Further to my complaints that greenhorn downtown-progressive journalists do not have the balls to keep tabs on, and get to know, right-wing extremists in Canada:
In the days of Keegstra and Zündel it was a simple matter of collecting pamphlets and making cassette tapes of messages on phonelines. To my knowledge, barely anyone had the presence of mind to archive early blogs. Everyone has been stymied in preserving Usenet since Déjà News archived possibly most of it, went tits-up, then got bought by Google, which then desecrated the archive after its corporate manner.
Archiving extremists’ publications falls prey to personal technical bias. There are twits who think that RSS does not exist anymore because Google Reader does not. (“I don’t use RSS, so it isn’t important to anyone.”) In the present day it’s easy to see the need to archive Facebook and Twitter because those with an interest in doing so use both of them. (“To archive Facebook” should not involve screenshots.) But I don’t see anyone archiving Tumblères or Instagram, or platforms I don’t even know about (QED).
History repeats itself further in podcasting. It would surprise downtown progressives to learn just how many right-wing podcasts there are. Then wait for their shock when they learn how well they are generally put together. If one wanted to archive blogs or Twitter, there are automated methods available. Podcasts are audio files broadcast by RSS, a fact many are unable to comprehend (hence the many “podcasts” that amount to files uploaded to SoundCloud). So in principle it is straightforward to keep archives of those recordings.
Then the problem arises that these are not text files (marked up or not), which could be mechanically indexed. They are spoken-word recordings. They aren’t even PDFs of old printed documents, which can at least be OCRed. You or someone you love has to sit there and listen to them. Yet the use case for podcasting is listening to it on an iPod or your phone while you are doing something else. You are not sitting down taking notes.
I’ve heard a lot about Jews on right-wing podcasts, and there was quite a strange interview with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who talked about “fags” (once). I didn’t take any notes because there is no real way to do that.
Right-wing podcasts are a uniquely personal form of propagandistic indoctrination, seen harshly. You’ve got people talking to you in your ears, with nobody else listening. It’s just you and your teacher. But because these recordings can be downloaded by anybody anywhere, podcasting is a great way to spread ideas to everybody everywhere, one person at a time. This is quite the opposite of the broadcasting model. Soi-disant progressives ignore the slow buildup of listeners at their own peril.
To solve this problem properly would require quite a lot of volunteers who agree to download and save every episode of specific podcasts; take detailed, near-verbatim notes on every episode, ideally in HTML (never ever Microsoft Word or PDF); then not just save the recordings and notes but upload them to a shared repository. Then you get into the problem of associating recordings and notes via metadata. This would take much more organization than aggrieved young mixed-race progressive girls are willing to commit to. Left-wing people are technically incompetent, and the whole prospect is triggering for them, which explains why they will never be real journalists. (Or engineers.)
Now: Isn’t everything I’m saying here also applicable to podcasts on the other side of the spectrum? Sure, if there were many of note and if they were any good. Defender Radio is the sole marginally competent left-wing podcast I know of. (And the best it can come up with for a homepage is a tag listing.) All the right-wing podcasts I listen to:
have better production values (Internet latency is still an issue; the double-ender remains unknown to this group too; all their Web sites are terrible);
have much smarter and more interesting and just much more fun guests;
and, very often, have devastatingly confident and competent host(esse)s.
On that count, Lana Lokteff is a simply awesome hostess whom I’ve heard on several shows, including her own. (When directly asked for comment so I could describe her political views accurately, Lokteff asked if I was directly asking for comment and went on a tear about how dirty the left is.)
Right-wingers are terrible at graphic design (too girly and faggy, though maybe not too Jewishy); left-wingers are terrible at radio. If you want to keep track of right-wing assholes, go where they are.