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Liberals Double Up on Krempasky

RedState.com founder and Edelman VP Mike Krempasky held his own at the Politics Online Conference today against a tag team of liberals. Krempasky was matched up on a panel with AmericaBlog.com’s John Aravosis and Peter Daou of Salon’s Daou Report (and formerly of John Kerry’s presidential campaign).

The panel chat—“Blogs: It’s the Network Stupid”—got off to a rocky start (no offense to moderator Henry Copeland of Blogads) when the panelists spent about 20 minutes talking about an ant hill (I’m not even going to begin to explain).

But perhaps the most interesting exchange took place on the topic of Rathergate. Krempasky, who created the website Rathergate.com days after Dan Rather’s erroneous report on “60 Minutes,” recounted how bloggers changed the course of history.

Judging from the reaction from the crowd, Krempasky was definitely speaking to a liberal audience. In fact, he had to answer his liberal counterparts on the question of whether he was the person who planted the documents. For the record, Krempasky said he had nothing to do with it.

That didn’t stop the conspiracy theories. Aravosis said it’s still not out of the realm of possibility that the White House had something to do with it.

But back to Krempasky’s point: It took an established news organization, CBS, five years to put together the National Guard story. It took bloggers 12 hours to discredit it. (Selfish plug: It was my story, “‘60 Minutes’ Documents on Bush Might Be Fake,” which Drudge linked to on that fateful day.)

Other points of interest:

  • Krempasky said bloggers are taking it upon themselves to influence the political debate in Washington. The best example: They organized two conference calls, with Reps. John Shadegg and John Boehner, during the House majority leader race. When the frontrunner, Rep. Roy Blunt, chose not to play by the same rules, he was stung by criticism.
  • Aravosis chastised liberals for the lack of organization against Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito during his confirmation fight. Aravosis said the anger toward Alito materialized too late, thwarting any hopes the left had of derailing him.
  • Daou said right-wing bloggers have a much easier time coordinating their message with larger media outlets, in particular Fox News. I’d have to disagree; no one from Fox News has ever contacted me to strategize about a story.
  • Krempasky said he was encouraged by the Online Coalition, made up of bloggers on the left and right who joined forces at last year’s Politics Online Conference to oppose new campaign-finance restrictions being considered by the Federal Election Commission.
  • Aravosis said environmental groups are doing a pathetic job of using blogs to spread the message about global warming. He said favorable media reports—anyone who reads the Washington Post knows it’s true—aren’t being utilized at all.

UPDATE — March 8: Hat tip to Ivy for linking yesterday to the liberal assault on Krempasky that took place at Daily Kos last year over the Online Freedom of Speech Act. Apparently, Krempasky does a good job skewering his critics both in person and online.

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Written By

Mr. Bluey, a contributing editor to Human Events, is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He maintains a blog at RobertBluey.com.

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