In a fiery speech to conservative bloggers, Sarah Palin accused "old media" of not doing its job to vet Barack Obama before he became president and said it was up to "new media" to tell the truth to prevent his re-election in 2012.
"Who's going to tell them the truth?" Palin asked Friday night, speaking to the RightOnline conference in Las Vegas. "We must tell them the truth."
Palin, the former governor of Alaska, said reporters were too busy trying to dig up dirt on her in her hometown of Wasilla, after Republican John McCain picked her as his vice presidential running mate in 2008.
She said if people believed everything written about her and her family, she would have been divorced from her husband, Todd, several times.
Like many conservatives who question Obama's past associations, Palin said that in college he leaned toward Marxist professors and leftist radicals.
She accused the Democrat of being a socialist at his core.
That is why the U.S. government is growing under Obama and deepening the nation's debt by billions of dollars each day, Palin said.
"The problem with being a socialist is eventually you run out of other people's money," Palin said to applause.
A conservative firebrand, Palin was the star speaker at the two-day RightOnline conference at The Venetian, the only nonunion casino property on the Strip.
Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson, a big-money donor to Republican candidates and causes, owns the hotel-casino.
During her 35-minute speech to some 500 people at the event for online activists, Palin reserved her fire for mainstream media and Obama. She didn't mention Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee who wasn't conservatives' first choice.
Palin praised Matt Drudge for becoming the first new media star who began reporting stories that didn't appear in mainstream publications.
She said social media has made it easier for everybody to be a "citizen journalist" now thanks to Twitter, Facebook and public websites.
"New media activists can really be the vanguard for the future of our country," said Palin, a favorite of the tea party movement against taxes. "New media is giving voice to the people because you are of the people. Without you, there wouldn't be a tea party movement."
Palin said the latest tea party victory came this month in Wisconsin when liberals failed to recall Gov. Scott Walker. Unions led an effort to oust him from office after he curbed collective bargaining rights.
"You stood by a governor who was bound and determined to keep his promises to the people who hired him to do that job," Palin said.
Palin said conservative new media could go beyond driving political discussion to "become a force for activism."
"You do what the old media won't do and can't do and that's tell the truth," she said.
She said some mainstream media don't always fall prey to political spin and "don't want to be the prince of Makecrapupistan."
But most old media, she said, protect the old guard, including establishment candidates and leaders such as Obama. Obama used social media effectively to win election, she said, but he also is "a creature of old media," which refused to vet him.
In a swipe at the White House, she accused the administration of leaking national security information to friendly media outlets "to make him look like a tough guy" as he runs for re-election.
Obama has denied the White House is responsible for the leaks .
Palin urged the conservative new media bloggers to never become part of the establishment political machine.
"Rage against the machine," Palin said to cheers.
Contact reporter Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj.