Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Welcome to Salon.com readers!

Well, well. Imagine my excitement to find out I’m quoted in Salon.com today, only to see the implication is that I don’t care about minority support of the Dean campaign.



Wow.



In fairness, I did in fact say what Farhad says I said. And I didn’t qualify my statements, didn’t offer up any other suggestion that I was concerned about the lack of minority representation in the campaign. So… my bad for not going into a bit more detail on the blog.



But there’s an interesting rub: Farhad never contacted me for the story. I wasn’t given a chance to respond to the quote, not given a chance to provide any context. So my statement hangs out there, mainly because it serves the overall hook for the story. I’m not sure whether I think this is a mistake on Farhad’s or Salon.com’s part… just a bit frustrated with the convenience of using the quote and ultimately representing me as the voice of those who believe that this is just an overblown media issue. (For the record: Farhad did contact me when he wrote Blogland’s man of the people back in July.)



Two responses to the piece: overall, I’m glad to see so much interest expressed at all levels (both official campaign representatives as well as volunteer supporters) at the needs to expand Dean’s message and reach out to those who might not be “wired.” And had Farhad called me to discuss this article ahead of time, I could have pointed out that I am in fact one of those people: as I mentioned last week, I went and spoke to a Seniors Center a couple weeks ago to discuss Howard Dean; not one person in the room had ever used e-mail. And this weekend, I’ll be fliering at the Mexican Heritage Festival in West Chicago, IL, as well as marching in the parade to help spread Dean’s message (with bi-lingual fliers, by the way) to groups that haven’t had strong representation at our local MeetUps and candidate events.



Bottom line:



This is an important issue. Do I think the press is blowing it out of proportion? Absolutely. (Where are the articles about Graham’s lack of minority interest? Edwards? Lieberman’s? Answer: there aren’t any, because they’re not attracting anywhere near the crowds Dean is.) But do I think the campaign needs to aggressively go after these constituencies early? Without question.



The ultimate message of Farhad’s article is that the campaign is responding to this challenge just like it does many others: by relying on the decentralized legions of supporters who are already providing the momentum to this campaign. And I’m confident that in the next few months those legions will be quite a bit more colorfol. And that will be a good thing.

7 comments:

  1. I'm not sure what happened, Rick, but I did e-mail you last week, and did not hear back from you.

    --FM

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  2. Odd... I didn't see anything (just checked my spam filter in case it inadvertently caught it, and didn't see it there). In any event, thanks for the follow-up.

    --Rick

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  3. Hmmm ... I just sent you another e-mail. Did you get that?

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  4. Rick,

    Do you know if anyone has started a Dean/Clark blog? Seems to me that is the ticket that could mop the floor with Bush/Cheney, and I wonder if it might be useful to have a website where like-minded folks could conspire?

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  5. Shelley of WestchesterSeptember 10, 2003 at 12:55 AM

    I found the article was, overall, very positive and indicative of how hard the Dean campaign works to respond in a proactive way to issues as they arise. I thought your quotes were more thoughtful, rather than negative, so I don't think you need be concerned about how others perceive them. It is clear that you are someone who is dedicated to the campaign and dedicated to showing Dean's appeal to diverse populations.

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  6. Hey Rick,

    Agree that your comments did not come off badly as they reflected on the Dean campaign. Ia lso find the article interesting in that acknowledges what we both know: the Dean community is on this issue. Our Evanston Meetup looks for ways to outreach and raise visibility in minority areas. In Chicago, you know we have flyered at Latino and African-American centric beaches and festivals. Glad to hear the Mex Fest is covered. We are doing the Nowthwestern football game that day. Go Miami (I'm an alum). Anyhow, you are right that other campaigns aren't getting these questions, whiel the Dean cmapaign is tyring to do somehting about at grassroots and national level. FYI, the official blog notes endorsement by a majority of the DC City Council today.

    Steve

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  7. Participatory journalism in coverage of the Dean campaign

    What do you call journalism where the people who are written about have their own broadcast medium and are able to write back? My friend J.D. Lasica calls it participatory journalism. Want to see an example of it in action

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