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The Gore News Channel

Wednesday, 25 June 2003 12:00 AM

"Tonight on 'The Franken Factor' we will examine the scandalous life of Ann Coulter. Was Matt Drudge really the founder or did he steal the idea of 'The Drudge Report'? And finally is President George Dubya Bush really a 'big fat idiot'?"

"Good evening, I'm Al Franken – author of the almost-best-selling 'Big Fat Idiot' series. Tonight on 'The Franken Factor' my guests include Katie Couric, Senator Hillary Clinton and, for the fifth time this week, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins will drop in as well.

And oh yes ... just for you kids, 'The Al Gore Essay' tonight will deal with the environmentally challenged moose and how they survive the Canadian wilderness. Just remember, you've dialed up 'The Franken Factor' – and the spin starts here!"

This week, multiple reports are surfacing that indeed former Vice President Al Gore is neck deep in shopping the idea of a "Progressive News Network." The reason for this, of course, being that once the New York Times fell, his favorite news sources – CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN – had no way of knowing what their editorially biased news slants should be, and that left him watching Fox News Channel, except when he was tired of Greta talking about Laci, then all he had was "Scarborough Country."

He is not alone in his endeavor. Just this year both former President and Sen. Clinton were charging up the Democrat troops to beat the pavement and try to find an answer to that right-wing Limbaugh.

Former V.P. Gore has also talked funding with folks. According to both Time magazine and a Reuters news article, Gore has secured (cue the Austin Powers music here and raise curved pinky to your lips) "ten mil-lion dol-lars." Evidently a couple in Chicago, venture capitalists Sheldon and Anita Drobny, wish to play a financial role in making the new liberal network come about.

Now for Mr. Gore's "unresolved problems segment": 10 years too late, and a few million dollars short.

See, despite all the efforts of Mr. Gore working behind the scenes with his liberal Hollywood friends, and despite all of their yammering about how unfair it is that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager are on the air, the leading lefties still don't get the fact that they indeed are behind the curve when it comes to "leading the pack" in getting an ideological message out.

They still believe that the biggest way to even the score is to knock Bill O'Reilly off the air. What they don't understand is just how "old" traditional media are – even the 24-hour news channels.

But this is often a liberal's dilemma. Liberals by definition do not know, nor do they understand what they are "supposed" to believe. In liberal thought, by definition, there are few if any standards.

So with no absolutes, with no principles that they can anchor a belief system to, they are left floating amok, in the midst of whatever the radicals among them are screaming the loudest about at that time.

And since liberals seldom have exercised the discipline of the gray matter, getting them to actually be inventive and creative to get out in front of the cultural indicators is hard to do.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are more analytical by nature. Everything a conservative believes runs through a grid of systematic principles and thought. Since conservatives analyze more, they automatically have a leg up on getting the message to the culture.

And this why – while limousine liberals are trying to get a 24-hour news network funded (which they had for the '80s and '90s – it was called CNN), conservatives are on to the next cultural wave: weblogs.

The founder one of the world's leading alternative news Web sites told me recently that it was the weblogs, or more precisely, "blogs" that were really the undoing of the New York Times. "Once they got their teeth into them," said the source. "They refused to let go. They were merciless."

I realize there may be many of you who do not know what a blog is, but for simple definition, it is an online diary, one person's own personal thoughts. Yet now that they have begun to take over the Internet, blogs are becoming one of the foremost tools of communication.

Hugh Hewitt has even written in The Weekly Standard how the blogs may on occasion even decide to join forces, and when they do – look out!

See, what Hillary or Al or Terry or the rest of the liberal leadership need to do is not go around securing $10 million donations that won't keep a network running for more than about a week. What they need to do is to learn how to sit down, think for themselves, put some ideas on a computer screen in front of them, and see if the American public buys into it.

There are a few liberals who have jumped in and could probably help them, Joshua Micah Marshall being perhaps the best example.

Renting Al Franken to try to go head to head with Bill O'Reilly doesn't do it. And having Al Gore do "essays" that "target the youth of America," as the Time article suggests, is laughable (unless they are targeting them for additional hours of sleep).

Instead, let them see what they can do if forced to go up against the ideas of Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, Mickey Kaus and The Volokh Conspiracy.

Something tells me they won't, though. Instead, they will continue to complain that despite having all of the broadcast news business in their back pocket, woe is them because they can't bully their message exclusively in the world today.

This one last side note, by the way ...

The blogs are serious and here to stay. On July 9, the Andrew Sullivan blog is calling for all media, be it blogs or TV or print, to highlight the plight of the pro-freedom Iranians who are trying to gain independence from the radical mullahs in that Stalinist-styled country. So far, all of the major blogs, including Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, have picked up on it and will be participating.

Now here's your assignment: Visit these blogs between now and July 9. See for yourself the amount of impact this coordinated "blog-out" has on the world. And in the back of your mind keep your eye on the "Gore News Channel" types.

You see, there is a media revolution, coming but I just hope it serves to bring freedom to oppressed people and not to further inflate the egos of the air-headed windbags on the left!

Instapundit: http://www.instapundit.com

Mickey Kaus: http://slate.msn.com

Andrew Sullivan: http://www.AndrewSullivan.com

The Volokh Conspiracy: http://volokh.com

Joshua Micah Marshall: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com

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"Tonight on 'The Franken Factor' we will examine the scandalous life of Ann Coulter.Was Matt Drudge really the founder or did he steal the idea of 'The Drudge Report'? And finally is President George Dubya Bush really a 'big fat idiot'?" "Good evening, I'm Al Franken -...
Wednesday, 25 June 2003 12:00 AM
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