In Politics, Local Media Matters

In today’s 24-7 news environment, it is easy to overlook the important role local media outlets play in the national political debate.  Politicians can inoculate themselves from a national narrative, but it nearly impossible to dismiss a tidal wave of local media.

Take West Virginia.  Even though national papers and the inside Washington crowd overwhelming favor President Obama’s flawed New START Treaty, neither candidate for Senate is willing to support the treaty.

A spokeswoman for Democrat Joe Manchin told The Cable:

Joe Manchin’s governing philosophy on defense policy will be to listen to our commanders and generals on the ground, and before he can cast a vote for or against START II, he will need to assess their recommendations.

And a spokesman for Republican John Raese was more definitive, saying he “opposes the New START treaty.”

That same day, The Intelligencer: Wheeling News-Register ran a scathing editorial on the administration missile defense:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insists no secret agreement is being negotiated between this country and Russia to limit U.S. missile defense systems.  If not, she should have no trouble in complying with a request by six senators for documents involved in talks on the subject.  …  Moscow should have no role in limiting U.S. defense capability.

Coincidence?

We’ll get to the policy and politics of the treaty and potential side-agreement later, but there is an important lesson here for conservatives – local media matters.  Writing letters to the editor, calling talk radio shows or starting your own blog can make a difference.

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