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Bounced Bloggers

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

July 25, 2004

In late June, "official convention blogger" Eric Schnure posted an ebullient paean to weblogs and the role they will play at the Democratic National Convention. "The truth is," he wrote on the convention's website, "more and more people prefer their news and information, fresh and unfiltered, smart and savvy, even with an angle and an attitude.... That's why we're so excited bloggers will be coming to Boston and bringing their unique perspective with them."

But, as it turned out, the Democrats weren't that excited. In mid-July, after notifying a number of weblog writers that they had been granted media credentials to cover the convention (just how many, the convention staff won't specify), John Kerry's team revoked the credentials of 20 invitees.

The action was immediately denounced by some of the spurned bloggers, who insisted that it was an attempt by the Democrats to filter out those not on board with the party's program. Schnure offered a hand-wringing apology in a letter to New York University's Jay Rosen, one of the credentialed bloggers: "Unfortunately, despite hours and hours working to get this right, we goofed. We offered credentials to more bloggers than we can accommodate. Thus, we acted as quickly as possible to notify people of our error." He went on to insist that bloggers' politics had nothing to do with whether or not they received credentials. "I cannot stress enough that our error was one of logistics not leanings."

But is he playing it straight? You be the judge. Because the Democrats won't release a list of whom they've accredited -- or de-accredited -- it's hard to draw definitive conclusions. But we've pulled some excerpts from the blogs of both those who say they have credentials and those who say their credentials were yanked. See if you can tell which are which.

A hint: You can go with your gut most -- but not all -- of the time.

*

1 "It was sunny and hot and he took off his blue blazer, laughing and pointing to the five shirtless teenaged boys in the front row, each with a huge red letter on his chest that together spelled "KERRY." The crowd adored him. The day was perfect."

Alison Teal writing on Hot Flashes from the Campaign Trail (hotflashesfromthecampaigntrail.blogspot.com);

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

2 "The debate and rhetoric about current gas prices has been heating up.... And a lot of what is being said, especially by the Democrats and the media, is pure nonsense."

Clay Butcher writing on anwr.org, a website run by Arctic Power, an Alaska nonprofit that would like to see the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge open to oil drilling;

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

3 "Bush is al-Qaeda's choice for American President."

Jude Nagurney Camwell writing on Iddybud (iddybud.blogspot.com);

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

4 From the website The American Street (www.reachm.com/amstreet); [photo of John Kerry]

_ Credentialed

_ Credentials revoked

5 "Liberals have been predicting for almost a year now that Bush would cut and run rather than face a tough reelection fight with 150,000 troops still on the ground in Iraq. Well, that hasn't come to pass. And I think it's fair to ask whether John Kerry would have shown the same kind of resolve if he were President."

David Adesnik writing on Oxblog (oxblog.blogspot.com);

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

6 "In order to succeed [in Iraq], it is going to take time, hard work and determination. While soldiers will continue to die, Bush's leadership and resolve will ensure that their deaths are not in vain."

Will Oelmer writing on dinnerforamerica.com;

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

7 Bill Ardolino on INDCjournal.com; [drawing of John Kerry]

_Credentialed

_Credentials revoked

8 "[This website] will not endorse a presidential candidate, but after leaning toward John Kerry for some time, I've recently decided to endorse him. I've made over my personal blog to become the Swing Voter Weblog."

Rick Heller writing on Centerfield (centristcoalition.com/blog);

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

9 The Kerry-Edwards team radiates ability as well as good cheer and optimism. Bush-Cheney is a downer. It's time for a change and it's coming. We feel it in the air.... Do your part. Get excited. Volunteer. Contribute. We need this team. We need this change.

Jeralyn Merritt of Talkleft.com;

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

10 "Bush made no mention [in his attack on Castro for encouraging sex toursim] of the influx of prostitutes ... expected in New York during the week of the Republican Convention."

Dave Pell, writing on electablog.com;

_Credentialed _Credentials revoked

ANSWER KEY: 1. credentialed. 2. credentials revoked. 3. credentials revoked. (Go figure.) 4.credentialed. 5. credentialed. 6. credentialed. (It should be noted, however, that another of the site's writer's, Paul McCullum, posted a piece on the site titled "Top 10 Reasons Why Bush Will Win -- or Why I'm Moving to France.) 7. credentials revoked. 8. credentialed. 9. credentialed. 10. credentialed.

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