Capital Press

I barely know Kirk Ross. In fact I barely know any of the people who post entries here at BlueNC. We are a virtual community tied loosely together only by an interest in North Carolina politics. In fact, when I talked to Kirk in December about how BlueNC could upgrade the quality of its content with more original reporting, I had to pump him for information so I could introduce him to our readers. This is what I wrote on New Year's Day:

Kirk has been hanging around BlueNC as “kmr” for a good long while. You haven’t seen him post much, but that’s not because he’s a slacker. Kirk is a prolific freelance writer and has other blogs, including Exile on Jones Street. When forced to account for himself last year, Kirk wrote this:

. . . a longtime North Carolina journalist, musician and public policy enthusiast. Before striking out on his own, he served as Managing Editor and online development manager for the Independent Weekly. Prior to that he was a reporter for the Chapel Hill News covering government, higher education, politics and schools. He won the North Carolina Press Associations’ top investigative reporting award in 2002 for his work on post 9/11 immigration and labor issues.

Kirk will surely have lots to say about lots of issues, but the thing I’m most jazzed about is his coverage of state government. He knows the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of the North Carolina legislature as well as anyone – and has promised to keep a close eye on the 2007 session.

Please join me in welcoming Kirk Ross into the BlueNC barrel!

So imagine my surprise yesterday to discover that the North Carolina Capital Press Corps took it upon itself to decide that Mr. Kirk Ross is not worth of being credentialed by their lofty organization. Kirk broke the news here, and Ed Cone picked up the conversation here, where even Stagemanager Hood has weighed in with extended commentary. Mr. Hood's analysis is excellent.

As Kirk and John Hood have both argued, credentialing is of only limited value. That shifts the issue from one of practical considerations to one with much broader policy and philosophical implications. So let's examine them - starting with the Capital Press website.

N.C. Capital Press Corps

The N.C. Capital Press Corps is an informal organization for affiliated reporters and photographers covering state government in Raleigh. Its primary functions are to issue credentials and working space to journalists working in the N.C. Legislative Building, but it is also a group whose members share strong social and professional bonds. We are here to help fellow journalists get the basic access and space they need to cover the state legislature.


The N.C. Capital Press Corps issues two kinds of credentials to working reporters and photographers: Permanent and temporary. The credentials are used to gain access to the press galleries in the House and Senate chambers and have no other purpose.

Permanent credentials are issued by the Press Corps to reporters and photographers who are stationed in Raleigh and cover the N.C. General Assembly as their primary beat. Temporary credentials are issued to visiting reporters and photographers who require access to the press galleries. Temporary credentials are good only on the day issued.

Because we have invited Kirk Ross to post his stories here at BlueNC, the Capital Press has determined him unworthy of credentials that could help him be more effective, if only marginally, in his work - work he has been doing for decades. I find that decision unconscionable and grounded in a grossly distorted view of emerging new media.

. . . declining your request for legislative press credentials after consultation with other members for the Capital Press Corps. Although I found you to be otherwise qualified for credentials, some of your online work is syndicated through BlueNC.Com, a website that promotes Democratic and progressive causes. It is my belief that this affiliation constitutes political advocacy, or at the very least the appearance of political advocacy.

It has been the long standing practice of the press corps not to credential those people whose work can be seen in part or whole as serving a political or ideological cause. Although we are adjusting to the brave new world of new media along with everyone else, this is a long-standing position to which I'm obliged to defer.

BlueNC will be putting this long-standing position to the test over the next few weeks, taking up the suggestion made by Roch101 in the discussion on Ed Cone's blog.

Accepting the label of "advocacy site" for the sake of argument, Ed makes an important point. The distribution of media has changed and continues to evolve. I'll continue to use Mark Binker as a convenient example, nothing personal as this could apply to a number of people. Mark writes a blog. The content of that blog is easily available for syndication through an RSS feed. If BlueNC started featuring posts from Mark's blog, would that disqualify Mark from keeping his press credentials?

This would be an interesting little test, if BlueNC is up to it. Create a section on BlueNC where all available reports from Capital reporters are featured. That would put them in the same boat as Kirk (or Kirk in the same boat as them, depending on how the press corps decides to look at it.)


Some closing thoughts.

First, in John Hood's commentary at Ed's site, he describes the Carolina Journal's past experience with the credentialing process, and likens it to what is happening here. In my opinion, the two situations are dramatically different. Kirk Ross is not an employee or contractor of BlueNC in any way, shape or form. He is not obliged to do anything on behalf of the BlueNC community, nor is he restricted in any way from doing anything else he wants. In fact, he has recently started yet another venture, a new citizen journalism blog and aggregator for Carrboro & surrounding environs . . . you can find it here. Kirk Ross is an independent journalist who has simply been invited to post whatever he wants to write on the front-page of BlueNC.

Second, and this is important, there are no formal actions BlueNC can or will take related to this matter. I'm pissed that a guy who does great reporting is not getting a fair shake from the powers-that-be in the mainstream media, but that's Kirk's problem. He doesn't work for BlueNC and BlueNC has no standing in the matter.

Third, I want to be clear that I am not slamming any individual, and certainly not Mark Binker. It sounds like he's done a good job getting input and trying to make a thoughtful decision. This is way bigger than Mark - and Kirk. It's not about them.

Finally, as I wrote above, I barely know Kirk Ross, but what I do know about him leads me to believe he is not all that thrilled about being in this spotlight. Sorry, Kirk.



I knew the job was dangerous when I took it. was either that or bring you up

through the sewage line. Either way, you decide.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Hell just froze over


Mr. Hood's analysis is excellent.

I guess it happens to the best of us. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm trying to be fair

Lots of people, include Mr. Hood himself, think I automatically discount everything he has to say. And apparently, he takes offense at being labeled "The Stagemanager" in his role of overseeing the Puppetmaster's Kingdom.

But the truth is, I'm probably the only person in North Carolina who reads everything written by John Hood that is publicly available. I think I have a good understanding of his philosophy, his roots, his sources, his agenda, how he operates, where his money comes from, what his organizational network looks like, and how Art Pope is using the many parts of the Puppetshow to reshape North Carolina public policy.

But it's not personal. I don't know John Hood from Art Pope and wouldn't recognize either if they knocked on my door. And while some may say "give the guy a break" because his heart's in the right place, I don't care where his heart is. He may be as holy as god for all I know, and he certainly seems to be sincere. But the results of the policies he advocates would be ruinous for our state, especially those not blessed with access to the free-market largesse of benefactors like Mr. Pope.

In any case, when I see him writing something that is not overblown or rooted in free-market fundamentalism, it makes me sit up and take notice. It doesn't happen often, which is why I'm happy to call it out when I see it.

I know you read him extensively

I would never accuse you of being uninformed when it comes to anything having to do with JLF/John Hood/Art Pope, etc.

And just think......if it happens again, hell might actually freeze over and you will have single-handedly reversed global warming. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Please read and tear this apart A

As usual, our hometown newspaper gets free feed from the Hood and prints his very Republican talking points. For a while, they were also carrying progressive opinions but those are few and far between. Steve Bouser, the editor is uni, but leans left. David Warnoff, the publisher is VERY Republican and I think that Steve is the only reason the paper even tries to be fair and balanced. However, here's an editorial in today's paper that again makes me want to throw my hands in the air and just give up.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

to tear that apart

would require as much space as he uses. I love that at least 1/3 of the things that annoy him have been done by conservatives. Oh wait, I forgot that congress failed to be conservative and that is why they lost in 06......

"Keep the Faith"

How ironic

That a theater critic and novelist wants to tell Barbra Streisand to "shut up and sing", and Whoopi Goldberg to "shut up and act". Perhaps he should "shut up and go to a play." Yutz.

Steve Bouser has been doing a decent job of getting a fairly balanced viewpoint in The Pilot; I've been pretty impressed in the past few weeks. I've seen Fitzsimons and other recognizable good guys in there as well as Hood and other yutzes like this guy. If Bouser weren't there, we'd be in trouble, though.

I'm getting ready to write an LTE about this - or maybe a guest blogitorial (how's that for coined english?) for your Progressive Discussions, Momo. Or maybe both.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi


What drivel . . . on both fronts. I decided to tackle the column from the other guy instead of worrying about Hood. Here's the letter I sent the paper.

Dear editor.

I read with amusement Allan Jefferys recent column, where he wondered ad nauseum if he’s a conservative. Perhaps the Pilot should consider printing columns that add value to public discourse instead of providing a psychiatrist’s couch for reactionary navel-gazing.


And I imagine that it will be printed.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Thank you, dear.

Please let me know if you see it in print.

Thanks A, my feelings exactly

just can't say it as well as you do. :)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.


Im just as shocked as SD that Anglico and John Hood agree on, well, anything.

More importantly, im excited about our response to it. Should be fun. I still cant figure out why we have an orginization such as this issuing credentials though. Why isnt this just an extra full time employee in the legislature?

"Keep the Faith"

Question for Capital Press

It seems that the obstacle was syndication on BlueNC in particular.

If Kirk Ross stops syndication on BlueNC will he get credentials?

The Denier Who Decided

weighs in on his decision on his own blog, advocating, of course, that his decision to deny was the best decision that could be made. Roch101 has some smart and effective push-back.

Go read it, and you'll see this quote from the denier:

The best I can say is I was ready to credential Kirk before I learned that he was syndicated through Blue NC and that if my decision were to be reversed, it would have to be done from whoever takes over from me after the end of the 2007 session.

So let's get this straight. Mark Binker is saying this is a done deal and that's the end of it? What an interesting view of how the watchdogs operate these days. A reporter for a newspaper that features loads of opinions and advocacy every day in its pages is okay. A reporter whose stories are carried on a blog that advocates for progressive causes . . . well, that's not okay.

Seems pretty lame to me.

Mark Binker Threatens BlueNC?

Over at Binker's blog, I mentioned to Mark Binker of the Greensboro News and Record that I was going to try to arrange to feed his blog to BlueNC . . . just as we currently have a feed for NC Legislature News (in a box on the right side of your screen.) We've also had feeds for the NC Newswire in the past. Here's what I wrote:

Sure we celebrated the progressive victories in November, and many of us worked hard to support progressive candidates. But BlueNC as an entity didn't do anything. We, the individual bloggers, are the ones responsible for our own contributions. We're like a town square where people congregate and conspire.

In other words, the BlueNC website operates as an open forum that allows individuals of any political persuasion to participate in whatever way they see fit. There are no editors to approve or kill stories. Nobody gets paid for anything. Nobody is in charge. Not me. Not Kirk. Nobody.

We get posts and comments from right-wing readers all the time. In more than a year of operating, we have banned only one person . . . for gross profanity.

In December, I had a conversation with a veteran journalist, a person you say you would have normally credentialed. I told that journalist that we wanted to have more and better original reporting on our site. Right now, we have one or two investigative stories each month, squeezed in by writers with the time and interest to pursue selected issues. There's a great story on the front page right now about voting irregularities in Mecklenburg county. It's neither progressive nor conservative. It's news - and we're eager to have more of it.

Kirk said he'd be happy to cross post his stuff from Exile, the Indy and wherever. I said cool, and I also said he could have front page privileges to save me the burden of promoting his entries to the front page continually.

You're arguing that the addition of BlueNC to his distribution list somehow contaminates his journalistic integrity . . . and I'm arguing that's just plain silly.

You mentioned above that one of your concerns is about the press's relationship with elected officials. Ask Joe Hackney whether Kirk should be credentialed or not. He'll probably say that's your decision, but if he were willing to speak his mind, he'd say, "Are you kidding? Of course he should."

I know you've said the decision is final, but I hope you'll reconsider nonetheless.

In the meantime, we're going to try to feed your own blog, your columns and your stories to our front page. Good luck figuring that one out.

And here's how Mr. Binker responded:


Kirk asked for you to syndicate him. I'm explicitly asking that you do not. Should you do so, I'm afraid we'll be stepping into a real [sic] beyond civil discourse.

Am I crazy, or does that sound like a threat?


Sounds like a threat. The problem is that the yahoo posted an rss feed...

which, pretty much gives anyone, anywhere, the right to read and syndicate his blog.

if a blogger makes a feed of his/her blog available, what can others do with that content?

In my mind, there's no question that a blogger grants an implied license to the content in an RSS feed. However, because it's implied, I'm just not sure of the license terms. So, in theory, it could be an implied license to permit aggregators to do whatever they want.

This may not be as ridiculous as it sounds. For example, I have no problem with Bloglines aggregating my feeds. Indeed, I think I have several dozen regular readers through Bloglines, so if I cut Bloglines off, I would lose a non-trivial number of my readers.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


I really do think we should be covering Mr. Binker's coverage of our coverage of his coverage.

I don't think I understand the implied license

Why would there be a license implied by the Atom or RSS 2.0 specifications that is not implied by, say, the XHTML specification? The former make accessing my content easier, but I don't see why that means that readers can then do whatever the heck they want with it.

When I set this site up, I used a basic copyright notice at the bottom of the page, figuring that it is better to offers users the full protection of the law and then let them "opt-out" selectively by using CC licenses or designing their own and posting these in signatures or elsewhere. Would you argue that I'm undermining the copyright of all of our posters by providing an XML feed?

Robert, is that a block quote from somewhere else, or just used to hilight your comment? Just curious. I'd be interested to read a full-throated defense of the implied RSS license if there's one out there.

Im sure

I have been less surprised by stuff before in my life. I just cant name anything off the top of my head.

"Keep the Faith"

I'm surprised

I thought it would take at least several days before Big Media threatened a bunch of bloggers this way. But I have a Buddhist friend who says . . . once they resort to threats, you've won.


It's not a threat

I don't like to disagree with Anglico, which isn't usually a problem because I usually don't disagree. But I do here. If anything, the offer to unilaterally republish the copyrighted work of a professional journalist is a threat. It's even more clearly a threat when you consider that Anglico is considering reposting that material with the goal of undermining the validity of Binker's press credentials. I think that Binker's response was fairly measured.

And when he says that we would be stepping beyond civil discourse, I take that to mean "you would be crossing a line, but I'll say 'we' to indicate that, if necessary, I will cross that line with you."

I understand the point A is making here, and my gut reaction to the gesture is a hearty "hell yes" (as seems to also be the case for most of the commenters on this thread). Anglico has a gift for getting right to the heart of the matter and is pretty handy with symbolism, too. I just don't happen to think that its fair to take Binker's stuff to make the point. (And I don't think it would look very good, either.)

Are there any non-guerrilla tactics we might use to get a little respect over here?


have a twisted view of the world for sure. Here's the summary of all this I gave my wife last night.

1. Kirk Ross, veteran journalist, requests press credentials.

2. Mark Binker says no.

3. Ross writes up sad story of rejection and posts in several blogs.

4. Binker says in his own blog that the decision is final.

5. Binker further explains in own blog that Kirks loose association with BlueNC is the ONLY reason he's being denied credentials.

6. Anglico (James Protzman) says this sucks and writes many posts about the unfairness of it all.

7. Roch101 at Ed Cone's blog suggests feeding all NC Capital correspondents to BlueNC's front page as a test to clarify the question of "association with BlueNC."

8. Anglico writes that BlueNC will try to do just that.

9. Binker says don't you dare or this will go beyond the "real [sic] of civil discourse."

10. Anglico interprets Binker comments as a threat from Big Media to stomp on poor bloggers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ since last night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

11. Lawyer weighs in to say it's not fair to take Binker's stuff without permission.

12. Anglico says fine. Feed all the capital correspondents.


This whole affair is stunning in its absurdity. By asking Kirk to cross post here, we're working to upgrade the amount of original reporting on our site. And the one organization responsible for the integrity of journalism in the state is doing nothing but making that harder.

The irony is killing me.

I agree with Lance

Completely, 100%. Other than that...

I provide RSS feeds to my site to allow people easier access. In doing so, I am not giving permission for them to violate my copyright, even if some might argue providing access in that way makes it easier for someone to use my work in a way that violates my copyright.

Kinda like when I parked my car on the street it made it easier for that thief to steal it....doesn't mean I gave him permission to steal it. (It took them 30 days to find my car and the insurance adjuster called me and told me I did NOT want to see it.)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I spoke with someone who runs an aggregator site today...

It's a professionaal site that sells info to USA Today and other big MSM companies. He basically said that if you publish an RSS feed you are giving permission for people to use it, however, taking full-length stories might be pushing the permission. The titles, authors, and short blurb are all free game though.

So, if you (meaning anyone) doesn't want your information passed around the internet, slap some legalese on the bottom and do away with your feeds.

Where are the candidates?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Say what?

I believe your man is describing what he can get away with, and not what's legal. (Under the copyright act, publication simply does not waive copyright.) And what an industry player can get away with is going to be different than what we can get away with, especially when we've been asked not to syndicate. Links and titles I think would probably be fine as a practical matter, but even the blurbs belong to whoever wrote them.


I'm sure this whole business will drag on for a good long while, but, for now, here are some interim wrap up thoughts. I posted this a Mark Binker's blog.

Thanks for the response Mark.

I guess we'll have to disagree, but let me try one more time to get to the heart of my argument. There are two key points:

First, Kirk is a freelance journalist trying to broaden his readership. BlueNC gets around 1300 visitors a day, which would likely expand his reach beyond his current base of Exile readers. When we talked in December, I had no idea he'd even consider cross-posting with us - and I was thrilled when he said he would. Why? Because we are trying to upgrade the amount and quality of original reporting on our site. Your decision to deny him credentials makes it harder (at least theoretically) for us to achieve that very goal. Indeed, your decision has created a classic Catch 22. Representing an organization dedicated to more and better journalism, yours seems an odd position to take.

The second point is more nuanced and far-reaching. It has to do with the nature of distribution in the internet era. It strikes me as untenable that an experienced journalist, one who would be credentialed without dispute under other circumstances, would be penalized because one place where his/her stories are featured is an advocacy blog. If he were a BlueNC employee (we have none) or an exclusive contractor (we have none), your argument would have more merit, but he's not. Kirk and BlueNC have only the loosest of affiliations.

I don't know if it's possible for you to reconsider your decision without opening Pandora's box, but I hope you will. I'll be writing letters to anyone I can think of with that formal request.

(Another ironic twist: I and BlueNC have no real standing in this matter. Kirk doesn't work for us and we don't represent him. What's more, he's much less perturbed by all this than I am. I guess it was all those years in J-school, plus being married to a J-school professor, that has contributed to my knickers being in a knot.)

Thanks for your service to the profession and for your willingness to consider my point of view.

I think

This is just a big dustup growing from the way that the media view blogs. They still believe blogs are either useless or evil. Unless the "blogs" are reporters posting shorter stories more often exclusively online. Then the blog is just a new medium. Its absurd.

If I am a reporter and my articles are syndicated by something like Indy weekly or the Rhino times or any other paper with an admitted ideological lean does that also disqualify me? And given all the bias in the news today, shouldnt we be happier about journalists who admit their bias instead of reporters who write hit pieces on good candidates while acting like they are pure???

"Keep the Faith"

Good summary

I'm sure this will all change over time. It's just frustrating that Kirk is caught in the crossfire . . . and I hate that his decision to post stuff here is what stirred this all up.

NCPA tentatively addresses blogging

There is an article in "The North Carolina PRESS", the NCPA newsletter, April 2006 issue that addresses blogging.

Blogging: Thoughts about weighing the risks v. possibilities
By C. Amanda Martin, NCPA General Counsel

It is more of a rumination on legal issues than an opinion and mostly addresses the issue of journalists blogging and the implications for their employers but it's worth a read.

Good find

They're clearly grappling with the issues. And the question of credentialing for independent journalists who blog hasn't even on their radar . . . until now.

Some of my lawyer friends wish I were a seasoned journalist myself because they know that some of their lawyer friends would make a lot of money helping me challenge this.

Do you know how to find out who's on the credentialed list? I'd ask Mark, but I don't think he's too happy about all this right now.


The names are all on the Membership page. At least they are open about it.

This on the surface is a smackdown of Kirk but at heart it is a blackballing of BlueNC and alternative news forums and a prior restraint on the members of the Capital Press Corps themselves.

The Capital Press Corps is essentially saying that none of its members can have their material re-published in a range of venues based on non-specific parameters without risking the loss of credentials. Far from disseminating information about State Government widely the Corps, in this case, seems to be impeding if not limiting the information flow.

Opening up the email distribution list to a second tier of "credentialed" journalists would alleviate that concern to some extent.

And, to paraphrase a comment you made before, the mainstream media can't simultaneously restrict the freedom of journalists to publish in blogs and criticize the journalistic standards of blogs.

There is an irony to the closed door policy of a group of journalists whose existence is based, in no small measure, on NC Public Records and Open Meetings laws

Here is the NCPA's link to NC Media Law and the NCPA Legal Hotline

why cant they?

Just because it is hypocritical why cant the mainstream media close off the access of blogs while saying we dont deserve access because we arent journalistic enough?

When you control the power why would you give those who seek to replace you the ability to do so?

"Keep the Faith"


  • It's not a blackballing of BlueNC, as we're not really asking for admission to the group.
  • There's a lot to be said for "non-specific standards," and I'd refer you to the long-standing judicial debate: rules vs. standards. Scalia and Thomas are great fans of clear rules and hate it when standards are used in their place. The great progressive jurists of our time (I ♥ Brennan) recognize that standards give us the flexibility we need to meet new situations and do not (as rules do) make it easy to follow the strict letter of the law while completely discarding the spirit.
    To apply that to this situation, there must be some kind of limit on who can be in the CPC, or else there'd be no real reason for its existence at all. It sounds like at least some members struggled with the question of admitting Kirk, and the fact that the rules are non-specific probably mean that more thought went in to the broader question of "how we determine who can be members" than might have if the rule were more specific.
  • The mainstream media saying the reporters have to stay out of blogs while criticizing blogs for not being reporterly is a lot like Southern Baptists telling their kids not to go to dances because they don't fit into a Christian lifestyle. And similarly, the MSM has no more to gain from seeing blogs become more reporterly (I do recognize that I just made that word up) than Southern Baptists have to gain from proms becoming more puritan. Whether you think either position if full of shit (and they both are), there's nothing inherently inconsistent about either.
  • The laws of nature are on display for all to see, but my request for membership in the National Academy of Sciences doesn't seem to be going so well. Anybody can make a closed group about whatever they like (in the absence of a duty to do otherwise). I think that "irony" here must be used pretty loosely.

Everything else I agree with 100%!

Big butt . . .

This particular organization is controlling access to elected officials and the operations of our state government. That puts it in a class that is substantially different than either the Southern Baptists or the National Academy of Sciences.

In fact, I daresay it is most likely unconstitutional at its core.

Quibble erat demonstrandum

You are either playing with the power of fonts or are you

  • composing in another program or
  • using bullets
  • I agree with you almost 100%.

    There are 44 members of the Academy with NC addresses and perhaps at least one is at the Science Blogging Conference. Maybe this could be discussed. If one of those members re-published a paper in an off-the-wall blog, would that make them suspect? Perhaps, but I think the content would be more relevant. I don't see that Kirk was posting anything here that wasn't posted elsewhere.

    Stylesheet issues

    <ul> and <li> text shouldn't be bigger than the rest of the stuff, but apparently it is. Sorry 'bout that.

    My analogy to the Academy was only intended to go to self-determination, which I think is any private group's right.

    Yes but...

    As new user gfc said in the comment access:

    actually, press privileges involve three things:
    1) space in the press room
    2) access to the Senate floor
    3) access to the House floor

    Senate leadership controls #2, House leadership #3,
    policy from joint leadership #1, but all of this is really delegated in practice to the Capitol press Corps for accreditation issues.

    It's more of a public-private-partnership

    I agree that the CPC is wrong

    But I don't understand the outrage. Did anyone really expect them to be right? Do we bloggers think that it's so obvious to the world at large that what we're doing is serious business that we get all spluttery every time we get dissed? We're still pioneers here, folks.

    Most people, when they think of blogs, think of's daily ramblings about cooking and her stupid boss (and I think that I just invented California Kitchen Grrl; apoligies, KCG, if you're real). When it comes to recognition of the power and proper role of citizen journalism, we've still got some proving to do. And it isn't exactly as though we've even answered these questions internally.

    One other thing: you can expect that we will receive official respect long after the time when we started earning it. That's just the way it goes.

    I do plan to see BlueNC recognized as a political and journalistic force in North Carolina. And that is happening, thanks to the amazing efforts of the people who keep this community active and sharp. But I'm not all that surprised that we are not yet getting CPC credentials at the end of our first year out.

    I'm about to take my turn at baby duty, but right about here is where I was going to talk about how awesome we are and how the future already kind of belongs to us. Someone else can fill that in for me.

    You keep missing the danged point

    This is not about BlueNC (except that it is). It's about Kirk Ross, an independent freelance journalist who is being denied a credential simply because of his loose association with a progressive blog.

    If I were him I'd be hunting for a really good lawyer. This is a monopolistic restraint of trade that interferes with his opportunity to practice his craft for no other reason than where some of his stories are posted.

    It's not about whether BlueNC has arrived or not arrived.

    We're nothing a gnat in the eye of Big Media. And perhaps that is the real reason for this decision. The people Binker would have checked with have all been sharply criticized on BlueNC over the past year.

    Hell hath no fury like a journalist slammed.

    Or maybe a blogger too.

    "except that it is"

    In part about BlueNC, and that's the part (sorry Kirk) that really concerns me. And we are definitely something more than a gnat!

    im thrilled

    with being a gadfly for the state.

    "I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you."

    "Keep the Faith"

    Oh, gadfly sure, no problem

    I'll just point out that gadflies are much larger than gnats!

    Monkey see monkey do

    Maybe the NC Press Corps is following the lead of the Washington Press Corps - or perhaps vice versa. When you have a press corps that is over-reluctant to rock the boat, it's time to get a new press corps.