Weiner Disgrace Shows Power of New Media

Erik Telford

6/14/2011 4:04:00 PM - Erik Telford
In the days before the rise of the conservative new media, Anthony Weiner very likely could have prevailed with his lies, claiming he was “hacked” and successfully killed the story of him tweeting a lewd photograph of himself. But perseverance by Andrew Breitbart forced Weiner’s tale to unravel rapidly, and it’s now just a matter of time before he’s forced out of Congress. There is a lesson here for anyone who has a few spare minutes a day and wants to have an impact on civic life in America: online activism works. The more citizens who become activists, the more they can drive stories that will have a major impact and change the course of the country. It’s surprisingly easy to do.

The White House knows that new media activism poses a major threat to the deeply-flawed narratives that the administration depends on. The green jobs myth has been decisively exploded with numerous studies showing these boondoggles destroy many more jobs than they create – yet Obama was in North Carolina this week once again touting green jobs, with a dutiful mainstream media echoing his myths. The ruthless attacks on Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan have created a mainstream media narrative that completely obscures the rationing of care now cruelly scheduled to occur under current law. The union agenda – thoroughly rejected by the public – moves forward via illegitimate means at the National Labor Relations Board.

Obama is trying to reposition himself as a centrist while he continues to pursue truly radical policies. A compliant media is enabling him. New media activists are his Achilles heel. And while there is no apparent major scandal to topple Obama the way Weiner fell, his extreme policy agenda is a serious vulnerability if activists can go over the heads of the mainstream media and speak directly to American citizens.

The White House understands the threat, and has responded by adding a full-time staffer tasked with trying to contain new media. The staffer, Jesse Lee, is officially titled “Director of Progressive Media & Online Response.” In practice, his job is to coordinate the left-wing, Soros-funded echo chamber to support the president and minimize conservative online voices.

Lee is married to one of MoveOn.org’s top staffers, Nita Choudhary, so he has the right connections. But Weiner had the right connections too, and it didn’t matter. He was the darling of MSNBC, MoveOn.org, and the whole left-wing mob. He was to Obama’s far-left on ObamaCare, eager to skip laying the groundwork and jump right to a completely government-run socialized system. On the left, this made him a hero, and helped him deflect the initial Weinergate story with his hacking lie.

In the end it didn’t matter who his friends were, because online activists did the real journalism that most newspapers simply no longer do – especially when the story is about one of their left-wing heroes. But Andrew Breitbart can’t be everywhere and expose everything.

From the president to Congress to state legislators all the way down to local planning and zoning, we need thousands of dedicated activists who can take a few minutes out of their day to shine a light on government corruption and bad, expensive taxes and regulations. We need what Glenn Reynolds, the InstaPundit, called an Army of Davids to take down the Goliaths of big media and big government.

This weekend, I am proud to direct the leading conference for free-market online activism, RightOnline. We’ll be educating and training more than 1,200 Davids to join the fight and to make a difference. Clearly, the White House is worried, and they should be.

Erik Telford is the Executive Director of RightOnline, (www.RightOnline.com) and Director of Online Strategy for Americans for Prosperity.