Monday, February 13, 2006

Tory bloggers to target BBC

Labour and the BBC had better watch out: the Tories are on a mission to harness the power of blogging and are out to learn a few dirty tricks from the Republicans.

In the US Republicans have made blogging something of a powerful political tool, claiming big name scalps like CBS news anchor Dan Rather and damaging Democrat presidential loser John Kerry by going for his Vietnam war record.

According to a report in The Times today, the Tories have sent one Tim Montgomerie, who is behind the conservativehome.blogs.com, to the US to pick up tips from the Republican bloggers.

Montgomerie has been impressed by the likes of Glen Reynolds, who is behind the influential US political blog, instantpundit.com, and who argues that blogs can take on the mainstream media.

This only means one thing to the Tories: it's a chance to do a bit of BBC bashing.

"The BBC is the obvious place to start. It is our No 1 target," says Montgomerie.

It'll be interesting, but personally I don't see the Tories having any success in the UK market, which is so very different to the US and where blogging is nowhere near as mainstream.

In the UK the instances of bloggers impacting the mainstream media agenda have been fewer and of less significance and where these have been successful it is not from Tories, but from the left-wing blogs such as when Harry's Place, which helped to highlight the extremist links of a trainee Guardian journalist Dilpazier Aslam.

Blue rinsers, even under fresh-faced 'Dave' ("my favourite band is the Killers) Cameron, don't strike you as natural bloggers. Besides the Rotary Club can be time consuming. The other problem for the Tories is that some tactics used by US bloggers would simply never wash in the UK.

One of the most celebrated US bloggers, Ann Coulter, whose nickname is the "Bitch Goddess", helped highlight what the Iranians were up to nuclear wise with such helpful language as "Raghead talk tough, raghead face consequences".

Or maybe it could work, in which case expect to see "Ragheads in charge at BBC" any day soon.

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