What’s new is getting old again

By: The New Media Alliance

Conservatives are losing the war for a sustainable and impactful voice in the new media.

That is not to say it is lost, far from it; But the winds of a truly free, fair and open media environment are not blowing so swiftly anymore and I fear that too many of us are just sitting back and enjoying the breeze. Why do I say this? After all we have Rush, Fox News…”The new media is our domain!”

Wrong. It was our domain. And while it is comforting to know that Rush is indeed still out there, it is also true that the newest frontiers of the new media are being predominated by a more organized, better funded and energized left; Both at the grass roots level and by the corporate media. Indeed, the integration of new and traditional media with all its corporate might and preexisting biases (http://www.mrc.org/biasbasics/pdf/BiasBasics.pdf) is rendering the “new” indistinguishable from the “old.”

This is important because Americans by and large obtain their information from the traditional news outlets with which they have become most familiar….They are just going on-line to do it. So, although the methods obtaining news and information may have changed a bit, it’s still largely the same folks who are managing what we hear or don’t hear. Furthermore, the old media all have extensive new media capabilities and are developing or acquiring next generation outlets. A prime example of this is the recent acquisition of Newsvine (www.newsvine.com) by MSNBC in October of last year. Newsvine is a popular news and opinion site where, according to their “About” page: “… contribution is open to all, and editorial judgment is in the hands of the community.” But, as you will discover, contribution is hardly “open to all.”

The following is an example of what happens when a conservative group, namely the New Media Alliance (www.thenma.org), join sites like Newsvine and begins to successfully develop its imprint there:

- Month 1: November ’07 – The NMA Joined Newsvine

- Month 2: December ’07 – Built our visibility with NMA articles typically making the front page, increasingly received ad hominem attacks and regular threats of censorship, our personal information was researched and published, angry Newsviners made complaints to the IRS to have us audited, complaints were routinely made to the Newsvine administration claiming we were self promoting or advertising (a “Code of Honor” no-no…and also not true).

- Month 3: January ’08 – The New Media Alliance was Kicked off Newsvine with no explanation

It is also worthy to note that during our brief tenure on Newsvine, virtually none of the responses we received had anything to do with the content of the articles. Rather, the preponderance of initial responses were nothing more than sophomoric diatribes stating their desire to get us removed from the “community” in what has become a typically left wing reflexive dash to censorship. These Newsvine trolls simply did not like what we had to say and therefore sought our removal.

The fact is, we were the victims of an increasingly popular and effective leftist tactic to suppress opposing viewpoints. On sites like Digg.com it’s known “Burying” an article or author. This “Burying” of unwanted content is typically orchestrated by cadres of our quintessentially open minded liberal friends known as “bury brigades.” I’m sure you’ll be surprised to hear (…not) that this is a common practice on virtually all similar venues. New Media Alliance Staff Writer, Ken Marrero, chronicles this tactic in a recent article:

“…While it’s odd to those of us with jobs and lives that a group of people would have nothing better to do than patrol a website looking for stuff they don’t like and then getting all their friends to join in disparaging the object of their displeasure, that is exactly what is happening. It’s successful, too. So successful that the practice has spread to similar sites such as Reddit and Newsvine. All it takes is a couple of complaints for a post or a video to be suppressed. The offended party can complain about his unfair and harsh treatment at the hands of the community and the site. Nothing will be done about those complaints.”

The Newsvine administration is keenly aware of what occurred, and by their inaction, are complicit in this egregious form of censorship. In fact, when a response was finally weaned from Newsvine, they even went so far as to compare our articles to spam and pornography as justification for eradicating us. One can only conclude that the leftist worldviews espoused by a majority of users on Newsvine mirrors those of the Newsvine organization for no attempt was made to investigate the erroneous “Code of Honor” violations being made against us or otherwise remedy the malefaction once they were advised.

Message to liberals: “Welcome to Newsvine!” Message to conservatives: “Watch your step.”

At the end of the day Newsvine and its ilk will cease to become a place that brings “together big and little media in a way which respects established journalism and empowers the individual at the same time.” Rather it is swiftly becoming just another clearing house of leftist dogma for intellectually bankrupt liberals who have no desire or need for facts or reason.

Now, to be honest I can’t say this came as a surprise…it’s what the left does and we half expected it. They are quite conscious of the fact that their ideas and positions cannot survive the scrutiny of a truly free, fair and open marketplace. So as all good little socialists past and present do, they seek to corner the market by purging all competitors.

I suppose what bothers me more is that these new media brown-shirts are intellectually incapable of perceiving the oppressive culture and its many manifestations that they are engendering, even desiring. In short, they are dangerous and their arrogant disregard for the most basic of our freedoms should beget fear in all Americans who cherish them.

Theirs is nothing less than the stuff of Fascism.

(Fascism: “A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship…”)

Imagine if these would be oppressors were to assume a position of real power and influence…oooops.

(Read: Clinton, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Durbin, Schumer, Fairness Doctrine, etc., etc.)

We may be closer to the edge than you may think.

On a final note, the New Media Alliance will be responding to these events by commencing a campaign to raise awareness and promote aggressive conservative engagement on these venues.

Join us – www.thenma.org

Gary Schneider is Founder and President of the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.

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