WASHINGTON -– RedState’s Erick Erickson took aim at conservative media Wednesday for “failing to advance ideas and stories” and not concentrating on the essentials of reporting.
Erickson, a prominent conservative and new Fox News contributor, unsurprisingly also took a jab at the national media, for, in his view, being ideologically biased toward liberals. But Erickson focused his attention on his conservative colleagues who "instead of working doubly hard to overcome that bias, [are] just yelling louder about the same things.”
“The echo in the chamber has gotten so loud it is not well understood outside the echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public," he continued. "It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion.”
Conservatives have long called for more reporting on the right, rather than opining, as a way to influence the broader political debate. During last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), several conservatives spoke to The Huffington Post about the difficulty in motivating the next generation to focus on the basics: who, what, when, where, why and how.
"They want to be Rush Limbaugh. They want to be Bill Kristol. They want to be Charles Krauthammer," said the Washington Free Beacon’s Michael Goldfarb, who was profiled on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times for his site’s targeting of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Republican. "The model is not Woodward and Bernstein on our side."
National Review’s Robert Costa, whose reporting on the Romney campaign was read widely outside conservative circles, echoed those thoughts on a CPAC panel, telling aspiring journalists that they “can't just stay in the conservative bubble." Costa recalled getting good advice early on to not aspire to be the next William F. Buckley, but to "go to Capitol Hill, put your microphone in a Congressman's face and try to get some stories."
Conservative media took a hit last week after a Daily News reporter described how his joke about Hagel speaking to a group called "Friends of Hamas" got reported by Breitbart and picked up by other conservative outlets even as there was no evidence it existed.
Erickson didn’t name names Wednesday, but said that conservative news outlets “need to establish a baseline for integrity in reporting that then allows us to highlight the truly outrageous.” He also wrote that conservative press should not cater to Republican leadership because such coverage only “undercut[s] the conservative agenda.”
While RedState has traditionally focused more on activism than reporting, Erickson wrote that he plans to hire reporters “who can help educate conservative activists” and will focus on “the daily news that should direct the focus of the conservative movement and then take the next step of uncovering how both Democrats and squishy Republicans are abusing the trust of the American people.”
However, there are three requirements for would-be RedState reporters: They must live in Washington, be “self-directed” and “pro-life.”