WEST’S UNIQUE TAKE ON THE AOL-HUFFPOST MERGER…. Since Sunday night’s announcement that AOL is buying the Huffington Post for $315 million, there’s been plenty of discussion about the relative merits of the deal and the future of online media.

This take, however, was unique. (thanks to V.S. for the tip)

Florida Republican Rep. Allen West said Tuesday that AOL’s purchase of the Huffington Post is a threat to tea party groups’ online presence.

West suggested that the business deal gives the left-leaning site more control over federal regulations of the Internet.

“You look out there, you see that AOL has purchased the Huffington Post. Now all of a sudden a very far left liberal blogger such as Arianna Huffington has a huge influence in the Internet world,” he said.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be suppressed. We cannot allow them to take over the Internet,” he said, as audience members nodded vigorously and started clapping.

The question had something to do with right-wing fears about the FCC’s control over the Internet, suggesting that Allen West is somehow connecting Huffington to net neutrality.

I’m glad the right cares about tech issues and takes the Internet seriously, but we can’t have a credible conversation about these issues if conservatives have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

The AOL-HuffPost deal is certainly open to scrutiny, but to see it as a threat to Tea Partiers’ online presence is to be deeply confused about reality.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.