September 01, 2008

This Just Isn't Right.

John Hawkins' application to cover the Republican National Convention this year was declined. Yes: I'm aware that Hawkins has found himself unable to support John McCain, and has been critical of other members of the GOP as well. He certainly, like many, has been very skeptical of any approach to immigration that includes any variant upon the "amnesty" theme.

But isn't there just a little bit of irony in the Republican Leadership touting both McCain and Palin as "mavericks," and "reformers"—near-saints—making it a virtue to be willing to buck one's own party (it usually is), only to turn around and exclude someone like John Hawkins? Let's recall who Hawkins is:

• He runs one of the largest websites on the rightosphere;

• He has been particularly generous in granting exposure to bloggers who are less well-known than he is;

• He runs periodic polls/articles that elucidate the "pulse" of New Media on the issues of the day;

• He has a huge corral of co-bloggers and guest bloggers that maximizes the coverage he can give those issues.

Look; I'm a Moderate Republican, capital "M." I'm probably more open to the RINO charge than any other blogger I know. John Hawkins has given me enormous publicity and traffic over the years by periodically making me "blogger of the day," and by giving me a slot as a guest blogger on Saturdays (being enormously flexible, by the way, when work demands, family commitments, and a brief health problem left me unable to generate weekend posts of the correct caliber for his site multiple Saturdays in a row—I had to beg off for around a month; John was quite patient).

John goes to a huge amount of effort to include dissident voices on his sites, including my very own voice.

And yet the RNC, with "maverick John McCain" at the top of the ticket, and "reformer Sarah Palin" backing him up, apparently wants a more homogenized coverage of the Republican convention than John Hawkins allows at The Conservative Grapevine, Right Wing News, or within the Conservative Blogad Network [which, by the way, he has allowed me to be part of, despite all our ideological differences].

Shame on the RNC for this ill-considered action. I thought I belonged to the party that allows—even encourages—criticism and debate.

Coverage of the Convention will continue at Right Wing News, courtesy of John's "stringers," but when the media team declined Hawkins' application to attend personally, they tarnished the reputation of the RNC more than they ever could have affected Right Wing News, or John himself.

Yeah, yeah. It's only "censorship" when it's done by the government—not by a party that would like to have a majority stake in government. What a relief that is.

Not a great day for New Media. Not a great day for the GOP.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 1, 2008 08:30 AM | TrackBack

Shame on the RNC for this ill-considered action.

Aah. I feel fairly certain it was driven by the McCain campaign rather than the RNC. He's a thin-skinned little bastard. Remember he's the one who hoped to shut us all up with McCain-Feingold. And no, his choosing Palin has not blinded me to the dark side at the top of this ticket.

Posted by: Desert Cat at September 2, 2008 08:43 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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