By now you’ve all heard about the MDGOP’s policy regarding bloggers at official party events.
The policy reads in part
In order to attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meeting and events, or obtain free copies of publications as a journalist, you must be a credentialed member of the media. MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY retains the right to grant media passes to print journalist (newspapers, magazine), broadcast journalism (radio or television), wire and news services for redistribution to other news organizations, or online new services (electronic dissemination rather than conventional print and broadcast distribution). MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will recognize journalists who have obtained credentials from a capitol press corps, official press organization or the U.S. Congress. MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY will not allow journalists to register as “media” for the purpose of writing a personal online blog, or for persons whose news outlet is funded by a corporation; trade association; think-tank; public relations or marketing company/firm; individual; political candidate/party; or activist/lobbying organization. These individuals may still attend MARYLAND REPUBLICAN PARTY’s meetings, but must register as an association, lobbying group or individual and pay the corresponding registration fees.
The Maryland Republican Party’s drop dead memo to bloggers has been picked up Richard Cross, Jeff Quinton, Legal Insurrection, and is now on the front page of Red State.
Quinton points out the hypocrisy of this policy given it has social media and blogger training as part of its vaunted “Pathfinder” program.
Additionally, the Pathfinders program for the MD GOP has a social media workshop coming up. Are they going to help train people to use social media and blogs for activism properly? Can you expect anything good to come out of a social media workshop by a party that is so pigheaded and stupid that they are shutting out bloggers from party events?
It is incredulous that MDGOP leadership would make it official policy to treat conservative bloggers, who are ideologically predisposed to the party, as second-class citizens compared to traditional media outlets that are not inclined to give the party favorable coverage, let alone even report on party events or initiatives.
At the Dorchester County Republican Central Committee's candidate forum Interim MDGOP Chairman Diana Waterman said in response to a question concerning the policy,"I guess I would agree with the policy since it came out of the state party I am interim chairman of." Waterman said given the timeframe she felt it best to "err on the side of harshness." Video here. Waterman's answer begins at the the 01:30 mark.
What’s worse is that after being notified I am not considered “credentialed media” MDGOP Executive Director David Ferguson sent out this email to me asking “
“If you would like to request press credentials to the Spring Convention, please fill out the following form or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.”
MDGOP doesn’t consider bloggers on par with traditional media, but still has some of us on their media email contact list.
How absurd is it that I can get credentialed by the Washington Redskins as a blogger, but not the Maryland Republican Party!
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.