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WSJ: Candidates Have Tamed The Blogs

In an article that is about 50% amusing and 50% complete BS, the Wall Street Journal’s Lee Gomes takes a look at candidate use of the Internet (subscription required). It’s disguised as a piece of “reporting” but yet he apparently didn’t talk to a single online strategist from either party to confirm his argument that today’s candidates have mastered this web thing.

Today’s campaign Web sites are evolving into complete portals about the candidates. In addition to the appeal for money and candidate bio, you’ll find pictures, videos and social networks. More often than not, a candidate’s site will even include links to outside news articles about the campaign, or at least those that don’t put it in a bad light…

As candidates deal with the Web, they will start to learn that many Web users have an extremely high opinion of themselves and the online lifestyle they are now leading. Last week, Joe Biden responded via a Webcam to a question posed to him via YouTube. The response was called “a milestone in presidential politics” by one blogger, as though it marked the first time a candidate had ever been asked a question by a citizen.

The rest of the article is full of similar fluff. It’s pretty ridiculous actually. The worst of it is probably this passage:

The [Vote Different] ad came to the attention of political reporters (them again) as well as the Drudge Report and as a result, millions saw it. So now there is a new concern: that the Web will be home to similar kinds of video hit pieces for which no one will claim sponsorship.

But I think we’ll be OK. Someone, somewhere always manages to smoke these things out.

Oh, I see. It was because of political reporters that millions saw it. What would we ever do without them? Bloggers had been talking about this thing for more than a week before the media took notice. It’s a good thing the God-given powers of MSM came to shed light on this for the ignorant masses. What I find more appalling is his disregard for the fact that it was those same bloggers with “high opinions of themselves” that did the “smoking out”.

Written by Michael Turk