Shear Sees “Lovefest”

Washington Post

reporter Michael Shear offers his take here on the blogger conference call with Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine. He more or less accuses bloggers of trashing Kaine in print but engaging in a “lovefest” during the call. I’d disagree; bloggers were respectful and listened; we weren’t trying to debate him or cheer him on.

Shear zings yours truly with the unkindest cut of all: asking a softball question. I’m not particularly chastened by the charge, but I do want to set the record straight. My question about economic development came at the end of the call. Kaine’s campaign manager was trying to wrap up, but Kaine said he’d take one more question. I jumped in and asked a question I had not formulated ahead of time. Shear did not quote my question fully. I suggested that the current state program for helping small businesses seemed to consist of signing them up to be state vendors. Kaine did not respond to that part of the question.

As a writer for Bacon’s Rebellion, I wanted to ask questions that pertained to things we write about here frequently. Waldo got the transportation question first; I asked about state government efficiency/reorganization and economic development.

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  1. Barnie Day Avatar
    Barnie Day

    That’s okay, Will. We can all just hold hands and have a group hug. There. Feel better?

  2. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    Much better. Thanks, Barnie.

    That mean old mainstream media guy just isn’t fair ….

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Will, you are getting off easier than Lowell in the comments.

  4. Not Guy Incognito Avatar
    Not Guy Incognito

    Well, all this negativity is heartwarming in its own…

    Great move by Kaine to give some sort of credence to the blogs. We’re out here, and are absolutely part of the electoral process these days.

    It’s easy to be mean when you’re typing, when you’re actually asking it’s much more difficult. Maybe some of y’all should try it face to face sometime just to see what it’s like.

    Remember, a blogger is an amateur who’s jaded. A journalist is a professional who’s jaded.

  5. The Jaded JD Avatar
    The Jaded JD

    What is a JD who’s Jaded?

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    Hopefully there will be more of these, with that crucial element to good journalism (and one realm where blogs really have the advantage): followup.

    One thing you have to give Kaine credit for is that he’s far far more willing to speak to unscripted audiences like this. People may not agree with his take, but he’s clearly someone who seriously cares about the ins and outs of policies and can hold a rational discussion with a mixed group. He’s obviously being coached to mimic the powerful and highly effective PR tactic of staying doggedly on the same simple message no matter what, but then again like any Democrat he can’t seem to resist actually branching out into the real policy digressions when given the chance. Maybe that’s good, maybe bad for a politician, but he sure doesn’t come off like a wimp, which his opponent has a serious image problem with now.

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