Dear DNC Bloggers...

Don't fuck up.

Bloggers aren't journalists, but I have a feeling that for the most part you'll be shunted into the same category during the convention because the organizers won't really know what to do with you. You may have access or credentials, or maybe they'll just leave you alone to wander the floor. Either way, you're going to be taking part in a very, very important event. But unlike journalists, bloggers will be posting in real time with no support staff, no editors, no legal staff and no clue at the danger awaiting them.

Imagine if something you wrote on your weblog became a Willie Horton style wedge issue? Imagine if something you wrote cost John Kerry the election in November. Think about it. I'm not talking about something real ("I just saw so-an-so doing [insert something salacious]"), I'm talking about something more normal, but said in a way to invite attack. I'm talking about having your words being twisted and used by the the most vicious, power-hungry, immoral party ever to walk the earth: The Republicans.

Imagine them reading every word you write looking for a chance to manipulate them for political gain. Imagine you writing about any number of people or events that are contentious: gay rights, abortion rights, Iraq or our troops - and having those words somehow used in a national campaign against the Democrats. Some sentence like "Democrats don't support the troops who tortured those prisoners," gets turned into a headline on Fox News: "DNC Blogger: Democrats don't support the troops." Get it? The Republicans will do anything to retain power and will have no problems twisting your words, using your blog or even ruining your life to get what they want. None. Imagine *being* the Willie Horton of this election because of something you wrote.

Also think about the mindless brownshirted Republican bloggers as well. Imagine the DNC bloggers being open and constructively critical about issues, only to have these words taken out of context and repeated by Scott McClellen in some morning briefing: "From what I've seen online there isn't much support for Kerry from those on the floor." Then imagine during the other convention, the zombie bloggers who the Republicans pick faithfully repeating the party line (literally). The Democrats are truly about inclusiveness, tolerance and freedom, thus our bloggers will not nearly be as controlled as the Repubs by definition. Imagine in the debates, a question like "During the conventions, both parties invited bloggers to participate. How do these bloggers represent your constituency - and why was there so many problems during the Democratic convention?" Think about it.

Look, you're playing with the big-boys now. Say something stupid and we could have four more years of warmongering, lying, power-grabbing and deceit. Get it? Do you *really* get it? Say what you want, be critical, be open, just think about how your words can be used by the other side as well. It's a tight rope and you're walking the high wire now.

Don't. Fuck. Up.


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