what determines whom he considers a "good" conservative.

You just can't do it. Conservatives have a bias, but we can admit it to ourselves. Liberals have this notion that they can rise above their own biases, which they really cant.

23 posted on 09/13/2012 4:41:50 PM PDT by Paradox (I want Obama defeated. Period.)
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To: nickcarraway

I read blogs. I have never seen Twitter worth following. People who think their every tossed-off little thought and smart remark is worth sharing.

Facebook - why fill it up with chaff? Why friend a stranger when there are enough real friends who want to share their politics or something they read (which can make it hard to be friends sometimes.)


24 posted on 09/13/2012 5:06:26 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: nickcarraway
Social media has the ability to bring us the "serendipity" that was supposedly lost with the advent of new media. Critics of new media warn that we're all encasing ourselves in our own little bubbles, paying attention only to people with whom we already agree. My own experience is just the opposite: I see a lot more different stuff now than I did when all I had was print and broadcast news.

I feel the same way - moving away from the MSM liberal print and TV "journalists" (including Fox News), I've been able to hear about and read stories that the MSM won't cover, or I've been able to see angles that they won't show.

The internet has been one of the best things to happen to the Conservative movement. It's broken the monopoly on the flow of news and information that the liberals held.
25 posted on 09/13/2012 5:12:26 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: nickcarraway

  'social media'              
26 posted on 09/13/2012 5:19:15 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: nickcarraway

Ha, ha! I could only make it through a para or two...


27 posted on 09/13/2012 5:53:25 PM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: tomkat

Larry Elder on facebook!


28 posted on 09/13/2012 6:06:48 PM PDT by Republic Rocker
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To: GeronL

I believe Breitbart Page—best news—Hot Air isn’t half bad—Fox News is spotty—some good—some bad.


29 posted on 09/13/2012 7:04:12 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: nickcarraway
Well danny boy...

When you worship satan and believe trotsky and lenin... when engels and marx are your heroes and you spend your time on social sites and porn sites while eating Cheetos and suffering from an orange penis... the truth probably does sound radical and insane. I can assure you lefty... it is you that are insane and damned.

LLS

30 posted on 09/13/2012 7:25:44 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
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To: onevoter

One cannot lose control of the truth. If the media were about the truth... no one could “snag” it away.

LLS


31 posted on 09/13/2012 7:28:29 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
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To: nickcarraway
I really, really want to follow conservatives on social media, but I can't, because they're nearly all hacks now.

And I'm sure the writer thinks all liberals on social media are brilliant original thinkers.

32 posted on 09/13/2012 7:41:54 PM PDT by SuziQ
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