Posted at 8:41 AM on October 20, 2006
by Tom Scheck
I have the day off.
Boy, I haven't done one of these in awhile. This is a look at some blog activity today (this is the blog version of Tom's digest)
* Electoral Vote Predictor , mostly on the strength of Zogby polls, has Republicans pulling back into a tie in Senate races.
* Jeff Kouba at Bachmann vs. Wetterling explores the meaning of being submissive. 'Tis a fine line between questioning the political application of religious beliefs and just making fun of one's political beliefs. Just ask Craig Westover at the end of an engaging thought piece/editorial. Pat Smith at Wetterling vs. Bachmann appears up to the challenge.
* American Hot Sausage takes on Katherine Kersten for taking her material from blogs.
* The Carpetbagger Report suggests Republicans are sounding like Democrats now when it comes to Iraq.
* Minnesota's in the Middle suggests folks stop polling until it can be done right. Polinaut, by the way, is positively aghast at the number of people who are comparing one poll with another poll and translating it as a shift one way or another. Polinaut hates getting press releases and official e-mail with words spelled wrong too. Polinaut thinks both indicate the same thing.
* Minvolved this week is doing the old "Peter Gammons thing" (back when he was healthy and writing for the Boston Globe in the early '80s), assigning songs to campaigns. Polinaut doesn't recognize many of the titles and also wants you kids to turn it down.
* BTW, a few days ago I posted a note about learning more about candidates as people. The Woodbury Bulletin gets it, adding subjects as "pets" and 'favorite movies" to their brief profiles of local candidates. If Polinaut ends up voting for the bottom-of-the ballot races (he sometimes does), he notes he will have to choose between two candidates, one whose favorite movie is "Caddyshack" and one whose favorite movie is "Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang." Now, tell him again how you can't learn anything about a candidate from questions like this.
* NPR's Ken Rudin talks about key House races that could swing things.
* When Polinaut grows up, he wants to write like Charlie Quimby.
Posted at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2006
by Bob Collins
I'm late getting this taken care of but here's Howard Dean's speech yesterday (RealAudio).
And here's one of the kids in the Howard Dean scream contest. (Play)
I've now added Harry Welty to the 8th District Select A Candidate application.
I hope to have a 1st District version completed by the end of the day.
In the 6th District "debate" currently on Midday, Michele Bachmann just mentioned the threat against NFL stadiums to buttress her position on the "war against terror."
In case you haven't heard -- she apparently hasn't -- it was a hoax by some 20-year-old loser, according to the FBI.
I'm trimming up the front and back of the encoded audio to get rid of the pledge drive stuff.
OK, I'm working kind of hard today. I'm trying to get the 5th District Select A Candidate done by the end of the day, my colleague who also works in online news is out today, I've got the Current casts to do, the Campaign 2006 site is always in need of updating, and there's a bunch of little piddly news stuff to do on the site.
But when Michael Popham, one of the unsung heroes in our listener services department, calls, I drop what I'm doing because, well, we're public radio. Or ain't you heard?
Michael says someone just called up to complain about this picture we slapped together last night to go on the Midday page. See if you can find the complaint.
While we're waiting for you to find that, here's some background on our photographic genius at MPR.
We're a radio station.
We're not that great in the old photography department. We pretty much specialize in pictures of people standing -- sometimes sitting -- in front of microphones. Perhaps you've noticed. A newspaper photographer once told one of our reporters, "your pictures look like reporters take them under duress." That one still gets me.
Our Midday assistant producer -- Midday, being a radio show -- threw this thing together last night... late... way past when we would have expected him to go home. OK, so I've burst the bubble. There's nobody here like "Animal," in the old Lou Grant series.
OK, I think we're ready now, here's the complaint.
Wetterling wasn't looking up. Binkowski and Bachmann were.
And now... if you please... I'm going back to my Dilbertian cubicle and do some work.
Posted at 5:09 PM on October 20, 2006
by Bob Collins
I didn't get as many questions in there as I would have liked but I ran out of time, but there's now a 1st District - Select A Candidate. As soon as I can figure out how to boil down that D,M&E controversy in a couple of sentences I'll add that.
Laura McCallum sent along a press release from TeamMN, with a new video they've posted on their Web site and also on YouTube.
I'm supposed to do another panel soon on how blogging is changing politics but, you know, I'm beginning to think the most influential medium this political season isn't bloggers, it's YouTube.
I'm a real fan of blowing things up and starting over. The words I hate, even more than "and that loss eliminates the Cleveland Indians from postseason contention" are "we've always done it this way."
That's why I'm a big fan of In the Loop, MPR's new program that believes in taking a different look at things, and involving people in our vast audience in storytelling. It's not that I'm against pointyheads and serious sobering discussion, a longtime staple of public radio, of course. It's just that I think it's OK to consider weighty issues in different ways, ways in which I don't feel a sense of despair afterwards.
Stop me if this sounds familiar to you.
So it's cool that The Loop this month -- and just in the nick of time if you ask me -- swooped in and took on the sacred cow: politics. Now a disclaimer: Jeff Horwich and Sanden Totten -- the big Loop dudes -- asked Mike Mulcahy and me to share our thoughts on what a different approach might look like. They then had the good sense not to use my cockamamie ideas.
There was more in this week's show than I got around to posting, but the Loop doesn't really have a completely functioning Web site yet.
You can hear the show tonight at 9 or download an mp3 version on their current page, however.