Thursday, April 28, 2011

What may I blog about? A journo practices & standards Q

My question to you: What aspects of last night's Meckler/McClintock forum are legitimate turf for blogging?

Salient aspects & facts:

Was this a public event? Yes and no...
  • No; The event wasn't a Town Hall meeting proper; NCTPP presented it as "a Nevada County Tea Party Patriot evening meeting"; "your chance to see two important speakers... Tea Party Co-founder Mark Meckler and Congressman Tom McClintock....discussing budgets, deficits, and taxes, and [they] plan to take questions from the audience. ..."
  • Yes; McClintock isn't holding any [other?] town hall meetings in Nevada County during this recess - it's as if he saw himself as only the TPPs' Representative. So if you wanted to talk to him, this event was it;
  • Yes; Mark Meckler is a national figure, who rarely speaks here publicly, so (AFAIK) if you wanted to talk to him this spring, this was it;
  • No(ish); The audience (~200) was about a third newcomers, but from the crowd noise - and the Qs - it sounded like the rest were solidly Tea Party (though the questioners' TPP-only bent could have been engineered, e.g. I had my hand up but wasn't chosen);
  • Yes; The meeting notice did not specify, as some have done, that it was only for "like-minded" attendees.
  • No; it seems I'm the only person who's written about it.

Was it clear, & acceptable, that the event was being blogged? Yes and no...
  • No; I didn't identify myself as a blogger;
  • Yes; I was sitting right next to Mark Meckler's dad Stan who knows me & knows I blog, and my recording of the event was obvious ( I was sitting right up at the front on the side, taking photos & copious notes, and recording M&M's talks and Q&A, none of it surreptitious (Aside: abashed apologies to M&M for the time when I forgot to turn the flash off, before taking a photo, and blasted them);)
  • Yes; aside from Mark Meckler's "please keep this under your hats" request re his media anecdotes (below), there was no "hey, this is private" pushback.
Was my one-on-one climate questioning of Meckler & McClintock appropriate?
  • No; the pre-specified topic was economics/budget issues;
  • Yes; it was my only chance to get answers from my representative McClintock, and to approach & engage Meckler.

And finally, here's a list of items/aspects that may be blogworthy, if legitimate:
  • Afterward I spoke one-on-one with McClintock about climate change (I have blogged about it);
  • Afterward I spoke one-on-one with Mark Meckler about climate change (blogged here), including telling him I needed to go grab/use my voice recorder;
  • During his talk, Meckler - who is extremely articulate & charismatic - told a couple of anecdotes about having left a positive impression with initially-anti-TPP folks in "the leftist media" once they'd talked with him; in one case implying that the individual in question might be unwilling to admit it. And he requested the audience keep the story(ies?) private (at which point, sitting next to Stan, I muttered a denial).
  • An audience member and local TPP honcho asked a question that struck me as implausible & likely crafted by a PR strategist.

Sooooo....I will check with the pros (and in retrospect it's obvious that even we mousefolk would do better to don a large Press pass, even if self-made, and identify ourselves & our purpose to event organizers at the outset, even if we expect the organizer knows full well); but I'm curious how others would weigh in on this.


frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

My thoughts:

(1) If you have trouble thinking up what to put on your home-grown press pass, perhaps something direct like "Anna Haynes, progressive blogger, NCFocus" will do the job.

(2) Have you come across this recording from the 2009 I'C'CC yet?

-- frank

Anna Haynes said...

> Have you come across this recording [of identifying himself as Tom McClintock] from the 2009 [Heartland conference] yet?

Yow. Thank you Frank; not sure how I missed it, when you first posted it, but I am most grateful to you for bringing it to my attention.

I thought it might be bogus, but lo, McClintock posted the text of his speech on his own website.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...


I excerpted the speech from the video of McClintock at Heartland's web site. I guess I should've linked to that to clarify where exactly I got it from.

-- frank

Anna Haynes said...

I had some unease re the above suggestion "perhaps something direct like 'Anna Haynes, progressive blogger, NCFocus' " since I'm not really comfortable with the "progressive" label - yes of course I'm in favor of progress, but at this point in the flow of time I'm more concerned about losing what we've got, so I feel much more conservative, in the word's original sense. I don't think the direction we seem to be headed is a desirable one.

Curtis Walker said...

Frankly the lack of any reporting other than you is nuts. I cannot see a single thing you did wrong and a whole bunch of correct stuff. If we have a Nevada County Pulitzer, I would nominate you for one. Keep pounding McClintock's every appearance when he goes off into the zone where he lives. Educate, Unify, Activate. That is the only way left for us regular folks to effect change, real change, and your blog is a part of that.

Anna Haynes said...

Thank you Curtis. (and, again, thanks Frank)
(BTW Curtis, 2 things re your Posterous blog: first, for some reason I can't comment there; and 2nd, I've moved it to its own section on NCVoices. (it's under the NCAdvocate)