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Liberals Call Out Progressive Groups

Greg Sargent’s article on what’s going on amidst the blogs, driven by the biggest sites, is important as everyone online claws our way for a piece of the pie, however small.

The behind-the-scenes tensions go to the heart of the role these bloggers have created for themselves in Democratic politics – they’re basically advocates and operatives with big platforms – and their future role, too. They argue that their efforts and fundraising helped drive the Democratic ascendancy. Yet even the Dem party committees are reluctant to advertise with them, raising the question of whether the party will ever be willing to seriously invest long-term in this new media infrastructure.

Let me just say that this has been going on for a long time.

“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.”

Hamsher singled out Americans United for Change, which raises and spends big money on TV ad campaigns driving Obama’s agenda, as well as the constellation of groups associated with it, and the American Association of Retired Persons, also a big TV advertiser.

Americans United for Change seems to have gotten the message. No doubt, they don’t like being called out.

John Aravosis, John Amato, as well as Markos Moulitsas also talked to Sargent for the article.

In the same vein, Jane Hamsher wrote an post yesterday about message coordination coming from the White House.

There’s a big problem right now with the traditional liberal interest groups sitting on the sidelines around major issues because they don’t want to buck the White House for fear of getting cut out of the dialogue, or having their funding slashed. Someone picks up a phone, calls a big donor, and the next thing you know…the money is gone. It’s already happened. Because that’s the way Rahm plays.

This dynamic is still very much in play.

The other issue is that blogging, which began as a free medium, is very difficult to change to a paid revenue stream. As more newspapers come online money is going to get tougher.

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