UPDATED: What if the conservative blogosphere went on strike?

by CynthiaYockey on August 24, 2010

I see from posts at dear Attila’s (here, here and here — or click the last one and scroll down) that there is a controversy over “blogola” created by the Daily Caller in an attack on Dan Riehl and Ace at Ace of Spades HQ. And I see a confession from Smitty at The Other McCain.

“Blogola” is a neologism for payment-for-favorable-posts to bloggers. The only reason that I am not offended that no one thought I was important enough to buy off is that I don’t believe anyone in the Right Blogosphere is getting blogola. If anything, it is the other way around — it is the Right Blogosphere that is the goose laying golden eggs for conservative candidates and the Republican Party and getting starved in return. Even getting lip service — don’t go there — would be an improvement since it would demonstrate the possession of a clue.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News contributes additional valuable perspective on the Daily Caller’s accusation of blogola, which I urge you to read because he knows everybody — even me — and goes WAY back. I wish I also could link a post he wrote recently on why wealthy Republicans should be supporting bloggers on the Right, especially since the Left financially supports Leftist bloggers, but I can’t find it. In July John wrote an excellent piece on the “7 Things the GOP Can Do for the Right Side of the Blogosphere,” and here is what he had to say about the GOP financially supporting Republican and conservative bloggers:

So, all that being said, here are some suggestions for how the GOP can better work with bloggers.

1) Funding help: There’s a weird dichotomy between the way the Left and Right view the new media. The Right views it as a capitalistic enterprise where individuals succeed and fail on their own merits. The Left views it more as a collaborative effort where they’re working as a group to advance their goals. This plays into everything from the way both sides approach stories, to fundraising, to raising capital for new media ventures.

That last item is one in particular that deserves some more attention. Most of the people on the Right side of the blogosphere are starved for funding. They can’t afford to improve their websites, advertise, expand, etc. because they simply don’t have the money to do it with. People ask why there’s not more journalism on the right side of the blogosphere. The biggest answer is that they simply can’t afford to do it. Even a lot of the more successful bloggers still need to have day jobs and the ones that don’t can’t even afford to rent a car, drive a few states over, and stay in a fleabag hotel for a couple of nights. The money needed to do those things is out there, but it’s being spent to fund losing campaigns, to help defray the cost of print copies of magazines, and to help think tanks fund blogs nobody reads and give fellowships to people without audiences.

Granted, the Republican Party can’t get away with directly funding blogs, but, they could put us in touch with big donors. They could also buy some ads, not only to reach out to their base, but to help fund the people on their side.

In July, Jimmy Bise at The Sundries Shack also addressed the problem that conservative bloggers are taken for granted and starved for money by the GOP and wealthy conservatives when HuffPo tried the “everybody does it” justification for the corruption of the Leftist Journolist bloggers and reporters who coordinated their news coverage to advance the Democratic agenda and Obama. Jimmy went through what a list of top tier conservative bloggers do to both blog and make a living, then a second tier where he placed himself and … I consider this quite an honor … me. I urge you to read the full piece, which comes to the following conclusion:

What all that means is that most of us on the right don’t have the time the left thinks we do. We’re not so fortunate as to have a number of sugar-daddies paying our bills so we can hang around the virtual water-cooler and chit-chat. Heck, even the time we spend at conventions like CPAC and Right Online (which many of us pay for out of our own pockets) is spent more on chasing down grist for the blogging mill than it is hob-nobbing with our fellow bloggers.

The truth is, a vast gulf exists between how right-wing bloggers do business and how it’s done on the left. Most of that difference revolves around money, and the free time that money purchases.

However, Because Ace, in the post I linked above, predicted that very soon there will be a shakeout in the conservative blogosphere where even major bloggers quit because they have to make a choice between blogging and making a living, I can’t help wondering, as my headline notes, “What if the conservative blogosphere went on strike?” Why should we just starve to death when we can make the GOP understand they really will miss the water when the well runs dry? What if we all go dark for a week or two? Would the people and organizations that exploit us miss us enough to cough up some steady dough? I just posted that I’ll be phoning it in for several weeks, so obviously I’m on board with a strike. As for when, there’s no time like the present, and during the election season strikes me as the time when we have the most leverage.

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