George Soros’s latest attempt in new media is about two years behind the conservative trailblazers who changed the face of elections and political blogging.
At 27, he is a full-time “tracker” for American Bridge 21st Century, a new Democratic organization that aims to record every handshake, every utterance by Republican candidates in 2011 and 2012, looking for gotcha moments that could derail political ambitions or provide fodder for television advertisements by liberal groups next year.
While the Democratic National Committee and Democratic candidates also have trackers, federal campaign laws prohibit the outside organizations from coordinating closely enough to use their videotapes in their advertising efforts.
Soro’s Media Matters, the (for all intents and purposes) activist arm for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has joined together with other Democratic groups to form American Bridge 21st Century.
By tapping into his network of Media Matters donors, American Bridge officials say they have raised several million dollars and hope to bring in $15 million to make the group part of a new liberal infrastructure that will last far beyond the 2012 cycle.
From astroturfed rallies to astroturfed citizen journalism, American Bridge sounds more like a “spin” center of which famed propagandist Leni Riefenstahl would have been proud.
“I can come up with the spin. I need the facts,” said Paul Begala, a former top adviser to President Bill Clinton and a senior strategist for Priorities USA Action, an outside group that is working to re-elect President Obama. Mr. Begala said American Bridge would help fuel his group’s ads. “Let’s go to the videotape!”
I realize that the left is very excited about their new effort, but the logic fueling the creation of their new propaganda center seems overblown. Here’s the thing: when it’s a competition, biased media loses every time. Look at the dwindling circulations of the most infamous left-leaning publications. Check the ratings and see which cable news outlet has the longest #1 streak. Compare the success of conservative talk radio to failed enterprises like Air America.
People are exposed to biased media every single day when they turn on a broadcast network and see their supposed nonpartisan anchor using public trust as a welcome mat for bias. Americans are tired of it:
- In U.S., Confidence in Newspapers, TV News Remains a Rarity
- Americans View Media Bias As Big Problem, Poll Shows | CNSnews.com
- Distrust in U.S. Media Edges Up to Record High
- Americans See Liberal Media Bias on TV News
Progressive media is an over-saturated industry.
The problem with Soros and co.’s enterprise is that it leaves the gate without public trust. Conservatives have for the past several years punked candidates (and their associates) of all parties with their own words. The difference is that the Soros American Bridge project will ignore Democrats and focus on Republicans, likely making it up if they don’t get the money shot they’re after. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve done it before.
I expect this latest progressive endeavor to match the “success” of the Tea Party Tracker website. This will be Soros’s latest failed attempt in new media: despite spending a million dollars on Media Matters, MMfA remains the laughingstock of the political blogosphere with inept editors who tanked the site’s traffic.
It’s telling of the leftist ideology that a socialist billionaire has to pay bloggers to attempt to mimic conservatives’ successful results, results obtained out of duty to truth in narrative. I can’t wait to compare results in six months.