The leading lights of the liberal blogosphere are up in arms because the lefty organizations whose agendas they promote—Americans United for Change, the Democratic campaign committees, etc.—aren't coughing up ad dollars. So they're threatening them!
The implicit threat—maybe we'll stop promoting your stuff!—is nothing short of a shakedown. Why does Americans United for Change make big media buys? To reach swing voters and independents on as large a scale as is economically feasible in order to bring political pressure to bear in support of their goals. But the bloggers who spend all their time pushing that agenda seem to think they should be rewarded by ad dollars for their heretofore selfless service. DailyKos' Markos Moulitsas, FiredogLake's Jane Hamsher, AMERICAblog's John Aravosis and others went on the record yesterday with Greg Sargent at the Washington Post's WhoRunsGov blog to let the left-wing establishment know that they won't be taken for granted any longer.
"They come to us, expecting us to give them free publicity, and we do, but it's not a two way street," Jane Hamsher, the founder of FiredogLake, said in an interview. "They won't do anything in return. They're not advertising with us. They're not offering fellowships. They're not doing anything to help financially, and people are growing increasingly resentful."
The bloggers complained that liberal advocacy groups have no problem buying $50,000 ads in the New York Times, or making huge television ad buys. But the little guys who do all the work get nothing! "These groups actually believe that we should promote their stuff for free," Crooks and Liars' John Amato told Sargent. "Do they not understand that we need funds to sustain our viability?" Unless Hamsher, Moulitsas, et. al. start attracting enormous numbers of readers who aren't already politically engaged and don't already agree with Americans United for Exchange, then the group would be wasting its money on their sites. The point is to persuade and rally the actual country, not the liberal echo chamber. The only reason for the left-wing establishment to divert more ad dollars to the blogs than it already is would be to keep them happy, well-fed, and useful. We wonder if the ploy will work. Oh wait, it did!