A lot of blogbuzz this weekend about how the right doesn't do journalistic scoops like the lefty's do ...
Michelle Malkin has a great column about this fantasy, and sets the record straight. Many of the stories she broke were the result of work that talk radio hosts like myself and other conservative activists engaged in - tearing down the lies, half-truths and ideological hogwash of people like Greg Sargent at TPM (who fabricated a controversy over statements I made about Bill Keller and the New York Times decision to print classified material during a time of war.)
The best blogging/original reporting on the web can still be found at Malkin's website. She is the hotshot of her generation. She deserves a Pulitizer.
Anyway, I digress.
Who says conservative bloggers don’t do reporting?
Before we fully launch into the action-packed first week of 2009, I want to provide you with a year-end wrap-up of original blog reporting on this site and across the conservative blogosphere. Why? Well, over the weekend, a few bloggers on both the left and right perpetuated an ill-informed and self-serving myth that demands debunking. The myth is that conservative bloggers don’t do reporting.
Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard complained on Friday that there aren’t enough conservatives engaged in “online partisan reporting” and holds up left-wing blogger Greg Sargent (formerly of TPM, now headed to the Washington Post) as a model Internet journalist for constantly bombarding the McCain camp with phone calls.
Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress piled on with this smug assertion: “What the right lacks are people with the skill to do the job.”
For various reasons, the incredible amount of investigative online reporting published on conservative blogs in just the last year alone has gone largely uncredited. Let’s fix that here and now:
Patterico’s Pontifications, run by L.A. County prosecutor Patrick Frey, racked up several scoops in 2008 and published a wide and deep variety of original news reports — ranging from an exclusive on William Jefferson’s bribery charges to several posts investigating the 9th Circuit Justice Alex Kozinski online obscenity controversy (see here here here and here) to extensive investigations of the questionable ethical conduct of L.A. Times writer Chuck Philips (see here and here). Frey and his guest bloggers are not backed by any deep pockets and have no journalistic “training,” but they have consistently broken stories, dug up documents, and pursued leads on legal, crime, journalistic malpractice, and entertainment stories the rest of the MSM has ignored.
Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer continues to do ahead-of-the-curve investigative work on his solo blog. You’ll recall that we teamed up to report on Air America’s financial shenanigans in 2005 — reporting that was resurrected in the Coleman/Franken race this fall. This year, Maloney broke several radio/media industry stories, many of which were picked up by Drudge or the rest of the MSM without attribution or hat tips. A sample: Maloney’s story on KGO nut Charles Karel Bouley threatening Joe The Plumber; financial turmoil at Citadel Radio; exclusives on Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes; reports on the unhinged rants of Randi Rhodes and Roseanne Barr; and a whistle-blowing post on Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s Fairness Doctrine push.
Speaking of Franken, conservative blogger Michael Brodkorb of Minnesota Democrats Exposed scooped the national media on the comedian’s tax troubles so many times (examples here and here) that even the NYTimes had to acknowledge him.
Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee/Pajamas Media published several original reports and scoops — including the op-ed the NYTimes refused to run and an interview with FBI informant/Weather Underground insider Larry Grathwohl, and early in the year, the results of a massive FOIA request related to the Beauchamp controversy.
Robert Stacy McCain, a two-decade newspaper reporter/editor-turned-blogger, provided campaign reporting on the road from Hillary in Harrisburg, Pa., and in Shepherdstown, W.Va., to the Libertarian convention in Denver, to John McCain in Pennsylvania, back to Denver for the DNC, and in Ohio and Pennsylvania for Sarah Palin.
Internet journalist/blogger and Little Green Footballs regular Zombie (not “conservative” per se, but rather anti-sharia/anti-jihad/anti-anti-American/anti-extremist Left) did extraordinary work digging up documents related to Barack Obama and left-wing terrorist Bill Ayer’s relationship — most notably, unearthing the Weather Underground manifesto Prairie Fire and Obama’s review of Ayer’s book on the juvenile court system. Zombie’s comprehensive rally coverage in the Bay Area included:
Obama Visits Billionaires Row — San Francisco, April 6, 2008
McCain in San Francisco: Fundraiser Rally — San Francisco, July 28, 2008
Kennedy Campaigns for Obama — Oakland, February 2, 2008
Operation First Casualty anti-war protest — San Francisco, November 28, 2008
Berkeley Tree-Sit Finally Ends — Berkeley, September 9, 2008
Up Your Alley Fair — San Francisco, July 27, 2008
Marines Recruiting Office Protest and Counter-Protest — Berkeley, June 21, 2008
Israel in the Gardens 2008 — San Francisco, June 1, 2008
Nakba-60 Palestinian Festival — San Francisco, May 10, 2008
Palestinian Checkpoint on the U.C. Berkeley Campus — Berkeley, May 7, 2008
Olympic Torch Relay — San Francisco, April 9, 2008
Pro-Troops Rally at Marines Recruiting Office — Berkeley, March 22, 2008
Iraq War Fifth Anniversary Protest — San Francisco, March 19, 2008
Iraq: 5 Years Too Many — San Francisco, March 16, 2008
Berkeley Marines Protest — Berkeley, February 12, 2008
Berkeley’s Marine Corps Recruiting Center Controversy — Berkeley, February 2, 2008
Just visit Zombie’s site and you’ll see a mountain of original reporting too extensive to link individually here.
LGF, famed for exposing the bogus Dan Rather/National Guard memos, published numerous original reports this year exposing anti-Semitism at Barack Obama’s official community blog sites (here, here, here, here, and here.) LGF also continued original protest coverage (here here, here, here, here,, and here, for example). And in July, Charles Johnson once exposed fauxtography in the form of a Photoshopped Iranian missile launch disseminated by the Agence France Press:
Both Fox News and the New York Times failed to credit LGF for debunking the photo.
Something similar happened to enterprising blogger Tom Blumer at Bizzy Blog, who dug up a treasure trove of Jeremiah Wright’s revealing church bulletins. (See also here here and here.) Blumer’s investigative work was picked up by conservative talk radio and Jake Tapper at ABC News — which hot-linked his images and somehow neglected to link to his original post until he asked.
Greg Ransom at Presto Pundit had yet another similar experience after taking the initiative to dig up an academic paper at UCLA written by Barack Obama’s father. The Politico then e-mailed Ransom requesting that he send them the full document — after which, it promoted a front-page story on its website touting the find while trashing Ransom. The thanks you get.
Veteran investigative reporter Ken Timmerman did yeomen’s work on Barack Obama’s credit card donation fraud.
Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek published numerous investigative reports on Obama’s abortion extremism in the Illinois legislature — providing the scrutiny and coverage the rest of the MSM wouldn’t provide. See here and here and here, for a sample. Stanek also provided first-hand background about race-baiting Rev. Michael Pfleger and Obama’s disingenuous claim of surprise at his rhetoric.
Another pro-life journalist and young new media pioneer, Lila Rose with Live Action Films, exposed several cases of Planned Parenthood predation this year — leading to suspensions and raised public awareness of the bigoted, money-grubbers in the abortion industry funded with your tax dollars.
More young new media pioneers at Palestra.net, a partner with Fox News, did top-notch investigative work on voter fraud in Ohio and across the country, leading to government action. And, of course, we are forever grateful to Palestra’s Shelby Holliday for introducing us to the unforgettable and eternally useful phrase, “thug thizzle.”
NakedEmperorNews provided archival video research on YouTube spotlighting Obama’s statements on redistributing wealth and bankrupting the coal industry, as well as a damning clip reel of Democrats covering the fannies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
My colleague Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, whose original reporting on the Canadian Adscam scandal brought down the liberal government in 2005, provided original investigative coverage of the Minnesota recount (see here and here); on-the-ground coverage from the RNCC; and numerous interviews with newsmakers like this one with Afghan ambassador Said Jawad. Hot Air’s Allahpundit was ahead of the curve on countless stories, including Geert Wilders’ Fitna (see here, here and here ).
At this site, I provided readers with many original reports and exclusives, including:
*A special report on the Left’s escalating war on military recruiters and a related Document drop: Unclassified memo warns military personnel of anti-war threats to recruiters, Army installations/facilities;
*The rest of the story behind the DHS decision to lay off Obama’s illegal alien auntie;
*Presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill’s journalistic conflict of interest;
*The story behind Change.gov;
*The story behind the heckling of AG Michael Mukasey;
*Investigations of John McCain’s open-borders adviser Juan Hernandez (see also this video compilation by Digger’s Realm) and his open-borders, eco-radical billionaire campaign co-chair Jerry Perenchio;
This is by no means a comprehensive list. I did not, for example, include the priceless work of milbloggers, many of whom are conservative, but who prefer not to define themselves along partisan lines. I hope other conservative bloggers who have published original reporting will e-mail me with other examples (which I’ll add to this post) or track back with links to their own work over the past year. But these should be enough to dispel the persistent myth that the right doesn’t “do journalism.” Not every post is front-page news. Neither is much of the “news” that gets published in the dead-tree media or on the left side of the blogosphere.
The “skills” that some clueless critics believe are lacking on the right are, in fact, plentiful. And as this post shows, the investigative work of conservative bloggers has been high-quality enough for MSM outlets to grudgingly cite, recycle, or appropriate without acknowledgment.
A full and fair accounting of conservative blog journalism, you see, doesn’t fit the narrative.