Top 50 Conservative Websites Reveal Alarming Patterns

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Fox News of course tops the list.  Others in the top 10 include the WorldNet Daily, Newsmax, and the Free Republic.  Conservapedia is down at #37.

The top 50 conservative websites are a fascinating compilation that seems to be dominated by disinformation.  That is, false information promoted in order to influence public opinion or the government.   They demonstrate a high degree of alarmism coupled with a serious lack of journalistic integrity, which can be a noxious mix that helps ignorance grow.

1. Fox ‘news’
Let us examine some of these to demonstrate, starting with the mother of all propaganda outlets: Fox ‘News’.  The website is ranked 236th in world traffic by updated figures (37th in the US), and has millions of nightly viewers.  The fact that Fox is biased in undeniable, despite taking a page from the neocon book of ironic slogans with the phrase: “Fair and Balanced.”  Fox has even taken talking points directly from Bush, sometimes via Murdoch.

Their assault on real journalism has been well established on the documentary Outfoxed [watch it here].  There are numerous photo collages revealing their tactics of labeling anyone in trouble as a Democrat.  One can also check out watchdog site Media Matters for 6000+ pieces of evidence that prove Fox ‘News’ spreads disinformation. The point however, is that they are deliberately spreading ignorance to a very large audience, and that is dangerous and contagious.  A recent Pew poll found Fox ‘News’ viewers came in last regarding their comprehension of national and international affairs.

This is perhaps most evident recently during the debate about health care reform.  72% of self-identified FOX News viewers believe the health-care plan will give coverage to illegal immigrants, 79% of them say it will lead to a government takeover, 69% think that it will use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, and 75% believe that it will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing care for the elderly.”

5. WorldNet Daily
The WND has to be the king of all right wing conspiracy sites on the internet.   Their dissemination of ignorance runs from suggesting the 911 attacks were due to America turning its back on god, to their involvement in the treasonous Valerie Plame scandal, to FEMA concentration camps, to theories about the North American Union.  However, their greatest achievement in terms of conspiracy theories is undoubtedly their persistent attention to the birthplace of Obama.  Much of their traffic comes from Drudge, Fox, and Breitbart (no surprise there).

6. Newsmax
This website is one of the most right leaning on the web according to Skewz.com.  In addition to this,  “Criticism of NewsMax has focused on its distribution of false information. NewsMax has been accused of being a hub for conspiracy theories about Democrats, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.” Newsmax recently made headlines by suggesting that a Honduran style military coup to “resolve the Obama problem” was not unrealistic.  This post was scrubbed from their website within 2 days, but a good screenshot was captured by ProgressiveNation first.

7. The Free Republic
This website consists of a messaging board with painfully ignorant, intolerant, and incendiary commentary.  The users, called Freepers have pushed for violence, rigged online polls, been sued by major newspapers for copyright infringement, and been openly racist.  Their crown jewel was having an article written by the right wing terrorist James von Brunn posted on the site, the racist who went on the murderous rampage at the Holocaust Memorial recently.

37. Conservapedia
This one is rich.  Since reality has a well know liberal bias, many on the right needed something else to get their ‘information’ from, so they created that place.  Conservapedia is an encyclopedia project written from an Americentric, conservative Christian, and predominantly young earth creationist point of view.” They have been in the headlines recently for rewriting the Bible to cut out passages that are deemed too ‘liberal’.  There are some real gems of ignorance found in Conservapedia, including the following:

“An apparent Muslim, Obama could use the Koran when he is sworn into office.”

“Liberals support the legalisation of marijuana and other drugs, which are major causes of psychiatric illnesses”

“studies have long indicated that homosexuals have a substantially greater risk of suffering from psychiatric problems”

“…pairs of each dinosaur kind were taken onto Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood and were preserved from drowning”

“All the prevailing, atheistic theories of the origin of the Moon were completely disproved by the lunar landings and studies of the lunar rocks afterwards.”

Others
Although there are a far too many on the list to go into detail about each one, a clear pattern has already been established.  Other websites include conservative commentators like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Michelle Malkin, think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and Cato, and a random assortment.   StormFront curiously didn’t make the list.   It should be noted that the list below was actually compiled by a website called Right Wing News and the rankings were determined by using Alexa.

The next time you run into someone on a forum board or social media website that starts going off about how Obama has a fake birth certificate, the health care plan is to euthanize the elderly, or other nut-flavored conspiracy theories, you can bet they just came from one of the following places.

1) Fox News: 260
2) Wall Street Journal: 383
3) The Drudge Report: 748
4) New York Post: 888
5) WorldNetDaily: 2,692
6) Newsmax: 3,264
7) Free Republic: 3,988
8) The Washington Times: 4,717
9) TownHall: 5,986
10) The Rush Limbaugh Show: 7,624

11) Real Clear Politics: 7,957
12) National Review: 10,346
13) Hot Air: 11,517
14) Michelle Malkin: 12,871
15) Glenn Beck: 13,153
16) Human Events Online: 17,538
17) The Heritage Foundation: 20,746
18) Newsbusters: 21,452
19) Lew Rockwell: 24,677
20) The Weekly Standard: 25,565

21) News With Views: 27,352
22) Sean Hannity: 28,086
23) Pajamas Media 28,969
24) The Ludwig von Mises Institute: 29,116
25) Atlas Shrugs: 29,548
26) The American Thinker: 29,980
27) Cybercast News Service: 32,348
28) Neal Boortz: 32,857
29) Reason: 33,254
30) Lucianne: 34,135

31) Ann Coulter 36,864
32) The Cato Journal: 39,187
33) Daily Paul: 41,465
34) The Volokh Conspiracy: 42,021
35) Bill O’Reilly: 42,533
36) Redstate: 42,655
37) Conservapedia: 43,866
38) Power Line: 44,542
39) Jewish World Review: 44,765
40) Front Page Magazine: 48,645

41) Daniel Pipes: 49,692
42) Little Green Footballs: 49,844
43) Campaign for Liberty: 50,638
44) The American Spectator: 52,377
45) Commentary: 55,447
46) GOPUSA: 58,771
47) James Lileks’: 60,536
48) Right Wing News: 63,097
49) Wizbang: 63,427
50) Day by Day: 63,455

Edited to correct for unverified membership of James Von Brunn in the Free Republic.

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6 Responses to Top 50 Conservative Websites Reveal Alarming Patterns

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Kristinn Taylor
    October 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for spelling Free Republic’s name correctly. While much of the paragraph in this article about Free Republic is subjective opinion that smears the site with a broad brush based on the conduct of a few out-of-line posters, I must take issue with your statement that James von Brunn was a member of Free Republic. The link to Wikipedia in the article does not support your statement. The Wikipedia entry accurately states that an article by Von Brunn on the Obama eligilibity issue was posted to FR, but it does not state he was a member. As best as can be determined, von Brunn was not a member of Free Republic and he did not post that article to the site. Please correct your article.

    Thank you.

    • Ole Ole Olson
      +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
      October 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

      Kristinn, you are correct in one thing, there is no direct proof that James Von Brunn was a member at the Free Republic, for that I apologize and have edited the article. However, I highly suspect that he was and hiding behind a fake username, as the FR is right up his alley, where he could freely comment about his racist ideals, just as he could on Stormfront (although someone sniffed out that connection).

    • Vote -1 Vote +1mark
      October 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks for the list of sites with intelligent things to say.

  2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1James Avery
    October 7, 2009 at 9:36 am

    As someone with an experience of politics on both sides of the Atlantic, it never ceases to amaze me how big a gulf there is between the Conservatives in the UK, and Republicans / Neocons in the US. If you want disinformation this side of the pond, you only have to look to our current PM, Gordon Brown and his Labour spin machine.

    • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce
      October 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      Make no mistake, right wing mis-information is at a dangerous level here in the US, but yes it has boiled over in the UK and taken over the mainstream. The right there is fear mongering about everything from CCTV to renewable energy(!). Gordon Brown needs to be booted out of office post-haste, he’s ruining the UK’s image abroad.

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1Kristinn Taylor
    October 8, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Thank you for the prompt correction.