Monday, June 14, 2010


Via Steve Benen, I see that Fox and Friends has done a fact-challenged softball interview with Sharron Angle, the fringy GOP Senate candidate who wants Harry Reid's job. The interview, in which Angle's advocacy of Social Security privatization was grotesquely mischaracterized and her experience as a pol was stuffed down the memory hole (so she could be mischaracterized as "someone who really has not been in politics before"), was panned by the local political press's gray eminence and even by a local Fox affiliate -- but, as Steve notes, the Angle strategy isn't going to change:

Angle, not exactly vying for a Profile in Courage Award, will follow this up with an interview with Sean Hannity. It follows this comprehensive list of national media the Republican candidate has been willing to speak to: Laura Ingraham, Heidi Harris, Lars Larson (who endorsed her candidacy), Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh.

In response to which, I quote, um, myself during Rand Paul's bad post-primary week, when Paul reacted to a few stumbles by cutting off contact with the non-right-wing press:

Where is this heading? I think it's heading toward a new political world in which, once a candidate (or at least a right-wing candidate) gets a certain amount of traction, he/she won't even bother talking to reporters who aren't sympathizers. In other words, the Sarah Palin approach. Given the Internet, as well as the massive infrastructure of the right-wing print and broadcast media, why should any wingnut candidate with a sufficient following ever again give an interview to a journalist who's not a fan? Just spread your word exclusively through media your side controls -- that's how Palin does it (Berlusconi, too). The haters will come to you -- your Facebook posts, your tweets, your appearances on Hannity.

In the future, we may conclude that Sarah Palin was as much a Net-era campaign visionary as Barack Obama. Eventually, every politician, left, right, and center, may operate this way.

I'm not sure this can possibly ever work for liberal candidates, or even centrist candidates -- lefties and even media mainstreamers like to ask tough questions once in a while -- but I absolutely think it's the future for the right. I think we're going to look back in ten years and be amazed that back in the '00s and the twentieth century right-wing pols actually gave interviews to journalists who weren't part of their own noise machine; in the future, it simply won't happen.

Angle and Paul and Palin aren't nuts -- or, rather, they are nuts, but they're not self-destructively nuts. They're the wave of the future.

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