Is Jon Corzine Using Bloggers?
Corzine spoke on a conference call with an invited group of bloggers between votes on proposed amendments to the Homeland Security appropriations bill.
Corzine said he was reaching out to bloggers because he knows that news organizations scan blogs for leads, and because he was impressed by the effectiveness of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's outreach to bloggers during the 2004 election. “I sometimes look at the blogs and I wonder whether I’m going to survive until the next day, because the right wingers are very aggressive,” Corzine said, adding “This is less about Corzine than it is about making sure a blue state stays a blue state…”
Needless to say Enlighten-NewJersey was not invited to the conference call. Does it seem odd to you that Corzine was “reaching out to bloggers because he knows that news organizations scan blogs for leads”? In other words Corzine is hoping to use bloggers for the purpose of planting stories news organizations might read in a blog and then pick up for publication.
We’ll give Corzine the hutzpah award for the week. What guts. How does it feel to be told in essence - If I didn’t think I could use you to my benefit, I wouldn’t be wasting my time talking to the likes of you? Adding of course, it’s less about me, it’s about keeping a blue state blue. Yea, right.
Some people might be flattered by the attention and feel important because the rich and powerful U.S. Senator talked to them on a conference call. Perhaps we’re different, we think a Senator works for the people, not the other way around.
Will the invited bloggers do Corzine’s bidding going forward? Does this make them an arm of his campaign, rather than citizen journalists? It’s tactics like Corzine's that provide the Federal Election Commission with ammunition that could lead to regulation and restrictions on bloggers.
On the bright side, Senator Corzine might actually be reading New Jersey’s conservative blogs – “right wingers” as he calls us. Yesterday, we invited people to submit Corzine’s accomplishments as U.S. Senator. This would have been a great opportunity for Corzine to email us his list or for him to enter them in the comments section for all to see. So far, he hasn’t reached out. We think we know why – he has no accomplishments.
One other note, we had no idea Senator Corzine was such a weak sister, “I sometimes look at the blogs and I wonder whether I’m going to survive until the next day, because the right wingers are very aggressive.” Imagine how Corzine would feel if he had to withstand real scrutiny and hard hitting pieces by the mainstream media on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, we wonder whether we could survive Corzine’s aggressive tax and spending agenda as Governor of New Jersey.
Update: See Roberto's post Corzine Reaches Out To Bloggers.
Update II: Professor Kim has more on the subject.
Update III: Let’s review.
How many readers think we were disappointed not to be included in Jon Corzine’s conference call to bloggers? How many think we would want to join Senator Corzine’s campaign for Governor of New Jersey?
So is John Shabe being sarcastic when he writes: Two of Jersey's conservative bloggers were among those not invited (as was I, BTW), and seemed disappointed about it. Shabe links to Enlighten-NewJersey and Roberto of Dynamo Buzz.
Did Shabe mean he was invited to be on Corzine’s conference call with bloggers and in fact joined in? Or is he saying he was disappointed he wasn’t inivited? Or is he just telling us he wasn’t on the call, just as we stated we weren’t in our post? Hard to tell, maybe he could fill us in?
Shabe has since posted the following in the comments section: “E-NJ ... I guess what I don't understand is this idea that Corzine is using bloggers to plant stories in The Media. Why would he need to do that if he's already got The Media in his back pocket as you indicate later in the post?”
We replied with: No one ever said Corzine was smart or made sense. Nixon's team didn't need to break into to the Watergate to win the election, but they did.
Our point here was not that what Nixon’s team did was illegal (it was), but rather it was completely unnecessary - it was overkill. The same is true, in our opinion with, Corzine's attempt to use bloggers. Can anyone seriously say Corzine has been subjected to aggressive media scrutiny or hard hitting pieces in the media on a regular basis? Corzine gets a little heat from right wing bloggers and he’s questioning his survival? A bit over the top, don’t you think?
Shabe adds a new comment: “Then if it's a stupid idea, why does it bother you so?
To which we replied: “This is the part that bothers us: It’s tactics like Corzine's that provide the Federal Election Commission with ammunition that could lead to regulation and restrictions on bloggers.”
We also commented: “Shabe, you seem rather defensive on the issue - why? Where did we write the idea was stupid?”
Shabe replied: You did. ... Enlighten said... No one ever said Corzine was smart or made sense. Nixon's team didn't need to break into to the Watergate to win the election, but they did.”
You used the word stupid, Mr. Shabe, we didn’t. Why John feels the need to portray us disappointed or put words in our mouth, is beyond us. Maybe he can explain.
If he’s up to it, perhaps he could tell us what he had in mind when he wrote the title to his post “what goes around". Perhaps he could give his opinion on why Corzine held the conference call with bloggers. Perhaps he could fill us in with his thoughts on whether or not Corzine’s use of bloggers could impact future FEC rules and regulations on bloggers. Perhaps he could explain why he was moved to write an entry on our post. Perhaps he could tell us if he believes Corzine has been subjected to aggressive media scrutiny and hard hitting pieces on a regular basis?
Mr. Shabe has reached conclusions regarding our thoughts and feelings that are incorrect. We’ll let John Shabe speak for himself. Will he answer our questions? We’ll find out.