Why does anyone blog?
In the political blogosphere our vanity is couched in ideology, but make no mistake, it’s still vanity; after all, we write because of our zealous belief in certain principles and candidates. We have such a core conviction that we must share our commentary with the world in order to make it better. And, certainly, we’re never wrong.
That’s vanity. But what is vanity without an audience? Pathetic. Jealous. Petty. Petulant. And, envious.
Such is the state of mind of some of our blogger colleagues, especially those who allow some Bearing Drift contributors to live rent free in their heads. There are some in our Virginia blogosphere, who, in their self-righteous vainglory, take vanity a step further… typically when their own egos are not being massaged.
When some of our colleagues aren’t quite getting the attention they want or think they’re being ignored, like a child, they will lash out with a tantrum and endeavor to tear down those they disagree with.
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. When I started BD a decade ago, this genre was very different. Folks who were already participating were quick to lend a helping hand. Even people from the left – many of whom I still call friends – would reach out and help. And we’d pay it forward. I remember like it was yesterday when Vivian Paige spoke with me about setting up her blog. And I was glad to do so.
While some of us were certainly rivals – Lowell Feld, Ben Tribbett, Eileen Levandowski – there was still mutual respect. Even Eileen and I shared a car ride out to Martinsville for one of the blog conferences – a conference attended by Jeff Schapiro, the late Tucker Watkins and Delegate Tim Hugo.
But somewhere along the way that feeling of camaraderie and helpfulness has transitioned into a degree of bitterness and divisiveness that is particularly rampant among conservatives.
Perhaps it was the recent unpleasantness in the rift between Bolling and Cuccinelli, maybe it’s related to the injection of enthusiasm from those in the Tea Party whose ideological purity is both refreshing and frustrating, or perhaps it’s just a general disagreement on policy and/or “what it means” to be a conservative. Regardless of what the source, there is an unmistakable aura that some bloggers have brought to the scene – and it’s a vindictive attitude where they’re judge, jury, and executioner.
Several weeks ago, a couple of bloggers accused Virginia Line Media and Bearing Drift of coloring our writing because K6 Consulting Group, a firm that Shaun Kenney, Jason Kenney, and I all represent, is advising two congressional candidates.
In the upcoming FEC financial disclosure, you will see that K6 is indeed providing service to Del. Barbara Comstock and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
It’s at this point that those who have an axe to grind are going to latch on and say, “See, we told you so! They’re shills!”
What apparently they know that you all don’t is that when I did my year working for the UN in Haiti, I was privy to secret, black helicopter-like technology. I obtained funding from secret Zionist sources who I know through my Cantor connections in order to buy a Delorean and Flux Capacitor. This enabled me to go back to the beginning of when I started this website and write positive things about Eric Cantor and his leadership. It also meant that when Comstock was first arriving on the scene, I traveled to Speaker William Howell’s office to interview her in 2009 and continued to give her positive coverage throughout 2012, as she became a spokesperson for Mitt Romney and appeared at the Republican National Convention. While I was at it, I picked up Shaun and we traveled back a few years so he could write his post on nativism and start a multi-year Quixotic campaign against discrimination.
Okay, perhaps that’s not actually how it happened. But the accusations that have been, and will likely be, leveled at this site and K6 are equally preposterous.
At K6 each member of the group has their own clients. Jason Kenney works for Cantor and Comstock, which is why you will see very, very few pieces from him on those two individuals. K6 is completely separate from Virginia Line Media LLC, which runs BD, and as the latest FEC filings make clear, nobody is giving VLM anything from either of those campaigns. I work for Curtis Colgate and have never posted on his campaign here. In a nutshell: we aren’t writing pieces based on who pays us. And we don’t shakedown people to prevent negative coverage.
Here’s the bottom-line: we work hard at BD to get you the best information. And part of that information comes from the fact that we know what is going on. I guess because we are good at what we do, and have impeccable credibility and transparency, that means we’re prone to arrows from afar.
The vanity of our critics aside, we will continue to work hard. Continue to give you the best information we can. Continue to help out those in the blogosphere who are legitimately seeking to bring greater transparency and accountability to our government. Continue to call out those who write for their own self-aggrandizement and on policies that seek to only undermine conservatism. And, continue to promote the causes and candidates we believe in.
At this point, some of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering why I’m writing this. Consider it my way of applying the Bush doctrine.