“Driving” might be too strong a word, but this is basically right. (And, for those who are concerned, Weigel doesn’t accept the conservative critique of the coverage, either.) And if you’re not persuaded, consider this concluding point from Weigel:

Finally, every moment we’re talking about the grass-roots activists of the tea parties or the free-market groups who are trying to shape their messaging and strategy is a moment we’re not talking about Sarah Palin’s Facebook posts. Who can complain about that?

Amen to that.

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Greg Marx is a CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.