The Libertarian Party and the Internet

Unlike 2004, the 2006 Libertarian Party National Convention now considers bloggers journalists. Look at what was written just two years ago:

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 the application form for media credentials.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. That was my first foray into um… “actual journalism.” I ended up calling a bunch of people and holding a tape recorder to my ear at the same time :)

    On a related note, I remember hating doing the trascribing of Russo because he mumbled so much.

  2. I would love to see a simple 640 X 480 webcam feed of the floor action, also the committee report meetings and votes. Nothing fancy, just a live feed of the action, where ever the action is.

    Macbook with QT broadcaster and a iSight would do it. Maybe the speeches at least can be sent out?

  3. While I’m not a blogger (yet), I would like to throw my vote out for some kind of open, live webcast of the convention ~ it might help pull in some of those web-savvy young Dem’s, too.

  4. Check out that logo. Are we looking for yellow states now? Doesn’t sound right to me.

    We don’t need a “party color” for its own sake. Wait til the media gives us one; then they have to answer for its connotations. I never hear anybody say that red-staters are communists, for example.

    But it’s hard to have banners and logos that don’t accidentally suggest a party color or whatever to those who are looking for one.

  5. Not like it’s my favorite color, but yellow’s pretty much the only color we have. Blue and red are taken, and green can really only go to the Green Party, so that leaves four primary colors: orange, yellow, indigo, and purple (violet if you’re thinking ROYGBIV, but nobody says “violet”). Orange is too close to red, and indigo is too close to blue. So we have yellow and purple. Purple connotes a mixing of the red and blue, which to some extent may translate to certain aspects of libertarians, but both major parties are so nanny-statist in their own right (Republicans want to control your social life and support large corporations while Democrats want to control your health and finances) that we deserve better than purple. Purple in today’s climate would mean slightly higher taxes and slightly more regulations on everything.

    Yellow is independent of all that confusion, so I say yellow it is!

  6. chris

    one other thing, purple implies royalty, which isn’t exactly in line with libertarianism ;P

  7. Tim West wrote:
    I would love to see a simple 640 X 480 webcam feed of the floor action, also the committee report meetings and votes. Nothing fancy, just a live feed of the action, where ever the action is.

    Macbook with QT broadcaster and a iSight would do it. Maybe the speeches at least can be sent out?

    Let’s figure out how to do this. I just downloaded QT broadcaster. I’m trying to get it to work. I’ll have my MacBook with built in iSight at the convention. If I can get a video camera for the event and tripod it will be better.

    Having a live stream of the event ought to draw a good amount of traffic to the national website.

    – Hardy

  8. Call me nitpicky, but why is the application hosted here and not Are we going to be seeing comingling of HoT and

  9. DD,

    Just a transistional thing. I haven’t officially started at the LP office (and don’t have full network access yet), but I do have full access to this domain. Considering the timing of the LP convention, I thought it better to get the word out as fast as I could.

    I guess HoT would be making an in-kind contribution to the LP of .0000435 cents or something like that, except that the courts have upheld that we are a media concern.

  10. Yes, call it gold (and make it look golder on the logo!).

    The Gold Standard of Liberty — the Libertarian Party

  11. FYI. shows NOW mainstream national coverage of “Libertarian Party Convention” Hammer of truth don’t count :-)