TCOT Report

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The TCOT Report (or "#TCOT Report")[1] is an Internet-only news Web site from a conservative point of view, founded by Michael Patrick Leahy. The TCOT Report uses the tagline, "Breaking News From the Conservative World!" The name "TCOT" stands for "Top Conservatives on Twitter," namely as a representation of the hashtag used for tracking political updates on Twitter.[2] The TCOT Report strongly supports the Tea Party Movement, but does not endorse or have any connection as an organization with any particular Tea Party group.[3]

Contents

Drudge meets Twitter

The TCOT Report was modeled on Drudge Report. It has been described in the press as "Drudge meets Twitter."[4] The TCOT Report has stated the following:

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We are hoping that our friend, Mr. Drudge, will take kindly to our efforts, and have currently sent a message to him via emissaries to make him aware of this effort, and to see if he has no objections. Should he object, we will change the format right away.[1]

Twitter hashtag

The #TCOT hashtag stands for a community of conservative Americans who think that the Republican Party has lost track of its core values.[5] The TCOT Report does not "own" the #TCOT hashtag, and the news source is not affiliated with the Top Conservatives on Twitter organization. Success in the development of the TCOT Report has widely been associated with its ability to incorporate social media technology, namely Twitter, as part of its strategy for building a reader base. Since the site began, "#TCOT" has remained the most successful Twitter hashtag of all time, consistently dominating as the #1 used hashtag for tweets sent on Twitter.[6] In an independent study, data showed that conservatives using the #TCOT hashtag out-tweeted democrats, progressives and liberals by more than 3.5 to 1.[7]

Research at SourceWatch showed that in the House of Representatives, Republicans are far more prolific at using Twitter, sending out five times as many messages as their Democratic counterparts. In the Senate, Republicans' tweets outnumber Democrats' by a smaller 35% margin. Because Republican Congressmen tweet more often, more people subscribe, or "follow," their Twitter feeds. Twitter activity from groups like Top Conservatives On Twitter (#TCOT hashtag), has led to Republicans occupying 18 of the top 20 spots in terms of followers on Twitter. Republicans "follow" people back, too--or at least more than Democrats, according to research. The study says they subscribe to more people's feeds by a factor of 10.[8]

Collaboration with the TCOT organization

Approved unanimously on January 8, 2009, all members of the Top Conservatives on Twitter organization, which included Michael Patrick Leahy, agreed to collaborate under the guidelines of the following four principles, called "the 4 C's of the #TCOT community."

1. Conservatism
2. Collaboration
3. Constructive Dialogue
4. Community.

These four pillars of conservatism are four of the five pillars established at the formation of the Heritage Foundation almost three decades earlier. However, neither The TCOT Report or the Top Conservatives on Twitter organization is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, but instead are a grassroots extension of the policies the Heritage Foundation promotes.[9] Rob Neppell, co-founder of the organization called Top Conservatives on Twitter, is not associated with the TCOT Report news source, nor is the TCOT Report affiliated with Top Conservatives on Twitter, though Mr. Leahy is a co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter.[10]

TCOT list

The TCOT list was first placed on the web on November 28, 2008. In the time since then, it has become a bit of a "rallying point" for conservatives on Twitter.[3] Because the TCOT Report bloggers and members on the Top Conservatives on Twitter list are involved in a grassroots movement, as well are working in collaboration with each other, it was reported that members of the TCOT list "cannot be merely a 'campaign profile' [or] 'political office holder profile' or a 'radio or television program or publication promotional profile.'"[11]

The TCOT Report Staff

The TCOT Report relies upon the nationwide network of conservative activists who use Twitter and are members of the Top Conservatives on Twitter list to provide on duty editors with breaking news of interest to conservatives, and at a speed "faster than any other current news source."[1] The website also relies upon the cleverness and initiative of #TCOT Twitter-feed readers, and the TCOT Report bloggers and columnists for much of the content. The TCOT Report has a stated goal to build a team of 24 people who can update the news website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Currently there are four Editors, one Publisher, and one Managing Editor. The four editors are Michael J. Bernard, Dennis Mooney, and two users on Twitter who go by the names "Johnny Alamo, Pundit," and "Citizen Strategist." Michael Patrick Leahy is the Publisher, and Bill Meeker was named Managing Editor.[12]

Breaking news exclusives

Similar to the Drudge Report, the TCOT Report primarily focuses on linking to breaking news stories that are of interest to conservatives. However, the publisher, Michael Patrick Leahy, occasionally writes TCOT Report exclusives, spotlighting the goal to publish news at a speed "faster than any other current news source." Leading up to the New York 23rd special elections vote, in an exclusive breaking news story, the TCOT Report uncovered the widely controversial actions by Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, how she "threw the nomination to her friend Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, despite the wishes of the majority of Republicans in the county where she also serves as party chairman."[13][14][15] As the story unraveled, Dede Scozzafava, as the Republican nominee for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District special election, dropped out from the race less than an hour after a Siena Poll showed that she could not win.[16] The TCOT Report endorsed Doug Hoffman, as he was the Conservative Party of New York nominee for Congress from the 23rd district.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 #TCOT Report
  2. Michael Patrick Leahy, Co-Creator of #TCOT Tag, on how Twitter Changes Politics. The Conversation: Understanding 'Hashtag Politics', ABC News, September 20, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Top Conservatives on Twitter, topconservativesontwitter.org.
  4. TCOT Action Projects
  5. How to get the most out of #TCOT, Common Sense In Ohio, December 22, 2008.
  6. Top Ten Twitter Hashtags of All Time, TCOT Report, February 18, 2009.
  7. Allan Bromanich. Twiberals vs Conservatwives. The Twitter Hashtag Battle, Drunk on Politics, November 28, 2009.
  8. Taylor Buley. Republican's Tweet Revenge, Forbes.com, January 13, 2010.
  9. Statement of Principles, The #TCOT Report, January 8, 2009.
  10. A Message from TCOT Co-Founder Rob Neppell, April 30, 2009.
  11. About the List
  12. Bill Meeker Named Managing Editor of the #TCOT Report, December 30, 2008.
  13. Michael Patrick Leahy. Nomination of Liberal Republican in New York 23rd Tainted by Breach of Trust, The TCOT Report, October 19, 2009.
  14. Michael Patrick Leahy. Republican County Chairman in NY 23rd Slams Scozzafava, Says He's Written Off Election, The TCOT Report, October 20, 2009.
  15. Michael Patrick Leahy. Is Dede Scozzafava's Campaign Imploding Due to Erratic Leadership and Very Odd Behavior?, The TCOT Report, October 21, 2009.
  16. Michael Patrick Leahy. Scozzafava Drops Out of NY 23 Race as Final Siena Poll Shows It's a 2 Man Race Between Hoffman and Owens, The TCOT Report, October 31, 2009.

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