Webb campaign claims credit for “macaca” video.

Wired: Bloggers didn’t break the “macaca” story — the Webb campaign did, by carefully managing the promotion of the video by working with the media and feeding talking points to bloggers.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “Webb campaign claims credit for “macaca” video.”

  1. Interesting. I think Vanden Berg is taking a little bit too much credit for this one. The Washington Post article launched its story just a few minutes before NLS started running with the full details (NLS though had plugged the story the night before, and generated a lot of site traffic and buzz).

    There was clearly some “stage managing” at work in launching the story, but the Allen campaign’s damage control ended up becoming part of the story as well. Its bizarre damage control efforts–e.g. multiple explanations of macaca, shifting decisions on whether an apology was appropriate, etc, etc–turned a two-day story into a week long front page story.

    Allen gave the spark, the Webb campaign provided some kindling, then Allen and his campaign staff decided that the best course of action was to pour some gasoline on the flames. That’s a newsworthy event.

  2. I think she is taking waaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too much credit. Ben promoted Sunday, so activists knew something big might be coming. Nor did she give Sidarth any credit for being a volunteer.

    And she even mistates it as the decisive moment in the campaign. Webb was 16 points behind, after the incident he was something like 7 points behind. That is huge.

  3. Why would NLS having this on Sunday disprove any of this? Is there anywhere other than the Webb campaign that Ben would have gotten it from?

    Allen’s ongoing botched response made it much bigger than it might have been, but I heard from a high-level Webb staffer not too long after the incident became public that the main purpose of having a tracker on Allen was to capture him looking like a bully, so that the later attacks they knew would come would be blunted. (That is, they’d be more likely to be interpreted as bullying than legitimate criticism.)

    A lot of people contributed to it, no doubt, but I do give a lot of credit to the Webb campaign for doing a good job of nudging and expanding this story without looking like they were pushing it.

  4. James,

    I can understand ‘skeptical’, but these pronouncements are really hard to understand. As for evidence, I have no idea what you are talking about. How does a question about whether the campaign or bloggers broke the biggest story in Virginia politics this year translate into evidence that the Webb campaign was dishonest?

    After all, the Webb campaign was merely releasing video of your candidate using a racial slur, talking right into a camera. Since that was the most honest most people had seen George Allen be, you could say it was a public service.

    What I really don’t understand is your need to blame everyone else for your candidate’s bad campaign.

  5. Vanden Berg is just trying to line up her next gig and it helps if she makes herself look like “the puppet master.” The Webb campaign provided the source material and the rest of it took off.

  6. The “Macaca Incident” was like a natural gas explosion – the further from the point of ignition, the greater the shockwave. If you were Allen it was flash, bang, so what. If you were the rest of America it was “did he know he forgot to wear is Klan hood?”

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