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Daily Digest: Obama Gets Naked (With His Earmarks)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 14 2008

The Web on the Candidates

* The always terrific Mark Glaser has a great round-up on how "semi-pro journalism teams" are covering the presidential election in innovative and more personal ways. He focused on three valuable projects: PurpleStates.tv, which has five citizen journalists on its team; MTV's Street Team '08, which has a mobile journalist in every state; and Huffington Post's Off the Bus project, which boasts a whopping 1,800 contributors. Glaser pulls no punches and talks about the pluses and minuses of this approach, but if you're looking for a great entry-point to the conversation and mid-term review of these experiments, start here.

* Mike Lux at OpenLeft points to an interesting new effort by, Don Ringe, a veteran Republican media consultant who has decided he is terrified of a McCain presidency. It's called NoJohn.com, and it pulls no punches, using some cool face-morphing tools that link McCain to everyone from George W. Bush to Jerry Falwell.

* Over on TechRepublican, Chuck DeFeo of Townhall.com offers some basic advice to any politician looking to get attention online, garnered from his experiences in 2004 helping to run the Bush-Cheney internet campaign.

The Candidates on the Web

* Yesterday, Barack Obama released a complete list of his 2005 and 2006 earmark requests, in a challenging Hillary Clinton to do the same, and trying to make more of the larger issue of transparency. (He snared $98 million in '06, compared to $342 million by Clinton.) Newsweek's Stumper blogger Andrew Romano has a nice round-up of the politics behind the move, which came as the Senate is deliberating on a one-year earmark moratorium. Obviously, this is one of those moments where doing the right thing and political expediency line up precisely. That said, the rightwingers at RedState are already attacking Obama as a "crook" for winning a $1 million earmark for the hospital where his wife works.

* Uber-blogger Dave Winer has been pounding the virtual pavement to get MP3s of the daily conference calls the campaigns hold with reporters, and he is making real progress. The Washington bureau of McClatchy has produced an RSS feed for some of the calls, and it won't be long before hundreds, if not thousands, of citizens are listening in.

In Case You Missed It

Our favorite videos of the week seem to be all about race...but we did manage to find some more satirical contributions as well.

Patrick Ruffini makes the case for John McCain to start a daily videoblog.

MoveOn.org announces an "Obama in 30 Seconds" video ad contest, with a raft of celebrity judges.