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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Selling the Message

Right Hook and G-Man have both noted that conservative issues went mostly unaddressed by Republican candidates last Tuesday, and have been left off the GOP leadership agenda for some time.

The complaint is, in part, that the leadership does not carry their end of the log in teaching the public about conservative ideas, but leaves it to the grass roots to make the case. It’s an untennable arrangement, as outlets like this blog end up making the case for positions and ideas that the leadership invariably do not advance, and too often oppose.

One bright spot of late has been the emergence of White House spokeman Tony Snow as a effective purveyor of conservative ideas. He spent considerable time down the stretch appearing on talk radio, making an articulate case for various positions and ideas. On a recent appearance on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Snow explained his approach to dealing with the media and communicating with the public:
HH: Now let me ask you about the media, because a couple of interviews I've done recently with Tom Edsall and Mark Halperin here, and they've just very candidly admitted it's 85, 90, 95% liberal and pro-Democrat in the elite media.

TS: Yeah.

HH: What effect does that have? And how does it get counteracted, if mainstream media has just gone over to the other side?

TS: Well, number one, you. Again, you've got radio, you've got blogs, and I think a lot of times, people kind of see what's going on. I mean, if you've got...Mark has also written about it, openly confessing these things. I think that's true. Look, and there's going to be plenty of competition in the media of the future. We're in the wild west for the media. You see that the old mainstream press does not have quite the leverage it used to. You see growing influence in blogs, and in talk radio, and even on some of the cables. So I think people are pretty hungry for good information, and trying to get it unspun, rather than spun. In terms of dealing with members of the press, my view is flood the zone and give them facts, because a lot of times, there is complete unfamiliarity with conservative arguments, or in fact, the evidence used to marshall them. And if I can at least get reporters to put that stuff into stories, you know what? It can make a difference, because it gets you the ability to decide by reading the story.
Tony Snow understands conservative ideas and is doing a great job of getting them into the everyday discussion. Now, if we can get others to follow his lead, maybe we’ll be able to make our way back.


Blogger G-man said...

Snow is a good start. I hope he continues to contact talk radio. In addition, elected Republicans need to enter the public debate and call talk radio more often.

I understand and sympathize with elected Republicans who hold press conferences to deaf ears. They can talk all they want at such conferences, but they are at the mercy of the media to report what was said – and to do so honestly. This rarely happens.

After years of being ignored, one can develop a "why bother" attitude. But, talk radio and the bloggers won't ignore them.

If elected Republicans leverage talk radio – one of the best sources for cognitive thought -- their message will get out. They will give bloggers like us more ammo – including direct quotes -- to entertain the debate. Further, they will energize more supporters.

Simply being vocal on outlets that will listen demonstrates to the base that these Republicans are in the fight. As things stand now, many question whether there is any "fight" in these Republicans. It is difficult for supporters like myself to "fight" for Republicans that refuse to fight for themselves.

Talk radio and the blogosphere are good outlets to ferret out the facts, the logic, and the reasoning behind any given issue. Republicans who stray from the sensible will be taken to task. So will Democrats, which is why they prefer the friendly confines of ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN.

11/11/2006 3:30 PM  

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