Buzzfeed’s ‘How The Conservative Media Lost The Election’

November 19, 2012

I didn’t mind commenting for this piece linked below because I do think both bloggers and right-side New Media as a whole need to look at how 2012 played out and think about how we may have been able to do better, so as to learn from that experience in the future.

As the same time, as it also mentions Breitbart News, none of my comments were directed at, or about them, or any other site, for that matter. I was speaking generally about right-side New Media as a  whole.

My point was and still is, as a movement – and now something of a media movement – I think we need to examine some things and ask ourselves some serious questions. I’m not going to presume to have the answers, most certainly not now – nor should anyone assume Buzzfeed’s conclusions are what mine may be eventually.

“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.”

Food for thought imo via How The Conservative Media Lost The Election.

Mitt Romney and the GOP lost the election. The questions for us are, did we do everything we could have to help win it, are there things we could have done and didn’t, or done better? – among others.

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  1. Donald says:

    Obama stood against all we stand for, so getting him in our heads focused minds. No need to double guess it. Blogs did a great job. The GOP could have done more on the turnout side.

    • Bruce Kesler says:

      I agree with Donald, and then some more. The establishment Republican consultants are about making money for themselves and not for connecting with working and middle class anxieties and needs. My slogan has always been “off the biggees”, in business and politics. They may be exploitive but even moreso they are inefficient and ineffective against spunkier competitors.

  2. Dan says:

    That’s all fine but you’re both missing the point. The conversation was about right-side media, not the election as a whole. I could rant all day and night about consultants and such, that wasn’t the focus of the article.

  3. I don’t know the solution, but I think a big problem center-right media has is permeating the public conscience in a way that will stick in the minds of low-info voters. (Did anyone see the video of the Ohio college students for Obama who had absolutely no idea about the Benghazi attacks?!?)

    In Righteous Indignation Andrew demonstrated that he and O’Keefe were able to slay ACORN because they had a series of videos dripping on the left in such a way that it couldn’t be ignored (even though it initially was).

    We have to make it so the left can’t be a screen for left-wing corruption, it can’t happen if the knowledge only swirls around in conservative circles.

    Maybe our political leaders should go out on a limb every once in a while and help make our headlines something the MSM can’t ignore by mentioning them.

    Which leads to my final point: The left works well as a unit, conservatives generally don’t, maybe that is what needs to change more than anything else.

    • JohnInMA says:

      I second your point about getting enough of the non-mainstream media, well, more mainstream. Perhaps popular is a better word than mainstream. Living in New England, I know a number of committed Dems and an even greater number of those who are independent, but gravitate towards socially liberal candidates. Some view almost every one of the right/libertarian-favoring sites as ‘extreme’, having bought the progressive attack lines. When pressed they often bring up names like Limbaugh and the conspiracy guy (Alex something or other) as their view of who represents all of it.

      However, many others who are more thinkers than simply joiners (of Dem politics), do see merit in isolated parts of the non-mainstream efforts. As an example, I know a few who will watch FNC and simply avoid shows like Hannity, but often make a point of watching Bret Baier, O’Reilly, or Greta, whichever they prefer. A number are familiar with other personalities who show up with some frequency in the mainstream (e.g., S.E. Cupp is becoming known in some circles – it helps that she is originally from Boston in getting the initial attention, I think.) I’ve explored their viewpoints for a while now, because I prefer to make financial contributions/donations to Internet outlets long before I contribute to GOP campaigns. To me, it feels like I am and the country is better served and for longer by putting money there instead of campaigns.

      The short end of my ‘story’: It’s likely the bloggers/right-side-new-media are already well entrenched with the conservative and GOP population. But until many whose identity is tied almost exclusively to the Internet (or maybe radio) get more visibility, their impact will continue to stay marginal. The mainstream media has done an excellent job at painting radio/Internet folks as kooks, know-nothings, and raaaaacists. The mainstream as utterly failed at taking power and influence away from FNC, however, and would be a little more cautious in attacking other outlets such as broadcast news and especially MSNBC. Credit S.E. Cupp for going daily into the belly of the beast with her TV show (??). I’m not expert in the PR field, but for the Internet based minds (which are growing in number, thankfully) to beat the rap they are getting, they must have some mainstream – or even just FNC – face time. Otherwise, the traffic will likely stay mainly composed of like-minded conservatives or trolls.

  4. daveinboca says:

    As a former national staff campaign worker in two national elections, I wouldn’t lay much fault on the conservative media. The conjunction of Sandy giving the president a lot of leadership face-time on TV and the suppression of the details of the Benghazi debacle were important elements of Obama’s victory that the conservatives just had not much to do with and could’t have surmounted, IMHO.

    I do think that Obama had a gigantic number of field offices compared to Romney, who started late in the game, after Obama had already branded him a greedy capitalist swine at Bain. That wasn’t Romney’s fault because he couldn’t spend his money until he was nominated.

    Finally, on election day, the Obama ground game turned out every possible vote [and some precincts in black wards had more votes than registered voters, all for Obama, lest we forget.] When I was a precinct captain in St. Louis, a sawbuck in a brochure assured our registered to come to the polling site.

    And the ORCA monster crashed before it could really take off, and the Romney field staff, already outnumbered ten to one in Iowa and five to one in Ohio, were wrong-footed out of the starting gate.

    I’m already dreaming of a Rubio/Ryan ticket, or vice versa, in 2016. Hope they survive the salvos and barrages of contumely and slander that the MSM will devise to beat them down and attempt to ruin their reputation.

    Meanwhile, plagiarist buffoon Biden is always there when Obama appears impregnable.

    • RefudiateObamaGOPe says:

      You’re looking forward to a Rubio/Ryan ticket? Why? Because he’s clean and articulate?What has he accomplished? Where’s his substance?

  5. […] Of The Shadow: How Romney Lost California Legal Insurrection: The Crazying Of Marco Rubio Begins Riehl World News: Buzzfeed’s “How The Conservative Media Lost The Election” Power Line: Obama’s Latest Foreign Policy Blunders Lonely Conservative: While Obama […]

  6. Steve says:

    Bill O’Reilly 11/19/12 Talking Point Memo “Gifts Remark was a ‘Stone Cold Fact’ “…

  7. I’m pretty sure that every GOP member that retained their power does not think there’s a problem. And that’s the problem: toothless old lions in assumptive power are not being challenged for power. And when they are, the pundit class goes wobbly.

    Seriously though, Geoge Bush was Santa Claus long before Obama. The GOP has been self-guilting about “big tent” for 40+ years and yet go right on getting power for themselves. They have no principle or moral except to win. Bush never really had a “vision” for the U.S. I’m glad he had a vision for our safety, but he’s a One Worlder like his old man. If he thought the country was lost, one would hope he’d speak up and out by now. He does not. He’s GOP thru and thru and don’t give me the BS about his classiness in not criticizing his successor. Either it’s dire and GOP should say so, or it’s business as usual with them, while the ankle-biting “right-wing media” go pitching and yawing about.

    In case you missed it, there is no major right-wing media. From Sesame Street to Wall Street Journal to AARP: cradle to grave socialism.

    To win at this point, we should have started 40 years ago. Where were the endowments for education, journalism, and culture from the GOP? Where were the conservatives while the Socialists raised their children?


    • To put it another way: go talk to non-Conservatives. They have never even heard of the scandals, the lies, the cover-ups, the cronyism, the failures of this President. They’ve heard the MSM. The Fifth Column. The Right Wing does not have the megaphone. Pure and simple, that’s why their radiant ideas do not leave the crib.

      The GOP has no agenda for grabbing the megaphone. Marco Rubio goes yawing after GQ for the setup: annn-nn-n-n-d he’s outta there! The one man with a megaphone is eschewed by the pundit class of the GOP because he simply cannot keep the old lions in power.

  8. Ragspierre says:

    I think Dan pointed to a salient issue.

    We have to manage to effectively transmit the positive, affirmative Conservative vision of America.

    Everywhere, I see people producing very impressive stuff that DOES do that. We need to get it in front of everyone we contact. We also need to get it broadcast more effectively.

    Ours is a MUCH superior message. We need to get it out there better somehow.

  9. Tex Detroit says:

    Romney won because he was too moderate, and because right-side media were too polite to Obami. We on the right are ALWAYS too gentlemanly with our opponents. Whereas, the fascist left is always like sharks in the water. See, e.g., Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments. Bill Clinton is a serial rapist and yet the MSM BURIES THAT FACT deliberately.

    Next time, we need to be louder and more in their faces with our conservative values. Blacks, Young people, Spanish, and Women need to be forced to vote for the right, or else they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Period. I remember the days when men like us were rightfully in charge.

    • FedSec says:

      “Next time, we need to be louder and more in their faces with our conservative values. Blacks, Young people, Spanish, and Women need to be forced to vote for the right, or else they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Period. I remember the days when men like us were rightfully in charge.”

      And this is why you and those of your ilk will continue to lose.

      • Tex Detroit says:

        Proof that “[conservatives] lose”? Last time I check, conservatives owned most state governorships and legislatures, and the House. Obami got fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008; he lost the white vote by 60 points. The reason he “won” this election is because people who don’t understand economics, law, history, etc. were permitted to vote. And they voted for the one who promised to give them free stuff at the expense of the productive class. How is that not racism, despotism, and tyranny on Obami’s part?! People who do not understand American values, need to be taught by men who DO.

  10. Could be Dan, but regardless of the reason, our side DID NOT sell the conservative message -particularly the most vital, economic message- forcefully and clearly. Romney did better at that than expected, but not enough to make a difference, obviously.

    The conservative agenda needs to be SOLD, and it’s an acquired taste for many. The other side’s ‘free candy’ doesn’t need nearly so much explaining of course. It’s like trying to teach your kid to save money: he doesn’t want to hear it, it’s not going to be easy to get him to do it, but it’s the ONLY way to go over the long run. What a shame we all need to be dragged down the hole while the idiot Reality TV generation take a decade or more to figure out just how bad they’ve screwed-up here.

  11. […] enough, and a point made here often.  (Dan has an update to his comment which is worth […]

  12. jeb says:

    The right needs to stop trying to create an alternate reality by not accepting facts ie. polls. The whole right media complex thought Romney was winning when in fact he was losing.

  13. Gunga says:

    I love that the ad at the end of the article right now is for the Google Tablet and it shows a picture of the novel Moby Dick…

  14. I do not know who Tex is. But, he does not speak for me or anyone here in the Detroit area.

    I’ve lived here in thee Detroit area all my life. In fact, I grew up in Southwest Detroit. I am 40 years old.

    First off, Romney’s comment about the 41% that hurt him big time. Because the media repeated that…well, quite a bit. It sort of offended me too. Man, look. I have voted Republican in the last two elections, This last one and the last midterms. We have a good message! It is just the fact that the liberal controlled and owned media, just has us out-boxed.

    Also too, some of the stuff that happens on the Conservative right media does us no good. Calling a mural of Obama painted in Burma creepy??!?? Seriously? I mean, All I can say is, Nuanced Racism much? My simply question is this, would you say that about White Man, who was President?

    That is what killed us folks! The silly nuanced and not-so Nuanced racism. I realized that NOT EVERY does it, okay? But, it still happens! When it does, the other sides hollers it from the rooftops and what happens? WE ALL LOOK BAD!

    So, we need to work on that, somehow or another. I know that we cannot control everyone. But, we can do something. I don’t know what, really. But, we have to do something.

    Just my opinion.

    • I left out a few words up there. But, I think y’all know what I mean. I, on the other hand, need more coffee. I just woke up. Long night… I though she’d never stop. Oh laa laa! 😀 😉 🙂

    • Tex Detroit says:

      Just because it’s a fact that people who don’t understand conservative values, i.e. REAL AMERICAN values, need to be taught how to vote, does not make it racist. Don’t drink the LIEbral Kool Aid on that one.

    • Deadrody says:

      Uh, yes ? The mural is creepy looking. Has nothing to do with whether or not the subject is black or white. Try not to fall for the idiotic media narrative about secret racial codewords

  15. JDavid says:

    “Right Side Media” already pushing Establishment RINO squishes Jeb Bush and Chris Christie:

    GOP leadership doesn’t want to lead(win), they want to hold their career offices without accountability. They are utterly without scruple or conscience.

  16. Kelly Ambrose says:

    Tex Detroit, Ragspierre is a liberal troll who tries to discredit conservatism by calling all ACTUAL conservatives “trolls.” Don’t let her censor you. 🙂

    • Ragspierre's Mom says:

      Cut my son a break! He’s a shiftless shut-in but he’s still family. The poor guy has been crying all morning about that idiot Allen West losing yet another government job.

      • Ragspierre says:

        According to Rep. Clyburn, you are a racist.

        In addition to being too stupid to understand you pay me homage with every post.

        As to Col. West, one of the things for which I am grateful at Thanksgiving is the caliber of people who serve us in our military. He was a fine representative, and will serve again in the near future, I am confident.

        • Ragspierre's Mom says:

          Blah blah. When you’re done crying over Colonel Crackpot be sure to go to the store and pick up some Turkey Helper.

  17. Tennwriter says:

    The RINO message of ‘vote for me, I’m not as bad as the other guy’ failed yet again. This seems to be with Dan is saying, and he’s quite correct.

  18. kakypat says:

    Mr. Riehl, I haven’t read all of the replies, and don’t have the time to read them right now.

    I will just say this…the conservative media didn’t lose the election, as much as Buzzfeed would like for us to believe that.

    The national GOP and the Romney campaign lost it, but by just a hair. A loss, nevertheless.

    On the state and local levels, though, we did great! So, explain that, Buzzfeed.

  19. mg says:

    Your over rating the right media. If mittens and his posse were worth a damn, they would have took care of business. Progressive conservatives will continue to leave millions of voters at home. Time to reload.

    • Xiaoding says:

      “Progressive conservatives will continue to leave millions of voters at home.”

      Consider an alternative reading: The Republicans got everything right. They did exactly what they wanted to do. Got rid of a troublesome candidate, in an eletion they knew that they could not win. Meanwhile, the Demo’s get to implode, because that’s what they do.

      I say, the Repubs won this election, too.

  20. Xiaoding says:

    So, let’s see if I understand this: the “Right Side” media had a job, which was to “support Romney”, right?

    No free thought, no opinions going the other way, right?

    So, all those people on the right, who would rather crawl through broken glass than vote for a Romney, all their blogs, and such, that’s not part of the Right Side Media, right? Those people don’t exist.

    I got a real problem with that kind of logic.

    Lots of people of the right, and on the Right Side Media, did just fine, not supporingt Romney one bit. Why, I know of one such fellow, who called the election six months in advance! Despite the delusional poll deniers.

    The article FAILS.

    • Ragspierre says:

      Speaking of FAILS, dingy, why haven’t you told the people who are new here what a “dingy conservative” looks like. It is really very interesting. In a mad, twisted sort of way…

  21. EBL says:

    I give the article credit for not being a hack job on conservatives and I thought Dan’s comments were well made. Let’s face reality, Mitt lost for not giving enough voters reason to vote for him. We focused on going after Obama when it should have been promoting an alternative. It was close, which only makes the loss that much more painful.

  22. Buzzy says:

    Dan, I think you have hit on something very important with respect to the right leaning media. The leftists learned long ago that the more outreageous, the bigger the lies, the more illogical comments are that they make, the more attention they get. They’ve learned that shouting fire in a packed theater gets immediate attention, even if there is no fire in the theater. It’s become like a Pavlov’s dog thing with the right. Take Biden’s comment about the R’s wanting to put people back in chains with all of it’s connotations. Take Whoppi Goldberg’s recent statement that the Israelis are killing Palestinian women and children indiscriminately. Those on the right jump to post articles, with links embedded mind you, which does nothing more than carry their insane statements even further across the nation. Is there any rational reason why we on the right should be helping them to spread their stupid messages, ads to the clicks and ad revenue on their sites, and does nothing to further anything positive from the rightists? I cancelled cable TV long ago, but back awhile ago, the alphabet networks were losing viewership in large numbers. One had to wonder who is supporting their continued presence, with only a few hundred thousand viewers out of over 300 million American citizens.

    Since the elections, I travel from right leaning website to the next, and it saddens me to see article after article, repeating what the idiots are saying, what Chrissy Matthews said, or what some liberal from the NYT wrote, or what Soledad O’Brien claimed. When will those on the right stop giving the propagandists an even bigger microphone. The liberals adopted a policy long ago in overloading the minds of people, with rapid fire false messages until many just drop out of even listening to anything anyone says anymore.

    The other problem as I see it is that even if those on the right wanted to write positive articles about the benefits of conservatism for everyone, who will it be that defines conservative vales and issues? Right now, the libertarians want their views circulated, the social conservatives want their values portrayed. Watching the complete destruction of US foreign policy, with the middle east on fire, likely promoted and enabled by the Obama administration, those that consider national security critical want their message to get out loud and clear. At this time, there is not the first strongly respected vocal Republican that is willing to take the lead, and define what a coherent conservative message should be. It seems that it is more important to hide in the background lest someone offend someone’s personal interest or bloggey horse and lose a few votes in doing so.