Jay Rosen at PressThink has an excellent piece on the political conventions, journalists, and bloggers. One piece of information not mentioned is mysterious process by which the DNCC is vetting bloggers – it’s never been announced. While Jay cites a bizarre CNet article about the need to keep Michael Moore types from the RNC, the fact remains that the 35 or so bloggers selected for DNC credentials are sure to be signers in the party choir. By comparison credentialed journalists are under no such prior review program. Even with the fresh angles that bloggers might bring to covering the least newsworthy event of the year, the lineup of approved bloggers looks to be a left wing echo chamber. No offense to those chosen (especially if they not party faithful), it’s just that blogging by the true believers hardly sounds interesting.
To me it would be far more interesting to see folks like Mickey Kaus (a frequent Democratic critic of Kerry), Glenn Reynolds, the crew at The Command Post, etc. mixed in with the Daily Kos crew, Dave Winer, Dave Weinberger, etc. and gang. They’re going to let Fox News cover the convention right? Why not some conservative or libertarian bloggers?
For what it’s worth, the RNC will probably make the exact same mistake as the DNC is making. In both cases the seeming promise of convention blogging is likely to go unfulfilled.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:
Minutes after I posted this I learned that Bill at INDC Journal got invited to the convention, which put a dent in my theory. As I was working on an update, I got a note from Bill showing that the DNCC has been studying the Kerry waffling technique. They invited him before they didn’t invite him. Bill details the whole thing here. The alleged reason for the uninvitation? Space issues:
Upon further review of the overall site capacity at the FleetCenter, we are no longer able to issue your organization a DNCC Press Gallery Credential. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Feh… By the way guess who is left holding the bag for travel cancellation fees? Hint, it’s not the DNCC.
The goodwill balloon the DNC created by inviting bloggers is leaking air – fast.
Update 2: A pattern emerges. John Tabin was invited, then disinvited. Interestingly both Bill and John were sent the same disinvitation form letter.
Something is definitely rotten in Boston…
Update 3: As an update to Jay’s PressThink article DNCC blogger Eric Schnure claims that they had to disinvite lots of liberal bloggers too.
The vast majority of applications came from left-leaning or progressive bloggers. Therefore, the vast majority of credentialed bloggers are left-leaning and progressive. Likewise, the vast majority of bloggers who received a credential in error are also left-leaning and progressive.
I cannot stress enough that our error was one of logistics not leanings… And I can only hope the conservative bloggers take us at our word.Since no e-mail address is listed for Schnure at the site I couldn’t send him an e-mail. If I could it would say, “No problem, just publicly name that ‘vast majority’ of liberal disinvitees.” The story is poised to hit the papers tomorrow, so the clock is ticking on the DNCC…
Update 4: Jeff Jarvis isn’t buying it, and is calling for transparency.