When I was SC Communications Director for the Fred Thompson campaign, there were only three journalist blogs worth following in the state – Dan Hoover, David Stanton, and Brad Warthen. Hoover was “let go” last week, Stanton this week; can Warthen be far behind? (They do “go in threes”, y’know…)
In all seriousness, losing Hoover and Stanton (on the heels of the retirement of Lee Bandy) leaves this state with no senior leadership in the journalistic community. The AP’s Jim Davenport now inherits the title of “SC’s best political reporter” (followed by the Young Guns: John O’Connor of The State and Ian Leslie in Beaufort; Jason Spencer in Spartanburg ranks a distant third in that group…); none of those three have the institutional knowledge that Davenport has (or that Hoover, Stanton, and Bandy had, for that matter), but Jim gets lost in the process stories a little too often for my liking (probably because he works for AP – I blame the system not the man – Jim’s a good guy). The new generation of journalists has its work cut out for it, and Jim has his work cut out for him as the new Leader of the SC Pack.
Now, Adam Fogle over at the Palmetto Scoop revels in the blogosphere’s resilience, but misses the point entirely. Political blogs (especially consultant driven outlets like Fogle’s) can never fill the void that honest journalism should have been filling (but largely hasn’t in years) – unbiased, unvarnished truth-telling (and we’ve had it better in SC because of Hoover, Stanton, Davenport and Bandy than the MSM in most states).
On the internet front, FITS comes closest in this state – and anyone who reads that has had too many eyefuls of Chargers cheerleaders and Pam Anderson to consider it a serious, long-term, unbiased news outlet – traffic or no traffic. SCHotline is the state’s Drudge Report – but that’s not reporting stories, that’s collecting stories. I don’t think we’ve seen where an honest internet news outlet can go in this state – but I hope we get the chance soon…
Note: I’m an opinion writer. I’ve never claimed to be a journalist.
Speaking of Adam Fogle, he’s tearing up Governor Mark Sanford again today. Adam, you do realize he’s not running for re-election, right? That second term is safely locked away…
Does make you wonder why Adam’s so hung up on the Governor (though at least he’s not as mean-spirited about it as the unhinged (and new leading Indigo Girl) Ross Shealy). I think you could almost hear Adam’s head getting ready to explode when Attorney General McMaster dropped Sanford’s name as potential Presidential material the other day…
Speaking of Presidential candidates – here’s my early line on the 2012 Republican nomination:
It’s got to be a proven, reform-minded, socially and fiscally conservative Beltway outsider with experience as an executive this time, boys and girls; Senators and Congresscritters need not apply. Those who lost in 2008 probably also need not apply, though I’m sure some will try.
Unsolicited advice for Gov. Huckabee: lose the TV show. All you’re currently providing is an excellent reason to look elsewhere in ’12, as well as taped fodder for future opponents.
While I’m laying odds, the early line on the 2010 Rep. Governor nomination:
Jimmy Merrill, Tumpy Campbell, Jake Knotts, Dr. Oscar Lovelace, and the long rumored but as yet “unnamed businessman” putting $2M of his own money to build name ID…
Winner to face the survivor of a Rex/Tenenbaum/Jimmy Smith brawl on the D side. Should be a fun cycle to watch.
Chance of Rep hold: 75%
Not on this list: Bobby Harrell. After last week’s performance (stripping committee assignments from two Lexington County conservatives – Nikki Haley and Nathan Ballentine), he’ll never be able to set foot in Lexington County again and be taken seriously, and certainly not as a candidate for statewide office. Somebody needs to spend the next two years figuring out how to replace the Speaker.
To bring the discussion full circle – when Mark Sanford runs for President, he can point to his relationship with Speaker Harrell as a reason to be supported. The Speaker’s actions this week validate all of the criticism he has taken (by FITS, the Policy Council and elsewhere) for being part of the “Big Government Republican” problem. Just as Palin can say she stood up to the Murkowskis and the Stevens of the world, and Jindal to the corruption of the LA legislature, Sanford will say he stood up to the Bobby Harrells of the world – and voters will get it, because they’re hungry for fiscal sanity – including the kinds of accountability and openness in government that Harrell has now proven himself so firmly deadset against. Honestly, it makes me wonder why Harrell’s ear is so tone-deaf on this issue – he’s a smarter politician than this.
Of course, if he stays Speaker, he’s still the most powerful man in the State… Mayor of Importantille, indeed…
Great week for Corrupto-crats. First Dollar Bill Jefferson gets voted out, now Gov Blagojevich gets outed by the US Attorney for “auctioning off the Senate seat”… Nice to know Chicago is the same (cesspool of corruption) town it’s always been.
So, today is a “Day without a Gay?” (and this impacts my life, how exactly?)
If we’re really, really lucky, the firm of Vierdsen, Lydecker, Mattheus and Prozac takes the day off from blogging… (notverybright having vacated the sphere last month)
…Yeah, I don’t actually think we’re that lucky either…
…though one wonders with unemployment numbers running where they are right now, how many businesses who have people call in homosexual today decide tomorrow is a good day to lay off that particular headache and recruit a more stable workforce from the currently unemployed (and probably more desperate for – and willing to – work). Just sayin’…