Saturday, August 14, 2004

Jim Capo hammers District 4 GOP county commissioner candidate Eddie Souther for some shady campaign literature: "I know all is fair in love and politics, but it is disconcerting that the people who hope to represent you in office are not against misrepresenting the truth...and this is BEFORE they are even elected!"

8:46:29 PM    comment []

Monkeytime works up a righteous rage over McGreevey: "Newsflash for 21st-century queer activists: Closeted politicians make unreliable allies."

My mother-in-law in Jersey asked her cousin the cop why he hadn't told her about McGreevey's double life. He said he just assumed everyone already knew, certainly law-enforcement on both sides of the Hudson did.

2:57:28 PM    comment []

Dave Winer points me toward some thoughts on "the un-conference" format we'll be using in GSO.

Dave: "The problem with most conferences is that the intelligence is sitting in the dark with its hands folded, falling asleep while a bunch of idiots on stage with PowerPoints talking nonsense because they are so scared they need crutches to keep from having a nervous breakdown. This has been going on for twenty years. It's time to try something new."

We are going to have some powerful people there, some veteran bloggers, some smart newbies. Why listen to Hoggard and me ramble the whole time?

2:50:10 PM    comment []

Matt McWilliams, a strong GOP supporter from Pinebluff, got some grief for putting me on his blogroll. He emails, "A friend of my mine got all pissy about it, saying I was betraying my values. I told him that I put the values of the blog over those of politics...ended up he agreed with me."

Thanks, Matt. I look forward to meeting you in person at the GSO blog conference.

That's why I link to Atrios and Instapundit, The Rhino and The Peacemaker. Preaching to the choir seems dull for the preacher and the choir.

1:18:54 PM    comment []

The N&R article mentions that the GSO blog conference is modeled on the Harvard BloggerCon. Since I couldn't make it to the second one, I'm drawing on what I learned at the original event last fall, plus what I gleaned from reading about the second one. I see our gig as being more like Day 2 in feel, with everyone a potential speaker and participant, but with some of the aspects of Day 1, when "experts" shared their wisdom and experience, since we will have folks with specific knowledge and folks who seek that knowledge.

Meanwhile, TheShu wonders if my conference room is going to be big enough to handle the teeming masses. My guess is that it will be -- we can put 30 people in there. But I'm investigating some larger venues just in case the RSVPs to Hoggard and me start piling up.

So if you are coming, please let us know.

1:12:31 PM    comment []

Hoggard has a blog primer for newbies attracted by the N&R story. 

In his comments, readers critique the article and the N&R's online product in general.

I thought the article did a good job of introducing local blogs, although it could have used another section on the impact of blogs on journalism and politics. The N&R itself has picked up stories from this blog, and from Hoggard's, for example. But space in print is limited, and Matt turned this thing around quickly and got it on the front page, and this is a subject the paper can revisit many times. My biggest complaint was with the somewhat dismissive headline, since blogs do a lot more than allow people to "vent and chat."

12:33:40 PM    comment []

NYT: Out of Spotlight, Bush Overhauls U.S. Regulations

"Allies and critics of the Bush administration agree that the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq have preoccupied the public, overshadowing an important element of the president's agenda: new regulatory initiatives. Health rules, environmental regulations, energy initiatives, worker-safety standards and product-safety disclosure policies have been modified in ways that often please business and industry leaders while dismaying interest groups representing consumers, workers, drivers, medical patients, the elderly and many others.

And most of it was done through regulation, not law."

12:19:19 PM    comment []

A heated conversation at Jay Rosen's blog, following his post on what changed for journalists after 9/11.

Jay: "Is the press a participant in the war on terror, or does observer-hood still tell the right story for journalists after 09/11?"

First, let's define "the war on terror." Does it mean whatever a particular administration says it means?

If so, is it just the press that should fall into line, or should political discussion of the war's direction be silenced, too? Let's be clear on the differences between patriotism and rote agreement with any particular government policy, during wartime or not.

Then, consider the tension between professional obligation, national interest, and common decency as revealed in the Jennings/Wallace anecdote. My guess is that few members of the press -- and the monolithic nature of that cohort is one of the great fallacies put forth by some of Jay's commenters -- would take Wallace's position. I wouldn't.

It seems obvious to me that journalists have obligations to safeguard their neighbors and not to compromise national security. But that does not mean they should not report objective facts (this person was killed, that battle was fought) and offer opinion and analysis that might dissent from a particular party line.

Ignoring some of the more hysterical arguments in the comments ("Islamofascists" coming to enslave us all!), I think we can trot out one of the hoariest post-9/11 lines in response to the idea of a government-directed press corps, which equals a less free and open society: if that happens, the terrorists have already won.

An aside: I'm a little tired of the "I was there" argument on 9/11. Physical proximity to the events does not confer moral authority on the witness. To tell the truth, I feel that I was perhaps closer in some ways to those towers than many who wave their dusty garments to claim special knowledge. That does not give me a unique understanding of what to do next.

12:05:20 PM    comment []

The N&R's Matt Williams makes the front page with his article on local bloggers. "In Guilford County, a small but growing group of observers sharing information and insight on local issues is beginning to draw candidates and elected officials into the fray, giving them a chance to share more than the typical sound bite or campaign slogan."

I'll have more detail on local campaign blogging in tomorrow's newspaper column.

The big paper also gives the upcoming blog conference a plug: "To help out the budding blog community, Cone and Hoggard are offering a seminar Aug. 28 for prospective bloggers modeled after a national conference at Harvard. They've invited local candidates and elected officials to learn about the medium, along with the area's more experienced bloggers to offer advice."

Thanks to Matt and the N&R.

The conference is free and open to all. If you plan on coming, please tell Hoggard or me via email or blog comment. 9 AM, 8/28. 620 S. Elm St. (old Wrangler factory, corner of Lee St.), 3d floor conference room. And it keeps getting better: I just got an email from a local blogger saying she's bringing cookies.

10:38:39 AM    comment []