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Friday, January 28, 2005

Bloggers Accredited for CPAC

From the CPCA website

"The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is the country's oldest and largest annual gathering of grassroots conservatives. For more than thirty years, CPAC has served as the annual reunion of conservatives from all across America.

CPAC is holding their convention Feb. 17 - 19, and among the bloggers credentialed to cover it are:
  • Dr. James Joyner (Outside The Beltway)
  • Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette)
  • Kevin Aylward (Wizbang!)
  • Erick Erickson (Red State)
  • Kevin McCullough (Crosswalk)
  • Sean Hackbarth (American Mind)
  • Robert Cox (National Debate)
  • Chris Nolan (Politics from Left to Right)
  • Steve McCutcheon (Ace of Spades HQ)
  • Bryan Preston (Junkyard Blog)
  • Pat Hynes (Ankle Biting Pundits)
  • Robin Burk (Winds of Change)
  • Karol Sheinen (Alarming News)
  • LaShawn Barber (LaShawn Barber's Corner)
  • Hugh Hewitt (HughHewitt.com)
  • Laura Thomas (Terrorism Unveiled)
  • Radley Balko (The Agitator)
  • Ryan Sager (NY Post)
  • Ryan Zempel (Town Hall)

    Which reminds me - with the Conservatives holding their policy convention in a few short weeks, has anyone been contacted about blogger accreditation for the event? I understand the difficulties faced getting a Conservative party message through the filter of a hostile Liberal media, but when they ignore opportunities to circumvent it, one has to wonder how much sympathy they're entitled to.


    Posted by Kate McMillan on January 28, 2005 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink

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    Comments

    Tangentially related -- Wretchard has a very interesting post on how conservative Republicans achieved political dominance in the States, and how some Democrats are trying to learn from it:

    http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2005/01/wave-of-future-joshua-micah-marshall.html

    I would have called it "very important" except that it's about the States and probably won't make the Globe and Mail, National Post, TorStar or CBC. Without their stamp of approval, I wouldn't dare think it a valuable contribution to substantive political discourse.

    Posted by: Charles MacDonald | 2005-01-28 9:47:04 AM


    The Top 125 Political Websites on The Net Version 5.0 :


    http://www.rightwingnews.com

    Posted by: maz2 | 2005-01-28 9:52:42 AM


    Who do you suggest? And we *should* go the Norman Spector route here. Canadian bloggers who are preoccupied primarily with Canadian issues/politics should be the only ones able to attend.

    I would suggest Kevin Libin (Western Standard), Bob Tarantino (Let it Bleed), Laurent Moss (Le Blog De Polysocopique), Paul Tuns (Sobering Thoughts), and... I know there's a few others that I'm missing. I'm trying to be representative in my choices - Kevin from a Conservative publication, Bob who's more of a libertarian, Laurent being a Francophone, Paul being a SoCon...

    Posted by: Japnaam Singh | 2005-01-28 1:40:11 PM


    "Canadian bloggers who are preoccupied primarily with Canadian issues/politics should be the only ones able to attend."

    So who gets to decide what constitues a 'Canadian' issue?

    Do we disqualify people because they blog about the U.S.? Our agriculture and lumber industries are currently devastated by U.S. trade sanctions. Sanctions that may have resulted in part from our refusal to back Americans in their military efforts. Should we not discuss U.S. policy when our government's failure to play along with it may have bitten Canadians in the collective ass?

    Should we disqualify bloggers like Damian Penny who blog extensively on the Middle East? That's not a Canadian issue. Oh, wait, we have known terrorist sympathizers (the Khadr family) living in our country. They're firmly latched onto the public teat while promoting their Jihadi views. But that's not a Canadian issue.

    Should you be disqualified for blogging on matters pertaining to your Sikh faith? (Which I find very interesting, BTW.) We're never affected by Sikh issues here in Canada. Well, aside from trials over blown up airliners and ballot box stuffing by the friends of David Basi.

    So, tell me, what's 'Canadian'? And who decides what's Canadian? Eh? Eh?

    Posted by: Sean | 2005-01-28 1:56:13 PM


    While blogging holds a lot of potential for the conservative movement in Canada I don't think it's done much for conservatives at the moment. It's not that the quality is lacking but the audience seems to still be small. Bloggers can liberate Canadians from the hegemony of the mainstream Canadian media but it hasn't happened yet. Nevertheless it's probably a good idea for the Conservative Party to put some effort into cultivating sympathethic bloggers who might have smaller audiences than traditional media but who are less focused on re-electing the Liberal Party.

    Posted by: Christopher | 2005-01-28 2:12:08 PM


    Before deciding what content should qualify a blog for inclusion on such a list, try actually going to some of the US blogs named and find out how uniformly they stick to "American issues/politics".

    Wonkette is the Queen of Washington A******ing . Wizbang hosts beheading videos and soft porn - in addition to catching University profs in the act of photoshopping "supportive documents" for CBS.

    I sometimes wish I had a virtual cluebat to swing around in here. There is no such thing as "Canadian issue/politics" that can be discussed in isolation from US/World politics and current events.

    Virtually every major Canadian issue is percieved through a lens that compares us directly (health care, economic, foreign policy) or indirectly (social, cultural) with the US.

    Allowing the Liberals to control the dissemination of information about the US through a narrow channel that begins at the New York Times, CNN and WaPo, filters through CTV and CBC to the average Canadian, without contesting the factual accuracy and intellectual honesty of that reporting is to place the conservative agenda in a permanent reactionary, "No, we're not!" defense position.

    Bringing alternate views, or more indepth coverage of events/politics in the US, the middle east, Europe, the UN is vital to framing the conservative message and legitimizing conservative criticisms, be it small "c" conservative or big C Conservative party policy.

    You think it isn't working? This morning a caller to local radio (100K) listening audience, told people to start reading blogs, that if they were listening to CTV and CBC to get their news on the Iraq election, they didn't know enough to discuss it.

    No one on the blogosphere pretends to be all things to all people. That's the power of the medium - we reach different niche audiences.
    The people who want their politics dry and serious don't hang around small dead animals. Those who like to see the Spector-Kinsella hairpulling catfight in animated gif form, come back for more.

    For the record - I'm not interested in attending the conference. I dont' have a usable laptop, for starters, and couldnt' afford to if I did.

    But I can think of many who should. And if the Conservatives are smart, they''ll ensure that they cover the broadest spectrum possible of the Canadian blogosphere, to ensure that the "internet sherpas" are leading a wide and varying audience through the process.


    Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-28 3:24:03 PM


    That's not what I meant Sean. Blogging about American issues is important because of how much of an impact America has on Canada. Having said that, it's still important, in my opinion, to approach those issues through a Canadian perspective. I meant to say that any Canadian bloggers who could be possibly accredited should focus on Canadian issues more than American issues.

    I should have also said that no one should suggest the self-loathing-Canadian type that are prominent in a number of Canadian Conservative blogs.

    Posted by: Japnaam Singh | 2005-01-28 6:21:36 PM


    "Canadian bloggers who could be possibly accredited should focus on Canadian issues more than American issues."

    What do you see as being Canadian issues?

    "I should have also said that no one should suggest the self-loathing-Canadian type that are prominent in a number of Canadian Conservative blogs."

    Perhaps if they were made to feel more included in this country's politics there would be much less self-loathing.

    Posted by: Sean | 2005-01-28 7:32:01 PM


    "I should have also said that no one should suggest the self-loathing-Canadian type that are prominent in a number of Canadian Conservative blogs."

    From what I've seen the so-called "self-loathing" is more Liberal-loathing than anything - and it's completely justified.

    Posted by: JR | 2005-01-28 10:20:30 PM


    Sean,

    You should know what I mean, but incase you don't, I'm referring to Canadian blogs that are indistinguishable from American blogs -- which is FINE, but probably not something appropriate for the CPC convention.

    I'm not here to tell anybody how to blog, that's completely up to them. I've blogged about American stuff from time to time myself, but I personally make an effort to focus mostly on Canadian issues/politics. I don't know why that is, but its mostly because I'm a Canadian.

    As for the self-loathers being more included in the country's politics - I wish they were, but they're not, and until they are, the CPC should not be going out of their way to associate themselves with anybody who can't say the words - "I'm Proud to be Canadian". That's just my opinion though.

    Posted by: Japnaam Singh | 2005-01-28 10:56:57 PM


    I'm sure there will be a number of reports from the CPC conference in Montreal as I know of at least a half a dozen conservative bloggers who will be attending. So I doubt the blogsphere will be devoid of comments on its proceeding. Although quite possibly they will be posthumous as opposed to a detailed play by play.

    Posted by: Chris | 2005-01-29 2:34:24 AM


    "You should know what I mean, but incase you don't, I'm referring to Canadian blogs that are indistinguishable from American blogs -- which is FINE, but probably not something appropriate for the CPC convention."

    (There's the word "appropriate" being applied to conservativism again. I'm really starting to dislike it.)

    How _exactly_ would a Canadian blogger who covers US/International news differ from the nightly news coverage on the CTV national? Would you disinvite Lloyd Robertson, because the majority of his newscasts lead off with international coverage?

    And as there is no set template for US bloggers, I don't know how one could be "indistinguishable" from "American blogs".

    Den Beste, Bill Whittle, Powerline, Protein Wisdom, Instapundit, INDC Journal, Belmont Club ... just what do they have in common - besides being Americans with a conservative/libertarian world view and high popularity?

    There does seem to be, however, a blog template for building and sustaining good linkage and high traffic levels -- it's an old - stupid - Canadian habit to discount "successful" as "too American".

    It's an moot discussion anyway - the vast majority of Canadian political blogs do focus primarily on Canadian politics - some a little too exclusively for their own good, I'd suggest.

    Variety is the spice of Google. Before you can influence, you must first get people in to your blog.

    Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-29 10:44:05 AM


    "I'm sure there will be a number of reports from the CPC conference in Montreal as I know of at least a half a dozen conservative bloggers who will be attending. So I doubt the blogsphere will be devoid of comments on its proceeding. Although quite possibly they will be posthumous as opposed to a detailed play by play."

    That's the problem, Chris. They need to have connectivity at the conference, to report on it in real time.


    Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-29 10:54:51 AM


    Kate,

    Let me try to be more specific: someone who blogs about American domestic policy (i.e. social security reform, tax reform, medicare reform, etc.) before they discuss Canadian domestic issues is probably not someone the CPC would go looking for.

    People can blog in whichever way they enjoy, that's totally up to them - I was trying to discuss blogs that were best for CPC convention coverage.

    I'm not trying to offer any commentary on Canadian bloggers who discuss international/American issues in general. I wrote in my first comment, that we should go the Norman Spector route, trying to imply that the Norman Spector route isn't always right in most other cases.

    And you're right. American blogs are much more successful than Canadian blogs, in terms of their impact. I didn't see anyone doubt that? Nor did I see anyone doubt the fact that Canadian bloggers should follow American models in order to be successful.

    Posted by: Japnaam Singh | 2005-01-29 11:00:42 AM


    "Let me try to be more specific: someone who blogs about American domestic policy (i.e. social security reform, tax reform, medicare reform, etc.) before they discuss Canadian domestic issues is probably not someone the CPC would go looking for."


    Who would that be?

    Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-29 11:07:45 AM


    I wasn't trying to refer to anybody in particular. It was just a general statement. Although there are a couple of blogs that come to mind - blogs that have talked about US social security reform, instead of say, mentioning the upcoming Canadian budget... it wouldn't be right to name them.

    Anyways, if they want to do that, that's up to them. No one else should tell them how to blog. I was just trying to open up the comments section for suggestions and ideas on who we think the CPC should suggest, if they were hypothetically wise enough to allow bloggers to attend their convention.

    I put forward 4 suggestions, and those 4 people often talk about American issues, but you could still very easily tell that they're Canadian.

    Posted by: Japnaam Singh | 2005-01-29 1:18:40 PM


    Frankly, that's a trivial consideration.

    The #1 priority should be inviting bloggers who have the traffic established to make their efforts worthwhile and the experience and grey matter to craft posts that keep the readers hitting "refresh".

    The purpose of creating a formal "bloggers row" is to bypass the mainstream media and get interviews, reports and message straight to the audience.

    That's a job for bloggers with established readership (or useful niche audiences) and high link authority.

    I suspect that's why Wizbang was included at the Republican National Convention, and now, CPAC. Wizbang has a lot readers, and attracts huge numbers of trackbacks. That's because of, not despite, their history for edgy content and diverse topics.

    If one is going to utilize the blogosphere, then utilize the _blogosphere_. Injecting the thought police into the equation is defeating the purpose.

    Posted by: Kate | 2005-01-29 1:37:35 PM


    I contacted the local Director of Communications for the PC provincial party and was told to write letters to the editor and phone the call in lines.
    It is very much Status Quo and that is not going to lead to much electoral success or even to influence public policy debate.

    Posted by: Terry Bailes | 2005-03-19 6:42:08 AM



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