At BuzzFeed, McKay Coppins advances the theory that scruffy upstarts in the wingnuttosphere cost Republicans the election:
The new online right came roaring out of 2008 convinced that the only reason Obama won was because John McCain's weak-stomached campaign -- cowed by the aura of the first black presidential nominee -- had failed to document his ties to the radical left. Their mission would be to "vet" the president as McCain hadn't, and convince the American people to reject him.In this story, the Breitbartniks get blamed. The Daily Caller gets blamed. RedState gets blamed. Poll unskewer Dean Chambers gets blamed.
Now the loose coalition of scrappy bloggers, advocacy journalists, and unrepentant trolls who spent four years writing about Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky are coming to terms with reality: The polls weren't skewed, and their narrative didn't stick....
"I think the right media may have erred," Dan Riehl, a contributor to Breitbart News and longtime proprietor of Riehl World News, told BuzzFeed a week after the election. "I think we let Obama get into our heads and we wound up campaigning against him, rather than for the things we believe in."
... In hindsight, Riehl questioned the wisdom of devoting so much energy to combing through the president's early life for signs of radicalism — a process that yielded few true exposes, but rather a handful of scraps that bloggers tried to spin into scandals.
Know who doesn't get blamed? Fox. "Scrappy bloggers, advocacy journalists, and unrepentant trolls" of "the new online right" deserve their share of the blame, but something's at the other end of the puke funnel, channeling all their idiocy, and that something is, inevitably, old, gray, mainstream Fox News.
Who gave oxygen to the ridiculous bits of Breitbartnik "vetting" McKay Coppins cites as a distration? Fox. Who doubled down on the "unskewed polls" movement by trotting out supposedly respectable pollsters and pundits predicting a Romney landslide? Fox. Who, many years ago, established the notion that 24/7 demonization of Democrats and liberals was a formula for spectacular media success, never mind how much it polarizes America? Fox. Who's spent four years retransmitting "scrappy blogger" stories about Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky -- and about alleged voter fraud and presidential bowing and the "Ground Zero mosque" and all the rest? Fox. Who relentlessly promoted nutjobs like Herman Cain and Donald Trump as the GOP nomination fight was just getting under way, thus sending a signal to Mitt Romney and all other not-completely-crazy contenders and wannabes that they'd need to be on the crazy train or under it? Fox.
Hey, righties, go ahead and believe the theory that upstarts caused all your problems. It's fine with me if you never get to the root cause.