Why Crooked Media is a deeply welcome development

Earlier this month three alumni of the Obama White House Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett launched Crooked Media. I shouted very loudly when I saw it. This is an extremely positive development for progressives.

Anybody who has listened to me over the last few months (especially my wife who has heard it so much she wants to bash me round the head) will have heard me saying that the only for progressives to compete in the current environment is to work out how to communicate in this Internet age. 

I’ve blogged extensively on this issue (this is worth a read) & presented to leading politicians in the UK. There is more to it than just partisan news but this post will focus on this.  

In October 2016, the month before the election, Americans visited Facebook 5 billion times. That’s about 150 million visits a day. Globally it’s 1 billion every day. Facebook is the biggest newspaper in the history of the world.  No one single media outlet has ever come close to reaching this many people.

Twitter too, whilst not as well read, has shaken up the media industry. Donald Trump posts something on Twitter and it’s international news within 30 seconds. Intelligence agencies spent billions in previous decades finding out what in the modern age you can find out from Twitter in seconds. It has changed the news media forever.

Thanks to the smartphone people are subjected to a relentless information assault 24 hours a day.

In this environment it is extreme elements that have worked out how to communicate using the Internet.  Media outlets pushing partisan agendas are the stories that are spread the most. In the UK the extreme left outlet, the Canary, came from nowhere to get more monthly hits than the New Statesman and other major national institutions. Partisan sites representing more mainstream views don’t really exist.

The war for the hearts and minds of the electorate is raging on social media every day. Some people have turned up with a water gun. Some people have turned up with an army.

In this context the way to campaign for an agenda is to be outrageously partisan, persistent and fragrantly daring. This website is a non-partisan social newspaper and we are very proud of that. But in many ways as the CEO I find that very limiting for pushing what I believe in. We are working on a new project around this that we will be announcing soon.

However what Crooked Media is doing with Pod Save America is so desperately needed. It is a relief frankly that people of such ability, contacts and drive have decided to do this.

I met Tommy when I interned for Barack Obama in Iowa 10 years ago. He is one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever met and his quality and personality is much needed in the media space. I wish Crooked Media every success and hope they succeed in providing balance.

Progressives need more and more people to take up the mantle and campaign for what they believe in through partisan news. 

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