John on March 8, 2012 at 10:50 am
PBS has decided to do a story on amateur political researchers and chose to feature three people including my friend and co-blogger Morgen:
“Andrew is the best example of some random guy who finds those best hits that are just dangling out there and no one’s looking for it,” said Morgen Richmond, a 40-year-old hobbyist oppo researcher from Orange County, Calif. A married father of two and the owner of a computer consultancy with 75 employees, Richmond also runs the conservative blog Verum Serum in his spare time.
Richmond cut his teeth during the 2009 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He is credited for finding the “wise Latina” speech that conservatives subsequently used to paint Sotomayor as an activist judge.
“Being a right-wing conservative, I certainly focus on opposing policies from the left,” said Richmond. “For me it’s about affecting the public politics and decision making.”
Asked about the rise of the amateur video miner, Richmond says that he believes this trend reflects the larger shifts and fragmentation in the media landscape.
It’s a good story, though the headline is a bit flippant. Fact is these people are making significant contributions to the national debate, something that ordinary folks weren’t often able to do a decade ago.
I’ll just point out, since Morgen won’t on his own behalf, that he was doing this work back in 2009, long before the major media noticed the trend. In fact, regular readers may recall that his work on Justice Sotomayor led to a cover article in the Atlantic’s October issue. And his impact since that time has been equally amazing. The public option, Goodwin Liu, Jon Huntsman and, more recently, his scoop on Newt Gingrich which quickly became front page news at the WSJ–it’s quite a list and that’s not all of it.
All of these researchers have made significant contributions to our political landscape, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Morgen is the very best of the best. Sure I might be a little biased, but I think the record backs me up.
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