OutragedDemocraticOperativeWithABlog.com Just Didn’t Have The Same Ring To It

21 Mar

While it’s been hard not to be completely consumed with all the legislator reimbursement hub-bub coming our way since Matt’s bombshell posts regarding this highly misused system from Wednesday and Friday, it’s worth taking a quick look at how this story is getting picked up by other outlets.

After all, despite the exposing of then Sec. State candidate Mark Martin’s shady (and poorly disguised) state billing practices through a series of posts on BHR in the months leading up to the 2010 general election, mainstream media here all but refused to run with a story voters clearly should have been made aware of, and which could have proven to be a difference-maker in a closely contested race Martin had no business winning.

Indeed, even with several new choices and widely expanded readership among the state’s “new media” — political  blogs — it can be quite frustrating when  important issues are raised and discussions begin on ours and other websites, yet “traditional media” fails to give credit where credit is due, or even worse, just ignores stories altogether, either because of financeer opinion (ahem, Stephens Media) or the inability of credentialed newsies to acknowledge some dweeby blogger.

For instance, John Brummett’s Arkansas News column from Saturday described the whole reimbursement story like this:

“But in the meantime an outraged Democratic operative with a blog raised a worthy point fitting into the general hypocrisy theme that is threatening to become a staple of this space.

Since these Republicans of reputed budget restraint had held up a Deaf School bill on account of its mild increase, this blogger thought it fair to investigate and expose that several of these same Republicans were taking increased state spending on themselves and in amounts greater than $6,000.”

Ok, so Matt and I got together and decided “Blue Hog Report” sounded a tad niftier than “outraged Democratic operative with a blog,” but whatever. Brummett has the same hard time humbling himself and his “Official News Reporter” status when referring to the “other side” also, often citing stories from a noted “Republican operative blogger” as well.

Oh, and for the record, neither Matt nor myself are “political operatives” any more than John is, beyond our being registered Democrats for voting purposes.

So, Mr. Brummett, while I certainly appreciate your experience covering politics in this state and your bold opinion pieces from time to time, you need to quit making yourself look petty and start admitting to yourself that yours are not the only political opinion pieces people read or care about. You’re going to become more and more irrelevant if you don’t, and, as you probably realize now more than ever, the political discourse in this state won’t miss a beat without you anymore.


4 Responses to “OutragedDemocraticOperativeWithABlog.com Just Didn’t Have The Same Ring To It”

  1. Skywalker March 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Well, that last statement goes a tad far; I for one will miss Brummett when he’s gone. But the thrust of your post is spot on. The statewide MSM appears to have a fairly elitist attitude toward those of us who blog. Heck, Tolbert even writes a column for Stephens…he’s technically a colleague of Brummett, and he can’t even get his name dropped.


    • Matt Campbell March 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      That was my thought re: Tolbert, too. Heck, if Jason can’t get mentioned, there’s no chance Brummy is mentioning this place.

      I feel like the elitist attitude toward bloggers goes hand-in-glove with this state’s trailing in getting internet access to much of population. At this point, computers themselves are still sort of exotic to a lot of the far-flung areas, especially toward the Delta. In that situation, it’s not hard to see how a few crusty old Luddite journalists might have the same sort of reaction to something as instant and relevant as blogs.


  2. jbrummett March 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, and that’s a lovely photograph. For the record: I called Matt Campbell by name in a laudatory tweet just today — yes, I tweet like an SOB, by God — and that was before any prompting or shaming from this post. Congratulations on a most worthy piece of journalism. At first opportunity, I’ll actually cite you by name in the newspaper, not that it should matter to you. I should have called you by name in this cited instance and I apologize for not doing so. I just don’t like partisan journalism, whatever the platform. But most folks think I’m a liberal Democrat myself, though liberal Democrats know better. Be careful, though, on becoming a little too self-congratulatory. I speak from experience. Luddite out.


  3. Jeff Woodmansee March 22, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I really appreciate your reply – admitting your oversight like that shows the kind of integrity I think most of us who follow politics around here have come to expect from you.

    Obviously, feeling a bit dissed by the non-mention was only bothersome because you’re such an important voice independent voice in politics here (you’re right, you’re no liberal) and we regularly follow your work — those mentions by you clearly *do* matter when you’re trying to get this state to pay attention to some important issues and outrageous examples of unethical behavior and hypocrisy that more traditional outlets have been unwilling to touch.



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