The demise of Jammies Media is of course hilarious, but it’s also instructive, in a very hilarious way. Jane the Boss of the Blog suggested why earlier tonight:
The online right exhausted itself during the Bush years because there was no limit to the propaganda they would push to defend indefensible kleptocrats who wrapped themselves in the flag. They shot their credibility. If it wasn’t for wingnut welfare operations like Pajamas Media (R.I.P.), Heritage and other right-wing think tanks like Claremont (who subsidize the Power Tools), it’s hard to imagine that public enthusiasm for the "Big Lie" would have seen traffic levels sufficient to keep them afloat.
Forsooth and forshizzle! But the rot goes even deeper. I’ve said it often enough before: the problem with "conservatism" as it is currently evangelized is that it is really, really stupid. The Jammies Media mess is the "conservative" mess in microcosm.
The whole PJ’s thing was preposterous on its face, as any number of people pointed out at the time, often quite scabrously. There were a lot of reasons to think this, not the least of which was the obvious fact that the people running it were, and remain, morons. But the biggest problem facing the Jammies enterprise was always ideological.
Pajamas Media was based on the grandiose premise that it could provide some sort of counter to the dreaded MSM with its wicked liberal bias and its out-and-out plumping for the Democratic Party. It wasn’t started, it would seem, with the intent of making money, as the spectacularly incompetent rollout indicated, except perhaps as an afterthought. No, it was, essentially, a halfassed or quarterassed… jihad, really. The Jammies crowd was supposed to Lead a New Media Revolution against the Legacy Media and lift the curtain on certain Truths that had been Vouchsafed to the Enlightened. Namely, that the media is Liberal, that global warming is a hoax, that the Bush approach to the Middle East was Wise, that Harry Reid is a Stalinist, that the Republican Party was Pure and the Democrat Party Corrupt, that Social Security was in imminent crisis, that Hollywood is about communist indoctrination and not about dollars — and so on, and so forth, world with out end, Amen!
But all of this was, and remains, from an empirical perspective, absolute horseshit. You would have had to be a complete and total mental patient to have ever believed a word of it: Exhibit A.
All the Twittering and messaging in the world can’t change the fact that in business as in politics, you can use bullshit to blow up a bubble, but that’s pretty much it. "Conservatives" might under certain foreseeable scenarios someday return to power, but as things stand, without a thoroughgoing attempt to grapple with consensus reality, there is no prospect of them ever again becoming remotely capable of governing. And this sort of shit just won’t cut it:
Speakers at the gathering included such familiar faces as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Club for Growth founder and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Stephen Moore, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, pollsters Rich Thau and David Winston, and return-of-the-Republican message guru Frank Luntz. They skewed conservative, and they offered plenty of Reagan references.
I bet they did. The failed and the insane: how cutting edge.