Friday, November 17, 2006

Allentown Times Features Lehigh Valley Unfiltered Bloggers

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe Allentown Times today published a story about our local blogging community. Kristen Ziegler's article features Damien Brown's Allentown-oriented Our West End Neighborhood, and Vanessa Williams, whose Afterwork Chronicles is targeted at younger professionals in the Lehigh Valley. For comic relief, Ziegler also spoke with me.

Steve Ibanez, editor-in-chief for the Express Times on line edition, claims bloggers' "different perspective" is changing mainstream media. "We are not just a news organization grinding out the news," Ibanez said, "it's going to be newspapers and the community."

Blogs tend to be unfiltered and raw sources of information. For accuracy and objectivity, we don't come close to mainstream media sources. But blogs also invite more honesty. A perfect example of that came yesterday, when Bernie Kieklak, Lisa Boscola's chief of staff, took on all comers in a brilliant exchange of gonzo politics. He ignored conventional wisdom, in which government officials are cautioned against saying anything except things like "We are studying all options" or "We understand your concerns and they are very important to us." Instead, he called a Democratic blogger a "lying bastard" and also imparted pearls of wisdom like this:

I've seen rubber turds that have better political instincts than you do.

I define a "lazy ass" as someone who only managed to help their candidate get 44% of the vote, lazy ass.

Blessed are the meek, but that shit doesn't win elections.

You're just not going to read any public official saying things like that to the mainstream media. Democratic party officials were probably jumping off bridges last night. But I love it. It's honest. It's in your face. It's pure gonzo. It goes against conventional wisdom, but I think Gonzo Kieklak scored points for his boss last night.


Unknown said...

The article was great! It's good to see the 'Times cover something decent for once. When they do, they can write some really good articles.

SPK said...

her story is simply inaccurate!

(because she didn't mention me!!!)

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, The AT wrote a very nice article. The atmospherer may be polluted, but our blogosphere is quite healthy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

-spk, You're almost as modest as me. I realize your blog is primarily nonplitical, but it's very refreshing to me.

Anonymous said...


Don't forget John Micek (who writes the Capitol Ideas blog for the Morning Call) for regularly linking to LV Ramblings. Just the simple fact that an embedded capitol news reporter logs on early every morning and looks to YOUR WEB SITE for political nuggets worth pursuing is all the proof anyone needs that BLOGS DO MATTER!

Furthermore, John is not the only reporter at the Morning Call who reads your blog on a daily basis. Daryl Nerl will be writing a story for Monday's edition based on YOU breaking the news on YOUR BLOG that "Congresswoman Lisa Boscola" smells blood in the water following the Dent-Dertinger race in CD15. Now THAT'S power!!

For those who don't really understand the enormity of what Bernie did, single-handedly on his blog, it is called "agenda setting." Agenda setting (which is NOT telling people what to think, but telling people WHAT to think about) has historically been reserved for CNN and Fox News and the New York Times. Those days are over, forever...

Those blogs that have a rabid following, an engaging identity as a place where information flows freely, and a Blog Master like Bernie O'Hare (who dares to take on sacred cows and make hamburger out of them) will only grow in power and influence in political circles everywhere.

Thank you for the "Gonzo" moniker. I will wear it proudly. My only hope is that the Dem officials who were diving off bridges the other night had rocks in their pockets and don't know how to swim.

Bernie K

Bernie O'Hare said...


The check is in the mail. Thanks for the nice things you say. To be honest, I'm just some shlep with a blog. I only do this to impress the ladies, and it's NOT working. I even tried smashing my head into a boulder for some sympathy, and got laughed at instead.

Fortunately for the LV, it's getting a good crop of all kinds of blogs. But what makes any blog good, in my opinion, are the comments. Before I started doing this, I thought most people didn't give a shit. I was dead wrong. There's a lot of hungry people out there, starving for local opinions and willing to share quite a few of their own.

I'm glad and grateful that you opened up and fired a few rockets from this platform. I'm no political consultant, but I always admire someone who tells it like it is.

I view blogs as a complement, not replacement, for mainstream media. And since I've started doing this, I have grown to respect and admire the fourth estate. They're the only thing keep this country from devolving from democracy to some form of despotism.

Anonymous said...


I'm no political consultant either. I'm just a guy who learned a few things by getting my ass kicked repeatedly in political campaigns at an early age -- and someone who would step in front of a bazooka for my boss.

The Lehigh Valley is THE most challenging political environment in the entire state to work in. Voters here are more educated and more independent than anywhere else in Pennsylvania.

And THAT is exactly what makes YOUR blog so important!

Keep up the good work. I'll be checking my mailbox for that check you put in the mail...

Bernie K

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie, Gee, I may have forgotten a stamp, but I'm sure it's on its way.