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The Right Gets Itself 'Wired'

By       Message Robert Parry     Permalink
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Meanwhile, the dynamic worked the opposite way for the Left. Since it had few media assets that could amplify progressive-oriented stories, the mainstream media could safely ignore the articles or mock them.

Because the Right had spent millions of dollars on attack groups, like Bozell's Media Research Center, mainstream journalists mostly felt pressure from the Right, so they generally tilted their stories in that direction as a way to avoid accusations of "liberal bias" and to protect their careers.

Still, prior to last year, progressives had a point when they claimed that the Internet represented their media stronghold. During George W. Bush's administration, scores of left-leaning "net roots" sites published or republished articles that sounded a discordant alarm about Bush while the mainstream press and the Right's media mostly sang harmonious duets in his praises.

But most of the progressive Web sites were run by amateurs or were so underfunded that they couldn't compensate professionals much for their work. Some on the Left took a strange pride in this vow of poverty, as if forcing writers and reporters to work for free or nearly for free was somehow nobler than paying them a living wage.

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This attitude proved shortsighted, however. The Left continued to see its media endeavors fail due to lack of resources (like Air America Radio shutting down last week). Today, many progressive Web sites, like Danny Schecter's Media Channel, are growing increasingly desperate about their chances for survival; others have simply disappeared.

Meanwhile, the Right keeps expanding its media power deeper into the Internet, with well-funded sites and plenty of cross-marketing with radio, TV and print.

With the Right shoring up its position on the Internet, its only area of relative media weakness, the implications for progressives and Democrats should be frightening.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at

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