Many of you who live in the United States are probably thinking. I already do pay to be part of the Democratic process. This is part of the reason I pay my yearly taxes. What I am asking is – would you be willing to pay to report on the Democratic process? During and since the last Presidential election much has been written and reported about the influence of independent online writers. With the 2008 election on the doorstep and the candidates just beginning their journey. This debate has come back to life once again. I’m sure plenty of people would tell you that in fact online media greatly effected the outcome of the election. Yet there are others who feel that “new voice” isn’t as strong as many people think it is.
You always have the question of who is the person behind the voice? Are they a paid shill? Are they someone who has a specific agenda? Is that agenda being paid for by the campaign of a certain candidate? Is there a corporate sponsor? How do you know the person stating their opinion is really giving their point of view? These are just some of the basic questions you should ask when dealing with anything online, politics or something related to sales. Who am I dealing with and what do they have to gain if anything. Manipulation and tweaking the truth is common in many things. Especially in politics.
So how do you know that independent source is truly that? Can there actually be any such thing? For this to occur the person(s) or group would have to pay their own way. If they were sponsored by a campaign, organization or corporation. The content that is being provided by them could be suspect. If you can somehow afford to pay your own way. You would then need access to the candidate. Granted you could be present at events and report on those. But that isn’t true one on one access to the person running for election.
Scoble seems to feel that none of us including himself could ever meet the challenge. Since we aren’t professionals that have been reporting on politics for years. That and the fact that the average person wouldn’t even be given the access needed to truly cover the full story. So I guess that means there is no new media revolution? There was no great effect from the online community in the last Presidential election? All the talk of power to the people and the internet has just been marketing hype? Our voices don’t matter because we aren’t owned by a corporation or well known? A voice in mass can’t have a goal accomplished?
Isn’t what we do supposed to be a new way of thinking? Granted all I tend see is the same way of doing things offline being done online. But I thought the point was to get people to think differently. Not to follow the same pattern and say it can’t be done because of this or that. I’d agree that a candidate having the courage to sit down with an average Joe and take questions is unlikely. No – the crowd at Gnomedex doesn’t count as your average Joe. It’s sad how this crowd always talks about how we shouldn’t follow the old way of thinking and doing. Yet this is exactly what a majority of them do. In a few one on one conversations last year. I could feel the lack of vision.
Since John Edwards handlers are of the old school. I’m not really holding out much hope for something different. I think an effort will be made to make an impression. False facades have always been present in politics. See I really am hip and doing things different. While not truly catering to the doing different concept. To me picking Scoble as a tag along is a key example of just this. Again we have a hand picked “reporter”. Let us find someone who is well known with the community we are trying to reach and have them ride along. It will make it seem as we truly get it. Along the way we may meet a few local online writers and give them some time. Just to make it look good.
I guess no one should make the effort because there are no handlers that would even let us in the door. So we shouldn’t speak our minds or ask that our candidates actually be accessible to the “new media”. There should be no power to the people and the internet. Should everyone jump for joy now because John Edwards let one popular well known internet celebrity on the plane? Want to impress me? Get one of those poor souls from New Orleans to come along for the ride. Give them a laptop, internet access and let them ask the tough questions in private. This would most likely be seen as suspect. Especially if the campaign was footing the bill. But that is what I would call revolutionary and thinking outside the box.
The problem is the handlers would never let this come to light. You see a candidate doesn’t have as much free will as they would have you think. They have their handlers. The supposed experts in how to get it done right.
This quote says it all.
“Or, does it matter that some of his campaign staff has worked on eight Presidential campaigns and they think he’s the nicest guy they’ve worked for so far?”
How are these people going to get a new way of thinking? These type of people won’t adapt. They will say this is how we have always done it and this is the way it should be. What is the track record of these people? How many of their candidates have they actually put in office? To me these are exactly the type of people that will do things the Where the Buffalo Roam way. You ask the questions they don’t want asked or act in a way that offends them. They place you on the plane with the technical staff. Heck if these people have worked eight Presidential campaigns. They might have actually been around during that era working the campaign trail. Even more of a reason that hope may already be lost. I just don’t think this is an environment where new ideas and ways of doing things will be readily accepted.
So would you pay to be part of the Democratic process? If you had the money would you take the chance that you might be able to get the true story? Most of us will never have the option to even give it a shot. Every candidate has their handlers. If they don’t give you access then all your money would be somewhat wasted. As a society is it right that we have to rely upon the popular reporters and the well known to feed us our information? Because no matter what you might think. Reporters aren’t as free to say what they want. They have handlers as well. Your television, radio and newspaper reporters all have to follow the rules. They are all subject to the editor or the boss. In the end everyone is out for glory and revenue. The point being everyone has their spin. If you don’t follow the party line you may be denied access to the candidate. If your not deemed important enough the same thing may take place.
In the end what your hear is the sound bite and the spin. Many times the views expressed by the reportor may not even truly be theirs. Isn’t it time that we started getting the true opinions of real people? The question is how this could ever come about if some else has to foot the bill? If online writers pool their money and choose a leader. How do we know that leader is speaking the thoughts of everyone? Each person can see the same event but have a different viewpoint on what has taken place. If there is corporate funding the truthfulness of what is being said would be questioned. The same would occur if the campaign paid for the journey. We are all biased in our own ways. Yet most people still don’t have their biased opinion heard. Everyone said we had a voice the last time around. I tend to feel that voice was more of the same old games of years gone by. How do we get the real people involved and let their voice be heard?
I want to see some out of work factory worker on the plane reporting things the way they see them. Lets see some unknown housewife doing the same. Give a homeless person a laptop and access to the campaign. The sad reality is no one will ever have the courage to do this. Handlers are the true manipulators and they would never go for that.
Was Blog Wars just a propaganda film in the end?
For the reord the John Edwards campaign is not paying Scoble’s expenses. That is being done by his employer. If I’ve made it seem otherwise this was not my intention.
Things I learned « Scobleizer – Tech Geek
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Adam Curry and John Welch ask the hard questions of me « Scobleizer – Tech Geek
Web Strategy by Jeremiah » John Edwards reaches to Tech Community via Scoble, and Deploys Social Media
arghyle » Scoble Interviews John Edwards
The Technology Chronicles The secret Scoble mission revealed
podtech» Fools and imbeciles are we I think the Wall Street Journal is scared, and with good reason
The Blog Mob Written by fools to be read by imbeciles OpinionJournal – Extra
Micro Persuasion WSJ Bodyslams Bloggers