|Mr. President, you forgot about us!|
President Barack Obama and the generally Internet savvy Obama White House made a major misstep in the execution of what’s called “The Black Bloggers Summit” held October 11th at The White House.
The trouble is – and yes, for this blogger it’s whining, so let’s get that out of the way – a number of prominent political bloggers who happen to be African American, or black if you prefer, were left off the list, including this blogger.
Instead, representatives from theRoot.com, City Limits, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Essence, Jack & Jill Politics, Concrete Loop, AOL Black Voices, Black America Web and MediaTakeOut, to name some of the bloggers, were invited.
And guess what? MediaTakeOut.com crashed today under the weight of its new Internet traffic levels. Great way to get President Obama’s message out there. Geez.
That really is the question. A number of black bloggers are taking the White House to task for asking black gossip bloggers to come, and those representing obviously “black” blogs, rather than inviting bloggers who have larger reach with major news sites who happen to be black.
While some looked at the effort with tongue in cheek criticism, others, like Oliver Willis, a powerful political blogger who happens to be black, completely ignored it, and the UK (England!) DailyMail used it to essentially lie about what happened – that one blog, Jack and Jill Politics, said it “refused to be pimped.”
That was taken out of context by the DailyMail for political purposes. What Jack and Jill Politics blogger “The Christian Progressive Liberal” was explaining was that she was happy President Obama walked into the room, but blogged “if you want me at the dance, I better get something in RETURN. One can always be pimped Ã¢â‚¬â€œ it is a whole different ballgame when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re treated like you have the influence to change the course of events.”
The problem is by not having a big black blogger tent, or a big blogger tent, President Obama created an Internet climate of criticism from those left out of the summit, and praise only from those allowed in to it. Moreover, the President allowed in group of bloggers who don’t seem to know what “off the record” means. Opps.
After all, a blogger who calls herself “HappyAboutThis” wasn’t happy at all about the Obama Black Bloggers Summit:
“Tell anyone who reads MediaTakeout.com that the site was invited to the White House for a policy briefing and discussion as part of its effort to “broaden online engagement with the black community and it will be at least 5 minutes before you can continue the conversation due to the laughter that will ensue….Media Take Out and Young Black and Fabulous are known to print highly speculative and, in many cases, clearly false information about people in the public eye. Much of the content on Media Take Out web site is graphic and certainly not safe for viewing on your work computer. What could they possibly add to a conversation about ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s healthcare, education, and civil rights policies?”
What can we expect? They’re gossip bloggers, right?Stay tuned.
“Not a one of the bloggers represents a major news site or has connections to one, and people like the legendary Oliver Willis, or John Ridley, or for that matter, Zennie Abraham, er, me, weren’t there. Hell, this blogger didn’t even get an invitation. Yes, gossip is done here, but so is politics, and in large measure.
And for all of the effective blogging Zennie62 did when it was “Zennie’s Zeitgeist” and one of 128 blogs credentialed for the Democratic National Convention? With all of the CNN iReport work this video blogger did at the DNC 2008? With all of the Obama Rapid Response work done to put Barack in the White House? For being on the websites of Mediaite, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer?
Just what brand of weed the White House is smoking is the question of the day.”