All Hillary, all positive, all the time
Not long ago, a campaign had a couple of options for getting out word of a big endorsement: a press release to political reporters, or maybe a calculated leak to a big local paper.
But Wednesday morning, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign broke the news of Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg's endorsement on a new website the campaign runs, HillaryHub.com. The campaign later e-mailed reporters suggesting they check the site.
HillaryHub isn't a typical campaign site. With a simple, three-column look, occasionally edgy headlines and links to a blend of videos, reports from newspapers and blogs and campaign memos, it's a news aggregator on the model of the Drudge Report. The difference, of course, is that the stories are chosen to depict Clinton favorably and to tweak her critics.... others cite professional sports sites as pioneers in this field. Major League Baseball's website, MLB.com, has all the features of a good sports news organization: news reports, statistics and video interviews with the players, all slickly produced and presented. And while you don't exactly get the latest on steroid use in sports from the site, its access to news makers is hard to match.
"The professional sports are using their ability to control information and put it out on their terms, and using that to transcend the traditional press that covers them. The campaigns are going to do that more and more," Lehane said.
There are practical advantages to breaking campaign news on candidates' websites: It draws voters to a site where they can learn more, contribute and volunteer. But it's the control of content that may be more important.
"The days of leaking strategically to The New York Times to get a story out are over," said Patrick Ruffini, a Republican consultant who has focused on the Internet. "When everyone from a reporter to a voter has access to a website like (HillaryHub) -- reporters are going to report it anyway, if it's newsworthy -- what they're doing, and it's smart, is to get it out on their own terms."
... ultimately, the political reporters who cover campaigns may find themselves competing with the campaigns themselves for the attention and interest of readers and viewers.
"Campaigns are realizing that they're competing in a cacophony of media," said Andrew Rasiej, a tech entrepreneur who founded the website TechPresident.com (and is a columnist for The Politico). "The only way for a campaign to compete in that environment is to become a fast-moving media operation."
All of this from the same people who brought us the "non-stop" campaign of William Jefferson Clinton... All Clinton-All Good-All of the Time... I wonder if the media will turn and bite those who have fed them for so long when they see their jobs and careers are threatened? What is the promotion path from News Reporter to Campaign hack to network star? How do they ever have credibility as an "objective and unbiased" reporter after working for a campaign?