Tag Archives: politics

The Media Rich Candidate

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Let’s get this established right now, since we live in a time of “Biblical” flooding (by petty judgments): I’m not all cynicism and vinegar. I really do tend to watch the world in terms of the media it, preferably organically, produces.

And that’s why South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley makes me look towards those blue media skies ahead. She’s the dream client for a media guide gal like me, as she rounds corner after corner towards her next political incarnation.

Haley, of the novel-worthy backstory, has a political future so bright you need sunglasses and a server farm to store it all in.

Gov. Nikki Haley of SC helps repair a flood-damaged home in the Columbia, SC area, 10-15-15. Photo borrowed from the Post and Courier.

Gov. Nikki Haley of SC helps repair a flood-damaged home in the Columbia, SC area, 10-15-15. Photo borrowed from the Post and Courier.

Here she is going about her latest piece of Most Pitiable State’s business. Governor Haley moves effortlessly from winning Volvo USA, crying (genuinely so) for victims of unspeakable crimes, to helping veterans clean-up after “historic” even “Biblical” flooding. And all the Haley-associated media is free, locally-sourced, 100% organic product.

Well, maybe there was a portion of strategic, long game planning associated with the above veteran’s home rebuild photo op. Whatever. It was a smart thing to do. Round-up the usual earned media suspects. Whir those shutters. Bang on those keyboards, people. Squirrel away the media harvest as it comes in.

Oh how I’d love to be along for the media-rich ride on Nikki’s next political adventure. Because that will indeed… print big.

The Historical Legacy of WSB-TV Production

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WSBTVVoterF

After pondering the despicable act by despicable people of attempting to suppress the black vote in the year 2014, in Georgia of all places, take a media moment with me as I say something nice about a Cox product: WSB-TV.

The above (click the pic of Junior Farmer to get to the video) is excellent news reporting and packaging of a complex issue breaking that day (yesterday 9/17/14). As it gets immediately to the heart of a complex and historical matter, the key players, the SOTs, and the visuals.

This type of deft political production work, by WSB-TV’s political reporter Lori Geary and her production team, could not have been done without a longstanding, working knowledge of the issues on deck for the day’s news coming down – to be able to turn around this kind of comprehensive media that fast. In other words, sit back and watch professionals do their thing, cub reporting wannabees.

Knowing exactly who to get to, in a precise and time-thrifty way, and who to focus on and zoom to in the contemporary Georgia/Atlanta political arena, is editorial and production tandem work sourced from a unique and historic talent base that exists almost exclusively in WSB-TV’s deep-benched, legacy production crew. It’s hard to duplicate that level of precision political packaging elsewhere, in other words.

And it’s something we see often with WSB-TV’s political reporting. Not just yesterday’s. They know their civil rights history and legends behind the scenes there, as their production crews have lived, worked and played around Atlanta for a very long time. If one loses a career cameraman or director of 40-years at a place like WSB-TV, they take a lifetime of some mighty historical production expertise with them. And that’s simply not replaceable with an iPhone and an intern.

Tip of the hat indeed, as TV political reporting tends to take a back seat to the more easily social-shared written word. And folk who take politics and media seriously are dismissive of Cox-derived TV news, so tainted they are by a self-directed reputation founded from featuring senseless violence, self-promotion, and roadkill carnage over more civic-minded news.

It’s important to remember that visuals and sound working together, as opposed to radio/print/static screens, are also important to a highly nuanced political story, particularly a voter fraud/voter suppression story from the south. Especially in a state with a mighty history of dubious political legacies, ghosts and legends.

Don’t miss it.

Roaming Through Georgia Primary Results

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Republican candidate Ed Lindsey did poorly in the U.S. Representative, District 11 race – finishing 4th place in Tuesday’s primary voting by garnering a mere 8,389 votes out of 56,584 cast. Or about 15% of the total votes cast for a District 11 Republican. He “got spanked,” as the kids would say.

So let’s break it down: a sizable TV ad budget from his campaign garnered just over 8K votes?! Talk about bad returns on one’s investment. Some money obviously went for an email campaign, as my Inbox filled with plenty of those. However, as of today, Lindsey managed only 700+ Twitter followers, and barely 7K Facebook followers. And a paltry under 2K views to the one video (a duplicate of a TV ad) on the campaign’s YouTube channel. The campaign was a huge failure-to-launch in social.

This is why I’m not a political consultant, as I really did believe Lindsey could attract a better, moderate Republican turnout. I should have known it was all over from the get-go, for a moderate Republican candidate such as Lindsey, when a seasoned, and occasionally astute, political observer blurted out at the Gold Dome during the past legislative session, “Poor Ed Lindsey. Such a smart man, reduced to abject pandering.”

That’s the thing about hiding one’s smarts and light under a canopy of political pandering with ideological sloganeering about hating on “Obamacare.”

Smart voters know a repeal of the ACA is never going to happen (and I suspect they don’t really want it repealed, if they were waterboarded on the matter), and the dumber ones are attracted to politicians who don’t have to pander, such as former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, as those candidates can preach from their manufactured pulpits with a genuine zeal and conviction, making them far more appetizing ideologues for voters who need a dash of ideological Purell before touching their ballot screens.

Heck, Loudermilk may even genuinely believe he can march up to Washington and personally overthrow the ACA! I couldn’t see Lindsey ever leading that particular charge, so I wish he’d never even brought the ridiculous matter up at all.

Perhaps I should just surrender my old fashion notion of moderate, reasonable Republicans still roaming around in Georgia. Clearly, as the District 11 race data show, they’ve gone extinct.

Holy Media, Batman! Someone Just Made A Perfect Political Ad

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Drive-By Georgia Political Journalism

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Listen, Georgia media kiddies. No one really cares what Charles Bullock (of UGA) thinks about Georgia politics. Name one person who does. Thus, can we stop with the tired, sad media (print, TV, blogs, etc.) formula of:

a.) Go call-up same ‘ole same ‘ole SOT from Bullock or Merle Black (of Emory).

b.) Bang a keyboard for an hour or so.

c.) Call it journalism and a day.

Those two haven’t said much fresh or insightful since 1988. Jeez.

Reason I like Lori Geary of WSB-TV on Georgia politics is she always goes for something slightly different for her Georgia politics perspectives and insights, rather than merely cooking-up the go-to box of mac ‘n cheese news formula in her kitchen. Not that she wouldn’t go for a Merle or Charles SOT here and there, but only if she felt it was absolutely necessary.

Hell, I used to get shuffled out the door and on over to Emory about 2X a day (during political season) to go sweep-up Merle Black SOTs when I was in my 20’s. And that was a while ago.

So, you’ve got less than a year until the 2014 primaries. Can you, our clearly fearful Georgia media leaders and deciders, take a day or three to think-up just one teensy tiny innovative way to cover politics in Georgia?

I think what I’m wishing for is a “summit” focused on nothing but brainstorming new ideas for media-izing Georgia politics. And before 2014 shows up on our doorstep.

Georgia Loves Texas

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wendymemeWe all love a big, bold, symbolic gesture. Especially if it’s made by someone else’s neck on the line. And how we in media love us some big, bold, symbolic gestures when they “print big.” And make for great memes on Facebook nowadays.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis certainly made a terrific statement during her recent filibuster on the floor of the Texas state senate. Hell, she was a trifecta of Thing We Love When The Hard Work Is Undertaken By Someone Else: symbolic, bold, prints big, and was indeed effective in altering the path of bad legislation. (OK, so that’s four things. Who’s counting when it’s Wendy Davis?! That woman has passed into stuff of progressive legend by now. And how.)

Senator Wendy Davis was right out of post-modern feminism casting. She was exactly what everyone seems to have been waiting for to kick their own southern progressive asses into gear: Smart, good-looking, nice designer suit, stamina of a workhorse. And those running shoes! Oh do I want me a pair now, or what. Must have.

At a fundraiser for State Senator Nan Orrock at Manuel’s Thursday, June 27, the biggest cheer from the standing room-only space of energized supporters as Sen. Orrock took to the mic was when she, Orrock, mentioned Wendy Davis’ 12-hour filibuster ordeal of the Texas abortion bill vote. (Don’t we wish we’d thought of that media-rich tactic and direct action here, eh ladies?)

And Orrock was quick to remind her gathered supporters and constituents that her symbolic gesture of the 2012 Georgia legislative session, along with her legislative sisters in arms/party in both chambers of the Georgia Legislature, made for its own viral-quality media moments when they too protested a 20-week abortion ban stupid bill supported and sponsored by Republicans, although after the vote on stupid bill had been taken. (See picture to left of Ga. House of Representative women in their post-vote protest gesture of May 2012.)

While it made for great photos and TV it didn’t exactly stop a stupid bill from going forward, as did Wendy Davis’ direct action filibuster. But hey, it did indeed move the media meter. And that’s ok. That’s a great start to shoring-up and clarion-calling upon liberals and progressives in a red state.

And something else that goes with media attention as peanut butter goes with the jelly? Money! Yes money, and boy do we hear a lot, in media, about how little the Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) has of that stuff. At last count, they say the DPG coiffer was down to a mere $15K. But who’s counting?! Or who’s counting the DPG’s money they clearly do not have?

Since the answer to that is “everyone”, let’s instead turn our attention to where exactly Georgia Dems With Loads of Money are sending it, since they’re certainly not sending it to the state party. Rather, they’re sending it directly to candidates they like a lot. They’re sending it to folk such as the popular, outspoken, and smart ‘n sassy Ga. State Senator Nan Orrock.

That casual, early-in-a-campaign-season, little shindig last night at Manuel’s I mentioned above? That alone took in $25K. So I hear. If last night’s fundraiser was any indication, progs in this new Go Wendy (Davis) Go! political environment are gonna be moving a pen across a check easily, readily and willingly, so it seems.

Memes are great. But real money for a Georgia Dem? Even better.

Redistricting Georgia

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