Monday, November 12, 2007

Fear and Loathing on the Primary Trail: Seeking the Coveted p3 and Hodgman Endorsements

The short version: Steve Novick has the support of The Daily Show's "resident expert" John Hodgman in his Senate run, but I'm still remaining neutral.

The slightly longer (although, sadly, much less p3-centric) version is spelled out by Amy Ruiz at the Portland Mercury's Blogtown PDX, and we'll get back to that in a moment.

For reasons unlikely to become clear again at the moment, the Novick web page included p3 (although listed as my name, not the blog's name; it's an occasional problem) when it listed several web sites as sites that "support Steve with blogs and/or blog buttons." (Here's the Merc's screen capture--I’m down there, next-to-last on the list.)

Well, this explained the little spike yesterday in web traffic from their site to a post I put up back in April. Problem is, that post was simply an announcement that Steve would be making an appearance at the next Drinking Liberally meeting, of which I'm currently city organizer. We were delighted to have Steve attend--and hope he'll be back as the primary gets nearer--but the post was pretty clear that drinking beer with a candidate does not constitute an endorsement. (Meaning that the whole event wouldn't have passed the George Bush/Electric Burger Acid Test, which is just as well anyway, given how that worked out.) And, although this is a good deal less important than protecting the tax-exempt status of Drinking Liberally, I'm staying neutral in the primary. I want Smith out. That's my commitment for now.

(For what it's worth, we love to have candidates and electeds join us at Drinking Liberally. Smith's Democratic rival Jeff Merkley was also a DL guest and also has a standing invitation to drop back in. And I'm working on getting John Frohnmayer. And, of course, Al Gore remains my great white whale.)

I wrote Steve's campaign a friendly note explaining why it wasn't appropriate to list me or my blog as "supporters" in that way, and they politely fixed it, and that was that. No hit, no foul.

The Merc had much the same problem--wondering how "mentioning" got transmuted into "endorsing"--and . . . well, that's where John Hodgman comes into the story. Writes Ruiz (emphasis in original):
We aren’t going to be making our endorsements—i.e., supporting a specific candidate—until mid-April 2008. In the meantime, we certainly haven’t signed on with Novick.

Even stranger, the link connects directly to this a single post from June, a newsy item by Scott Moore (RIP) on comedian John Hodgman, who “calls Novick’s candidacy ‘the emergence of an intriguing public figure.’”

In other words, it’s more accurate to say that Hodgman supports Novick, and we reported it.

I’ve asked Novick’s campaign how they got their news reporting and political support wires crossed.

But, canons of journalism aside, for at least a little while over the weekend I was misfiled in the same group with John Hodgman--it's really sort of an honor, if you think about it.

No comments: