Shortly after Governor Sarah Palin joined the Republican ticket, a pink-themed social networking Web site called “Team Sarah” appeared, proclaiming itself a “diverse coalition of women dedicated to advancing Sarah Palin’s vice presidential candidacy. Men welcome too!” A disclaimer at the bottom of the page alerts readers that it is paid for by the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund Project. This pro-life political action committee has reported spending $193,000 to support McCain. The group’s support was never mentioned when New Hampshire newspapers and television stations reported on a Team Sarah press conference, and Fox & Friends interviewed the group’s spokesperson, Jeri Thompson, wife of Senator Fred Thompson.

To be sure, some pro-Obama bloggers see themselves as willing conveyor belts for their candidate’s message. But these blogs tend to be focused on activism instead of punditry. Meanwhile, many high profile pro-Obama bloggers, such as Adam Bonin, a former law student of Obama’s who posts at DailyKos, told CJR that, for a long time, “the Obama campaign wasn’t doing any outreach to bloggers who wanted to get information out to the public. Their focus seemed to be on developing their own My Barack Obama platform and ensuring access through that community.”

Unlike McCain, who had to rally his base, Bonin claimed that the Obama campaign was not interested in reaching out to bloggers like himself because he didn’t want to be the “liberal” candidate. “It wasn’t a courtship that seemed to be a priority for the campaign,” said Bonin. “They just kind of said this is who we are, this is what the campaign believes, and if you like that, join us.”

 

Renee Feltz is a fellow with the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.