February 12, 2007

When a blogger goes to work for a candidate, she's bound to become boring.

Dan Drezner:
[A]s much as I used to care about these intersections between the blogosphere and the real world, I can't get worked up about this kind of thing anymore. Who cares about campaign bloggers? They are little more than good PR stylists.

If you don't believe me, check out this Amanda Marcotte post on Edwards' health plan -- turns out she's happy that Paul Krugman likes it. Well, blow me down!
I guess it's too bad when a good blogger gets a job like this. But bloggers are often people who need jobs and want to get into politics. It's their choice, but it is a choice to be boring.

Link via Glenn Reynolds, who observes that the key to blogging is not taking it seriously, which, if true, means that blogging for a candidate is never going to be any good. I think the key to blogging is to do it for its intrinsic value, that is, motivated by the reward of writing itself. I don't think you can do that if you're working for a candidate. You may still find your job intrinsically rewarding, but the writing itself won't be intrinsically rewarding, and therefore, it won't be good in the way I want blogging to be good.

ADDED: Stephen Bainbridge notes that Marcotte is maintaining her un-boring ways on her personal blog and wonders what Edwards thinks of that.


Anonymous said...

There is no need to be boring, it's just that Marcotte without the offense leaves a hole to be filled. There ain't nothing else there, which is why she was a poor fit from day zero. She should have recognized that, known she would be emasculated, and stayed away.

That's been a choice of many journalists over the years.

Simon said...

I kind of agree with Reality Check, although it should be obvious that any campaign blog needs to be quite vanilla, which is precisely why Marcotte - better known for throwing fits - was never going to be a good fit.

I remain, however, very amused that the self-styled liberal feminist warrior, who presumed to take Ann to task for not being a good enough feminist, has essentially neutered herself and turned herself into a white, southern "godbag" man's bitch in order to save her job. I never agreed with Marcotte, but I at least respected that she said what she thought and stood up for her views; that snivelling press release must have been actually painful for her to write.

Bissage said...

Speaking on behalf of all those who made the switch, I say welcome.

Brian Doyle said...

Please keep us updated on what you (or Dan Drezner) think about Marcotte's writing at Edwards's campaign blog.

Too bland for your taste now? What a pity! I'm sure all the people who Edwards impressed by hiring and, more importantly, not firing her will defect once they see she's going to be careful not to embarass the campaign.

Or maybe you're just grasping at straws?

Ann Althouse said...

Feminists, emasculated?

Don't we need another word?

Ann Althouse said...

Doyle, off-point, as usual.

Anonymous said...

The correct word is neuter, but it's more annoying to use the word emasculated.

Anonymous said...

(Just like saying "hole to be filled" is also an uncomfortable metaphor.)

(I like feminism, yes I do. I consider myself a feminist. I dislike Marcotte.)

Simon said...

Reality Check - per my previous comment, do you dislike her for being a sellout, or did you dislike her for her pre-Edwards writing?

Anonymous said...

Does this mean she won't be talking about "Godbags" any more?


Edwards' decision to hire Marcotte would have been like George McGovern pulling Michael O'Donoghue from obscurity at the National Lampoon in 1972 to be his press spokesman.

Brian Doyle said...

I guess it's too bad when a good blogger gets a job like this.

My guess is you're wrong. By co-opting these filthy bloggers, campaigns can gain cred with their base, while "cleaning up" their writing for a national audience.

Is it artistically pure, like this marvel? No, but it's good for the campaigns and those who like to see the netroots gain visibility.

No swing voters are giving a damn right now who Amanda Marcotte is.

Aplomb said...

"I think the key to blogging is to do it for its intrinsic value, that is, motivated by the reward of writing itself. I don't think you can do that if you're working for a candidate. You may still find your job intrinsically rewarding, but the writing itself won't be intrinsically rewarding, and therefore, it won't be good in the way I want blogging to be good."

I don't know, writing can be intrinsically rewarding even if you do it for a job. I've written legal briefs for clients, arguing a legal position that I didn't objectively agree with, for a client I didn't much respect, and still felt pretty proud at the quality of my advocacy. I'm sure a reporter covering a story they didn't personally care about (if it were a blog they'd be writing about something different) still gets satisfaction from writing it up in a clear and interesting manner.

A campaign blogger might be writing differently and on different subjects than they would on their own private blog, but I can imagine them sitting back and feeling good about how well they wrote up the latest PR piece. There can be satisfaction in writing a PR piece well, quite apart the satisfaction of earning a paycheck and advancing the campaign.

By the way, send an e-mail to Amanda about how much you will miss her private blogging, she'd probably appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I liked feminism better when it was about equality between the sexes. A win-win, positive sum game.

Amanda seems to feel there is a zero-sum game being played, and I think, espousing the views she does, that she does a lot of harm to women, men, and children.

She preaches to the choir and whips them up which is another way to make sure that alternative voices cannot be heard and that real progress is stifled.

She's a hypocrite: get the government off my body, unless it is something she wants to happen, and then anyone that says the government should stay off our body is a godbag that hates sex and hates their kids.

She runs her blog like a typical know nothing reichtard: calling anyone that disagrees with her, woman or man, a troll, or a member of an MRA; then she viciously bans people that disagree with her and deletes their comments. She runs her blog much more like a LGF, FreeRepublic, Red State, Hot Air, Protein Wisdom, or Ann Althouse. It's one of the ways you can tell what sort of person a blogger really is.

I think she has a lot more in common with reich wing blogs than with progressive liberal blogs.

Brian Doyle said...

A new study released today found that the Duke Rape Case now occupies 73.4% of the average wingnut's brain, with the remainder split between Jamil Hussein and the border fence.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm..comments from a member of the reality based community; I have not noticed the alert systems on this and some of the other blogs you cite; have you ever tried to challenge the folks on DU or KOS? motes and beams!

Uh, yeah I have, all the time.

Motes! Motes! Beams! Beams! Dimbulb.

Anonymous said...

Actually that's generically true. I rarely visit DU or KOS, but I do let my thoughts vis a vis pandagon become known on the ones I do visit. And so do many other progressive liberals.

And RogerA, do you often find yourself on reichtard sites complaining about Misha, Michelle, Jeff Goldstein, Dan Riehl and your other buds?

Anonymous said...

I'll take that as your confirming that you don't complain when the usual reichtards, Misha, Michelle, Jeff Goldstein, Dan Riehl, engage in their usual hate speech.

Good to know you have a nice double standard going.

yashu said...

Hahaha to having "reichtard" and "hate speech" in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...

That "viciously" might better be "ruthlessly" in the sense of "indiscriminately", "eagerly", "on a whim", "no real justification", "intended to keep in group in line", "ample, generous".

There's no sense of entitlement, I am merely noting which blog owners are actually interested in conversation dialogue, and an exchange of ideas, and which are more interested in a fawning amplifying circle jerk.

Doug said...

If someone is a blogger and his or her goal is to get a job as a political voice for a major candidate, then selling out to the man is just part of the process.

The credibility of what they have to say on their blogs will come into question if they are lobbing softballs at some candidates with the hope of someday getting a job with that campaign. Look at Jerome Armstrong and the Warner campaign that never took off.

Warner is pure DLC, and the netroots hate the DLC almost as much as they hate Bush. But sprinkle some money in front of them, these fierce, independent minded bloggers become bootlicks for the establishment.

This is very much in character for some of these people, as we know with Armstrong, who used to promote crappy securities on line for compensation and got in trouble with the SEC.

I do agree with Doyle that swing voters don't give a damn right now who this broad is, because they aren't paying attention. But once the election is rolling and the RNC or Hillary start slapping these quotes on commercials or flyers. It will raise more than a few eyebrows when they see that a man-hating, Catholic bashing, nut is working for Edwards.

She is the type of liberal James Webb was talking about in his book about the Scotsmen. The working class men who do the fighting for this country while the liberals bash them.

hdhouse said...

cat fight! cat fight!

hdhouse said...

dick said...
"eality check,

You really need to get out more. About the only blogs that delete comments are the lefttards. The right wing rarely delete any comments at all."

Oh Dick...Dick??? Get the gas out of your head k? Rarely my ass. In fact, I was banned from Anthrax Annie Coulter's blog...can't participate and here is the email quote: "Your presence is antiethical to Ms. Coulter's point of view and you are found to be disruptive to her message".

I've framed that one!

Fen said...

Uh-huh. Raise your hand if you're surprised hd got booted from a blog...