Matthew Sheffield devoted a March 6 NewsBusters post to his ongoing lament that right-wing funders won't fund a genuine news operation. As we've pointed out, this is essentially an admission that conservative journalism doesn't succeed in the marketplace, since the top conservative newspapers in the country have long been money pits kept alive with the help of either right-wing billionaires or being subsidized by more profitable ventures.
Sheffield does get some things correct, such as agreeing with the Huffington Post's Michael Calderone that the conservative media in its current state is more interested in playing gotcha than doing real shoe-leather journalism. But he also oddly complains that Calderone "ignores some very innovative journalism being produced by my colleagues over at CNSNews.com."
Actually, what Sheffield calls "innovative" at CNS is really a more extreme case of the problem Calderone outlines:
- CNS rewrites Associated Press headlines to add right-wing bias.
- It publishes misleading claims designed to attack the Obama administration.
- It spews homophobia.
- It protects its fellow right-wingers by hiding their hate from readers.
- It thinks Jay Leno jokes that bash Obama are "news."
There's nothing terribly "innovative" about any of this -- right-wing outlets have been doing the same thing for years. CNS, however, does have the financial power of a multimillion-dollar nonprofit organization behind it.
But then, Sheffield has already conceded that the only way right-wing "news" can succeed is with a deep-pocketed ideologue funding it, not through the free market.