Saturday, February 12, 2011

That’s So Old Media

Anyone needing proof that the Tea Party is stuck in the past need look no further than its new media endeavor. Er, make that old media endeavor, launched at CPAC this week:

Reports Columbia Journalism Review:
Here, an excited pre-launch tweet from what appears to be Tea Party Review's Twitter account:
There is nothing quite like putting together a magazine. It truly is ALIVE and it rings with Freedom! Get Ready for a powerful publication

To which, you know, we at CJR can totally relate.

Hah! With print journalism dying a slow death every day, you have to wonder why the Tea Party would think a monthly magazine was necessary in this modern age of Tweets, blogs, websites, etc. CJR wondered the same. I suspect it’s because so many Tea Partiers are senior citizens who aren’t internet savvy. Maybe I’m wrong.

Indeed, one observer even called it “an elaborate hoax.”

The fact is, everything about this "magazine" is just a tad too close to what a liberal wants to read in a Tea Party magazine. The cover lines on the inaugural issue (top photo) promise -- among other gems -- to tell us "What the Left Will Never Understand About the Tea Party." Sounds like a manifesto to us! Just the sort of thing that will make those folks with the rifle peeking out the blinds at the mailbox go "squeeee." And just the sort of thing that will make a liberal poke fun at the Tea Party. Don't believe me? I just did.

I wouldn’t be so quick to write this endeavor off, however. The Tea Party is nothing if not an exercise in self-parody. Remember this lady?

I say it’s not a hoax, nor does it matter whether it can make money or not. Let’s remember that conservatives have a long and storied history of propping up their failed media experiments with generous financial support from their Daddy Warbucks investors. See The Washington Times as an example. This magazine is supposedly edited by Richard Viguerie, the conservative direct-mail guru who is well known in conservative media circles.

Tea Party Review looks to be a standard-issue conservative media operation to me.