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FP: At a time when new and social media like blogs, Twitter, and online magazines are ascendant, how powerful do you think the establishment media is? Is it as effective in setting the conventional wisdom on politics as it has been in the past, or has its influence been diluted in recent years thanks to conservatives’ active presence on the web?
MC: The audience of online and social media is growing, but the traditional networks, which take their cues from the New York Times, are still hugely influential. Conservatives have become much better at disrupting the conventional narrative. But there is still a long way to go. The Washington Free Beacon is here to assist in the fight.
FP: In your 2009 book The Persecution of Sarah Palin, you took issue with the mainstream media’s notably partisan and often blatantly unfair coverage of the former Alaska governor. How would you compare that to the media’s coverage of the Obama presidency and what is your overall assessment of the press coverage of Obama over his first term?
MC: Comparing press treatment of Sarah Palin with press treatment of Barack Obama is like comparing Macbeth with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One’s a tragedy; the other is a comedy. With a few exceptions—the Washington Post has done great work on the Solyndra story, for example—the press is still very much in the president’s corner. Such is life. The important thing is for right-thinking journalists to cover the stories that the mainstream media ignore. The WFB has the same mission as any journalistic enterprise: afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. We just define “comfortable” and “afflicted” differently from the left.
FP: You note on the Beacon‘s website that one of your aims is “taking the fight to the left.” Would you like to see the American press become like the British press, where certain newspapers are identified with certain political views and parties, or do you think that objectivity still has an important role to play in political journalism?
MC: The American press already has become like the British press. The only difference is that the American press won’t admit it. Needless to say, accuracy is crucial in reporting. Any worthwhile writer will seek to understand all sides of an issue before publishing an article. But there is no use denying that reporters and editors have an agenda, a system of beliefs, and theories about what policies would make the world a better place. The WFB is honest about our agenda. It’s freedom. What’s theirs?
FP: Matt Continetti, thank you for joining Front Page and best of luck to the Washington Free Beacon.
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