January 13, 2009

Online "Bill" Pay: Colorado Media Matters And The Colorado Model

I come to praise Bill Menezes, not bury him.

This really isn't about him in particular anyway. Back in November I squared off against Menezes on CBS4's election night webcast. We started off by discussing "how we got started" (first 5 minutes of the webcast)--and I made it clear to distinguish what for me is essentially a serious hobby from Menezes' professional and well-paid outfit at Colorado Media Matters.

He described the function of the "non-profit" "research organization" as a tool to "correct conservative misinformation" in the MSM by employing a "staff of researchers" using a "proprietary archive system" that enabled the organization to track, document, and expose what they perceived as a conservative bias. Agree with them or not, they have a clearly defined role, and have been aggressive in pursuing their objectives.

CMM, formally or informally, formed a large part of the online arm of the vaunted "Colorado Model"--now partially reduced due to the incredible success seen over the past three election cycles.

It is no secret that the GOP and conservatives and libertarians in general have been forced, at the very least, to play catch-up with their liberal/Democrat opponents. But what about benchmarks? In order to know where you want to concentrate your precious time, energy, and resources in any attempt to bring about parity with the other side (let alone any thought of leapfrogging them), it would be helpful to know what greased the wheels of the rather large and multi-faceted left-leaning apparatus employed here in Colorado.

And in politics the golden rule applies--he who has the gold, rules.

Or in this instance, he who has the gold and employs it wisely in a concerted, coordinated effort to spread a particular political message--wins elections.

Which brings me back to Menezes.

Here is a jpeg of the 2007 filing for Media Matters for America (click to enlarge):

Menezes' actual pay is almost beside the point. We already know that the director of CMM receives compensation, and that CMM was the first state-level division of the overall Media Matters operation.

As I said, Menezes is to be praised (and that is not a backhanded compliment either)--he has earned his keep, and the successes on the left in this state provides the clearest evidence that the "Colorado Model" and the implementation of organizations like CMM can produce immediate results.

So here's a note to the powers that be on the center-right, both here in Colorado and across the country--in case you were wondering how we got our a&$#*! kicked these past few election cycles, here is at least one reason. It's because there were some 100%-dedicated, full-time positions like this made available by the deepest of pockets on the left.

Just a thought.

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