The Washington Times is debuting a new weekly column today by NewsBusters editor Matthew Sheffield. His first piece is on the left-wing Netroots Nation conference and its new counterpart, RightOnline:
With the general election a long way off and much of the general public still tuning out the presidential race, you'd think the online activist corps that have injected unprecedented amounts of cash to fuel this campaign season might want to take a few weeks off.
You'd be wrong.
As I write this, thousands of political webheads are gathering in searing-hot Austin, Texas, with the intent to amplify their collective voices and influence their preferred candidates. Like moths to a flame, many of these candidates are here as well, trying to press the flesh but also to get a handle on what makes bloggers and their readers tick. Lots of political nonprofit types are there as well, each eager to start their own fires.
There's lots to talk about as both left and right assemble in opposite sides of town, liberals in Austin's left-leaning urban core and conservatives in the more centrist north. As contemptuous of each other as they are, however, both sides have more in common than they may wish to admit.
Full article is here.