Sunday :: Jul 6, 2003

Volunteers Needed For Truth Corps


by Steve

Ladies and Gents:

Sorry for the lack of activity over the weekend and the lack of immediate follow-through on last week’s well-received idea for a blogosphere-initiated Truth Corps. With the long holiday weekend and my individual exhaustion at the end of last week due to a grueling workweek, I felt that we might as well start out fresh this week with kicking the idea off and beginning with an organization of labor. To that end, this is what I want to propose.

As you can see, I have set up separate posts below for the major areas of work that I envision under this project. What I ask is that for those of you who are interested in certain areas of work as outlined below, that you post your name and email address either in your post or in your tag added at the end of your comment. Under each area, I would hope that over the next day or so, each of you who express an interest in certain areas could begin an email dialogue with others who have posted in the comment thread in your area. Or you may maintain a dialogue with other interested folks in the thread. Either way, this will allow you to communicate with others who want to work in areas similar to your own and we can build our operational teams in this way.

In my mind, the major areas of work ahead break down along the following lines. In the database/webhosting thread, I want those of you who have expressed an interest in either setting up a separate site or for building the databases to indicate your interest by commenting and beginning an ongoing dialogue with others of similar interest. Given my limited technical knowledge in this area, and the offers from Elvis56, Kos, and others to either develop the databases or to host the databases when they are ready for posting, I hope that those of you who are interested in this area will comment on that thread and begin working and corresponding with each other on that part of the job. Specifically, I would want the database assemblers to dialogue with our host professionals (Elvis56 and Kos, or those who are offering a dedicated site) over the next week to throw around ideas on layout and implementation.

Second, what issues should we focus on first? After looking at the excellent suggestions from deminva and others, as well as Billmon’s wise counsel to start slow and small with the effort and then expand, I am suggesting four topics for development at the start: my list for the first four topics are

 tax cut rationale and who benefits/alleged job creation
 Bush and his recession claims/lies about controlling spending
 health care/Medicare broken promises and drug benefit lies
 failure to improve homeland security and meet commitments

I am suggesting these topics first because we know that Bush will run on these and will be making appearances trumpeting his alleged accomplishments in these areas. As our initial efforts, these areas pose a great opportunity to show the Bush lies and demonstrate to the media the breadth of the man’s lies. After doing so, we can in my mind go after other items on deminva’s list of topics.

Third, we will need senior topic editors for each topic who would be responsible for assembling the links and leads from the researchers and having an assistant topic editor fact-check the leads and links for accuracy. Once the assistant topic editor has verified the assembled links and leads, this information would be compiled and turned over to the database assemblers for assembly of the tables, link Elvis56 did for Billmon on the WMDs. Under each topic area, we will also need people to volunteer as researchers to gather the links, stories, quotes, and leads.

Fourth, we will need folks to handle media contacts, to assemble email lists of the national reporters/editors and columnists who are likely to be covering the president, even by topic or assignment area. These folks would also be contacting the national bloggers and referring them to the research on a given topic so that we can generate more coverage of the lies.

Lastly, we need folks who can be spotters, who can track from the White House and campaign websites and other sources (ABC’s The Note) where Bush is heading that week or that day, and on what topic he plans to speak. These folks would then send alerts to the media contacts so that they can contact the reporters/editors, columnists, and bloggers and send them the links to the databases.

At this point, these are the areas where I feel we should identify volunteers now. You can of course volunteer for more than one area, but there are jobs here that can meet anyone’s time constraints and talents. Some of you have graciously mentioned an offer of financial help for this project. Although I am grateful for the thought, let’s see who will be taking on the work of developing and the hosting of the databases, and direct our contributions to those fine folks for their work. Even if you do not see a topic area among the four that meets your interests, let me know if you have an interest or background in another area and perhaps you can begin research on one of those other topics while we work on the first four.

I am happy to coordinate this effort, but I will be looking for help from others to work with the database/webhosting folks so that necessary decisions can be made on what and where we can post the assembled databases the soonest, and work with the Senior Topic Editors. I am certainly not looking to be King here, given my demands at work. So if any of you want to help out as Project Leads along with me to correspond with me either by email, through commenting, or calling me, your assistance would be most welcome.

Updates on the project can and will be posted here, as well as others if they are willing such as Kos and Billmon.

Let’s get to work. See the threads below for an area/task of interest to you, and then please sign up and begin corresponding and commenting with others so that we can start this effort to improve the media coverage and hold Bush accountable.

Again, we must base everything we do on the facts, quotes, sources, and documents that are already out there. Unlike the Mighty Wurlitzer, we will not have to resort to making up the news to bring these guys down.

Steve :: 7:32 PM :: Comments (25) :: Digg It!