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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Turning Red

For those who don't know, the Washington Post started a new blog, Red America, with conservative blogger Ben Domenech, from Redstate.com as the writer.

Evidently it's gotten into some peoples craws, as they have about 900 comments, most scolding them for the audacity to hire a conservative writer for a paper that along with the NY Times has become synonymous with liberal print news.

The reaction isn't a surprise, a few weeks ago when they printed a story about the Democratic Party not taking advantage of President Bush and his recent poll dive, they were inundated with hate mail from the left calling them a GOP mouthpiece.

Many people are upset that to comment on Red America you have to e-mail them to the author. I hope that their server is up to the task, as I'm sure he's gotten a few thousand already. In fact, he comments on the 900 remarks that are in Post Blog about his column. It's good to see he has a sense of humor.
First off, a note of thanks to the liberal side of washingtonpost.com's readership, which has weighed in on Red America in this comment thread. I'm happy that no one's engaged in any ridiculous hyperbole, unfounded accusations or unintentionally hilarious name-calling. We can all agree that such things lower the quality of debate on the Internet, play to the worst side of our knee-jerk partisan nature and have no place in the modern public square. I look forward to engaging you in a serious, respectful discussion on the issues that matter most to the future of our nation.

What I find interesting is that the Post; along with the New York Times and their new conservative beat reporter; seem to be admitting that they don't provide balanced coverage in their news or their editorials. Why else would they need to hire, and advertise they did, decidedly conservative writers?

Howard Kurtz weighs in on the hiring of Domenech and the reaction from places like Crooks and Liars and Editor & Publisher:
I don't get it. One conservative blogger? It's not like The Post doesn't have a left-leaning blogger, or liberal columnists. Is the New York Times a GOP mouthpiece because it employs David Brooks and John Tierney? If people don't like what Domenech has to say, don't click on him. It's not like you can say "cancel my subscription!" since the Web site is free.

Do I think Ben will be able to change the tone of the Froomkin and Messner blogs, or turn columnist Harold Meyerson into a "dittohead"? No, but I hope that his writing at their place will get them to occasionally look at the other side of the street when they formulate opinions and look for facts. Maybe he'll help them find some balance, and maybe they'll help him find some too.

What do I think brought on this change? I think that the Post's embracing of Technorati has helped them see how others view the paper. I know I generally get two or three hits per day from their offices. When you look over how the right and left generally perceive the paper, it's not hard to see why they'd want to broaden their appeal to the right more.

I'll be keeping an eye on Red America, and I hope you do too, just to see how it's working out for Ben at the Post.

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7Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

"What I find interesting is that the Post; along with the New York Times and their new conservative beat reporter; seem to be admitting that they don't provide balanced coverage in their news or their editorials. Why else would they need to hire, and advertise they did, decidedly conservative writers?"

Plummeting circulation.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

That's the answer. Now they have to reach out to a group they've ignored.

I think overall it'll be a good thing. If nothing else maybe they'll figure out conservatives don't have cooties.

3:41 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

It's a great thing! I added the link to my blogroll, but I couldn't get in this morning...509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Lone Pony said...

Hey CP - I just checked out RedState. He has a very interesting post on the latest bandwidth issues.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I noticed the 509 errors, I can't even get on to Redstate this morning, it's not responding either.

7:16 AM  
Blogger David M said...

WOW! That was quick....he has been fired already!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

He resigned, but yea, it was quick.

3:06 PM  

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