Did you know that there were over 20 radio stations at an event in Iowa over the past two days talking about immigration and the candidate's stances? Probably not. Hell, I didn't even know about it until about 2 days before Christmas when I received a call from William Gheen of ALIPAC asking if I could make it.
Even if you did know about the event you probably haven't heard one word about anything that has happened there or even what they are doing. The only limited information I have received were announcements just prior to the event of what they all planned to do from ALIPAC and at my press conference coverage of Voice of the People USA. If you go to the website for the event set up by FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) all you get is PDF files of what radio stations will be there and links to their sites. No real information whatsoever. It's a disgrace of a website really in this day and age and looks more like something a corporation would put together, not a movement. No interactivity or feeling of being invited into the event.
Dan Stein of FAIR - April 2007
And this is where I stick my little nose out there so these bigger groups can chop it off as I point out the complete ridiculousness and seeming snobbery that groups like FAIR have shown those of us in the online community. That's right, this is mostly FAIR's fault. Their execution in the online sphere is simply appalling. It is like they are living in 1980 with the way they run things. If it's not talk radio or TV they don't want anything to do with you. In DC they actually had the gall to come to us bloggers and tell us that when we are in the "Radio Row" to not go up and interrupt people while they're in the middle of an interview. As if we were in Kindergarten!
I attended FAIR's Hold Their Feet To The Fire event back in April. Was I invited by FAIR at the time so that they could have people on-hand to report back to the online community in real time of what was going on, what was being accomplished and to get video of speeches and interviews out? No.
Were any of the others with websites that were there contacted by FAIR and asked to show up? No.
All of the bloggers who attended the April event - and literally posted hundreds of entries on events going on there - were invited by the group ALIPAC and self funded. I personally was sent only because of my generous readers like you who donated enough funds so that I could drive 9 hours down there and get a hotel and eat.
So, this Iowa event that FAIR is currently hosting has been a complete and utter failure online. There are simply near zero posts on the event, no video and not even a daily update. All of the radio hosts were there for two days, and if it was like DC, a number of them if not all, had their expenses covered by FAIR.
Do I have sour grapes for not being able to be there? Well not really, I already had plans to be in New York with family over Christmas. If however I had been contacted enough in advance and given just a tad of financial support to get me in and out of Iowa, I might have cut my Christmas trip short and gone out there to provide coverage. Coverage for all of you out there who read this site and those who link to it and to others who only get their information online. Information that could spread and keep people informed about groups like FAIR and ALIPAC and Voice of the People USA and 9/11 Families for a Secure America.
But what it boils down to with this event is that, if you're lucky, you might get a little stale reprinted limited main stream media post over at ALIPAC or a press release. ALIPAC did announce the preliminary results of their phone campaign they are doing that found by a 6-1 margin people disagree with Huckabee's touchback plan. And don't think I'm getting down on ALIPAC, I'm not, they have a lot on their plate and limited funds. As do the other groups mentioned above who could barely afford to get their leaders there.
FAIR on the other hand has no excuse, as they are the richest of the immigration organizations in this country. FAIR has been around for decades - decades that have seen illegal immigration balloon in this country under their watch.
After all, we know the Internet is some new fangled media that has only been around for a few months and hasn't really had any impact or shown any results at events like these.
Well most people on the East Coast don't have local radio reps there so the entire East Coast is in the dark about things. Most people don't have time or inclination to listen to radio broadcasts online.
That is where blogs can be of tremendous value and it is their immediacy and also their "archival" features that make them an excellent way to bring information to lots of readers on current events.
Reading about the event 4 days later is stale. People want to know NOW and since we both know several people there in Iowa on our side of the issue, it just seems it would have been so easy for them to pick up the phone and give some of us some tidbits of info to blog even if we could not be there in Iowa.
FAIR is old fashioned in their approach to this and they are almost completely ignoring the "new media". They need to update their methods in a big way to be effective. Blogs can help provide news that the mainstream media WON'T report on and the only way they can do that is to get information. With the short notice of this event and the proximity to the holidays, it is not a surprise that no bloggers could attend and only Alipac invited them.
So.. I agree with Digger..
Posted by: Ruthiness on December 29, 2007 01:50 AM