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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    [ # ] First Impressions of meeting with the President.
    January 23rd, 2008 under Uncategorized, Blog Program

    This is a previous post by John Donovan Milblogger, thedonovan.com

     Milblog program at the Dole Institute on January 29, 2008.


    President George W. Bush meeting with military bloggers in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Friday, Sept. 14, 2007. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

    The sit down with President Bush was, I’ve got to note - fun.

    It was serious. He talked to us, and with us, not at us. And, unusual for the personality types that populate the blogging world - we listened. We got in our questions, and I think they were good ones, and the President made his points, which were a mixture of the thrust of his message this week and new (to me, anyway) stuff in response to our questions.

    Make no mistake - he knew we were going to generally be a receptive audience, and we were. The staff knew our blogs, and they knew that while some of us have not always been fans or happy with things as they are, they knew we were not going to storm the Bastille, either.

    I had a list of questions, most of which ended up being asked by others. So, as the other bloggers put up their posts, I’ll link to them, so you can both see what I was interested in, but let the relevant blogger run with the question and the answer. And I’ll put up a post about my question and his answer.

    The President acknowledged, so to speak, the rise of the blogosphere - which he seems to see as complementary to the MSM, a view to which I subscribe, as well. We’re another vector that people can use to disseminate or gather information - whether the MSM is gate-guarding it because of their biases, or simple economics. There are only so many air minutes, so many column inches, and the MSM is a business. They have to make editorial decisions.

    If anything, the blogs hearken back, really, to an earlier time in the growth of the Republic.

    We’re the “broadsides” of this era. As Larry Schwiekart and Michael Allen describe them in their book, A Patriot’s History of the United States (page 42):

    “…Americans’ literacy was widespread, but it was not deep or profound. Most folks read a little and not much more. In response, a new form of publishing arose to meet the demands of this vast, but minimally literate, populace: the newspaper. Early newspapers came in the form of broadsides, usually distributed and posted in the lobby of an inn or saloon where one of the more literate colonials would proceed to read a story aloud for the dining or drinking clientele. Others would chime in with editorial comments during the reading, making for a truly democratic and interactive forum.”

    That covers blogs pretty well, I think. Though there are some pretty deep and profound ones, and there are ones which are growing into news outlets that have many trappings of the MSM, as well. With their strengths and weaknesses.

    And today, the President just gave blogs some props.

    And while the venue may have held milblogs - it’s props for all bloggers who take their vocation or avocation seriously - and I think that’s true for blogs of the Left, Middle, and the Right, the Poliblogs and the Milblogs, and the harder-to-characterize blogs as well.

    And that’s a good thing - because I think that our greatest strength and contribution is: “Others would chime in with editorial comments during the reading, making for a truly democratic and interactive forum.”

    Sure, there’s trolls and scary places and people who don’t know argument from excrement - but if you have something to say, and create the environment, you can open a pub like Castle Argghhh! where others chime in, you can learn something, and even though you’re #1 in Google for “I bayoneted myself today” and you have an Outhouse Naming Contest, in America, you can still get invited to the White House to talk to the President.

    And that’s just cool.

    And Barney is one *fine* looking Scotty.

    And this is where I say that I wouldn’t have been sitting at that table today if it hadn’t been for Dusty, Bill, and the Denizen/nes of Argghhh! - because you guys make this worth doing for four years.

    Thank you all, very, very, much.

    There’s some other people I owe, as well, but I know they prefer to remain anonymous. Thank you, too. You know who you are.

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