Fewer people trust the media these days, and those that do, tend to trust them – especially the TV and internet news – a lot less than they did. Now, we could take the time to argue for or against those positions, or we could parse out the “whys” and the “hows” of all of it, but that’s not what this is about.
This article is about what came out of that growing distrust, a hyper-partisan form of media, mostly on the web, that appealed to and catered to and coddled a very specific point of view. No centrists need apply, this was only died in the wool far off to one side partisan country. The flagship of this fleet of partisan blogs used to be Drudge, but it could be argued, these days, that crown goes to Breitbart, the “news” organization that successfully placed one of its top people in the election committee of the President of the United States.
Now, after losing the Presidency, and not gaining much if any ground in the Senate and the House, the Democrats are trying to figure out how to get the turnout that refused to come out for Hillary Clinton. They want to mobilize the base in a way that they haven’t really seen since 2008. So, they are borrowing the successful plays from the far right playbook.
According to various media reports, a new station is in the works: True Blue Media, a site that has high aspirations to become the left’s answer to Breitbart, hoping to both counter and blunt the impact of this media juggernaut.
According to early reports, the “network” will be led by David Sirota, a former investigative journalist and a frequent critic of Hillary Clinton. It’s an interesting choice, as Sirota has more of a reputation for a rabble-rousing activist than a straight journalist. But a recent statement by Sirota has some offering tacit hope that, though biased, this media outlet will somehow be different.
“At a time when mass misinformation threatens journalism and American democracy, compelling accountability reporting is needed now more than ever… The public is being inundated with gossip, half-truths, partisan propaganda and stories that have little connection to people’s daily lives — and all this is happening just as major crises threaten our country and our planet.”
In the same release, Sirota promised to follow a “straightforward mission” to “fearlessly report on the most important issues of the day, to break original news, to scrutinize the political forces and elite power brokers that affect the public at large…”
Perhaps the most telling quote from the statement included Sirota promising his publication would not bow to “conventional beltway wisdom” … the very mindsets that are now being blamed for completely misreading the political climate in the last election, leading to a losing effort in the presidential race.
But will borrowing the Breitbart strategy and trying to sell it to the left really create the kind of results the Democrats need to be relevant again in national politics? That remains to be seen.