Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

April 27, 2004

by J

Kerry and Imus

When I asked for topics to comment on, since I'm feeling so uninspired, Kevin suggested this story in the comments thread. Someone's piqued that Kerry won't denounce Imus for being insensitive even though his web staff delinked and disassociated from Kos for being insensitive. To the contrary, Kerry apparently seems to like to hang out on Imus' show.

This is exactly why I was so deeply annoyed by the delinking decision. It was thoughtless and shortsighted and now, as predicted, anytime someone wants to kick up a fuss they can find someone Kerry's talked to who's said something offensive and say: "Why won't you denounce OffensivePerson#4529 the way you denounced Kos?" It was stupid, stupid, stupid of them to delink Kos the way they did. They'll reap what they've sown.
Posted by J at April 27, 2004 08:25 PM

This is why I have to laugh about the fact that the Kerry blog still links to Scripting News. 'Cause it's not like Dave, y'know, never says anything that someone might find inflammatory.

Posted by: Dori at April 27, 2004 08:52 PM

I know. Don't get me started on Winer. I find the less attention I pay to him, the better.

The list of weblogs in the Kerry blog sidebar is... eclectic to say the least.

Posted by: J at April 27, 2004 08:58 PM

I was at Bloggercon and part of the Blogging the President session. I thought the Kos Delinking by Kerry was dumb too; my point in writing up the Imus angle was to highlight this (the guy who runs the Kerry Blog was that Blogging the President session).

One way to look at it is that Kos produced the first "Sister Souljah moment" in the Blogosphere. Kerry was putting Bloggers on notice that if they crossed a certain line they would be axed; a pre-emptive strike if you will.

Posted by: Robert Cox at April 28, 2004 05:45 PM

I will withhold my comments about BloggerCon and I think so-called Sister Souljah moments are over-rated, but I have to respond to this:

Kerry was putting Bloggers on notice that if they crossed a certain line they would be axed; a pre-emptive strike if you will.

First, I don't think Kerry himself had anything to do with this; I still suspect it was his paranoid blog team.

Second, there is no well-defined line that results from this -- there is most certainly crap on some of the sites in the Kerry sidebar that is well beyond offensive, and definitely more outrageous than Kos' comment. There is no standard being applied here. It was completely arbitrary, as is evidenced by who they have not delinked.

Perhaps the Kerry people should write up their 'policy' on what line webloggers (who are citizens actively participating in a vibrant discourse) must not cross in order to be considered "appropriate" for the Kerry blog sidebar. I bet they can't come up with anything consistent.

It was a poor and ill-thought-through action. Foolish, really.

Posted by: J at April 28, 2004 09:12 PM

I gotta second J on this. The KOS/Imus thing doesn't reveal anything good or positive about the Kerry Blog.

It seems to me that the KOS delinking was driven by paranoia about perceptions by the Kerry team. While that's an understandable motive, it's also symptomatic of a campaign team that's more comfortable defending then going on the offensive. Kerry will lose in November if he and his team can't find a way to be more comfortable being on the offensive... or, "framing the issues", as Todd from the former Dean Independents blog would say.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at April 29, 2004 12:06 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
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The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
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Blinded by the Right
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