More facts to face: the media is liberal. The news organizations are liberal. They protected their candidate. And it worked. But that’s part of the hand that we conservatives have been dealt. That ain’t gonna change. We need to figure out a way to win despite the fact that we’re swimming upstream in the culture. Whining about it isn’t going to get us to a solution.
I don’t know quite what to do with it yet but this is a big deal. Conservative new media has made big strides but we’re still growing up. Admittedly, we’re growing up faster than I ever imagined, but we have a long, long way to go. We’re not building new voices who can really do the work. Oh, we’re building an entirely new generation of pundits, but that’s exactly what we don’t need. We need journalists — honest-to-God ink-stained wretches who know how to dig the meaty center out of a story, prepare it with impeccable skill, and plate it with panache. We need storytellers — people who can take a principle or moral or hand full of facts and turn them into a compelling tale that will inspire, convict, instruct, or entertain. We need teachers — people who will pour their decades of media experience into the minds of anyone who will listen (and we need people who will build the platforms for those teachers). We don’t have many of those and, worse, we’re not teaching people how to become any of those things.
Worse than that, we’re not rewarding very well those who do the grunt work to dig out those stories, tell the tales, or teach the skills with the prizes that really matter — paychecks and real prestige inside our movement.
I admit, I’m part of the problem, too. I’m a pundit, a talky-guy, a bloviator. I don’t tell compelling stories, but I will do better. I don’t share what I know nearly well enough, but I will share more. I don’t do “just the facts” posts as often as I should, but I will work harder to learn how. I like to think I have ideas worth putting into practice but at the end of the day, I’m just tossing up my opinions along with almost everyone else. There has to be more than that. A lot more.
This is not a “hairshirt” post like the last one. Honest. Consider it a marker, a little thumbtack stuck in the cork board. New Media has come an awfully long way, but we still have more to do. Today is as good a time as any to do a quick reassessment and strike out in a direction we think will be more useful over the long haul.
I don’t know how to get all the things I think we need, but I’ll give it a try. Maybe you’ll jump in, too.
UPDATE: Mark Newgent is a very good salmon-teacher. Check out some of what he’s doing here.