It’s an okay ad that makes a point that I can’t help but believe will resonate with voters, the majority of whom already start out at least a little suspicious of Dino Rossi, but what really strikes me about this ad is the new ground it breaks in citing PubliCola as a source to back up one of its claims… and in a U.S. Senate race, no less.
See, the power of a daily newspaper monopoly like the Seattle Times to influence elections comes not as much from the initial coverage of any one story, but from their role as an allegedly credible, unbiased and independent source that the political campaigns can cite to back up their campaign ads. For example, the bullshit Darcy Burner diploma story would not have had nearly the impact it did if the Reichert campaign had not spent a million dollars citing it.
That’s an advantage the Seattle Times will always have over me, for while I am at least as good a writer as any of their editors, and all of their editors are at least as biased and partisan as me, nobody’s going to put hundreds of thousands of dollars behind an ad attempting to cite HorsesAss.org as a credible source. I just don’t have the brand.
But apparently, PubliCola now does, and after only a year and a half of publication. Congrats Josh and Erica.
And to be fair, a little bit of self-congratulations to me, for while Josh et al downplayed my involvement in PubliCola’s startup for arguably good reasons, I put a lot of effort into getting it off the ground, and used HA to promote the hell out of it for its first year. To be absolutely clear, I’ve never had any editorial role in PubliCola, and I’m not always happy about the editorial direction they’ve taken — Josh is simply wrong a lot of the time — but I still believe PubliCola plays an important role in our local political media landscape that would remain unfilled without them.
And with this citation they’ve clearly proven that even relatively small scale new media ventures can quickly break the credibility monopoly formerly held by newspapers like the Times.