Congratulations to Iowa Independent

Which is one of the 55 state blogs that received credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention in Denver. I am unable to travel to Denver this summer, but I look forward to reading the convention coverage in Iowa Independent.

Unfortunately, it appears that some of the state Democratic parties monkeyed around with the blog selection process. More on that after the jump.

In several states, the leading progressive blog was not selected. Those include Left in Alabama, Blue Jersey, Michigan Liberal, the Albany Project and the Cotton Mouth blog in Mississippi.

Cotton Mouth has a post up about why they were not selected. It is egregious that a community blog with so much original content was passed over in favor of a Mississippi blog that has only published 24 posts since the beginning of this year.

Matt Stoller is disturbed that non-partisan sites were selected to represent New Jersey and New York over influential and well-regarded progressive blogs, while a new blog with much less traffic than Michigan Liberal was selected to represent that state. I agree with Stoller:

Why does this matter?  Well, aside from the basic lack of fairness in excluding genuine change agents in favor of media sites or newer sites, as blogs become more closely wedded to the Democratic Party establishment, the pressure to NOT speak out about problems increases.  Credentials for the DNCC are not only a ‘goodie’, but they are a clear competitive advantage for any state-based blog.  If state parties are able to nix progressive state blogs from something so significant to their business models as the Democratic National Convention, it’s just going to incentivize the creation of an ‘official’ blogosphere, one that is sycophantic and less progressive, and an ‘activist’ blogosphere which bitterly stares at a party it does not trust.  Regardless, we’re looking at a party structure that is more corrupt, less accountable, and less progressive.

Howard Dean should not let this happen.  The DNCC needs to take another look at the blog credentially process for New Jersey, Mississippi, New York, and Michigan.  Regardless of whether this was a simple mistake or retaliation from a state party, the credentials of the other blogs should be revoked and regranted them to the more deserving progressive blogs.  And this should happen soon.

Someone who writes for a state blog that was credentialed informed the 50-state blog network e-mail loop that “we were almost nixed because [a regular contributor] had been critical of a leading Democratic lawmaker in the state.”

That kind of interference will have a chilling effect on the blogs and should not be permitted by the DNC.

Francis L. Holland also href=”http://francislholland.blogspot.com/2008/05/jim-crow-at-democratic-national.html”>raises a legitimate concern: “virtually all of the state blogs selected by the Democratic National Committee to cover Denver are white.”

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