Charter Member of the Sub-Media

October 05, 2004

Pen-Gate-Gate « Politics As Usual »

There's been some heated rhetoric from both sides all over the 'sphere, pretty much making a scandal of the possibility of a scandal surrounding foreign objects on the debate podium. Um, including my own participation here.

This has now reached "Kerfuffle" proportions, as evidenced by the debate-between-friends occuring in the comments and links here.

But the final point(s) I still take away from all of this (and what I would like everyone else to take away from all of this) is (from the comments at the linked INDC post):

With this somewhat silly pen dealie we saw the whole gammut of honesty and lunacy and a bit of gotcha. Jeez that this issues sparked so much debate is amazing. But in the end we arrived at something at least fairly clear. If it hand't been cleared up you can bet some people would be floating around conspiracy theories for quite a bit. And yet attacks came out immediately. And moonbattery ensued. I agree with Allah this wasn't a big deal. But I see no reason to attack someone for trying to establish what the facts were. Whatever the reasons, partisan or curiousity. If someone has a valid point and you attack them for it then, imho, your being a weasel. I dont expect politicians to be honorable, so this pocketgate wasn't a big deal to me, but I was perfectly willing to allow that maybe its a big thing to Bill.

Or to Me. (and the emphasis was added by me).

And a summary/recap:

When Bill and I decided to put together our joint post we were extremely careful not to do it in a shrill manner.

I recorded the video, slowed down the section in question where Kerry removed an object from his jacket – and Bill put together some copy that was clear: Bringing any object to the podium was a violation of the agreement outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding.

This morning, I called Fox News and spoke with a producer who was helpful enough to go and review the tape from another angle. Within minutes of the producer describing the object as a pen, both Bill and I had updated our blogs.

Special Report with Brit Hume showed a freeze fame of the pen, and both of our blogs had posted a screenshot before the show was even over.

I would submit that in identifying, pursuing, and solving the nature of Kerry’s violation of the debate agreement in one day, both Daily Recycler and INDC Journal were not only diligent, but in fact demonstrated a journalistic ethic not always seen in the mainstream media.

Criticism seems to come in two forms:

1)It was just a pen.
Great. The reason you know that to be true is because of INDC Journal, Daily Recycler, or Fox News – who ran the clip after we contacted them.

2)It’s a stupid issue, who cares?
The idea that bloggers should not pursue an investigation because it doesn’t serve a political advantage seems a bit silly. The amount of attention this received because of the Drudge Report was not in our control. Whether or not it’s a “big deal”, we posted on the violation – investigated – and updated with the result.

Emphasis again added by me.

Posted by Nathan at 08:44 AM | Comments (2)


Who cares?

Posted by: Frank Martin at October 6, 2004 12:33 PM

Well, obviously, I do.

Posted by: Nathan at October 6, 2004 01:03 PM
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