Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If bloggers plan to be a major media/political factor in Delaware....

... then we're going to have to grow into the role.

As I noted in comments sections on several other blogs yesterday, I received an invitation but could not attend Governor Jack Markell's historica first meeting with Delaware bloggers.

So instead of having first-hand knowledge of what went down, I am completely dependent on the reports generated by my colleagues.

You can find them at all the usual places: Delawareliberal, Down wit hAbsolutes, Delaware Politics, Delaware Watch....

What strikes me about the event is not the complaints of those who weren't invited, although that's actually a worthwhile question, but the lack of critical coverage of the event itself.

Pretty much everybody came away with some version of this: Well, you may not like Jack's decisions, but he's a thoughtful guy and he agonized over all this, and he's dedicated to transparency....

And our contentious, often profane, always edgy group of bloggers fell all over themselves (except maybe Rsmitty) to present a responsible, respectably journalistic take on the event that would have done a Rotarian proud.

Why?

I suspect it's because nobody was quite ready for prime time, and everybody wanted to act responsible so that they would get invited back.

There's nothing wrong with that, per se, but compare it to the rhetoric and actions of Delaware bloggers about SB 27 or Eminent Domain last year, or the coverage of the Markell-Carney fracas.

And we sound down-right domesticated.

Go read the blogger coverage of the event again: Jack got his message out, virtually undiluted by any serious analysis of what he was saying.

Even his lame I knew it would be controversial answer about Meconi got a virtually complete pass.

In short, guys, it looks suspiciously like we got handled.

Let's be clear: I don't think I would have done any better. I think I would have written exactly the same sort of post the rest of you did. It was only because I wasn't there that I realized that virtually none of the reporting (and, I suspect, none of the questioning) got far beyond press-release that I'm suggesting that we're not quite ready for prime-time yet.

9 comments:

Shirley Vandever said...

In short, guys, it looks suspiciously like we got handled.


I had the same impression.

Nancy Willing said...

ditto, although, Dana finally came out with something decent on the issues.
At all costs avoid the friendly living-room cocktail party-ish insider journalism of the 'Village' or 'Beltway' (depending on who is describing it) that allowed the sins of Bushco go largely uncountered.

downwithabsolutes said...

To be fair, I haven't yet provided my write-up of "the event." Although, all of your points are, IMO, dead-on. It was a very chummy -- too chummy -- affair. I much prefer doing my interviews one-on-one (without a dozen people surrounding me) and with no time limitations. It was far too brief to go in-depth on most of these issues or to get as pushy as I would have liked on some (esp. Meconi, the hesitation on eminent domain, and more prodding on the sports betting stuff).

pandora said...

I just wrote a post focusing on the education section of the discussion. My take-away was that things are still being discussed and we might have a real chance to join the debate.

As far as the tone... I thought it was pretty normal for a first get together. Seemed everyone was feeling everyone out. That said I laughed out loud when Geek asked about Meconi.

Delaware Watch said...

I expressed disagreement w/ virtually everything Markell said in my post. So I don't have any idea what you are talking about as far as I am concerned.

As far as the laudatory remarks I made about the Governor, so what? I happen to think that he is like most people: made up in part of some good qualities. That might be a view that is a little less scathing then you like, but it is more realistic about Gov. Markell and most human beings.

Anonymous said...

Having the morally-bankrupt Mike Matthews meeting with Markell is almost the equivalent of having Rush Limbaugh meet with President Obama.

Almost, because unlike Matthews, Limbaugh is successful at what he does and is the leader of the repub party.

anonone

Hube said...

Actually, anonone, it's a wonder that Markell met with all those DLers, considering how they reguarly refer to those that disagree with them as "insane," "evil" and one even desired that they be "rounded up and shot."

For political disagreements.

Matthews' supposed "moral bankruptcy" is absolutely NO comparison to that depravity.

downwithabsolutes said...

Hube,

I take any nasty comments from A1 as compliments. He only makes my days better with his extreme a-holery.

Anonymous said...

They were handled. How nice to meet with supporters (for the most part). Had the past opportunity to meet as part of a focused financial stakeholder of state business. Canned answers. I thought I was meeting with the warm-up act. Very disappointing. I was ready to think tank (and the group), fully aware and prepared for crossover sacrifice. It was a script delivered to any casual town hall meeting. Certainly, not a meeting of minds, or summit of problem solving. Underwhelmed by delivery, and regret redirecting business and personal affairs to be in this requested attendance. The 2 I travelled with agreed.