Jim Moore from inside Dean HQ in Burlington.
NY Times: The Tyranny of Copyright?
This is the page to watch for tracking poll results from NH.
Remember during the Thanksgiving holiday when President Bush went to Iraq and there was nothing about it on the Bush weblog. Every day that went by without any update to the blog was noted here with some satisfaction that it's one thing to put up a website and call it a weblog, and it's a whole other thing to run it like a weblog. I've been watching the weblog at Dean For America, and there's hardly been a mention of the trouble the candidate is in, the sliding poll numbers, the doubts voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere have about Howard Dean. He was great with Diane Sawyer last night. What I've seen of his campaign appearances have been very good. But the weblog is falling down. They have the most interesting story in the world unveiling around them, and have almost nothing about it. Just the usual house organ stuff. They're frozen in the headlights. Now is the time, if not for Dean, for the Internet, to really use the weblog to tell the story of the voters of New Hampshire. Okay, the television networks won't carry your story, but word of mouth can. Do something hugely innovative, tell the truth. There were moments when the Dean campaign could do that, on the Internet. It's why so many fell in love with the campaign.
Paddy Chayevsky: "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything."
New downloadable Sims objects from Don Hopkins including carpets that look like the surface of Mars and Captain Kangaroo.
Scott Rosenberg: "Before the Dean Scream gets cryogenically frozen in the collective memory as the candidate's defining moment, perhaps we have one last chance to put it in perspective."
Quick review of My.Yahoo with RSS support from a smug Canadian.
News.Com: Microsoft seeks XML-related patents.
Andrew Grumet: "Bravo, Chuck!"
AP: "Europe's Mars orbiter has confirmed the presence of water in the form of ice on the Red Planet's surface for the first time."
Lauren Gelman: "The Dean campaign still maintains a centralized, filtered, top-down approach to electioneering."
Dean For America's new RSS feed for press releases.
News.Com: "Google tip-toed into the hot market of online social networks with the quiet launch of Orkut.com on Thursday."
Jeremy Zawodny has notes on the introduction of My.Yahoo's RSS support.
This morning I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Howard and Judy Dean, and was very touched. I told the Berkman Thursday group last night that I was pretty sure that Dean would turn the corner and emerge out of New Hampshire as a viable candidate, and after watching the interview and last night's debate, I'm even more sure. Last night I also told what I know about The Scream, and why it was so shocking and where it came from. After seeing the Sawyer interview I feel I must tell the story in public. First a disclaimer. No one in the Dean campaign asked me to tell it, nor does anyone in the Dean campaign know I'm going to. I don't work for them and I don't support any of the candidates for President at this time. Anyone who wants to point to this piece should use this link.
I wasn't counting, but they must have shown the famous Dean rant twenty times during the Sawyer interview. I saw it live and was disgusted by it, and then saw it twenty more times, so that's a total of approximately 41 times. Once was enough for me. The other (approx) 40 times it was just sensationalism, and over time my opinion of it shifted. During the interview I wanted one of them, Judy or Howard to ask her a pointed question -- what is the big deal Diane? Of course that would be anger, and was probably exactly what the producers at ABC-News hoped would happen.
I was at Dean headquarters on the night of the Iowa caucuses, and I watched the Dean rant on TV in the office, with the other Web programmers. A few minutes before the speech they had a staff meeting in the conference room. Everyone was there except me and another guest. Not being a staffer, I didn't belong in the staff meeting. Several times during the meeting a loud crazy-sounding scream came from the room, everyone was doing it, and it was really frightening. The stuff of nightmares. This was before Howard Dean's rant. I asked Jim Moore what that was about, he said it's an Indian war yell or something like that, they used to do it in United Farm Workers rallies, and they adopted it at Dean For America. A few minutes later Dean let out the famous scream, it was the same scream I heard in the conference room.
They're probably not saying this publicly because it wouldn't seem contrite to do it, and they probably know they'd get roasted for saying the scream and ranting you heard was part of the motivational culture at DFA. Some have compared the Dean speech to a similar rant by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that made the rounds of the Net. So Dean gets a bit whacky, but after seeing it so many times, the shock value is fading. Taken at face value it wasn't anger, it was a steam-letting, and an attempt to rally the troops, and totally understandable. The press, as usual, is making a big deal of catching a candidate being a human being. But that's what he is. He's not an actor, he's not a commercial, he's not a deodorant, he's not a product, and I'm glad we have a chance to have this discussion. I'm not a Dean supporter (yet, but I'm getting there) and they didn't ask me to say this, but please, it's time for the press to let us have an election, or maybe it's time for us to have an election without them.
Timothy Noah at Slate seems to agree. "If only Dean had taken a swing at Nurse Ratched before they wheeled him into the operating room." Amen!
Note: I had a phone talk this evening with Jim Moore about the piece above. He says the yelling I heard in the conference room at Dean HQ wasn't an Indian thing, although I remember him saying that, he says he didn't say it. I take him at face-value, and perhaps I embellished it in my memory at some point. Stranger things have happened.
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