Political Bloggers And The MSM

As one of the 8 bloggers recruited by KELO TV for their political blog section, a story about a similar blogging project involving my hometown paper caught my eye. Like KELO, the Cleveland Plain Dealer recruited several local bloggers to participate in a co-operative political blog sponsored by the newspaper. Now of course that isn’t something unique (thought the Plain Dealer bloggers are paid), what got my attention is what happened when one of the freelance bloggers, Jeff Coryell, who was critical of a local US House Member on his own blog and donated to his opponents during the 2006 elections was found to be on the Plain Dealer’s payroll, he was fired!

Today I was terminated from my engagement as a freelance blogger at the Cleveland.com blog “Wide Open” as a direct result of intervention of Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) of the 14th Ohio Congressional District, in retaliation for my previous blogging about his re-election campaign and my financial support for two of his election opponents.

Read the account from the blogger in question here.

I admit that Ohio and South Dakota are 2 completely different animals but this situation brings up a few questions. How would things shake out if a similar situation happened here? What if a local candidate like say Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for instance took umbrage with something one of us wrote either on our own or our KELO blog and made that displeasure known to the powers that be in the news department at the state’s most watched TV news outlet, how would they react? Of course we couldn’t be fired like the blogger in question as we aren’t actually employed by KELO but would they censor the post if it appeared on their site? Would they disassociate themselves with the person in question? Personally I don’t think they would as long as it wasn’t something totally over the top but who knows for sure?

The 2004 election was for the most part the beginning of an online revolution in regards to tools available to political campaigns and showed what bloggers could do during a campaign (just ask Tom Daschle and Thune operative and blogger Jon Lauck). The 2008 election appears to be taking that revolution to the next level by meshing blogs, at least on a limited basis, with the MSM. This partnership is a relatively new phenomenon that so far it isn’t working too well in Cleveland and only time will tell how it will work here in South Dakota. Either way it should be an interesting ride…

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Liberal Media?

Liberalism has taken over all mainstream media if you were to listen to some of the conservatives out there but apparently Clear Channel didn’t get that memo. One memo that is circulating among the various Clear Channel classic rocks stations though is dictating that they do not play any of the new songs from Bruce Springsteen’s latest album “Magic.

Bruce Springsteen should be very happy. He has the No. 1 album, a possible Grammy for Best Album of the Year for “Magic,” an album full of singles and a sold-out concert tour.

Alas, there’s a hitch: Radio will not play “Magic.” In fact, sources tell me that Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from “Magic.” But it’s OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born to Run” and “Born in the USA.”

Just no new songs by Springsteen, even though it’s likely many radio listeners already own the album and would like to hear it mixed in with the junk offered on radio.

Could it be because “The Boss” hasn’t been very friendly to the Republican cause and the right leaning Clear Channel just happens to be the home of the “Dittohead” network of the Rushman? That can’t be it, we all know radio stations have no interest in playing songs from the number 1 album in the country…

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I Guess Porn Isn't That Profitable

Lodgenet has been the target of quite a bit of controversy lately because certain conservative groups have been complaining about some of Lodgenet’s content being served to hotels across the country. The South Dakota Family Policy Council has gone so far as to call for a Justice Department investigation into what they call the “Nations Largest Provider of Hotel Hardcore Porn”.

Putting aside the difference between what the South Dakota Family Policy Council considers obscene versus much of the rest of the country, the main purpose many believed behind Lodgenet’s providing this type of entertainment was its profitability. The old adage that sex sells could be Lodgenet’s motto but if their recent revenue report is any indication, it doesn’t sell well enough.

LodgeNet reported a loss of $11.4 million, or 50 cents per share, for its third quarter of 2007. That’s compared to a net gain of $2.1 million, or 12 cents, during the same period last year.

Much of that loss can be attributed to their purchase of competitor On Command but even without those numbers factored in they still would have lost $3.5 million. No matter which figures you look at, leaders of groups like the South Dakota Family Policy Council are probably smiling ear to ear this morning because sex may still sell, but apparently not like it used to as far as Lodgnet is concerned.

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The Next Generation's Ronald Reagan

Unfortunately for the latest generation and those in the GOP that support him, it appears that it is the post Alzheimer’s Reagan. During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Fred Thompson was asked about a law set to take effect in that state on January 1st that would allow civil unions and whether he would support a federal law that would do the same…

“I’m proud to say that in January 2008 New Hampshire has passed a law facilitating civil unions here. … What is your belief for federal civil unions to be passed?” Paul asked.

“Soviet Union?” Thompson responded.

“No, civil unions,” Paul said.

“Oh. No, I would not be in support of that,” Thompson said.

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A Little Light Sunday Reading

Updated Below with new allegations (I use that term lightly).

As another “Lauckless” week goes by which included a weekend book signing in Sioux Falls, and as those on the right continue to go into to overload like a pack of wild dogs over the Argus Leader’s snubbing of the truly non-partisan (tongue firmly in cheek) South Dakota political book Daschle V. Thune, it’s business as usual at the Argus Leader. This weekend the Argus Leader editorial board turns their attention to the real issues facing South Dakotans, slogans on t-shirts and whether the newspaper should have mentioned them.

Last week Argus columnist Peter Harriman wrote a story about a popular hunting stop in Winner that included mention of a t-shirt with a certain slogan that could be taken a few different ways. The logo contained the phrase “I got my cock cleaned at Kooch’s” where Kooch’s happened to be the name of a pheasant cleaning business and ever since the paper has been getting slammed with letters and comments bashing them for printing such comments in such a “high class” paper

“I had no idea you had sixth graders working for you,” observed Spencer T. Kittelson. “The Argus Leader has reached a new high in low class.”


Betty Wagner characterized the word play as “disgusting” and “unbelievable.”

The Argus’ decision to mention the slogan with an obvious double meaning can surely be questioned, I personally found it quite funny but then again I was a sailor and everyone knows about us. But the fact that editor Randell Beck felt the need to devote a whole column to the story because of the outrage it caused could be carried over to the Jon Lauck book review snub controversy, or at least what some in the blogosphere consider a controversy.

The Argus does what it can to ensure it maintains readers and to this point the paper has pretty much ignored the “furor” other than a few mentions on their blog and a puff piece in their Life section which seems to tell me that they at least believe that their readers don’t really care.

Bloggers on the other hand have a clear bias, those that read blogs normally migrate to the one’s that write with the same slanted view that they have. I wonder if you get outside the few thousand South Dakotans that frequent the fine blogs in our state if the rest of the population even knows about Lauck’s book and if they do, do they really care? Readers of Sibby or the SDWC will notice whether or not the Argus reviews the book because they already have a preconception of the events in the book, tie that to the percieved left wing bias of the Argus and voila, instant controversy.

Lauck spent his days during that fateful election ripping the Argus and Dave Kranz and that fact alone makes the silence from the Argus a controversy of blogospheric proportions. Does the Argus care? It is apparent they don’t and if you ask the average South Dakotan you will probably discover that they don’t care either. At least though it does give us bloggers something to write about in the down time between real political stories.

UPDATE: Ok this is good, well known “investigative blogger” (as long as it is in WorldNetDaily and can be cut and pasted into his blog) Sibby has sources that are telling him that the Argus’ Dave Kranz twice contacted Barnes and Noble and requested they not carry Lauck’s book. Somehow I think that even the National Enquirer would have a hard time going to press with Sibby’s anonymous sources and they had no problem going with the now debunked Edward’s affair story.

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Politically Correct Goes To College

Fighting Sioux MascotThe NCAA’s fight with the University of North Dakota over their mascot has been settled finally, in a court of law. The university has agreed to get tribal approval to use the “Fighting Sioux” nickname and mascot or be forced to change it if that approval isn’t given within the next 3 years. Why is this in court you might be asking? Did the local Sioux tribes ask the NCAA to get involved on their behalf? The answer to that question is no. It is actually the NCAA deciding that all Native American nicknames and imagery are offensive and have no place in college athletics. In fact the court decision and subsequent 3 year timetable seems to be more of an issue to the tribes involved than the mascot and nickname does.

North Dakota tribal officials have said the three-year period allowed in the settlement unfairly puts pressure on them.

Chief WahooNot being of Native American decent myself I might not have the same perspective as American Indians do but the UND mascot represents to me more of the long and proud Native American history unlike some of the other mascots and images that are prominent these days such as Chief Wahoo of Cleveland Indian fame. I look at this more as the NCAA doing what they do best, taking things to the extreme, sort of throwing the baby out with the bath water, and going after all 18 universities that used American Indian imagery instead of focusing on those that caused concerns with the local tribes.

Fighting IrishSo now the State of North Dakota is out around $2 million in legal fees and the Devils Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes are in the unenviable position of being forced to determine the fate of a popular mascot that they for the most part never had any serious issue with. Throw in the costs that would be associated with the university possibly having to change 10’s of thousands of logos throughout the campus and you have the NCAA doing more harm than good as usual.

What’s next on the NCAA’s PC crusade? The little green Irish guy with fists raised that is the mascot for the University of Notre Dame could possibly offend some American’s of Irish decent such as myself, will that be the next image on the NCAA’s hit list? Apparently they have nothing else to worry about…

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24 Season 7 First Look

One of my favorite TV shows is still a few month’s away from it’s season premiere but for those looking forward to Season 7 of 24, here is a trailer.

I do have an issue with one thing I see, it appears Tony Almeida has miraculously returned from the dead ala Bobby’s return on Dallas only on 24’s version, Tony doesn’t take up where he left off. And for those looking to draw parallels between 24 and world events, get over it! It’s a TV show, just sit back and enjoy.

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Think Twice Before Sending Your Kids To College

Thats the message being touted by the conservative front group Family Security Matters. According to their recently released list of the 10 Most Dangerous Organizations in America, our colleges and universities are the 2nd most dangerous organizations in our country only beat out by that horrific group working for media standards and fairness, Media Matters for America.

2) Universities and Colleges

Anyone familiar with my column at Family Security Matters knows my thoughts on the Left’s stranglehold on American colleges and universities. Unfortunately, many professors use the various organizations on this list as a part of their curriculum, often selectively ignoring facts that don’t support their far-Left agenda.

Other’s making the grade (or missing it depending on your perspective) include:

10. ThinkProgress
9. Muslim Student Association
8. CodePINK
7. American Civil Liberties Union, National
6. Family Research Council
5. Center for American Progress
4. League of the South
3. MoveOn.org

I guess it’s time to scrap my college funds and start looking at trade schools for my kids…

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California Fires Caused By Global Warming? Or Is It Al Qaeda…

First Harry Reid says that the California wildfires can be attributed to global warming.

As you know, one reason that we have the fires burning in Southern California is global warming. One reason the Colorado Basin is going dry is because of global warming.

Then soon thereafter in the same interview he said it wasn’t.

Question: Senator, on the California fires, you said that the reason the fires are burning in California is global warming?

Reid: No. Here’s what I – I didn’t say the reason the fires were burning in Southern California was global warming…

Ok, so Reid has no idea what he is talking about which is seemingly a more common occurrence these days, what about the MSM? Well if you listen to Faux News, the California wildfires are actually a result of an Al Qaeda terrorist attack.

This morning on Fox News, hosts of the show Fox and Friends blamed the wildfires in California on a new culprit: al Qaeda. They pointed to a 2003 FBI memo, which raised the possibility that al Qaeda may try to set wildfires around the western United States. They also noted that men in a “hovering helicopter” saw “a guy starting one of these fires.”

It is apparent that no one is sure yet what caused the fires but it is real easy to see the agendas of those trying. One thing is for sure though. Bush’s 2 front war in Afghanistan and Iraq is making it harder for firefighters to get the wildfires under control.

In California, half of the equipment the National Guard needs is not in the state, either because it is deployed in Iraq or other parts of the world or because it hasn’t been funded, according to Lt. Col. John Siepmann. While the Guard is in good shape to handle small-scale incidents, “our concern is a catastrophic event,” he said.

“You would see a less effective response (to a major incident),” he said.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also acknowledged the National Guard’s equipment woes and attributed them to the war. National Guard policy has required that much of the equipment that goes with units to Iraq stays there.

Adding to the equipment woes facing those fighting the fire mentioned above, the fact that California is also short 1500 guardsmen whom are currently serving in Iraq and you have a recipe for disaster.

(HT: Think Progress)

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