Dear Readers: I wanted to give you a heads-up that I begged Dawn Wildman to do the interview with LaDona Harvey regarding the California budget insanity yesterday. She did an amazing job, and is worthwhile hearing if you didn’t catch the original broadcast. (Click HERE to listen; her segment begins around minute 30).
And this is a helpful segue in how to recognize quality citizen leadership among various tea party groups. That is, people in a group should ask if their spokespeople are more interested in presenting the groups’ messages, or if they are there to promote themselves.
As a freelance journalist, I have directly seen the consequences of regular people exposed to a tremendous amount of media in a short period of time. If those people are well grounded and circumspect, then the experience is not detrimental to their character. On the other hand… well just take a look at Megan McCain and shudder:
So, continuing my Operation Steadfast series, here is the next segment of dialog between Patriot76 and myself:
Patriot76: Weren’t most of these organizations [i.e., tea party local, state, and national groups] initiated and organized by normal people?
Yes. Most still are. However, as Tammy Bruce notes, people exposed to sudden media attention can get publicity addiction. It occurs when a person begins using any and all occasions to get in front of a camera or reporter in order to become news.
Publicity addiction is, tragically, a common occurrence. For example, it makes people do things, such as convince themselves they can be the next Fox News Pundit after a gentle interview by one of the Fox News anchors. In one instance, media addiction convinced an activist he could be the next Governor of California with no political experience.
I became Catholic, in part, to focus on the having the humility necessary to avoid publicity addiction. I think I am mostly successful, though I really love going on Fox Business Network.
However, I will admit to one addiction. My name is Leslie Eastman and I am an Instalink addict. I love those spikes in page view. The adrenaline rush of realizing my punditry is going to be seen by millions of informed people around the world is thrilling. As Glenn Reynolds is an independent thinker, genius opiner, and one of the Internet’s most famous trailblazers, getting a link from him is an amazing experience.
I try to control it; so, I don’t email Professor Reynolds all my platinum punditry. Just most of it. And I am totally emailing him this.
I would like to note I also suffer from link-addiction to the Anchoress, Legal Insurrection, The Other Mccain, HillBuzz, and the members of the San Diego Local Order of bloggers. I would also like to send a special shout-out to LaDona Harvey and Tammy Bruce for indulging some of this addiction as it relates to radio and podcasts.
I want to conclude with a compare and contrast to highlight my point. A while back, I was invited to do segments on Top Story with Chris Reed. It was a great honor to be asked. The theme was the local Tea Party views on the 2012 Presidential Primary.
Mindful that the SLOBs have a wide array of preferred candidates, I would confer with all of them to get a feel for what they were thinking. THEN I would mention the diversity of opinion.
On the other hand, it seems that Amy Kremer is going to go top-down in support of Rick Santorum. Santorum is not my cup of tea, and I am amazed any Tea Party national group would be so tone-deaf as to try and do a top-down endorsement of anyone from the current field. There is a vast diversity of opinion as to “electability”. Vast.
I wouldn’t do it. Then again, I am content being a happy asteroid in the galaxy of media rather than trying to be a mega-star. It usually doesn’t work out too well.