Why Clinton’s Emails, Benghazi, and Other Conservative Nonsense Dominate News
I’ve been saying something similar to this for years, even before bots and Russian hackers the GOP blogosphere autolinked every blog post to their network of “noise machine” blogs as soon as it was published. It wasn’t the equivalent of average joe blogger shooting a shotgun off as they post by also crossposting to their public media accounts - it’s the equivalent of hundreds of shotguns being fired as every blog in the noise machine network re-posted, and then cross posted every single post across social media. Even back in 2006 when I was still a wingnut blogger, they had networks of blogs in pacts with each other to link repost each other’s stories, and it wasn’t long before they automated it.
Conservative rainmakers learned long ago they could put any conservative book on the bestseller list if they buy enough of the first printing and give it away, and they’ve taken that sort of thinking onto the internet. They aren’t shy of buying clicks, reposts, and followers in other words.
Whatever their outrage of the day is - it will automagically float to the top of the stack of news headlines. They game Google and Facebook SEO better than Google’s and Facebook’s engineers could, and they have always had a guaranteed robot click audience for every story, even before the average person ever heard of “bots”. They do this without fail, and then they retread, repost, and persist the outrage to keep that noise level up much longer than any real interest from the general public still exists. They don’t just saturate the zone, they repeatedly supersaturate it. So the rest of this story is that even liberal media knows they get the clicks (real or bot generated) if they cater to the right wing noise, or do posts pointing out how awful “x” is in their post.
The essence of the hack gap is that when Clinton was in the crosshairs, conservative media made a huge show of being sincerely outraged by her misconduct, which forced the topic onto the national media agenda.
Reporters, meanwhile, simply tend not to jump on left-wing talking points. And progressive media is more infused with the values of actual journalism, and pretending to think something unimportant is actually critical is not journalism. Consequently, while many left-of-center pundits, including me, have noted the Trump email issue, we normally do it in an ironic or second-order way. We’re outraged by the lack of outrage or, rather, still bitter about the amount of faux-outrage over emails that was allowed to dominate campaign 2016. Meanwhile, there is simply no institution on the left that has anywhere near the institutional clout — to say nothing of the value system — of conservative broadcast media.