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Dear Daily Herald: How hard would it be to click over to Dold’s site, too?

Friday, Jun 18, 2010

* This is a prime example of seriously lazy journalism

The Democratic candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat has been called out for using an old endorsement.

Dan Seals was misleading voters by including a portion of a Daily Herald endorsement as part of a rotating gallery of information on his campaign home page, according to a blogger who follows the action in the 10th.

The endorsement came during the Democratic primary, as Seals dueled two other candidates. He edged state Rep. Julie Hamos for the nomination to face Republican Bob Dold in the November general election. The seat is currently held by Republican Mark Kirk, who is running for U.S. Senate.

“It doesn’t apply today,” said Larry Falbe, a Mettawa trustee and creator of Team America’s 10th District blog.

“This isn’t buried somewhere on an endorsement list. It’s front and center,” added Falbe, a Kirk supporter and volunteer for Dold who has been critical of Seals in the past.

Here’s the image in question, which has since been removed from Seals’ site and which Team America published on Wednesday

Props to Larry for pushing that story into the mainstream, but the Daily Herald reporter and Larry should’ve both looked at Republican Bob Dold’s website before they launched into their attack on Dan Seals. If they had, they would’ve seen this…

In case you’re a little slow this morning, that would be the exact same “problem” as Seals’ website had. Dold is prominently displaying a Tribune endorsement from the primary.

Oops.

Rob thinks this is an example of media bias. If the reporter knew about the Dold site and didn’t include it in the story, then, yes, it’s bias. But we don’t know yet whether the reporter knew, so that’s why I’ve just labeled this as journalistic laziness. If it’s worse, I’ll get back to you.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Team America - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 10:53 am:

    Hi Rich - as I have already posted at Team America and at Illinois Reason, if Team Seals can show me that the click-through button on the Seals page took you to the full endorsement piece showing the date and the whole context that it concerned the primary, then I’ll retract everything. That’s how the Dold website it set up, which is clearly not intended to mislead. But I don’t think it did, since I had to go digging for the original Daily Herald endorsement peice on their website. I am willing to be corrected if I was wrong.


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    ===which is clearly not intended to mislead===

    It says “endorses.” If it wasn’t “misleading” it should say “endorsed for the primary.” A simple headline change.

    Much ado about little, but still.

    Also, if you wanna get all technical, publishing an entire newspaper story on a campaign website violates copyright laws unless he first obtained permission.


  3. - Easy peasy - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    I just went to DoldForCongress.com. I clicked through the numbers on the front page graphic, and got the Trib slide on my second click.


  4. - R.P. McMurphy - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    Yeah…..that’s a highly nuanced, and frankly pretty stupid, distinction.

    It’s completely legit to criticize journalists for being so lazy as to only rely on biased bloggers for their research.


  5. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    No you’re not Falbe.

    Rich, I ended my piece with this:

    “This lack of 30-seconds of basic research is a failure on the media’s part and yet more evidence that the press isn’t “liberal” no matter how often the cons complain about it.”

    Lazy is as lazy does, but simple “lazines” doesn’t explain why the media ignored the clearly numerous stories about Mark Kirk’s serial lying over an entire decade…

    This is simply the start of a new decade.


  6. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:01 am:

    Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence


  7. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    Falbe says, “I am willing to be corrected if I was wrong.”

    No you’re not. You’re such a lawyer you’ve pulled a Kirk — this clause was about that timeframe while the other clause was about a completely different thing. Ne’ermind that both things could quite easily, perhaps even intentionally, be confuzed.

    The Dold homepage says this:

    “Chicago Tribune Endorses Robert Dold
    ‘Congress needs more people who genuinely understand what it takes to put people to work… Dold makes a convincing argument that he does… Dold is endorsed.’”

    And his splash IS STILL THERE!

    I don’t see anything there about when the Trib endorsed him.

    You’re such a lawyer. ;)


  8. - Team America - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    I’m still willing to be corrected. As I recall, the Seals button took one to page that simply featured logos of Seals’ other endorsements. That’s different than the way Dold set it up, which allows you to clearly see it was from the primary, unlike the Seals page. Otherwise, I stand by the post.


  9. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    ArchPundit - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:01 am said:

    “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence”

    That, sir, should be a Burma Shave sign!


  10. - shore - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    1. Team America gets more stories into the msm than any hobbyist blogger in this state. Pat Brady should get him into hq for a debriefing because he has made dan seals life hell for the past 4 years. If the party is serious about grassroots organizing and leadership, we could use a dozen more blogs like this.

    2. The problem with lakefront liberal and chicago democrat dan seals is that he has 6 years of deception and lying from his resume to his energy stunt that caused a traffic mess to lying about his employment history to his infamous israel bashing on atcenternetwork, to failing to live in the district for 5 years. Dold, so far does not have that history.


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    Laziness and incompetence are far more widespread than actual malice. You have to work at malice.


  12. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:15 am:

    === The problem with lakefront liberal and chicago democrat dan seals is that he has 6 years of deception and lying from his resume… ===

    Problem? Looking at Mark Kirk, lying about your resume seems to be a prerequisite for getting elected to Congress in the 10th.

    I’d argue Seals probably needs to juice it up more…talk about how he brought down the Berlin Wall or cured cancer or something…to catch up with Kirk.


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    TA, this is what you wrote on Wednesday…

    ===The critical point is, though, that one would think by simply looking at Seals’ website, that the quote given is current, or at least, against Seals’ current opponent, Bob Dold. That’s obviously not true, but Seals is clearly counting on the notion that most casual visitors to his website aren’t going to dig any deeper.===

    You set it up wrong, man. No biggie, but you did.


  14. - FillB - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:20 am:

    Thanks for the totally informed and unbiased thoughts, shore.


  15. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:21 am:

    Rich, “no biggie?”

    It’s the crux of Falbe’s entire argument. And now that he’s been called out on it he’s moving the goalposts.

    Looking at “the website” was the grape that makes up Falbe’s entire whine and site to site Dold and Seals were doing the exact same thing re past endorsements.

    In fact, only Dold still is doing exactly what his own supporter Falbe complains about.


  16. - shore - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    This is not about Kirk-who went 17-18 in endorsements in the 6 competitive elections he ran in the 10th losing only to tom lachner in a primary in 2000.

    It is about mr.seals who as team america has documented over the last 3 years has never lived in the district and hasn’t had a job for the last 4 years. He’s lied about

    -where he went to school
    -that he was aide to senator lieberman and at the department of commerce when he was really an intern
    -his employment history at “the point”
    -his employment history at “ge financial”
    -his employment history at northwestern
    -his position on Israel.
    -his place of residency


  17. - Missing the point - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:26 am:

    YDD — credit where credit is due: that was funny.

    TA’s set-up and attack on Seals aside, let’s not miss an important point here. Dold is attacking Seals for leaving an endorsement up on his site. Once Seals’ camp was notified, it was removed. Dold’s camp, on the hand, responded to the Herald’s story (his spokesperson is quoted), all the while knowing, one would think, that their site touted the primary endorsement from the Tribune.


  18. - Joe - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:29 am:

    I think the point TA is trying to make is: Dold can do it, Seals can’t because IOKIYAR.


  19. - P. - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    There’s no excuse for this. I bet they try to say, Well the DH was correcting the DH record and the story was meant to stop Seals from using the DH endorsement inappropriately. It’s also pretty inexcusable for the campaign, which is now being run by a DCCC operative for several months and now a former Quigley staffer and operative, to not correct the Web site. C’mon guys. Seriously?

    That said, if the DH reporter saw the Trib endorsement, you gotta call someone on the Trib ed board, then report on that too.

    Last, how does Dold call out Seals without checking their own Web site?!?! They all forgot how they proudly promoted the Tribune endorsement or thought the Internet cleared it up for them on its own?


  20. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    P — Both Dold and Seals earned those respective endorsements… Why is there “no excuse” for this?

    They can fairly list the endorsements til their sites get overhauled for the general.

    The bogus part is for Dold’s supporter to come rip-roarin down the printing press with an attack that Seals is in the wrong with nary a word about Dold doing the exact same thing.


  21. - Obamarama - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 12:10 pm:

    This happens all the time. Dan Cronin’s website lists both the DH and Trib endorsements from the primary even though that was over four months ago.


  22. - Missing the point - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 12:16 pm:

    The story isn’t that both campaigns had outdated endorsements on their site. The story is that Dold’s campaign actively pushed out an attack, accusing their opponent of something they themselves were guilty of, knowingly or otherwise.


  23. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    - Obamarama - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 12:10 pm:

    “This happens all the time. Dan Cronin’s website lists both the DH and Trib endorsements from the primary even though that was over four months ago.”

    The fact that politicians are too lazy to keep their web sites up to date shows me how little the candidates, and their staffs, do not understand that there interweb thang.

    Web sites require constant updating for no other reason than to keep the content fresh and keep interested parties returning to the site. Web Marketing 101.


  24. - tikkunolam - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    -The fact that politicians are too lazy to keep their web sites up to date shows me how little the candidates, and their staffs, do not understand that there interweb thang.-

    Actually, Cincinnatus, it demonstrates that it is political tradition to tout primary endorsements until general election ones are issued. Seals’ website is updated with at least one new blog post a week as well as regular pictures and the upcoming event schedule. I don’t know how many campaigns you’ve been a part of, mate, but there isn’t an even semi-competitive candidate in a close district that in fits the definition of “lazy.” Campaign staffers work incredibly hard, and usually for little or no pay. Don’t lump ‘em all together and call ‘em “lazy.”


  25. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    Here’s the thing about the “need to update the site” issue.

    I haven’t been checking Seals’ site — had no reason to.

    Also hadn’t been checking Dold’s site all that often. Again, no reason to.

    But if you go to both you’ll see both are content management sites, meaning that the homepages are constantly being updated with new events, new posts, new pictures, etc.

    In other words, the sites themselves may not have been overhauled for the general election yet but both — Dold’s and Seals’ — are being constantly updated.


  26. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Speaking of CommadoKirk isn’t CommandoKinzinger still leaving voters with the impression that he is up there with the Red Baron, Sky King and Terry and the Pirate battlin’ the bad guys
    Maybe Gags Brady can rush out a release
    Fire,Aim, Ready!
    Have a great weekend


  27. - Carl Nyberg - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:54 pm:

    This gives a pretty good hint why the Chicago media missed the Kirk story for a decade.

    Partly, sloth.

    Partly, a willingness to be led around by GOP operatives.


  28. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:57 pm:

    ikkunolam - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, Campaigns, I’ve worked a few…

    Like Rob_N says most sites aren’t overhauled. Once the primaries were over, staff should get things ready for the general. Any candidate who thinks just posting new blog posts makes an up-to-date web site doesn’t understand how his site is used, by both supporters and opponents.

    Inertia is at play here. Staffers will update the “News” section and not review the rest of the site. Web site maintenance is actually more like gravity than inertia. With inertia, if you push something, it will continue going on its own. With gravity, you must keep pushing or the thing stops.

    Web sites are too visible, they are not a 3-ring binder sitting on someone’s desk where you can keep endorsements filed. The site must be constantly parsed for errors, omissions, additions and above all must be completely accurate. This is Web 2.0, not mimeograph 1.0.


  29. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 4:40 pm:

    Carl, Rich -

    I just posted the Herald reporter’s response to me after asking him if he had checked Dold’s site.

    The Herald reporter told me essentially the same thing as Falbe’s hair-splitting excuse…

    Quite the ko-inky-dink.

    No word on whether or not the reporter even checked Dold’s site before writing the story, but I asked him that too (twice now).


  30. - Team America - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 4:48 pm:

    Rob_N, I think you’re getting a little carried away with yourself. Are you trying to imply that… shock and horror… I spoke with Mick Zawislak, the DH reporter…? I would suggest to you that it is a little hard to be interviewed (and quoted) for a story without talking to a reporter. Next thing you will be suggesting that Camp Alexi feeding info to the New York Times to dump on Kirk is somehow askance.


  31. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 4:56 pm:

    Team/Falbe, Mr. Zawislak gave me that response this morning.

    Are you saying you spoke with him again early today after the story was published and after I asked him whether or not he had checked Dold’s site before writing the article?

    (A question he has yet to answer, by the way.)

    In other words, are you informing us you told him what to say this morning when people asked about the apparent lack of research and balance in his article?


  32. - Team America - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 4:59 pm:

    I don’t know if Zawislak looked at Dold’s site before he wrote the story or not. But if you think I can brainwash a Daily Herald reporter and tell him what to say, then you’re daffy.


  33. - Rob_N - Friday, Jun 18, 10 @ 5:03 pm:

    Nice dodge but you didn’t answer either of my questions.

    Did you speak to him this morning and tell him the same thing you posted here at 10:53am and at Illinois Reason a few moments earlier at 10:44am?

    Mr. Zawislak’s very similar reply to me came in at 10:55am, about the same time.


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