Thursday, July 24, 2008

The importance of a local perspective

In my fantasy world, I would have a job as a deejay with complete control over my playlist. In other words, I'd pull the same stuff that I pulled at Reed College's KRRC in the early 1980s, and on and Pandora today. (Except I'd get paid for it.)

And, as part of this fantasy world, I'd be a deejay in a city hundreds of thousands of miles away from where I live. For example, I'd sit in a studio in Ontario, California, and broadcast for a radio station in Madrid, New Mexico.

Of course Gene "Bean" Baxter is doing this today, but he's broadcasting in a city in which he used to live.

So, in my fantasy, I'd keep up with the goings-on of Madrid, New Mexico via the Internet. "Hey, how about that [insert current event]?" That kind of thing.

But we all know that this wouldn't work, and I wouldn't be convincing.

This was brought home to me when I read two posts by local bloggers, commenting on things in their local communities which outsiders wouldn't necessarily know about.

Let's start with Mike of Franklin Avenue, who wrote a post entitled Of All The Hotels To Meet His Mistress, Why Did Edwards Pick the Beverly Hilton? And why is this significant, Mike?

Edwards conducted the tryst Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Yes, where the TV Critics Association Press Tour was still taking place. Edwards picked a hotel where journalists from across the country were staying. Uh, oops. Doesn't sound like any of them spotted him, but that was pretty boneheaded... as if the whole affair isn't already. Why not just put a press release out at that point?!

Now let's go to Mark Daniels, but first we'll stop at this post from Taegan Goddard, written July 23 at 9:16 pm.

Sen. Barack Obama's planned speech in Berlin is expected to lead the political news on Thursday, but there are some indications Sen. John McCain's campaign might be planning a surprise announcement....

[H]e abruptly changes his schedule to appear in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday. The press wasn't told until the campaign plane was on the tarmac.

Will McCain pick his running mate on Thursday?

Could it be former Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH)? Or perhaps it's former Rep. John Kasich (R-OH)?

Mark Daniels, in a post written July 24 at 9:42 am, applies some local logic:

If McCain is coming to Columbus to announce a Veep, it's likelier that the person will be John Kasich. Portman is from the Cincinnati area and, believe me I know, having lived in his congressional district for seventeen years, viewed in something like heroic terms there. It's unlikely that McCain would pass up the adulation with which a Portman vice presidential run would be greeted in Cincinnati.

As far as I know, the speculation is for naught, since I doubt that Lance Armstrong would make a good vice presidential candidate. And McCain is meeting with the Dalai Lama tomorrow, but he isn't eligible to be Vice President (or President).

But it helps to have someone around who can tell Columbus from Cincinnati, or who knows when the press is in town.

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