Bloggers Regurgitating On Cue For Dan Bartlett?

These comments have been drawing fire from across the blogosphere,

“Former Bush communications adviser Dan Bartlett started blogger tongues wagging with an interview he gave to Texas Monthly. A few of the questions were about the White House’s outreach to conservative blogs, and Bartlett answered candidly about the White House’s view of them.

He called GOP blogs a “direct vein” into the party’s base and said, “They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.”

I get invited to a lot of Congressional teleconferences, did blog work for Duncan Hunter, and chat with people on the Hill about reaching out to the blogosphere. I’ve also been invited to White House teleconferences, although I think they got a little huffy at me over the last one I attended,

Blackballed By The White House?

Yesterday, Tony Snow did a blogger teleconference and I didn’t receive an invitation this time.


Could be a lot of reasons.

Last time I was on a teleconference with Tony Snow, I pounded him for giving Harry Reid a free pass after he said America had lost the war in Iraq and Tony didn’t seem to take it too well.

It doesn’t sound quite as congenial as Bartlett makes it out to be, does it (although I did get invited to another White House teleconference eventually)?

Let me tell you what Bartlett is really talking about here: The MSM is generally hostile to Republicans and routinely ignores, minimizes, or distorts the GOP’s message. This is incredibly frustrating to Republicans in DC, who often can’t get out their side of the story, even on very important issues.

On the other hand, Republicans can do a teleconference with bloggers and we actually report what they say to our readers, who are in many cases exactly the people that they wanted to reach in the first place. When he says that, “(t)hey regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them,” that is what he is referring, to.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that the GOP as a whole and the White House in particular (with a few exceptions including, believe it or not, the Senate leadership), is pretty bad about reaching out to bloggers and getting the whole “internets” thing.

In fact, if the DC GOP actually listened to bloggers and considered some of the advice we gave them (not catered to us, not pandered to us, not courted our favor, just listened to us sometimes), they’d be about a hundred times better off. However, at the moment — although they have improved considerably over time — they seem to look at us as nothing more than a seldom used part of the GOP message machine.

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