DNC’s blogging screwup

DNC’s blogging screwup

: Here’s the latest on the DNC’s blogging screwup, in which bloggers were invited and then uninvited (background here): The DNC posts a mealy-mouthed, excuse-riddled, and not altogether credible explanation about the mess.

Bottom line: The DNC screwed up. Big time. They took an opportunity to be the party of the people and transparency and vision and in one swoop became the party of screwups. Nice going, dorks.

The solution is worse than the problem: disinviting bloggers is downright stupid. You should reinivite them. Tell them you ran out of hotel rooms, OK; they’re bloggers; they’ll cope. But now, left out of the party, they will only snipe… and with damned good cause.

And if the RNC has an ounce of sense, which they do, they’ll invite all those disinvited bloggers to their convention. That’ll be great PR, eh, guys?

I’d say this in the comments on the DNC blog… if they allowed comments. What are you afraid of, guys?

If I had applied to go to the convention and had gotten credentials, I would now be threatening to stay away unless the uninvited bloggers were reinvited. Even news organizations — snakey as they can be — would stand together on such principle. So should we bloggers. So I think some of the bloggers who are going should threaten to stay home until those disinvited bloggers are reinvited.

: UPDATE: The story is seeping into mainstream media. CBS Marketwatch just reported on it.

: I won’t buy any excuses from the DNC until I see complete lists of:

1. Bloggers invited

2. Bloggers not invited

3. Bloggers disinvited.

Until then, we cannot know whether this was a matter of slant or space.

We demand transparency. That’s what bloggers do. And we bloggers should be standing together to demand this information — and also to demand that the DNC reinvite the disinvited bloggers. They wouldn’t dare treat mainstream press that way. How dare they treat citizen journalists that way?

And it doesn’t really matter what the cause is. Having f’ed up this badly, the thing to do is to fix it by inviting all the disinvited bloggers to assure that there is no exclusion on any basis and also to reveal the complete lists of bloggers so we can judge the DNC’s process.

: And, by the way, the reason I don’t buy the excuses from the DNC: The number of applicants has nothing to do with the space available. Surely, they sat down at the beginning and decided how many they could let in and what the criteria were. Simple logic.

I just watched a Kerry/Edwards event on WNBC, where the campaign people kept old Gabe Pressman from interviewing ladies in the audience and asked Gabe to turn his camera off. He refused. Good for Gabe. Bad for them.

Transparency, people, transparency! This is the age of transparency.

Let me add that I’m saying all this because I want the party do it this right. It’s a tragedy to muff it up.

  • Cog

    I want to be invited just so I can ridicule Michael Moore and Kos.
    Someone needs to start a movement to take back the Democratic party from the freaks.
    But I still can not wrap my head around Kerry’s “war crimes” statement after Vietnam. I probably going to write in either Clinton, McCain, Blair, or Elvis at this juncture.
    If Bush fires Cheney and replaces him with a block of concrete he will have my vote.

  • Sigh

    Jeff – so you don’t think it was a logistics screwup. So what’s your theory as to why they had to disinvite some bloggers?

  • Sheesh, they made a mistake and apologized for it the very next day. You seem to have some axe to grind against the DNC.

  • Gotta agree, Jeff, you’re off base. Time-pressed planning for a huge event is bound to have some errors, like overcounting or undercounting for stuff. Ascribing malice to error is unfair.
    And if the RNC did get around to inviting *any* bloggers, it would only be because the DNC took the first step. Don’t they deserve some credit for that?
    Finally, what are they afraid of in allowing comments? Well, how ’bout getting slammed unfairly the same way MoveOn (and later Kerry) were for the stupid “Hitler” ads? All it takes is one determined commenter to say some stupid thing, or even an anti-Kerry plant to say something deliberately offensive, and the press will say “DNC Website filled with hate speech!”
    Blame lazy reporting for an unwillingness to allow comments.

  • a reader

    “You’re off base.”
    No. It’s one thing to make an error. It’s another entirely to handle it so poorly.
    “All it takes is one determined commenter to say some stupid thing”
    The annointed invitees will say stupid things, but they won’t be “corrected” by the Washington Post. If there were the once-promised diversity in real-people reportage, then an inaccurate observation would be corrected by their peers.
    And cut out the “unfair to MoveOn’s Hitler ads” drivel… MoveOn did not condemn it, the Democratic power structure did not condemn it, mainstream media did not correct it. It was *publicized* until the majority called them on it, and only then did we see the “ooh, no fair, we didn’t *really* spread that idea” plausible-deniability crap.
    SixApart dealt honestly and transparently with their public problem. Those who wish to be Moral Leaders Of The World should do the same.

  • Jeff’s right to be upset. They don’t have room for the bloggers they invited? Well, assuming that even makes sense, the obvious answer to the problem is to make room. How much space does a blogger need, for heaven’s sake? Heck, they could even have offered the overflow bloggers space elsewhere in the facility, or maybe outside the convention itself to act as at-large representatives. Uninviting them is just rude and stupid.

  • Mork

    What self-important nonsense!
    Why on earth should the DNC invite people who they know would only be going along to publicly parade their scorn for the proceedings?
    So, they’re being disingenuous about what, exactly, their initial screw-up was. But if what they’re doing is accrediting sympathetic bloggers and not unsympathetic ones, then good luck to them. It shows they have at least half a brain.
    Overwhelmingly, the excluded bloggers don’t pass any test of quality writing, they have no commitment to fairness and they don’t have a sufficiently large or important audience to make their inclusion worthwhile.
    So why should the DNC invite them?

  • I’m with Jeff. That excuse is pure BS. Considering the intense security concerns surrounding this year’s convention, they knew going in exactly how many bloggers were going to be allowed in the hall. They had a finite allocation of seats, and because they are such disorganized knuckleheads, they pulled a Delta Airlines and oversold those seats. Only problem is, there ain’t no following flight.
    If they had just collected all the applications, did their security vetting to weed out perceived risky characters, checked the applicants traffic numbers, and ran a blind lottery of the applicants who made the traffic grade, I would have been impressed. That would have been as transparent as you could get.
    But until someone can point out a couple of “major” lefty bloggers who got disinvited, I’ll believe they checked out the content of all the bloggers they invited before sending out those disinvitations.

  • Why on earth should the DNC invite people who they know would only be going along to publicly parade their scorn for the proceedings?
    Mork, wouldn’t FOX News fit that assesment? If they were refused entry, the rest of the media would immediately revolt in fear of being tagged as accomplices in such censorship.
    Overwhelmingly, the excluded bloggers don’t pass any test of quality writing, …
    Bill at INDC Journal’s photojourno blogging skills can bury damn near anyone working that vein when it comes to sheer chops.

  • Jeff, you’re spot-on. We should be standing together, and those who have been invited should threaten to stay away until those invitations have been re-instated.
    What I think is hilarious here is the excuse made of there not being sufficient accomodations. Don’t the know who bloggers are? We fucking care about the issues, not the perks. Give me an electrical outlet and tell me to sit in the aisle near a drunken delegation from California; I’ll be okay. Give me a city to be in, and I’ll find an old college friend’s couch to crash on; I’ll be okay. Just let me write, let me in, and give me access; press accomodations are for sell-outs.

  • This whole business is yet another example of the struggle between new media and old. From where I sit, the thing that strikes most is how you and others are trying to spread the unwritten rules of blogging (transparency, interactivity, etc.) to such staid institutions as the press and politics. It’s really quite extraordinary — if you can stand back and see it — because the light threatens to throw open the curtain on every institution in America. Such is the power of an energized echo chamber.

  • jeremy

    So why should the DNC invite them?
    Frankly, that’s really up to them to decide whether they’re going to screen coverage to only sympathetic people (although I think it’s a bad idea, that’s up to them).
    However, that’s not the question. This about people being disinvited, some after they had already made travel arrangements carrying terminaiton fees, etc. That’s just classless (as disinvitations generally are) and stupid, give that it turns the publicity from “revolutionary – bloggers invited!” to, well, the story that we’re all discussing right now.

  • There is no first-to-market here. it only happens that the DNC convention occurs first. Both are doing it. RNC is waiting to see what the DNC did wrong, and they will correct it. I have applied to the RNC… so we’ll see.

  • shark

    They took an opportunity to be the party of the people
    They passed up that chance a long time ago. That Kerrt campaign sure is lilly-white, isn’t it?
    Anyway, it doesn’t matter. According to Kerry, he just doesn’t have time to fight the war on terror…

  • David Mercer

    They’re getting boatloads of pulic money (aka OUR TAX DOLLARS!!!!) to throw the damned thing, and they BETTER grant press credentials to bloggers on both sides of the aisle, otherwise they might have a nifty equal protection-type suit on their hands. Or some silly FEC violation filed, or similar.
    And yeah, this lacks class so deeply it’s shameful.

  • a reader

    “Why on earth should the DNC invite people who they know would only be going along to publicly parade their scorn for the proceedings?”
    Sigh… this is why the term “anti-idiotarian” was invented.
    Mork, read the damn thing before opening your yap. The DNC invited people and later retracted certain invitations, and Jeff is asking the DNC to just SAY WHOSE INVITATIONS THEY FINALLY ACCEPTED AND WHOSE THEY REJECTED. Until the list comes out the only people who can believe in the DNC are the true believers, vapid and moralistic as they are. If the DNC told their full story that would get rid of the issue, but they’re screwing up the handling of the public problem.
    “Overwhelmingly, the excluded bloggers don’t pass any test of quality writing”
    Oh, excuse me, I didn’t recognize you at first, Mr. God, sir.

  • The Dems are afraid of anyone spoiling the carfully crafted sound lies. I tried to comment on John Kerry’s blog a while ago and never managed to get through all the hoops. I suspect it was because they were censoring the comments.

  • If the standard for inviting those who cover the conventions is that only those who will toe the party line are invited, then of what use is any of the coverage?
    Better yet, let’s just run reprints of the DNC press releases and call it “news”…
    That whole point of view is just utterly ridiculous.
    If the RNC were to hold those who will cover their convention to such a ludicrous standard then the closest the NYT, CBS, NBC, and ABC will get to covering their convention will be somewhere just on the other side of the Bronx…But of course those who think that the DNC should exclude those outside the echo chamber would scream bloody murder if that were to happen, wouldn’t they?
    But it wouldn’t be hypocrisy at all if the partisans did that would they? Not by their double standards it wouldn’t….
    The Kerry campaign and the DNC have stumbled from one ineptitude to the next, benefiting only from the blind hatred of Bush by uber-partisans to stay even close to the path to electoral success. That they dropped the ball on yet another item shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s actually been paying attention to the campaign thus far…

  • verplanck colvin

    Wow, someone tried something new, and it didn’t work out quite right, so they had to correct it.
    Stop your bellyaching and be glad they were invited at all.

  • If I thought there was an ideological purge of right leaning bloggers, I would consider Jeff’s advice. As it is, I don’t think there was such going on.
    Rob Galgano of The Great Leap Forward is one left-leaning blogger who was also credentialed, then disinvited. He got the same form letter with the same excuse language.
    More intriguing, perhaps, is that Oxblog, generally described as right of center, reports receiving (on July 8th, that’s yesterday) “a very nice call from the DNC, saying very kind words about our blog and inviting us to cover the Boston convention as an accredited blogger.” Not accepting, but inviting. So they’re Boston Bound.
    I asked Eric Schnure if the DNCC was considering the option of reversing the reversal to the two known conservative blogs, without changing its explanation, but simply to avoid the impression of… etc. I didn’t get an answer yet, though I asked twice.
    That said, the trasparency test was flunked big time and is still being flunked. No list, and so even a curious journalist in Portland who wants to give the DNC decent publicity by writing a first-ever story about bloggers going to Boston cannot find out if a local blogger has credentials. This is a mishandled press matter, in a larger sense than the screw-ups with invites.
    But what’s the most likely cause? A scrambling, over-stressed, over-bureaucratized operation, as Anil and others said. Screw ups happen every hour.
    But Eric of the DNCC said something I found interesting: “Without notifying the people involved, we do not announce the names of those who have applied for–or received–credentials (that goes for traditional media and bloggers). I don’t know if a convention ever has.”
    Exactly. The bloggers bring something with them beyond their laptops, links and posts, and I think it can be described as a kind of Internet openness, or the demand for such, or maybe it comes in as a controversy about openness, or an exposure of where transparency fails, or just a bunch of decisions that people aren’t used to making.

  • Suggestion: Dems want to show how Internet hip they really are, as they blaze the path to our PolPeopleCom future? Why not select 2 Right bloggers, 2 Left Bloggers, 2 Centrists and pick the rest from a potluck raffle? Be nice. Accommodate them. Maybe even bed and board. (Any Hollywood heavy could foot the bill in a blink of the eye)Say sorry for previous screw-ups. Now here is what we are REALLY about!
    Just a suggestion.

  • Bill

    That the Democrats are being taken seriously at all is only due to the now-kicked-off-and-growing fawning news media coverage, with an unprecented double standard of complicity. Kerry already went into the personal gutter on appearance (We’ve got better hair!?).
    And the fund-raiser last night marks a new low for modern politics. As various celebrities attacked on the lowest levels of human decency, including personal insults and anatomical references, Kerry and Edwards laughed and said nothing. At a high-level fund-raiser attended by the candidates! I can’t even believe these two could end up in power. So there’s your “American Values” for the Democratic campaign, folks.
    Anybody but Bush?

  • Kim

    Good Heavens! Are you not bloggers? Put up your invite and your uninvited letters and a paypal button. Go anyway! Raise a stink on their doorstep. Get up your Irish! Blog it. Invited bloggers should link it. Aren’t some of the uninvited supposed to be liberals? Jeff is right, whatever happened to a good old fashioned protest? Instead of being reporters, be the story and report it. Sheez.

  • It may be perfectly true that John-John at “high-class” fund-raisers are getting hairy and even winking as high-profile team members dip into toilet humor, but if Abu Ghraib media give them a pass on it, who is really going to say ‘Whoa’? Probably not the Florida felons who ACLU et al aim to get back on the voter rolls.

  • blah

    Didn’t get an invite, eh, Jeff?

  • Michael

    Getting a bit hysterical aren’t you? The “lowest levels of human decency”? You’d think they were sticking pins in Voodoo dolls or worse. All they did was crack some jokes about Bush/Cheney

  • wouldn’t FOX News fit that assesment? If they were refused entry, the rest of the media would immediately revolt in fear of being tagged as accomplices in such censorship.
    You sure? I’ve seen an awful lot of “we’re-not-like-THEM” separation from Fox News in most of the media. The one that stands out is John Carroll’s speech a couple three months ago, but he’s not the only one who’s said things like that, and it can easily be seen as a delegitimization campaign against this media outlet. Go far enough down that path and I don’t think other media outlets would make a peep about excluding Fox, because they wouldn’t feel threatened by it.

  • Michael

    You Bush/Cheney fanatics never cease to amuse me. “Toilet humor”? How about, “Go fuck yourself,” a la Cheney — what

  • onecent

    You are boring too. Your stylized edgy prose shtick is getting old, man. Your recurring insults to other posters…..“you must be bald, right?”…..marks you as another smirking one-line wonder like Angelos.

  • Bill

    It’s gutter politics. No substance, low style. Scatological by proxy. And such remarks done at a campaign function, after which Kerry identified, but then later aides had to back away from, bears no comparison to a face-to-face confrontation ala Cheney. And he faced up to saying it and did not apologize.
    Hey dude I can cuss with the best or worst of them. There are times and places for such things. If you guys want to get dirty because you think that is the only way you can win, then do it. But don’t turn around and say that it represents “the heart and soul of America” politics.

  • jaed:
    It’s the old, “I may not agree with what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it.”
    If the DNC did it to FOX the rest of the media would scream, whether they like FOX or not, because the precedent would be set and next time, next event, it could be any one of them left out in the cold at some major event because something they had done pissed someone off.

  • Clay Butcher

    I got de-credentialed and am pissed about it. How much space would a guy and his laptop take up? The excuse is a joke and they should reinvite everyone.

  • Paul Zrimsek

    Time-pressed planning for a huge event is bound to have some errors, like overcounting or undercounting for stuff.
    Clipped and saved for future reference. This “huge event” is a minuscule event compared to the occupation of Iraq.

  • Dexter Westbrook

    One thing in defense of the DNC: The bloggers who are getting space are inside the Fleet Center itself. Most of the press is in tents and other space outside the building, and has to pass through security to get in.

  • bibber

    At least their screw up didn’t kill anyone. But, neocons always overlook that.

  • Just a thought about the actual convention logistics… I’ve been to a couple demo conventions, and like everything, the real action is at the edges, and the floor is often only half full. Also, there are people with passes for all the days that only come for part, or spend their time in meetings. It seems to me that the DNC should just give the disinvited bloggers the passes, because there will be room.

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