It wasn’t too long ago when I was proud to declare that I operated a handful of conservative news sites. It was a badge of honor to wear the stripes of opposition against both the liberal mainstream media as well as the progressive slant of the vast majority of social media sites and blogs on the internet. They had the numbers but we had the high ground. Now, I have to distinguish that I’m part of the “other side” of conservative media that hasn’t devolved to the point of utilizing leftist Alinskyite tactics to try to sway readers.
Today hit home with a slew of manipulated, spun, or outright false stories hitting conservative media on what is apparently a slow news day. I’m looking at the usual suspects like Drudge, Breitbart, and Gateway Pundit, but I’m also looking at some other sites that should know better.
Let’s start with Drudge. Their current front page features an image leading to a story that rips on Hillary Clinton’s inability to climb stairs without assistance. While Hillary’s health is clearly a real concern and there are indications that she may not be physically fit for the office of President, this is not an example of it.
The problem with this report, as pointed out by Twitchy and CNN, is that the image was taken in February when Clinton apparently slipped on ice and was helped up slippery stairs. To all of the Hillary haters (of which I’m one), there are plenty of substantive problems to focus on when attacking her. This is not one of them and it makes conservative media look terrible.
This photo is from February 24. She slipped. But it's suddenly getting a lot of right wing media attention today https://t.co/zdV4zAhKkl
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 7, 2016
What makes it worse is that The American Mirror, a site that is normally more accurate and respected than Drudge, was the one that tried to make this into a real problem when it wasn’t. They’re perpetuating the lie and promoting the wrong agenda.
Now, let’s turn to the realm of denial and political stretching. In this case, it’s Breitbart and Gateway Pundit, two conservative websites that have been on board the Trump Train since well before the primaries, attempting to find something, anything that will paint their liberal messiah as a winner.
Seriously, I know you guys have some sort of interest in making sure that Trump wins the election, but you’re grasping at straws if you believe that there’s any real correlation between social media fans and votes. The election process is much more complicated than amassing likes. The act of clicking a button on Facebook is not the same as getting out and voting. Moreover, we have no view of the demographics or locations of the candidates’ social media influence. Who’s leading in swing states? If Trump owns social media in Texas, that’s not going to help him much on election day. In fact, it will have zero influence on the final result.
I’m not suggesting that social media isn’t a factor or that polls are to be trusted, but between the two, I’ll believe the state-level polls before I believe the number of retweets or a candidate’s popularity on Reddit.
The saddest part for me is that I have to sift through this junk. In an effort to do my part in bringing conservative media back up to the high ground and promoting a message of Christian Constitutional Conservatism, I tie into just about every conservative news source on the internet. Yes, there are hundreds and yes, it takes a long time every day, but it’s worth it as we build a truly conservative Drudge alternative. As a result, I have to see things like this pop up in feeds even though the sources have already been debunked.
There are other examples that really chapped my khakis this weekend, but you get the point. Those in conservative media who have gone down the road of manipulative journalism are not helping. You’re latching onto tactics that your liberal messiah would use. Alinksyism and Trumpism are close cousins when political tactics are in focus.
We need more. We deserve better. The origins of conservative media that drove many of us to participate are being lost in an effort to bump up page views and promote Donald Trump. I get it. This is business. At some point, America and the conservative movement have to come in somewhere on their list of priorities. It’s a shame that neither is close to the top of the list for many of these publications.