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January 20, 2004

Dave is a REPORTER

After months of refusing to jump on the internet-driven Governor Dean bandwagon, Dave Winer surfaced in Burlington a couple days ago appearing very much like he was finally drinking the koolaid. He was the point guy on the rollout of the new Dean campaign aggregator ChannelDean. At the height of last night's Iowa disappointment Dave posted Dean's "We came in third," comment on CNN, and caused a behind the scenes furor.

The hardest part isn't the technology, not by a mile. It was a tough night at Dean HQ. We hit an impasse when Howard Dean, on CNN, said "We came in third." He said it very clearly and unambiguously, so I opened the editorial page and typed in the quote and clicked Submit. I thought the candidate had said something very weblike. At this moment no one had said it. Not Larry King, not Wolfe Blitzer, they had qualified the statement, where Dean acknowledged it.

My post caused quite a stir in the Web bullpen and the post came down. At that point we all stopped posting. So Ed's commenter got it right. The show was cancelled last night. But in the morning light, the chance to open up the political process to the rare honesty of the Dean candidate, something the Dean workers had trouble accepting, was too good to pass up.

I think Dave was right when he was supporting the PROCESS of candidates using the internet, but not the candidates. Dave is a reporter. And for the good and the bad, his voice is best untethered.

Posted by jghiii at January 20, 2004 12:25 PM
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