David Kurtz of the aptly-named left-wing activist site Talking Points Memo complains that RedState has “no interest in being journalists. That’s not what they’re about and that’s not what they see as their primary function, which is advocacy.” His basis for this complaint is emails from Erick to the office of Governor Mark Sanford during Sanford’s now-infamous absence, seeking comment and offering to help get Gov. Sanford’s side of the story out. Those emails resulted in RedState getting a response from the Governor’s staff responding directly to the story, which led to a front-page post. Two points should suffice to respond to Kurtz:
(1) RedState has never hid the fact that we are an activism and advocacy site first and foremost. That’s no barrier to doing real reporting, as was done here, and unlike the South Carolina newspapers, we published immediately what we learned. Any reporting is only as good as the source, and when the truth came out, our site’s responses made clear our dissatisfaction with the fact that Gov. Sanford lied to his staff and to us. But we offer no apologies for the fact that we seek to advance a cause.
(2) What is laughable is the implicit suggestion that Talking Points Memo is not an activism site. It’s a left-wing blog bankrolled by left-wing donors, run by left-wing activist Josh Marshall, and dedicated to spreading left-wing talking points; even Kurtz’s post admits that it is “on the left.” If Talking Points Memo wishes to disclose its communications with the left-wing interest groups and politicians that feed it its talking points, or with the left-wing listserves and back-channels that ensure message coordination on the left, we would be most amused to read them. We will not hold our breath waiting.