In covering Dino Rossi’s speech at Friday’s Mainstream Republican conference, the Seattle P-I’s Joel Connelly mentioned the DSCC’s recent efforts to educate the public about Rossi’s many financial dealings:
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Murray once headed, has spent the past month feeding dirt on Rossi to media outlets, and Democratic ringers in the blogosphere community.
As the best read and most influential liberal blogger in the state, I can only assume Joel includes me in his list of “Democratic ringers,” and I have to say, I find that both flattering and insulting.
On the one hand, the term “ringer” implies a high degree of skill, and yeah, I am a pretty damn good blogger, so thanks Joel, for the compliment. But on the other hand, the term implies a degree of false representation… the insinuation that I’m not quite what I appear to be, and well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Unlike, say, the editorial board at the Seattle Times, I have always worn my bias on my sleeve and trusted my audience to read me in that context. And as for being a “Democratic” ringer, yeah, Democrats sometimes feed me stories the same way they feed other journalists, but nobody – and I mean nobody — tells me what to write, nor pays me for that privilege. If I’m a ringer, I’m at worst a conscience-driven independent ringer.
So as much as I appreciate Joel for being one of the few legacy journalists to engage with us upstart bloggers, I can’t help but take his distinction between “media outlets” and “Democratic ringers in the blogosphere” as an effort to diminish us… to somehow dismiss what bloggers like I write as false, misleading and propagandistic. Facts are facts, and if I get mine wrong, Joel and others are free to shove that in my face. But when you write me off as a mere “Democratic ringer,” well that’s just an excuse to ignore the sometimes uncomfortable things that I write… for example, like the Times ignoring the leaked Reichert audio that blows up their meme of him as a pro-environment moderate.
Or, like Joel ignoring it, for that matter.