Sunday, November 16, 2008

Politico: "Right-leaning media brace for shut-out"?

Politico reports that the conservative Weekly Standard, in conjunction with other conservative media, is bracing for lean times during the upcoming Democrat-controlled Washington, DC.

Weekly Standard's editor, William Kristol, put a positive light on the new president-elect.
“We’re not going to sit around sniping and wailing and wish, ‘if only things had gone differently,’” Kristol said. “We’ll try to be cheerful.”

And Kristol is not the only one channeling Reaganite optimism at the start of the Obama years. The post-election issue of the National Review, a conservative journal that was frequently critical of McCain, features a sunrise adorning the cover, with one-word in the center: “Renewal.”
But conservatives have never shut down when Democrats were in power ... indeed, they have thrived. Rush Limbaugh's popularity soared during the Clinton administration as he passed along information to the masses that was not readily available through mainstream media. Page A12 stories became headlines on conservative talk radio.
“It’s really about the first steps of revitalizing ourselves as conservatives,” said editor Rich Lowry.

Looking inward makes sense now that access will likely be reduced during an Obama administration. It’s doubtful that David Axelrod will answer the phone as quickly as Karl Rove, or that Joe Biden would provide a Weekly Standard writer with the exclusive access that Dick Cheney gave when he sat down with Stephen Hayes for his biography of the vice president.
But there may be some upside to the view from outside. Just because fewer copies will arrive on the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue doesn’t mean all is lost. Lowry pointed out the “countercyclical” effect that opinion magazines often encounter when their party is out of power.

“People get ginned up when the other side is in power,” he said, noting that the National Review’s circulation increased to 280,000 during the first two years of the Clinton administration, substantially higher than its historical baseline of 150,000. Similarly, The Nation’s circulation nearly doubled during the Bush years.
Good read.

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