n February 2006, the right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin posted a video on the online video site YouTube. Titled First, They Came, the video was Malkins personal tribute to figures she identified as the victims of Islamic fascism. It circulated on YouTube until September, when the sites administrators told her that it had been rejected due to its inappropriate nature. (The video contained footage of dead bodies, as well as classic Malkinesque hyperbole, but was far from the most offensive thing on the site.) After her readers protested, the video was reposted. But the incident struck a nerve with two longtime conservative activists and former Reagan aides, Charlie Gerow and Jeff Lord. This March, the pair launched QubeTV, which they bill as a conservative answer to YouTube. The Washington Monthlys Peter Laufer recently asked Lord what he hopes the site will achieve.
WM: Why do we need a conservative YouTube? Im not a frequent user of YouTube, but I dabble, and there is stuff on there from all across the political spectrum.
JL: The short answer is that it came to our attention that Michelle Malkin had a video that was bannedwhich is now back up on YouTube, as I understand it.
JL: The problem is that they have a flagging systemand we are probably going to develop a flagging system as well. But at the end of the day, liberal flaggers were going after conservative material and the folks at YouTube were kind of acquiescing to them.
JL: Yes, but the difference is that the YouTube folks, to the best of my knowledge, dont consider themselves to be political people. My point is that I am not going to let that kind of stuff happen here. We are not going to let conservative videos go down the tube.
JL: Some things that they dont give a path to, we do. The thing that would bother me is, in terms of the war situation, if we got a video of an American kid or a Daniel Pearl, for example. I would have a difficult time with that.
JL: We had somebody out there put up a video of a woman being stoned to death, somewhere in the Middle East. They put it up as an example of Islamism extremism, and I gave it a pass. Its up there as we speak.
JL: What I am trying to get at is that the technology has now opened up so that if you are Jane Doe from Des Moines and you see something newsworthy, you can put it up. Im not suggesting that there is a cabal in New York or Washington; I grew up in the northeastern United States and love it. I just think that their political and cultural predilections lead them to do things in a certain way.
JL: I think it does represent the free market at work, and I also think they have made some mistakes. But I also think that because we are around maybe that has made YouTube a little more sensitive.
JL: We want to be right in the middle of the presidential campaign. We are three months into operation, we have almost 1,000 videos and almost 2,000 still photos.
JL: Sure. That is the second thing. First, theres the legitimate stuff, like the Democratic debates the other night, so viewers can go off on what person A or B said and how that was bad. And they did that with the Republican debate with Ron Paul.
JL: I dont know the answer. If you look at the media advancement from television, where liberals were very good, to talk radio, where conservatives were very good, to new mediaI dont know if conservatives were slow on the uptake. I do feel that we are behind. We really have to get in there and get up to our necks.