Monday, December 13, 2004

A Call for Daily Talking Points

I've been impressed by how the press slavishly repeats the Republicans' talking points all the time, and I guess it's because.....they have them.  This has been so successful for the Repubs that I've wondered for a while why Democrats don't have daily talking points.

So I've started proposing that we have daily talking points.

And when I say we, I mean the Democratic and liberal blogs.  Essentially what I'm proposing is this:

(1) Once or more a week, Chris Bowers or Jerome Armstrong, Markos, Atrios, and Josh Marshall (or some such group) exchange a series of emails proposing lists of talking points for the coming week.  One of them is the moderator each week, and that moderator tries to let everybody get a point or two in, but he gets final say.  The moderator position rotates.

(2) How do our fearless leaders (FLs) decide what talking points to submit to the above process?   Presumably Josh Marshall just makes his up himself, because that's how he works. On the Scoop blogs it could be done with suggestions from the community in comments and polls, or, if it was worth the effort, with a Wiki. It could be done all sorts of ways.

(3) Once the ubermoderator has chosen the 7 talking points, he assigns them to seven days, and assigns whoever is most passionate/available to write them.  Let's say Tuesday's talking point is social security reform, Atrios had agreed to write the talking point.  Last thing Monday night he posts the talking point.  It's written so that the post's title makes the talking point succinctly, the first sentence makes the point a bit less succinctly but still very persuasively, and the whole post is less than ten lines long.  Often it'll include two or three zingers.

(4) The other FLs wake up Tuesday morning.  They either take Atrios's post verbatim or, if they feel like writing a bit, they can write it differently.  It's labelled today's talking point.  Maybe it even has a spot in the sidebar.

(5) Other bloggers also echo it if we like. If we want to influence the stream of daily talking points we do so as members of the big community blogs.

(6) When each of us read it we know it's the point of the day.  It's the point to bring up over lunch with the people at work.  It's the point to call a radio talk show about.  If you're one of the people who goes to mediamatters and sends complaints about right-wing bias to news organizations, then when you see the talking point one of the things you do is look for items related to that talking point, and you complain about them.  It's the point you mention to your mom if you talk to her about politics on the phone.

That's about it.  It seems like somebody needs to do it.  It seems like it could be done without too much effort (easier said, I know).   It seems like the lefty blogs are a unified, rising group that could take control of this problem and fix it.


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