Last week, the New York Times highlighted grassroots conservative journalists’ power in shaping the contours of the budget showdown and described Breitbart News as “one of the most popular conservative Web sites.”
Times reporter Jeremy W. Peters said the evolution of the conservative “digital revolution” has morphed from a time when “Andrew Breitbart was a lowly assistant at E! Online” into a digital army capable of “helping to stoke energy on the right that is invigorating the [Republican] party’s base.”
That conservative media like Newsmax, RedState, and Breitbart News–as well as groups like the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks–can mobilize and galvanize activists to put intense pressure on Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) while bolstering Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee’s (R-UT) stand against Obamacare underscores the influence of grassroots conservative media and activism, noted the Times.
“People don’t feel like they’re alone,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin told the Times. “You feel like you’ve got allies with you and your voice isn’t just in the wilderness.”
In the case of the Obamacare battle between Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz versus GOP establishment figure John McCain, Peters stated that an article by Breitbart News editor Mike Flynn “succinctly captured the competing story line: ‘McCain Decries the G.O.P. Civil War He Started.'”
Indeed, a quick glance at national website rankings augurs troubling signs for establishment media and offers further evidence of conservative media’s growing popularity. At the time of this report, Alexa, a leading web analytics firm, ranks Breitbart News as the 239th most popular website in America. By comparison, the New York Post, Politico, and Daily Beast websites come in at 276, 315, and 335 respectively. By commercial comparisons, Breitbart News also ranks higher than Delta Airlines, Overstock.com, and Disney.
On Friday, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Jessica Taylor said that conservative media have changed the game during the present government shutdown: “One of the major differences between the last shutdown (in 1995-1996)and now is the rise of FOX News, Drudge, and Breitbart News.”
Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon says conservative media’s popularity is a function of a digitally empowered readership that has grown tired of predictable news narratives.
“Breitbart News readers are savvy; they demand that we cover the stories mainstream media either ignore or find ideologically distasteful,” said Bannon. “We did six hours of coverage of the Tea Party’s ‘Exempt America’ Obamacare rally on Capitol Hill and 21 hours of live blogging on Sen. Cruz’s Senate stand against Obamacare. As Andrew always wanted, we cover fights that matter.”
Breitbart News CEO and President Larry Solov agrees.
“Andrew’s vision of a digital army of limited government activists is coming to fruition,” says Solov. “Ironically, this ‘new’ wave of conservative media is driven by a rather old idea: offer readers original, fact-driven stories and they will come.”