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Tweets on the Right, Panic on the Left

An incredible event took place last week, an event whose significance is only now being understood by those who drove it.

When the sun came up on Wednesday April 20th, Wonkette was prime net advertising space.  A leading satire site of the left, with millions of hits.  A site whose founder had appeared on CNN, MSNBC and other outlets of the mainstream media.  A site where a smart advertiser wanted to put their money.

As I write this on the evening of Easter Sunday, Wonkette’s Top Banner ad is gone.  Few advertisers remain, and those that do are under a relentless assault by a group of people that didn’t even exist on Wednesday morning.

Media self-destruction brought on by an intemperate move is not new (Dan Rather & Don Imus can testify to that), but media destruction without mainstream attention to an intemperate move?  That’s unheard of.  No TV, little radio and just the odd blog post from MSM sites Slate and Mediaite (Tommy Christopher’s exchange with Wonkette editor Ken Layne was a significant exception).  The action started from a few tweets and posts from conservative bloggers, and the reaction came from their readers who read those tweets.

Together, those readers tweeted and re-tweeted Wonkette’s foolish attacks on Trig Palin to advertisers of the site.  Papa John’s was the first to fall, followed by Huggies–and then it became an avalanche of advertisers heading for the hills.

The significance of this can’t be overstated.  A group of totally unorganized individuals, operating on twitter known as #trigscrew, managed to not only caused Wonkette to apologize and remove an offensive item, but also devastated their advertising with no help or attention from any major media outlet.

The MSM may not yet understand the significance of this, but some on the left do and are determined to do something about it.  The first counter was Dave Weigel claiming Friday that #trigscrew has “jumped the shark”, to obsessive Palin Haters spending their Easter trying to compromise the hashtag #trigscrew with attacks on Palin.

Why these attacks?  Because they realize that these ordinary people managed to disseminate information and effect change, independent of the MSM, using only technology.  This is the left’s worst nightmare.  The lock that they had only a generation ago is broken to the point where major national companies are influenced by average Americans tweeting from their own homes.

Last week, I wrote the following:

Watching the actions of the left tend to cause people to dislike them

This is why the attacks this weekend have been relentless.  They know that if the right comprehends the significance of what they managed to do without organization or financial backing, and can and replicate it regularly the game will end.

Alas, for them, the tech genie is out of the bottle and it will not go back in quietly.

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April 2011
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