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A New Source Of Energy

04 June 2010 @ 08:28

No…I haven’t made a breakthrough in figuring out how to harness Leftist hot air to solve our dependency on oil….I wish I had ’cause there’s so much out there these days.

Over at The Other McCain, Stacy McCain has used an incident that occurred in the House race in Georgia-4 to make some more general points about the potential energy that’s waiting to be tapped in the New Media.

Some background, with links, from Stacy:

Readers may remember the headline here Wednesday morning:

Obama-Endorsed Rep. Hank Johnson
to Participate in Segregated Forum?

It was Dan Riehl who tipped me to that story, which originated with a Facebook post from Republican congressional candidate Liz Carter, who had been excluded from an Atlanta political event, the Newsmakers Live forum.

Da Tech Guy jumped on the story and started making calls, and the story was quickly picked up by Georgia blogger Obi’s Sister, by Pete Randall at Peach Pundit, by Red State (with a cross-post at Minority Report) and by Melissa Clouthier at Liberty Pundits.

The denouement? Liz Carter was included in the forum — at the insistence of Johnson’s Democratic primary rivals — and Johnson himself had a mysterious “schedule conflict” that prevented him from attending….

The story was picked up eventually by several major news organizations including CBS and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Congrats to Candidate Carter and her people, and the bloggers and folks on Twitter who passed the story around.

Stacy then goes on to point out three general lessons that we can take away from this incident [summary by me]: (1) seemingly small stories can become big news, ones that normally wouldn’t get wide coverage, because of the New Media; (2) if enough heat is generated by bloggers and the Twitterati, the Old Media will feel obligated to cover a story they had been giving the cold shoulder to; and (3) I’ll let Stacy explain:

The blogosphere is a collaborative medium — As I like to say, “No blog is an island.” The ideal blog story is one where everyone pitches in, contributes what they can, and links together to form a network. On this story, Da Tech Guy played a key role by picking up the phone and calling people until he got some answers. Getting the story linked at Peach Pundit was important, because Georgia political reporters pay attention to that site. My chief contribution was probably to put “Obama” and “segregated” together in a headline, an attention-getter that highlighted (a) the national implications and (b) the man-bites-dog angle. The point is, everybody did their small part and — in Army of Davids fashion — it added up.

Indeed it did and had the positive effect of not letting some scurvy Establishment types get away with their unseemly shenanigans.

Stacy is spot-on when he concludes:

…The story of Liz Carter and the Newsmakers Live forum is a good lesson.

It is, but I would like to mention one aspect of the story that he did not include in his lesson plan: the bloggers and Twitterati involved conducted themselves in an ethical manner [especially DaTechguy].

With the positive power that the New Media enjoys comes a serious responsibility to conduct oneself in a very proper way.  Before the ‘Publish’ button is hit on a posting where you assert certain things as fact, you have to make sure that you’ve verified, to the best of your ability, that it is fact.  There’s nothing wrong with speculation — that’s analysis and it’s what we do — but it must always be clearly labeled as such.  You can’t be cute and word things so that they are able to be easily interpreted as truthful when you lack the sufficient proof that they are — that’s being ‘too cute by half’, that’s being deceitful.  You may get away with such behavior for a while, but eventually a Dan Riehl or Stacy McCain will suss-out your dishonesty and your reputation will end up lying in ruins, floating through The Ether like a glob of oil in The Gulf Of Mexico.  And you will do your cause no good at all, especially if you’re on the Right, because the Left is just sitting there waiting to tar the whole of the Right with the shame of the transgressions of one member.  There’s a lot of good we can do, as Stacy has made clear in his posting, but, at the same time, there’s a lot of damage we can do, as well.

  1. Adrienne permalink
    04 June 2010 @ 09:45 09:45

    Good work! I particularly like the part about vetting before you hit publish. I have seen so many stories go viral that were not true. When I read something that doesn’t sound right, I do some major poking around and in many cases just ignore the whole thing.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      04 June 2010 @ 09:48 09:48

      Me too. That’s why there are often big gaps between my postings – I hear a story and bravely head off into The Ether [for duty and humanity!] to investigate. My reputation is on the line with each word I publish.

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