Monday, March 27, 2006

Website Disclaimer: I'm Now a Part of Deval's Campaign

Apparently, people read my website. Imagine that? Anyway, I was recently contacted by, I don't know, a bazillion Deval Patrick campaign people. I've been contacted by people from my campus, from Tufts, from Brandies... I don't even know where they all come from. Apparently, they know I'm a fan of Deval Patrick. Apparently, they think I can help him win. Apparently, that makes me qualified to be the Undergraduate Campus Coordinator for Deval Patrick's campaign.

I don't like the idea of being a part of a campaign and posting about that campaign on my blog, especially since I'm linked on leftyblogs and people actually read my site every now and then. However, how do I cross that bridge? How do I address this dilemma? It's in my nature to write and to blog, I may not be particularly good at it, but that's just something I'm going to do no matter what. If I didn't write here, I'd write about more meaningless stuff on Myspace that three or four people would read and would amount to nothing. Here, I can advocate and help advance ideas. Here, I can continue to debate. Here, I can actually write about politics (not even my friends will read about most of my political writings). So what do I do?

I could promise to not write about Deval Patrick anymore, but then what the heck am I going to post about? Deval Patrick got me excited about Massachusetts politics again and if the campaign isn't successful, this could be a limited time engagement - so I'm not going to miss my opportunity to analyze the politics of this race. I guess that leaves me here: writing this disclaimer.

Even though I'm technically a part of Deval Patrick's campaign, I'm not a personal friend of his. I'm not being paid. I've never even been to his Boston Office and I have no money to donate to his campaign (or to buy the Special Limited Edition DVD of Lady and the Tramp I'm dying to get).

Sure, I'm volunteering for him and I now have a fancy title, but I'm not really doing anything that I wasn't before. As the undergraduate campus coordinator, essentially the only thing I'm doing now that I wasn't doing a week ago is attending a weekly meeting to try to get more supporters and keeping track of a few more emails. I was already doing my other tasks, despite the fact that I wasn't a part of the campaign.

So, in short, what's going to change? I don't really know. Technically, nothing should change. I'm not going to censor myself or compromise my website. However, I'm still now a part of a campaign. I can pretend and rationalize that it won't or shouldn't make a difference, but the fact is to readers it does. Maybe even to me it will. So I'm going to be a responsible blogger and let you all know in advance: I'm technically a part of the campaign now.


Aaron said...

Congratulations, and good luck. I hope Deval loses, but good luck anyway.

Trenchant said...

Congratulations, and good luck. I hope Deval WINS BIG, so Godspeed.

Ryan Adams said...

Thanks both of you. Aaron, I'm glad to know that someone enthusiastically supports Reilly. I was beginning to think his support was completely hollow...

Of course I JEST! I wish good luck to all the campaigns and only hope that everyone gets to hear all the ideas of all the candidates and gets a completely honest portrayal. If that happens and Reilly wins, then I'm okay with that.

Matt Singer said...

As someone who has dabbled in this territory before, good luck.

I'd just recommend adding the disclaimer to your right sidebar and making it clear that you're writing on your own behalf and not on behalf of the campaign.

The oldest rule in journalism basically is, as long as it's disclosed, it's OK. Bloggers don't have to follow that advice, but I'd recommend it.

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