Republicans on HuffPo
Politico’s Mike Calderone has noticed quite a few Republicans blogging at the left-leaning Huffington Post lately. While its namesake founder posits that” is a reflection of our traffic, our brand, and the fact that we are increasingly seen … as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” a more practical explanation is more plausible:
Just as Democrats learned to love — or at least understand — the Drudge Report, Republicans flock to The Huffington Post largely because of the site’s broad reach. In April, The Huffington Post brought in a record 8.8 million unique visitors, according to Nielsen — a number that includes quite a few mainstream media journalists and cable news producers.
“With The Huffington Post, particularly, we see a lot of value in engaging with people who wouldn’t necessarily be inclined to agree with our point of view,” said Coburn press secretary John Hart, who added that it’s one of a handful of sites that can have an instant impact on the national debate.
“HuffPo and [Talking Points Memo] really are the assignment editors for many in the Washington press corps — particularly the cables,” said Brian Rogers, who was a spokesman for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. “That’s not just a Republican hack saying it — that’s speaking as a press guy fielding calls and e-mails daily from the MSM that start with, ‘Did you see this thing on Huffington Post?’ They were effective and they wasted a lot of our time.”
Just as Willie Sutton robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” those trying to influence political opinion will go wherever they can get the most buzz for their buck. It’s the same reason, incidentally, so many Republicans are willing to go on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.