Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Prolific Pete, Peach Pundit and Pandering

Prolific Pete is back at Peach Pundit and not much has changed.

Pete notes that the "tipline" (i.e. Peach Pundit's "cover" to publish any wild ramblings of anonymous emailers) reported a new website aimed at drafting Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Jane Kidd for the 2010 U.S. Senate race.
...the tipline brings news of a website to draft Jane Vandiver Kidd, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, to run in the upcoming U.S. Senate race against fellow liberal Johnny Isakson.
Of course it's Peach Pundit, so it must be noteworthy. AJC top political gun Jim Galloway picks up the story and adds this gem.
Take this seriously. As was the case in 2006, Democrats are extremely worried that a less-than-stellar candidate will jump in and win the top spot on the party’s ticket.
And if anyone had taken five minutes to call Kidd, as Athens Banner Herald's Blake Aued did, they would have discovered the entire story was pure fantasyland.

For years, I've argued blogs could be more than rumor and innuendo mills.

Maybe I was wrong.


Rusty said...

The lie of attribution is a lie regardless of the medium.

We know that Barack Obama isn't a secret Muslim who was born in Kenya who wants Congress to use national healthcare to condemn senior citizens to die so he can raid their body parts and douse them with French mustard before broiling them into a powder he will sprinkle on his secret cigarettes that the liberal media refuses to report he's smoking with Bill Clinton while they reminisce about getting away with killing Vince Foster.

But slap "according to someone other than the person who actually has some accountability for what is published" on that, it'll get printed/blogged/broadcast/passed around as emails anyway.

nast said...

Come now, let's not be so hasty to judge. For all we know, its just as likely that Jane Kidd hacked into Peach Pundit using Pete's ID and posted that article herself. That way, she gets a lot of people to think, "Hey, maybe we should draft her for the ticket" without her having to commit.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that it is the ONLY possible explanation.

griftdrift said...

I expect nothing more from "Pete".

I'm vastly disappointed in Galloway.

And frankly tired of the whole battle.

Chris Farris said...

Except that 1) someone really did go through the trouble to create a draft Jane website, 2) draft movements can take on a life of their own and 3) even when they fizzle can have impacts on who gets in the race and who eventually gets the nomination.

possum said...

Oh, don't blame poor Galloway. He's probably disoriented by his paper's upcoming move to a Dunwoody office park.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Operative word here is "draft." So Mike got a little overly-enthusiastic with the internets. There is no story here. Move on.

Unknown said...

1st a blog like pp or galloway's is exactly the sort of place nerds like me go for rumors of who is and who ain't running, thinking about running or mentioned as a possible candidate for something--2nd the draft kidd website does/did exist--and based on my reading of blake's blog it was put up by a close associate of hers...oh and favre said he's retired so clearly there is no story there, oh and bob barr repeatedly said he had no interest in being the LP prez nominee when he joined that party, and i think even obama denied he was running for prez right before he announced he was--i get you have issues w/ pete and his style and a lot of his posts--but i think you are reaching here...

griftdrift said...

No I am not fucking reaching and I'm going to explain exactly why.

1. It's a "draft" site which immediately lowers the credibility.

2. It's first publicized by "Pete Randall" which lowers its credibility further.

3. Anyone who knows the dysfunctional nature of the DPG knows that this scenario is absurd.

Now, Jim Galloway certainly has the institutional knowledge to know that any half ass website promoting one of the leaders of the DPG as a potential Senatorial candidate is probably fluff.

It would have taken him about 20 minutes to research the background of "Pete Randall" and discover that he is a hack who routinely uses minutiae to slam Democrats as irrelevant.

And it would have taken him all of five minutes to call Jane Kidd, discover the source of the website and determine that she considered it a joke.

Things that Blake Aued actually did.

Instead Jim links to this steaming pile of crap and then gives it a gold star by telling his readers to "Take this seriously."

Jim is rightfully one of the most respected journalist in this time but if he continues to direct his readers to the cesspool that has become Peach Pundit then his credibility will lessen.

I will continue to call him on it.

And that is in no way a reach.

Unknown said...

i didn't cuss at you...

griftdrift said...

I am in a cussing mood. And I am right damned tired of people telling me I'm reaching when I know I'm not.

Unknown said...

there are several stories on pp right now penned by pete, worthy of scorn--this just seems like the least likely one of the bunch...blake even mentions in his post that kidd has been rumored to be a potential candidate for a variety of races, and the source of this "draft movement" is a former campaign manager of hers--its not like some high school kid was funning us--you weren't all fired up about the draft wyc orr for senate movement last year as i recall--not sure why this is different...

Unknown said...

and that was a spacey post...

Unknown said...

To say that the person initiating the "Draft Jane" campaign is a "close associate" of Ms Kidd is to show that you know nothing about the workings and relationships in the current Democratic party community.

For many moons wise people have advised that if you don't know what you're talking about it's best to shut up.

Unknown said...

you'll see i corrected that statement to say "former campaign manager" which to the best of my knowledge is a correct statement--and you are quite correct i know very little about the "innards" of the dpg -- my interest in the this was more the zeal in which grift seems intent on attacking this particular story when it seemed so benign on the surface and when there are so many others to go after

Unknown said...

in fact the revelation that they are not "close associates" makes this whole deal much more interesting--this sort of thing is as close as i get to reading perez hilton--so scuttlebutt on what was apparently that dudes departure from the dpg and what reason he could possibly have for setting up the draft kidd website and presumably passing it along to pp would be uttelry fascinating to catherine feel free to drop some knowledge on me so i won't have to shut up later..

Unknown said...


Eh, he's been pissy lately. Honestly no idea why, since I don't know him IRL - and barely know him in the blogverse.

Hopefully he'll get over it and once again become the "voice of reason" he tries to style himself as.

griftdrift said...

Jay you are completely missing my point.

I did not get worked up at what "Pete" posted. If I got mad every time that hack spewed forth another absurd, out of context, piece of garbage, there wouldn't be enough blood pressure medicine in the world to save me.

I got upset when Galloway linked to it without providing a scintilla of context. Then went a step further telling his readers to "take this seriously". Jim lent the weight of the credibility of the top political journalist in this town to something that the barest of context (even one phone call, see Blake Aued) would have shown as absurd.

And it's not the first time.

And Jeff, being the "voice of reason" does not mean you are required to call horseshit tulips.

Unknown said...

i guess when you focus on the galloway part that makes more sense--and blake did take the extra step--and kidd may well say she's not running--she may even mean it right now--but it's been a low day at work and this caught my eye so i jumped in too

Joeventures said...

I think it's time we draft Grift Drift!

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Damn I was good! Thanks for the reminder, Jay. Whoever the f you are.

Unknown said...

All I'll say is that PP was not the only one to receive the email announcing this initiative, but it was the only place I saw it posted (well, and then PI). I'm quite sure all the front page posters at BfD got it (as I did) but none of us chose to post it. I'm not sure what that says, but methinks it says *something*.

Unknown said...

that was interesting perspective catherine and the mention got me over to the bfd blog to look around a little just now--and i'll probably add it to my list of daily reads, even though we are on opposite sides of the aisle...

Icarus said...


You know I respect you,

but you're reaching here.

griftdrift said...

No, I'm not.

And I'm going to attempt to not write another essay about it because I believe I have stated my case plainly. If people don't get it? TFB.

But I will say this. I always count motive as a prime mover in any event.

What was "Pete's" motive in pointing out an obscure website that many knew about and brushed aside as another internet absurdity?

A thumbnail sketch of "Pete's" rhetorical history would reveal his predilection to find the smallest burr and attempt to stick it in the Democrat's saddle.

What was Jim Galloway's motivation?

To titillate with a nugget of inside baseball. And since blogs are notoriously untrustworthy, Peach Pundit, since it's the big dog, is one of the few you can trust to be credible, right?

Jim threw out into the open that his readers should treat this item seriously and given that he didn't check on "Pete's" credibility or history (which would have revealed the above mentioned motive) nor did he even grace Kidd with a call (which would uncovered how absurd she considered it and also the person behind it and their possible motivations), we are left with the probability he believes linking to anything on Peach Pundit is worthy simply because of the brand name alone.

And I defy any journalist who regularly reads this blog to defend that as acceptable.

As far as "Pete" goes, Icarus, it is persons like you who should be calling him on his bullshit. Not me.

Sweep around your own stoop first.

Icarus said...

First of all, I think you're overthinking it.

This post is fairly typical of what we post. We don't represent ourselves as journalists. Dealing in rumors and/or stating our opinions on news of the day is what we do.

As Jay has already stated, there are multiple posts that Pete has posted that are a slow pitch down the middle for criticism. He's practically begging for it.

But for this post, his motivation is probably that Farris and Buzz are both covered up with work, and I'm out of town at a conference. We've all asked the other front pagers to "cover".

So we get a tip, it has a draft website, it's by her former campaign manager, it fits.

Frankly, if anyone, Galloway or others, are looking to Peach Pundit for the inner workings or behind the scenes of the DPG, they're looking in the wrong place.

And there's nothing to stop anyone from debunking these stories as they are published. That's the nature of blogs. Instant criticism and/or correction.

As for me and my criticism of Pete or anything else at Peach Pundit, I've taken exception via comments online, and what I've said behind the wall will remain there, when I feel it necessary.

Each of us remains "independent contractors". It's still a place I can say what I need to say. I don't have to agree with everyone else who posts there for me to do that. Nor am I in a postion to correct them. And that's about all I'm willing to say about that on another blog.

Sara said...

All you PPers who showed up here to argue are missing the point. This isn't about PP or Pete. It isn't really an attack on either of them. Both are pretty known quantities at this point.

This is about an AJC political writer using a blog post about a political draft website as the basis for a story about a possible candidacy, to which he gave credibility by saying it should be taken "seriously." And he published the story without bothering to do basic background verification with any of the people involved.

When mainstream media runs stories about what is reported on blogs without any effort to verify or disprove them, it is both lazy and dangerous. This is how rumors that could never be printed in the paper because they lack any valid sourcing or basis end up on TV and in print anyway, because the media says they're just reporting the existence of these blog rumors.

Defamation laws exist for a reason. Failing to take even minimal steps to verify a rumor before publication, particularly if you don't bother to label it as just an unsubstantiated rumor, will leave journalists without many legal defenses. It is also where you will find considerable risk of damage to reputations, candidacies, and lives. All for something that could be verified or proven false with a phone call.

griftdrift said...

And once again, I have to explain that I am not upset at "Pete's" typical crap. I am upset that a journalist would link to it not only as an item of interest but go on to say it is serious without a. taking the 20 minutes required to research the particular author's history and b. taking the 5 minutes to call the people involved to get the real story.

You want to know my bottom line? My bottom line is that I've spent the past 2 year practically begging journalists to reach out to bloggers. To try to understand how blogs work. To understand that just like anything in life, there is good and bad and all that's in between.

And when they do?

It's this. Linking to the court jester at Peach Pundit. The only reason I can even fathom is he didn't know it was the court jester and went on the assumption that because it was someone posting on the front page of Peach Pundit it must have worth.

And that's just plain fucking lazy.

You would think a journalist would take the time to, I don't know, actually understand the story. Put it in context. At least that's what I've had preached at me for the past two years.

And that is what has torqued my wrench.

Not anyone said...

Maybe I am missing something but Blake never said Jane has ruled out running. This is all he says on his blog about contacting her: "I’m waiting to hear back from her about this one."

So AFAIK, ATM, it still could be taken "seriously" and as a Democrat I'm pretty much resigned to a "less-than-stellar candidate" claiming that nomination too.

I pretty much agree with you about verifying the rumor from J-Gall BUT, all he said was that there was a website to draft her. That is fact. He never said she was running or even considering it. That's why I can't really be behind you (hahahaha I said be behind you) on this one.

griftdrift said...

Fact 1 - if you read Blake's first comment, it is Blake confirming that Kidd has no inclination to run.

Fact 2 - Galloway never said directly that she was considering running but he did say that the idea should be taken seriously.

You know what? I give. I just plain give.

Not anyone said...

Ah, OK, I didn't read the comments. My bad yo.

As for point two, is there any real reason that prima facie the idea shouldn't have been taken seriously? No one really stepping up, Democrats don't want (an even more) lackluster candidate, she' pretty routinely a potential candidate, it certainly didn't look like any old swinging dick just put up that site etc.

Unknown said...

hey don't give up--i more or less agreed with you about the gallaway point once it was spelled out well enough to permeate my denseness...

griftdrift said...

"is there any real reason that prima facie the idea shouldn't have been taken seriously?"

Uh, yeah.

She's never run for statewide office and she barely won the election to chair her own party.

Any speculation that she's going to take on a sitting U.S. Senator is the worst kind of absurd fever dream. Democrats are stupid but they aren't that stupid.

Not anyone said...

"She's never run for statewide office and she barely won the election to chair her own party."

Yeah, like that ever stopped people (not going to lie that is perhaps the stupidest thing you've ever written. Surely you don't think that is a good rebuttal).

And considering that party chairs are fairly frequently used as sacrificial lambs, there is one more reason to offer some credibility to the story. There is even history of DPG chairs stepping up to the Senate (OK that one is a big stretch).

And let's consider that non-dynamic female candidates who were state legislators in the South representing small metro areas have had some success in Senate races lately too.

Unknown said...

and then you go and tempt me to, for no real purpose, list reasons why she should be taken seriously as a potential candidate...

griftdrift said...


I'm done.

Not anyone said...

I really think you're taking this whole thing way too seriously.

Icarus said...

"Democrats are stupid but they aren't that stupid."

I don't think you can ever go wrong underestimating the collective intelligence of either political party.

Doug said...

"[Kidd's] never run for statewide office and she barely won the election to chair her own party.

Any speculation that she's going to take on a sitting U.S. Senator is the worst kind of absurd fever dream."

I don't know about that. The DPG has had the hardest time lining up legitimate candidates for Senate races.

It got so bad in 2004 they went after Cliff Oxford, whose political resume was extremely weak, just to keep Majette off the ballot. And that was for an open seat.

In 2008, retread Jim Martin was dragged into the race to keep Vernon Jones off the ballot.

Seems to me that it's par for the course for the DPG to get behind a lackluster candidate if it means keeping someone even worse from the nomination. And with no one announcing for the Senate seat yet, it's not wholly fanciful to think the state party chair would get in the race in order to keep someone worse out of it.

Unknown said...

I wonder if the AJC is going to report that PP is reporting that- ALERT:: The Chairperson of the DPG has sent out a fundraising email!!!:::

It must be significant, it's on PP!