Tuesday, September 07, 2004

That was fun. First I had a nice visit and a nice dinner with my aunt and uncle in Tribeca. Then as I walked back to my hotel, I realized that my boy Pete is in the middle of closing his big issue and thus would almost certainly be in his office at a late hour, so as I got near the Forbes building I called him up and made him come out for a quick drink. An entire city here to entertain me. Nice.

10:18:24 PM    comment []

N&R editor John Robinson: "One of the reasons I'm blogging is to explain our business. We should be transparent."


I'm not sure I agree with this statement, though, or agree with it all the time: "(W)e're the Goliath in battle with David."

That's true in terms of mindshare in the community. So far. True in terms of resources the paper can devote to a story, and the number of stories and subjects covered. And -- forgive me for my prejudices as a professional journalist -- these folks know what they are doing when they report and write.

But the old logic of not arguing with people who buy ink by the barrel has been overturned -- we've all got printing presses now. The distribution advantage of the corporate publisher has been diminished. The N&R dwarfs local blogs in readership, but let a blogger hit a hot story that gets national play, and they'll rival or surpass the paper for a few days.

Another way this isn't David and Goliath is that there are differences of kind as well as of scale.

Blogging lets experts publish without mediation. This isn't just about a bunch of amateur journalists running around and reporting on civic meetings, although that is a good thing. Now we can hear directly from newsmakers, business owners, sports figures, should they choose to go online. That's different, not bigger or smaller, or necessarily better or worse.

Anyway, David slew Goliath. I don't think that's what's going to happen here. I think blogs -- internal and external -- are going to make the N&R a better newspaper, and a better newspaper will make us all better bloggers.

6:16:47 PM    comment []

Kerry in GSO

A very brief report from his visit to the restored Southern Railway depot in downtown Greensboro.

He was strong. Looked good in person, warmed up after a series of I-know-I'm-in-North Carolina one-liners (grits, I'm learning to say "ya'll," etc.) 

But killed with I'm John Edwards' running mate line.

Theme: "W" stands for "wrong." Wrong choices, we can make it right. On healthcare, jobs and taxes, environment. He came across as serious and credible, if no Bill Clinton in terms of capturing an audience. Said just listen to our plan, here's how its different from W's.

Iraq. Need to stay long enough to not leave vacuum, hope to leave in four years. Will use force as needed as prez, including "proactive" use of force. Vietnam was mentioned only in passing -- I defended this country as a young man, will as prez.

Interesting to see him woolocal voters. W will have to work some for NC, our economy is not big asset for him. Kerry blames him for losing jobs overseas, a huge issue here in textile and furniture country. Big veteran constituency in NC, he answered vet's question about VA with some depth.  

Kerry spoke lots about values, his and John E's. Tied economic, healthcare etc issues back to "values."

Joked that there was no loyalty oath for crowd, then took batting practice from friendly crowd.

More TK.

UPDATE: More Kerry notes

A red-meat intro from NC 13th district congressman Brad Miller, who said Dems emphasize thinking and judgement. Noted that NC has lost 160,000 manufacturing jobs, median income is down 9%, number of working poor and people without health insurance are up. "We need a president who looks hard at those facts."

Kerry invoked NC legends, the late Sen. Terry Sanford and former Gov. Jim Hunt, on their legacy of education.

Under Bush, "Surplus spent, alliances shredded."

This is not partisan. It’s common sense. Facts are facts. 

Bush: "The most catastrophic choice is the mess he’s made in Iraq." He had no plan for peace.

Healthcare a right, not a privilege for the wealthy and the connected.

Take away the labels and look at the facts. Urged crowd to to JohnKerry.com, or Truth.com (he needs to change that punchline; Truth.com is a hardware site).

W's policy is sending jobs overseas, his treasury secretary thinks it’s a good idea. Refers to Snow as "John W. Snow," crowd loves it, Kerry grins, says, Well, he is wrong…

Praises NC Gov Mike Easley, who is once again conspicuous by his absence. 

Spoke about 34 minutes. Took questions for another half hour.

Q&A, says wants a "conversation." 

Hits W on bulk purhase ban in medicare bill, a gift to big pharma cos. Questioner notes Medicare premiums up 17%, what’s up with that? Kerry "W."

Healthcare requires wellness and prevention, will add "department of wellness" in his administration.

1:48:21 PM    comment []

"The performance of this country's finest news organizations in the run-up to the Iraq invasion of March 2003 will be remembered as a disgrace," says journalism prof Edward Wasserman in the Miami Herald. (via Romenesko)

10:21:36 AM    comment []

Hyperbusy day: trying to get in to see Kerry in downtown GSO (I saw the motorcade forming on my way to the office); deadlines; and then off to NY, where I'll have dinner with my uncle before tomorrow's looong story meeting at ZD.

We lost power this morning (after the coffee was brewed, praise Duke Power). A neighbor cheerfully pointed out as I walked Luna that all our crews were probably on the way to Florida. I read the papers by natural light, shaved carefully by a window, and absent-mindedly flipped on light switches about 20 times...the worst part, of course, is that the wireless connection was down.

10:15:13 AM    comment []

Elizabeth Edwards somehow finds the time to answer a commenter at this blog who said yesterday's interview in the NYT was not very interesting, and that she wouldn't be interviewed at all if her husband wasn't running for VP:

"I have lived five decades without an interview request, and but for John's candidacy, I would have lived another five (God willing) without one. As for being interesting in interviews about my life, . . . well, I answer what I am asked, so either I need better questions or a better life."

10:07:05 AM    comment []