Brian Miller wrote a piece earlier on whether the Libertarian Party is a real political party. My question in return is whether the Libertarian campaigns are real campaigns.
For example, in the course of that article, he covered an aspect of the Munger campaign.
We claim to be passionate for liberty — yet when one of the LP’s strongest candidates in North Carolina is being unfairly excluded from public debates that were set up for the benefit of the old party candidates, the same legion of folks who have hours to comment on LP blogs couldn’t muster more than two dozen e-mails between them to challenge this state of affairs.
Brian was referencing a post on Steve Newton’s blog, which stated
What is both surprising and appalling, however, is the fact that the Libertarian blogosphere has virtually blacked out Dr Munger’s campaign as well.
I would posit that it is neither surprising nor appalling that Munger got little coverage in the Libertarian blogosphere, since his campaign and supporters apparently made little to no effort to send out press releases, or otherwise inform bloggers about the issues with his campaign. I covered the ballot access lawsuit involving Munger only because I saw an AP article on it, but as far as I was aware, there was no other issue to cover. In fact, until today I was completely unaware that Munger had wanted a letter-writing campaign, or that he had been left out of the polls when he was an obvious spoiler.
I get “as-it-happens” comprehensive Google Alerts for the keyword “libertarian”; on the average day, I get 25-50 alerts, most with multiple entries, on the word appearing in all manner of media, from blogs to press releases to videos. I review every single one of them, to see if there is something which needs to be covered on LFV. I also subscribe to RSS feeds for multiple libertarian and third party blogs. (While I occasionally read Steve Newton’s blog, it is not in my subscriptions because it is a personal blog in addition to being a libertarian blog.) I spend hours each day, going over all the information I have received through the automatic notification system I have set up for libertarian issues. I do this for one reason, and one reason only: to gather information of interest for readers of Last Free Voice.
The campaigns’ job, if they want to make sure they will be covered on LFV or any other blog, is to provide bloggers with the information they want covered. If campaigns do not provide me with said information, they have no justifiable reason to complain, and they can blame no one but themselves if LFV doesn’t cover it. After all, I am not a mind-reader, and no one can reasonably expect me to follow every single state or local libertarian campaign, in addition to all the research I already do every day to try to make sure our readers are informed. I do have the right to a life outside LFV, after all.
Campaigns can contact me easily, since my dedicated email address is located on the front page of this blog. Just to be clear, it is on the right-hand column, third item down, “Have A Hot Tip?”, and my dedicated email address for LFV tips is firstname.lastname@example.org; in fact, I have made it a point to tell readers to save my LFV email address in their contacts, in case they need to contact me.
Many people send me articles or information they want posted on LFV. Many are campaigns and/or activists, while others are not. I am extremely easy to get along with, as I think every single one of those people would attest. In the last few days alone, I have posted press releases for a wide range of candidates and issues, including Steve Kubby’s development of a new medical marijuana pill, Jason Gatties’ birthday campaign fundraiser (happy birthday, Jason!), and Robert Milnes’ announcement that he is seeking the Green Party nomination. In fact, those last two items were posted today alone.
All anyone has to do, in order to get coverage for their Libertarian campaign or candidate on LFV, is to send me the information or press release. Had the Munger campaign (or one of its supporters) wanted LFV coverage for a letter-writing campaign, or anything else, all they had to do was send me what they wanted posted, and it would have been posted as soon as I received it.
My viewpoint is therefore that Libertarian candidates, campaigns, and their supporters need to do a better job of getting out their message, as opposed to expecting coverage to come to them, then complaining and hurling insults when they don’t get the coverage they desire. Candidates, campaigns, and their supporters cannot just assume that I (or any other blogger) will know about any particular campaign issue; instead they must be proactive, and take it upon themselves to make sure bloggers get that information. Email is free, so all it would cost them to get the word out is a few minutes of their time. Apparently it wasn’t very important to the campaign or any of its supporters, if they weren’t willing to expend those few minutes to inform the bloggers of the situation. It is therefore more than a little disingenuous for them to now blame the bloggers for their own failure.