Ok, I haven’t even seen Capitol Square yet (you can’t get ONN on DirectTV), so I have no idea what aired or how it looked.
However, you can see I was disappointed. Matt Naugle and I have been sparring over the Internet for over five years. This was our first public joint encounter, and we were asked about our LeBron tweets?
It was like booking Ali and Frazier, but asking them to thumb wrestle. We’re there talking about ethics in blogging, but there was virtually no new ground than when Eric and some conservative blogger, or Jill and Naugle had the exact same conversation. You could splice all three interviews together in one show and probably not hear anything different, or realize that they were taped over the past three years.
My first question was whether what I write comes from the campaigns or party. And it would surprise people to know this, but ordinarily it’s information flowing from me to them. I failed to mention this because I was already annoyed at the premise: how can you have any credibility when you are used by the people you write about, is how I took it. If you see the interview, you’ll see my trademark sarcasm. Heath picked up on it and smiled as I said “Well, unlike the media, whom never get their information fed to them by campaigns…”
There’s so much about the interview I didn’t get to say. When I see bloggers interviewed this way, I feel like the underlying premise is that we’re blamed for the cheapening of the political discourse. Except, we’ve not been responsible for making partisan flame tossers like Michele Bachmann into national figures… political talk shows have. Michele Bachmann is in the minority caucus, she’s only in her second term, she has no leadership position, nor is she viewed as an expert in the issues she’s asked to discuss. Except for her reckless political rhetoric, Michele Bachmann wouldn’t be given airtime as she’s indistinguishable to the nearly 400 other Members of Congress similarly or better situated than her.
Michele Bachmann cheapens the political discourse more than any tweet, comment, or blog post Matt Naugle and I have ever written combined. And she wouldn’t be able to unless there was a corporate media chasing advertiser dollars that realize her controversial statements generate ratings. So, it’s bump the egghead for the hothead.
We had Matt Naugle, an adamant defender of the Second Amendment, and we had no discussion about gun politics in the race for Governor. I wanted to ask Matt about what I see as the lack of enthusiasm I see in the conservative netroots here in Ohio that is vastly different than in 2006. (Seriously, outside the Carpetblogger, the usual cast of characters are conspicuously silent about Kasich and even Portman.)
I think any average sampling of my work would show that I was more in tune to contributing to the first segment of the show instead of being asked how I can sleep at night after calling Jon Keeling an “idiot” on Twitter. (Like a baby, NPR’s Jo Ingles, like a baby.)
I was glad I was asked about the “disparity” between followers for Democratic leaders and Republican challengers like John Boehner vs. Speaker Pelosi. I forgot to mention that, first of all, not all followers are fans. I follow John Boehner’s tweets, and I’m sure not the only Democrat who does.
But the fact is that social media activity is hardly a sign of electoral strength. If that were the case:
- Howard Dean or John Edwards would have won the Democratic nomination in 2004.
- The RON amendments would have all passed.
- Paul Hackett would have been elected to House, and then the Senate.
- Subodh Chandra would have beating Marc Dann for the Democratic AG nomination in 2006.
- Jennifer Brunner would have won the Democratic U.S. Senate primary this year.
The fact is that social media is almost always the mark of the insurgent campaign that is faced with an opponent who has the power of incumbency and an advantage of ready and free access to mass media in order to get their message out.
I could have mentioned that it was this blog that first wrote about the staff departures in the Fisher campaign that the national “traditional” media picked up on. I’ve done more fact checking than PolitiFact.
I did point out that we’re the only media outlet that’s actually looking beyond the poll numbers to see if the stimulus was working in Ohio and if there’s a recovery already going on. When I said Ohio has already created 50,000 this year now that the recession ended, Jim Heath gave Naugle a pass.
He declined to respond because he didn’t know that.
Nobody reads blogs, I thought to myself.
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