Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"To the degree that local organizing capabilities matter in the caucus system, Iowa is a great test. But it’s also a limited one, because most states send voters to the polls – so in that sense, New Hampshire and other early states will be more relevant, because they will measure the ability of the Dean campaign to translate the preliminary real-world activities we know it can generate into the ultimate offline activity for any campaign – voting."

That's me, quoted by Jay Rosen, last November.

Jay teased a lot of meaning out of the Baseline case study of Dean's online campaign, including this key point: "Dean is a big deal whether he or not he prevails in the end. This scrambles the brains of the press in the degree that the press believes its own story-- that winning the race is not only the point of a presidential campaign, but also the departure point for reporting on it, the base line for the political story, the thing that's really real."

4:18:02 PM    comment []

Leonard Witt interviews Chris Lydon:

If in this election you had to choose between blog coverage and mainstream media coverage, what would be your choice and why?

Lydon: I read the mainstream media mainly to observe its manipulations and mistakes--it has been my world for many years and I have a lot of friends there. I would miss it some, but for information and provocative reflection on what this election is about, no question I would choose the Web, including the beloved blogs.

I'm glad I don't have to choose. Not a fair fight anyway since blogs link to and comment on big media. Blogging -- it's a candy mint and a breath mint.

3:55:13 PM    comment []

Vernon Robinson is not a one-issue candidate. No, the man who would succeed Richard Burr in Congress won't stop at sneaking one-ton monuments onto public property and signing his name to the Ten Commandments. Robinson also lists "Hollywood Elitists" among his campaign issues, right after taxes and before education.

Robinson: "I think the Motion Picture Association of America should add a new movie rating to go along with the G, PG, PG-13, and R. A new rating of T for "Treason" would mean that all of the actors in this movie have given aid and comfort to the enemy in wartime and have interfered with the military operations of the United States."

Hey, Jack Kemp, good choice on the endorsement.

1:11:00 PM    comment []

Salon's Farhad Manjoo: "Dean's loss in Iowa deflates, at least temporarily, the Web-conquers-politics bubble." Includes a good discussion (with quotes from Jeff Jarvis, identified not by his big-media job but, correctly in this context, as a blogger) of the dangers of campaign blogs as echo chambers.

One of the questions that remained unanswered as Dean's online momentum built was this: what happens when your empowered supporters say the wrong things and get you in trouble?

Scott Rosenberg identified one instance of that phenomenon in the MoveOn ad imbroglio.

In Dean's case, it wasn't a particular quote that hurt him. But I think the consistent stridency of some Dean supporters, on his blog and others, contributed to his image as a strident candidate. The attitude verged on cocky. And apparently his volunteers on the ground didn't do such a great job, either.

Reflecting on the way the campaign portrays itself, one woman tells Manjoo, "We should no longer be Deanies, Deany Babies or Deaniacs. We are Dean supporters."

That's an improvement, but what they really should say is this: We're Democrats, looking for the candidate who both represents as many of our personal views as possible AND has a good chance of beating George Bush.

Daily Kos: "Gephardt and Dean turned out to be Trojan horses for Kerry and Edwards. That is, they brought the bodies and the resources and the logistics to bear, which drove up the turnout. But they couldn't then persuade those turned out to stay with them once they arrived out of the cold and into the school auditoria and community centers."

12:52:37 PM    comment []

This morning I was on a panel sponsored by the Greensboro Youth Council concerning media and politics. I was the only media person there, but the politicos (Mayor Holliday, Mayor Pro Tem Johnson, and county commissioners Rakestraw and Thigpen) didn't gang up on me. Some sharp questions; media savvy is part of the culture now, kids swim in it from birth and understand the currents and eddies. They understand (as one young woman from Page pointed out) that objective news can be spun by its placement on the page, headline size, etc. The elected officials urged the audience to watch public meetings on Channel 13, and to attend them if possible. I followed that by saying the media is a filter between the people and the news, and that these days they can not just go to meetings but publish their take on those meetings, too.

12:11:14 PM    comment []

What's wrong with Slate? That's not an editorial question, it's just that the site has been screwed up on all my various computers for several days. Looks distorted, copy overlaps itself, links don't work.

8:15:18 AM    comment []