The White House hosted a blogger conference call to discuss the issues surrounding the Bush administration’s use of executive privilege in the probe of the firings of eight federal prosecutors. The White House arranged the call based on a recommendation by this blog, in order to familiarize the blogosphere with the legal and political arguments on which the administration will rely to prevail in the upcoming fight regarding the contempt citations Congress seems likely to approve.
Old Mantra: Blogs are a breath of fresh air because we are independent and can fact check your asses, and can work to defuse the spin of the liberal mainstream media.
New Mantra: Blogs are great because we can willingly serve as part of the Bush Administration’s propaganda apparatus.
Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. At least people are no longer pretending to have a shred of integrity and independence. Hacks.
*** Update ***
In the comments, Rick Moran writes:
My phone just rang. Howard Dean was on the line. I got a heads-up from Laura at the DNC about an hour ago. It was a great conversation. He explained the Dems new fundraising venture, Democracy Bonds, which launched this morning.
He wasn’t calling to ask for a personal donation. He was calling to say he’s excited about the new programs and website. We talked about Democratic values, and how we have to get the message out that we, not the Republicans, are the party of values. I completely agree with the Governor that we need to become known again for what we stand for.
Love the independence of the blogosphere, don’t you?
Before the stupid gets too far out of hand, let us note one thing. There is a substantive difference between bloggers working with parties in regards to advocacy and pursuing electoral issues, and an administration issuing talking points to bloggers to assist in blocking investigations into alleged criminal wrongdoings.
Really, this isn’t rocket science. I have no problem with bloggers organizing and meeting with the RNC and the DNC and whoever else to pursue legitimate political goals. I frown on bloggers coordinating to engage in spin brigades to cover-up alleged wrongdoings. Pretending they are the same thing is hack-fu (to borrow a term) of the first order.
Since I know the target audience is not susceptible to mere logic (not talking about Rick personally, but others on his side of the aisle), let me make it simpler. Do you have a problem with the President Hillary Clinton’s staff calling DKOS and ThinkProgress and whoever else in the spring of 2010 to work on election strategies for the mid-term? Of course you would not.
Do you have a problem with President Hillary Clinton, in the spring of 2010, calling bloggers and issuing talking points to subvert the investigations by a Republican Congress into alleged misdeeds and lies by her Attorney General, Pat Leahy? Of course you would.
Granted, that is a far-out fictional hypothetical, since there is no chance in hell Republicans will control Congress again for the next ten years, but you get the point.
*** Update #2 ***
Jon Henke has the new spin- those who object to coordinated efforts to steamroll investigations are irrational:
I’m not sure why allowing the White House to make their case requires loss of integrity or independence – I’d ask, only I value my independence and integrity too much to listen to the answer – but let’s assume that the critics have some psychic insight that makes up for their poor logic.
Silly me. This was not an attempt to issue talking points and orchestrate a spin campaign to deflect from alleged wrongdoing, just the WH “making their case.” Which, just by coincidence, will be repeated in the right wing blogosphere until it bubbles up into the mainstream media, fogging the issue and clouding the legitimate debate. Funny, that.
Jon goes on:
It’s time we stopped thinking of bloggers as a subset of opinion-journalists. Some may pursue that role, but the majority of political bloggers are just people with an interest in politics. Sometimes they will be journalists, sometimes they will be pundits, and sometimes they will be activists. When they believe in the cause, there’s nothing necessarily compromising about any of those approaches.
Kinda the point in the “Old Mantra/New mantra” above, Jon. The role of blogging for many is now to serve as party hack and apparatchiks- Karl Rove with a Keyboard if you will. I don’t think it is crazy or unfair to treat them as such.
At least Captain Ed is more honest with his hackery:
Jon Henke at QandO notes some of the more hysterical reaction to the notion of participating in a conference call with the White House. I won’t go into a long dissertation about this, but Jon notes that some of the same hysterics participate in other partisan conference calls themselves. I’m not sure what that has to do with “integrity”, especially since I made it plain where the information I reported originated. As far as “independence” goes, readers can judge that for themselves — but I somehow don’t think my repeated calls for Gonzales’ resignation come from a talking-points download from a Karl Rove brain implant.
See my first update.