Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NY23: What New Media have done

Danny Glover of AIM reflects on the role of bloggers in this campaign:

"We defeated the Daily Kos candidate," said Eric Odom of the American Liberty Alliance, one of four blogger-activists on the ground in New York over the past several days as conservative pressure mounted on Scozzafava to withdraw. The other bloggers were Ali Akbar, Stephen Foley and Robert Stacy McCain . . .
McCain was in the district first and has been filing reports on his personal blog, as well as at AmSpecBlog and Hot Air's Green Room. Akbar, Foley and Odom did their reporting for a new site called 73wire, which bills itself as a "collaborative, people-powered news project." . . .
Odom said it was frustrating that more blogger-activists weren't in the district to cover the race and fight for Hoffman last week. The election is "our chance as conservatives to hit back" against the Republican establishment that backed the left-leaning Scozzafava over Hoffman, Odom said.
But he said the bloggers who were there played a "significant role" in shifting the dynamics of the race. . . .

I'm sure I'll have more to say about this at some future point. The "blogger-activist" label is a little uncomfortable for me. I'm just a writer working via the medium of the Internet after 20-odd years in print.

Opinions? Yeah. But everybody's got an opinion. What we have done up here is to break news by working the phones, developing sources, and being on the scene where the story has happened. As I like to say, Old School in the New Media.

So I'll have more to say, but not now. We have to make the white-knuckle run to Saranac Lake in a few hours. Just read the whole thing.

And hit the tip jar. The New York State Police may not be so lenient if they catch us again. Note the hypothetical.

UPDATE: OK, less than 10 minutes after filing this, I immediately thought of other people who deserve a lot of credit, and couldn't sleep until I'd named a few:
  • Erick Erickson of Red State -- Erick is a conservative Republican and, at times, I've felt that the "Republican" part tended to dominate. But in recent months, Erick has become fed up with the backstabbers and sellouts, and he took the lead role in making the Hoffman campaign a national crusade for conservative bloggers. His leadership in this must be acknowledged.
  • Michelle Malkin -- A journalist by training, Malkin was one of the first conservative commentators to recognize and capitalize on the power of the blogosphere. Her Oct. 16 column made a difference, and she has followed up consistently, not only with her own posts, but also by throwing traffic at other bloggers who paid attention to NY23. Some bloggers think of Malkin's Fox News enormousness as making her "too big" to be counted among our number, but she often takes notice of even the smallest bloggers who do good work, calls them to the attention of a larger audience and, in so doing, expands the 'sphere. She deserves more credit for this than she gets.
  • John Hawkins of Right Wing News -- He has given posting privileges to lots of bloggers over the years, including me. In doing so, he has also expanded the 'sphere. Like Erickson (and Malkin, too), Hawkins has helped to draw the line in the sand against the RINOs who were trying to lead the GOP into political irrelevance.
  • Michael Patrick Leahy of TCOT -- His report on how Scozzafava got the District 23 nomination really helped clarify the nature of the problem, providing solid facts and perspective. Leahy has followed up, and deserves credit for his solid work.
  • Dan Riehl of Riehl World View -- Dan's not a purist who wants to purge moderates. But he cares deeply about facts, and he made an important contribution with his report on the role of the NRCC and Tom Reynolds in the choice of Scozzafava. Dan is somebody you never want as an enemy. 'Nough said.
OK, I've named five people whose contributions ought to be recognized and apologize to the many others who played a role but haven't been named here. Let's remember a famous quote:
"You can accomplish much, if you don't care who gets credit."
-- Ronald Reagan


  1. It's already a victory.

  2. Only a couple of quibbles about the Glover/Odom position. There were quite a few of you who were located close enough to make the trip, while the rest of us (even if a tip-jar existed and was full) just couldn't.

    The activity in NY-23 has been followed closely by every blogger I know (those on the right, at least) either linking to posts here or at other sites.

    So, while we may not have been there with hands on the phones, we were all there in spirit.

    This is truely a historic event, and those of you there are privileged to witness at first hand the major cracks in the bubble of the DNC and the comeuppance presented to the complacent R's around the country.

    I suspect NY-23 will cause pols around the country to say their prayers while they closely examine their consciences as if getting ready to face the priest at confession.

  3. Meadow, I think the important thing is to begin with the question, "What can I do?" That is to say, What is possible? Not what is convenient or affordable or easy, but what is possible.

    A lot of Christians talk about "stepping out on faith" and yet always seem to do only things that are sensible, reasonable, and cautious. Remember the young ruler to whom Jesus said, "Sell all you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me." It was possible for the young man to do that, but he didn't do it, and that failure was tragic.

    Sometimes, it actually makes sense to do something that, under normal circumstances, would be crazy. As Hunter S. Thompson said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

    There is a wisdom in that sentence that I think most people miss. If ever there was a situation that called for the services of a reckless loose cannon like me, NY23 was it. Ask Ali Akbar about the "need for speed" on our Sunday run from Lake Placid to Watertown. When a completely crazy story is breaking as fast as this story was breaking over the weekend, the only hope for a reporter to keep up is to go all-out, all-the-time. You take crazy chances, or otherwise, you'll get beat.

    Also: Cooperation and teamwork are necessary. The folks who have been re-Tweeting the news breaks have performed a valuable service, by helping spread the news rapidly -- Paul Revere-fashion -- so that those of us on the ground could concentrate on covering the story.

    If Hoffman wins, the story of NY23 is going to be the stuff of legend and it has been an honor to have been here to watch it happen.

  4. Small wonder the Dear Leader wants to put a leash on the internet- his emasculation of the MSM has created a HUGE gap in the news market that you could drive a KIA through-

    And uh, speaking of that- I've heard enough by now to see that we need to get some sort of fundraising drive going for you... and get you into a Volvo or Audi with like 16 airbags-

    Or at min. a lease through November 2012... more road-trip warrior episodes surely to come.

    Keep up the Good Fight, sir- smells like VICTORY!

  5. 1) 'blogger-activist': I don't like the term either; it reeks of Progressivism.

    2) Hunter S. was a very wise man in so many ways. It's satisfying to see that he has a worthy successor in you, Stace.

    3) That Ronald Reagan quote should be etched on the tablets of the Conservative Commandments.

    4) Your work in all of this deserves very high praise. You've been out there wearing down the shoe leather, being your usual relentless self, doing the grunt work. I think I speak for many when I tell you: we really appreciate everything you do for us and for the cause of what is good. I say 'Yea, Robert Stacy McCain'.

  6. Win Hoffman Win.

    Win Christie Win.

    Pick the race and help the best candidate win. It is really that simple.

  7. You left out folks at Big Government , Dana Loesch , and Roger Stone .

    Many things went into play before folks ever heard of Hoffman