House Republican Conference Hosts First Ever ‘Blog Row’
The House Republican Conference hosted its first-ever “Blog Row” meeting today. I was invited but, alas, it’s rather difficult to take off from work two days after returning from a one-week vacation.
From the press release:
“Bloggers serve a wonderful purpose in today’s twenty-four hour, blitz and glitz media world. They have the ability to report the stories behind the stories and empower the American people to really think about the news they take in from mainstream media. Today, I thank the Blogging community for helping House Republicans get our message of strong fiscal policies directly to the internet and the American people.”
During the first ever Blog Row, Members were able to take questions and provide in depth answers while bloggers posted comments and summaries throughout the entire two and a half hour forum. The House Republican Conference reached out to bloggers nationwide, with eleven able to attend the event and post live from the Capitol. Today twenty-three Members spoke at “Blog Row’ on everything from belt tightening in the budget to the recent elections in Iraq.
I suspect attendees will be blogging up a storm about this. Given that the Blogosphere tends to be more critical of their own side than the mainstream punditocracy, it’s a very shrewd move of the Members to establish a dialogue.
Indeed, one of the reasons bloggers are more outspoken than their mainstream media counterparts is precisely the fact that we tend to operate in isolation from those upon whom we comment. If bloggers become regular attendees at these functions, it’s not inconceivable that we’ll fall into the same patterns as regular reporters.
Interestingly, I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that I’m suddenly getting a deluge of e-mailed press releases from Members, none of which are my own, some of which I’d never previously heard. Clearly, the GOP side of the Congress (and I’m guessing the Democrats as well) have figured something out.