Some of the establishment ‘insiders’ in the New Hampshire political news firmament are clinging to their status as the connected resource for information, defending their political crack house like some kind of punditry-pusher for the news junkies in the Granite state.
One of their weapons is the exclusive. They need them to feel relevant.
Case in point, James Pindell, who unknown to most, had posted the news of Jack Kimball’s announcement to seek the state GOP chairmanship as a WMUR/Political Scoop exclusive. But he did it after it had been posted by GraniteGrok, on GarniteGrok.com, the Grok’s facebook page, each of the Groksters facebook pages, at NH Insider.com, at the NHRVC web page, at my Live Free or Die WordPress page, and on several email lists like those of the NHRVC and RLCNH.
After a conversation with one of the Grok’s contributors, the word "exclusive" was reportedly removed from the Political Scoop post, but the act of trying to claim exclusivity still remains, embedded in the original web address to the article as posted.
It’s just like little foot prints in the digital snow, staggering away from the scene of a crime.
In all honesty, James is well connected, I’m sure he works hard, and he does break a lot of news–and we appreciate the effort–but there is no way he could ever have thought he was the first one to hit the internet with this story, and I don’t recall anyone at the Grok ever reporting anything Pindell published as their exclusive story or without proper attribution. I’d call that a question of character, if anything.
Of course we are not paid to act like we get exclusives, and we do not charge our readers for the privilege of any access, information or opinion. Pindell charges a ton of money to get past his paywall, The Lobby charges about half that for the opinions of mostly RINO’s and center left reporters you could get for free–with more entertaining analysis if you simply waited a few hours. Maybe that’s why they have to give it away for two weeks just to get people to try it?
After two weeks of that they should probably be paying you.
So going forward you may find "free" to be not only as good, but better.
The people who get paid to do what we do for nothing will not take kindly to that competition. In fact they will have unkind words for us. But that is not a war they can win. We can be as honest, unkind, derogatory, direct, confrontational, or provocative as is warranted, without worrying about losing our paid gig, and that includes calling them out for trying to claim an exclusive on a story that is already in the public domain.
Or are we now going to have to endure some Orwellian redefinition of exclusive?
For the record, should we ever claim to have an exclusive, and that turns out to be incorrect, we welcome that kind of input, and we will write a retraction, and give proper credit where it is due, something some of those establishment insiders avoid…because we are their competition, and it isn’t easy to compete with free.
Image Credit: Randall Munroe (xkcd)