While reading some coverage of the California Democratic Convention this weekend, I caught this article in the Chronicle by Carla Marinucci about the role of “bloggers” at the convention.
I would love to attended since this is probably going to be one of the few “good” conventions to attend, but I just couldn’t justify the expense when I’ve got more important things to do than run around with political types who chatter on about how “great” their candidate is.
However, Marinucci’s article was notable for one thing -it exposed just how terrified poltical consultants are of emerging media and technology. When we get to the point where smart, articulate people can put together on their own the media you used to have to spend thousands of dollars on expensive political consultants with lots of specialized equipment and personnel, that’s about the time people start to wonder why it is we need “political consultants” in the first place.
Plus, when you consider the vast difference in sophistication, execution, design, and concept of advertising by mainstream American companies vs. the dull, cheap-looking ads of political campaigns, you start to wonder – why are people paying for advice that’s so 1980s?
That’s why “consultants” have to do what they can (just like mainstream media) to malign and stereotype citizen media. They, like the newspapers, are desperately trying to protect a monopoly-driven marketplace that has only a few people in control, and regard you as nothing more than a consumer of what they decide is best for you. For an example of this kind of nonsense, check out this quote from Ms. Marinucci’s story:
But one key state Democratic strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymitybecause of concern for riling the netroots crowd, warns that such efforts are potentially positive and negative.
Netroots commentary can frequently be intensely personal, even “totally mean and irrational,” the strategist said, with some bloggers finding power in their ability “to assassinate political characters online.”
“It’s amplified by the anonymity, and it can be scary that it’s so irresponsible,” the insider said. “And it’s pulling the mainstream media in that direction.”
In other words, this “consultant” is engaging in the kinds of things he alleges “all” bloggers do. Even though most people of any repute sign their names, and there is genuine anger and distrust of the media, the Highly Paid Democrat Consultant Way of Doing Things, and more that people want to talk about . Plus, how is it any better when political consultants get their clients to raise millions of special interest dollars for negative hit pieces and tv spots? Hmmm?
It’s nothing new – these conversations have gone on for years. Now, people can talk to others around the world and organize themselves and succeed. And THAT has the well-paid, 20th Century political class scared, because they have no idea what to do, besides, well use the cover of anonymity to engage in character assassination!