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Politics & Policy

‘I Just Read Over at…’

From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt

Is ‘Conservative Media’ Now as Divergent as Non-Conservative Media?

Politico writes about Tomi Lahren, and offers this unexpected phrase…

… in a blink of the eye, Lahren has gone from darling of conservative media to a thorn in its side. Just last month, President Trump himself called Lahren to praise her for praising him. Conservative publications like Freedom Liberty News raved about her “gorgeous” selfies taken in the name of veterans. But now, in spite of fans’ hopes that Fox would snap her up, Lahren remains, as the month ends, a pepperpot without a pulpit—and one worth watching.

Okay, raise your hand: Have you read Freedom Liberty News before? Are you sure you’ve read that site, and not one whose name sounds like it?

Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Liberty Alliance? Or the Liberty Conservative? These are different from Liberty News.  Or Liberty Unyielding. Or The Liberty Beacon. And Restoring Liberty. Or Personal Liberty.  Or Freedom Daily. Or Freedom’s Back. Or Freedom Outpost. Or the Washington Free Beacon. Or Free Republic.

How about WideAwakePatriot? Or Trick question, those last two exist only in an Onion parody.

There are a lot of small conservative news sites out there with the words “Liberty” “Patriot” “Freedom” “Right” “Red” and “American” in their name and almost all of them have a red, white and blue visual design and an eagle in their logo. Some do fine work with exceptionally limited resources, and some… don’t.

Folks on the Left used to grind their teeth at the phrase “Even the liberal New Republic [is agreeing with conservative position X]” because in their eyes, The New Republic wasn’t all that liberal (debatable, particularly today’s version) and traditionally enjoyed showcasing unorthodox or non-liberal voices (indisputable). Their fairest point is that finding one article by one writer in The New Republic was hardly representative of a liberal surrender on a particular issue. The phrase “Even the liberal New Republic” represented cherry-picking an idiosyncratic example to characterize an entire political movement and offering a fundamentally inaccurate picture of the debate.

So when someone writes “Conservative publications like…” and they don’t mention one of the big ones… it’s a good chance they had to reach deep to find an example of the phenomenon they sought.

As Noah Rothman pointed out, the entire concept of the Politico article relies on an assessment of “conservative” opinion that he’s simply not encountered.


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