Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:messaging congress“

Know Your Place (1997 Edition)

Atrios uncovers a decade-old column by that scold of Washington conventionality dating to the adolescence of the Internet as a tool of mass communication. Cokie's thrust is summed up by a respondent's sarcastic letter to the editor, "The Internet is nothing but a cyber-sewer, full of smut, cults, and now an even greater danger: easy access to government officials." The horror!
They also get in touch with each other on public policy issues. According to Love, it's like an electronic town meeting. That analogy makes our blood run cold.

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Congressional Email and the Myth of the Platonic Grove

With Capitol Hill a ghost town as members scramble to retain their peerages, the lull in legislative activity offers welcome pause to step back from the e-mail deliverability fracas of recent weeks.

A great many of the unmet expectations and bad feelings that have become bundled up in online write-your-rep actions ultimately trace to the unspoken assumptions various parties have about the communicative framework in which the action takes place.

That point was underscored in the live chat with Washington Post reporter Jeffrey Birnbaum the day his column ran Capitol Advantage's deliverability study. In response to a question about how to differentiate grassroots campaigns from astroturf, Birnbaum opined, "I'm afraid if an interest group incites a flood of e-mails, that's Astroturf lobbying by definition."

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