But for all the media attention libertarians clamor for, there’s been little progress in growing it’s base through bloggers and the blogosphere. While every candidate has established their own blog, with varying degrees of feedback to entries, it seems that only the Democrats have fully embraced the blogosphere as a tool for propagating the campaign message and creating virtual echo chambers. All three libertarian candidates had blogs on their site and considered them to be useful for keeping their supporters informed.
The Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts has even gone so far as to invite bloggers to their convention and give them press credentials; Nearly fifty made the deadline. While the bloggers at the DNC will not enjoy full press credentials like those working for newspapers and magazines, it marks a shift in the definition of press.
In contrast to the DNC, the Libertarian Convention declined to give out credentials. George Getz, the Communications Director, said that the issue had been raised during a committee meeting and the result was that blogging did not constitute “legitimate media,” but that exceptions could be made for large Internet-only publications. The criteria was based on popularity by Alexa scoring, and when asked to give an example of a legitimate site, Drudge Report was given. The press credential requirements seemed overly restrictive for a party which is in such need of coverage.
When informed of the requirements, Nolan and Russo were critical of such a policy. “You take whatever coverage that you can get,” Nolan said, adding that the view was “myopic.” For Russo the reason the LPC didn’t invite bloggers was that “there are a lot of people in the party who are more concerned about image than they are about being genuine. That needs to change.” Badnarik’s response was glib, that he was “sure it was not an intentional slighting,” but that blogs “have not come of age yet.”
It’s interesting that Stephen VanDyke wrote that article for WatchBlog in 2004. I ran the Russo campaign (and his blog). I eventually became the Communications Director for the Badnarik campaign, blogged there and eventually was able to bring VanDyke on board to run the website. Now I’m to be the new Communications Director for the LP while co-blogging here with the very same Stephen VanDyke who wrote that initial article.
It’s a new game with a new dealer and a fresh deck of cards. If you’d like to cover the LP Convention on your blog, here’s for media credentials.