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February 28, 2008

What if a press release was sent but no one published it? (UPDATED)

UPDATE: the below post is a hypothetical musing only. A.C. Kleinheider, PeskyFly, and Michael Silence seem to question where I was coming from, and so I felt that I should clarify for the record that of course I consider the TNGOP press release a major story. I had a funny feeling when publishing this, and apparently for good reason. Instinct is good sometimes. Anyhow: the original post follows..

I didn't receive the now-infamous press release from Tennessee Republican Party Communications Director Bill Hobbs on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's supposed anti-Semitic connections, even though I do occasionally get releases from the party. (In fact, since they hired Bill, who is an experienced blogger, I have felt more in the loop.) But when I receive press material, I review it for accuracy/spin, relevance to my site, and so forth, and I sometimes choose to ignore it.

There are a couple of perennial candidates, whom I won't name, who practically bombard the inbox when election day draws near. That's fine; I understand why they do what they do; but I also filter at my discretion, and it all works out.

Of course, the Tennessee Republican Party is (or was) a respected institution, so it would seem that a presser from them is at least on its way toward material worthy of turning into copy (to be clear, I don't mean "copy and paste"). And, naturally, their own website would contain content they produce, even in the very unlikely event that no one else picked it up.

I know that the story here is that the press release was ever conceived, and not that it was mentioned all over the globe. But about the only thing I can add to this saga, that I haven't already read elsewhere, is wondering if editors should perhaps practice restraint in covering things that are purely and undeniably controversial (which is not a bad thing, necessarily, in and of itself) and that offer not a bit of substance in the world of ideas (which, I think, is a bad thing).

As a certain Hobbs-era blogger used to say: OK, then.

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News | By joe lance | 06:44 PM


OK, then. (And a great blogger he is.)

Posted by: alice at February 28, 2008 11:32 PM