When Conservative Media Isn’t quite Conservative

 

6142826975_d1d89d3dee_zThe news media website known as “Rare” has been the subject of at least a fair amount of debate since its creation, but the real questions started coming up when there was a mass exodus of staff members that were arguably the conservative heart of the organization. While I’ve been known to make my opinion known about this site in conversations among fellow conservatives offline, I’ve generally stayed away from making online commentaries, with few exceptions [2].

Cox Media set out to create a conservative narrative, and they invested a fair amount of money to do it. Of course, the media giant is generally liberal, like many other broadcasting industry conglomerates. It shouldn’t have been a surprise that Rare wouldn’t necessarily end up being particularly conservative.

But, in the beginning, they did manage to convince at least a few conservative writers to contribute, including me. After writing four generally “fluffy” pieces for them, and having a totally innocuous one refused for being “too edgy,” I decided it wasn’t worth my time to try to divine what the “editorial vision” was for the site. I know I wasn’t alone in that general opinion, and all I knew in the end was that whatever was going on behind the scenes, it didn’t match what was being said publicly.

As the Daily Caller reported, theoretically the purpose of the “Rare” site was:

Rare is … a news site with a point of view. We celebrate the wonderful conservative principles of freedom and accountability; and the awesome things people do to help us carry on this lifestyle. Rare is … a brand that highlights how conservative thinking makes everyday life better. It uses a common sense — not agenda-driven think tank, politician or interest group — lens. We’ll add context to the most important issues, and take strong positions where appropriate. These positions will be in keeping with conservative thinking for the majority of Americans. Rare … thinks for itself, and hopes its readers to do the same.”

Whether or not Rare actually reflects conservative thinking remains up for debate, and it seems they’re still pushing content that doesn’t really fit anywhere right of center. The latest issue is the fact that they decided it was a good idea to push the new Planned Parenthood initiative that will help women who have lost their coverage for birth control. It was presented as a straight news story, with zero commentary.

Nothing was said about the fact that Planned Parenthood still receives government money, or that they made the investment to do this over such a small group of birth control choices, since the Supreme Court ruling really was highly limited. Sure, it’s refreshing to see a straight news story from time to time, but who expects to see one on Planned Parenthood on a supposedly conservative news site?

Of course, Rare theoretically takes strong stands “where appropriate” — does this mean that they do not think it is appropriate for conservatives to take a strong stand on forcing businesses and organizations to offer birth control coverage when it is in opposition with their core beliefs or missions? Just some food for thought, and reminder that we really do have to be careful about watching the real messages that “conservative” media sites are broadcasting about conservatism.

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  1. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    I didn’t know Rare existed till now, but sounds like I’m not missing anything.  My favorite new site is The Federalist.  They have the freshest material there, and sometimes it is edgy.  In fact, to the left it is all edgy.  To me, it is smart and sensible.  It’s great how often material from The Federalist ends up on RealClearPolitics or Hotair, given how new it is.  Do you write for them?

    • #1
  2. Liz Harrison Contributor
    Liz Harrison
    @LizHarrison

    Merina Smith:

    I didn’t know Rare existed till now, but sounds like I’m not missing anything. My favorite new site is The Federalist. They have the freshest material there, and sometimes it is edgy. In fact, to the left it is all edgy. To me, it is smart and sensible. It’s great how often material from The Federalist ends up on RealClearPolitics or Hotair, given how new it is. Do you write for them?

     I don’t write there, but I do know at least a handful of the primary writers there. It’s an excellent group of people.

    • #2
  3. Peabody Here Inactive
    Peabody Here
    @PeabodyHere

    Thanks for the heads up.  I did not know all that.  I have Rare bookmarked and occasionally go to it when surfing.

    • #3
  4. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    The future isn’t in curated content anyway.

    • #4
  5. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    I’ve often wondered what to call a “conservative” site where conservatism is controversial.

    • #5
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