The Right-Wing Facebook
It's not just Stephen Colbert who's having a good time on Facebook, where a group called "1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T. Colbert" -- a parody of the Facebook group "One Million Strong For Barack" -- is growing by the thousands each day. (On Thursday, when The Trail first reported it, the Colbert's group had 16,002 members. On Monday afternoon, it was up to 476,000. It's getting to be serious enough that a supporter asks on the discussion board: "Is a vote for Stephen T Colbert as wasted as a vote for Ralph Nader?"
Now the folks at the People For the American Way, a Washington, D.C.-based progressive group, and its blog, RightWingWatch.org, are parodying how the Republican candidates are using Facebook.
On the site "The Right-Wing Facebook," your friends include Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, in addition to Rudy Giuliani (shown in drag holding a cigar) and John McCain (shown hugging President Bush). Facebook is like a public online diary in which your "friends" share, in real time, the often mundane, trivial goings-on of their day. What's your status at that exact moment? Which Facebook groups you've joined. On the parody site, "Mitt Romney is learning the 'lingo' of the 'information superhighway,'" "Fred Thompson is napping," and "John McCain is looking for spare change between couch cushions." Facebook friends can also write on each other's "Wall," a virtual chalk board where friends openly communicate.
"Hey, if neither one of us gets the nomination, how about teaming up for a remake of "Grumpy Old Men"? You be Lemmon, I'll be Matthau!" Thompson wrote on McCain's Wall.
Another Facebook feature is the "News Feed," where your friends are updated on your activities. On "The Right-Wing Facebook," Romney's a busy man, "shredding some old speeches" and joining the groups "Pro-Lifers" and "Pro-Choicers." Giuliani wonders how "he can fit 9/11 into a speech about agriculture policy" and adds "God and lots of God-related things, like Bibles and stuff " to his interests. Meanwhile, Huckabee joins the group Young Earth Creationism, and McCain appeals to Ron Paul "for fundraising tips."
Apparently, he's loving the "low-expectations game": "Just be marginally awake, and you win!"
The parody site launched Friday night, just in time for the weekend's gathering of the conservative Family Research Council. The group's Values Voter Summit drew the GOP front-runners. "This is a really humorous way to make a very serious point: The Republican candidates are pandering to the religious right," Peter Montgomery of the People For the American Way told The Trail. "The candidates are on Facebook, and we wanted to take advantage of that."
The GOP field -- Giuliani, Thompson, Romney, McCain and Huckabee -- have an awful lot of catching up to do, though. Their combined Facebook supporters total 64,217, nowhere near Colbert's.
-- Jose Antonio Vargas
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