In an earlier post I mentioned this Politico article. Here are some excerpts:
Unflattering videos of senators trying to explain their votes have gone viral on the Internet, including one of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) swatting away a hand-held video camera held by a liberal blogger questioning his vote against the amendment.
Privately, GOP sources acknowledge that they failed to anticipate the political consequences of a “no” vote on the amendment.
It has circulated a Web video that used a clip from Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to target three senators who face reelection in 2010: Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Jim DeMint of South Carolina.
“I think the whole purpose of that amendment in my opinion was to create a vote which they could use to attack Republicans,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who was himself confronted by a liberal blogger with a video camera questioning his vote.
First, here are my videos for those of you trying to track them down…
But I think it’s worth saying a few words about this as well…
Why did Republicans miscalculate? Could it possibly be because they felt confident that there wouldn’t be any media around to hold them accountable? God knows that outside the blogosphere, this is the first “mainstream” news story I’ve seen on the topic. Kudos to Politico for covering this, but where were they after the vote was cast?
Would this be a story without my videos? After all, they mention three of my videos in their story.
Why didn’t they link to this “liberal blogger”? I’m not one to bash the Politico (too much) because I think they do a fairly decent job of covering the Hill and they are a critical resource for me. But hell, don’t they think their readers would have wanted to see these “viral” videos? Don’t they think their readers might like to know where to find more work in a similar vein?
Finally, a word about the “elitism” I spoke of in my previous post. This demonstrates what I mean vividly.
Here I am, wearing out my shoe-leather trying to get a story. And I’ve been doing this for several months now.
In an effort to increase my ability to do this kind of reporting, I’ve exchanged contact information with several Democratic Press Secretaries. I’ve explained that I am a progressive news service and that my goal is to quench a thirst for timely progressive news… that it’s not enough to complain about Fox, Nedra Pickler, John Solomen or an inability to get your message out… that growing a progressive media requires cooperation from the news-makers that want to see the progressive media grow…
Perhaps I’m too impatient… But the truth is that I’m having a really difficult time getting my calls returned from most offices.
That’s something I’d understand if my web videos hadn’t been viewed nearly 500,000 times. But hell, it’s clear my work is reaching people, so it’s difficult for me not to see a certain form of elitism in the Democratic communications establishment.
I’m fairly certain that staid and “safe” publications like The Politico have no trouble getting their calls returned. You return the calls of the folks you see at black-tie dinners; sneaker-wearing bloggers… not so much.
I’m an optimist. I know things will change over time… But you’d think these folks would be eager to see a more responsible and responsive media covering stories that build the progressive narrative.