In the aftermath of Politico's decision to suspend its White House Correspondent, Joseph Williams, for tweets mocking Mitt Romney's wealth and comments made yesterday on MSNBC, it is remarkable to see outlets I respect praising Politico for its correct and quick action.
That's exactly wrong.
We should not be suspending or punishing journalists who are open about their biases. We should be encouraging and praising reporters willing to be upfront about such things. In a nutshell: Politico suspended Mr. Williams for being open about his biases, but in a just world Politico would suspend itself for lying about theirs.
As we are learning from a Huffington magazine article today (available here), the Politico brand is in very real trouble.
According to an earlier report from the Daily Caller, coming into an election year – Politico's bread and butter – the site's traffic is down.
New independent circulation numbers show a sharp decline in readership of Politico and other left-leaning news websites, an ominous trend for the suburban Virginia-based news outlet and its peers as Americans head into an election year.
Recently published and publicly available Web traffic data indicates that “unique visitor” traffic to politico.com in November 2011 was 15 percent lower than in the previous month, and 31 percent lower than in November 2010. The data, from Compete, Inc., also show an overall two-year decline.
That is an incredible statistic when you consider Politico prides itself as the "ESPN of Politics" and seems to be everywhere. The two-year decline is especially important.
Nobody trusts Politico anymore.
And what exactly did Politico expect after crawling into bed with the anti-Semitic, Soros-funded tax exempt Media Matters and the fever swamp of MSNBC. Politico openly chose to marry its brand to two of the most marginalized and extreme entities on the planet. Did Politico think it a smart business move to alienate over half their potential audience.
Of course not.
Politico isn’t about "business" or reporting or journalism. Politico is about winning elections for the left through the relentless pushing of a daily narrative, which is why MSNBC snuggles up next to them every morning for an ear-nuzzle.
But you can bet that any media analysis surrounding Politico's fall will talk about everything but their outrageous bias. Were the corrupt media to ever acknowledge such a thing, it would simply hit too close to home -- because they are all guilty of it and they are all suffering financially as a result.
You see, I've been watching Politico for years now -- closely. It probably hasn't been healthy, but since their launch in 2007 and from a place where I could not sound a warning, I watched Politico brilliantly execute a devious plan.
When Politico first came online, it was a superb news outlet. Great stories, real reporting, extensive coverage, and the kind of energy that epitomized what was happening on the web.
Politico was also objective. I'm not saying it was perfect, but many conservatives, including myself, thought these were good guys and in response we welcomed them aboard.
But like a Vampire charming its way into your house, it was a trap. And I'm convinced Politico knew exactly what it was doing.
Naïve and too nice for our own good, it was conservatives who helped empower and give rise to this monster. We linked to Politico, we praised Politico, we had their reporters on talk radio. Yes, we were duped into giving our own political enemy prominence, name recognition, and muscle.
But all Politico was doing was moving its battalions into place and waiting for the perfect time to strike -- and strike Politico did during the 2008 election.
Politico was the very worst during '08, the ones driving anti-McCain narratives online, covering up for Obama, hammering Sarah Palin, and amplifying and creating an unending number of nonsense-distractions. If Ben Smith didn’t receive a gift basket from Obama after his inauguration, he got robbed.
But now the worm is starting to turn. Politico is finally starting to pay a price for its behavior, because it isn’t 2008 anymore. Politico isn't the only kid on the block, and Twitter has put about a million kids on the block. And we are sounding the alarm.
Through relentless exposure and merely telling the truth about this execrable outlet, Politico is finally becoming marginalized just like its kissin' cousins at MSNBC and Media Matters. Politico is also becoming something of a joke, a punchline, which is the very worst place for a media outlet desperate to control the narrative.
Politico has worked overtime to tarnish its own brand. All New Media has done it get the word out. You need not make anything up to undermine Politico's credibility. All you need do is shine a light.
If Politico had a lick of survival instinct and any kind of moral compass, it wouldn't suspend Mr. Williams for being honest about his biases; it would learn from Mr. Williams.
MSNBC, Talking Points Memo and The Huffington Post are doing quite well as openly leftist media outlets. Politico should drop the lying pretense and join them.
But unless and until they do, for the sake of our country, we in New Media must do everything in our power to expose and undermine these dishonest brokers.
Unless and until they do, what's bad news for Politico is good news for America.
This isn't a game. This is about our country.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
This piece was edited to correct the source of Politico's traffic numbers.