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Homeland Security Advisory

March 10, 2005

Feed Shark Turbo Tagger

White House Blogger Is Liberal Political Net Consultant

White House Blogger is Liberal Political Net Consultant
By Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
March 10, 2005

(CNSNews.com) -- Web log author Garrett M. Graff made Internet history when he became the first blogger to post from the White House briefing room this week. But, in a letter to the White House seeking temporary press credentials, the "non-partisan and independent" blogger did not divulge his current position with a politically "progressive" Internet consulting firm that has liberal politicians and activist groups as clients.

Since mid-January 2005, Graff, the former deputy national press secretary for Howard Dean's failed 2004 presidential campaign, has been writing for Fishbowl D.C., "a gossip blog about Washington, D.C. media."

Last week, he wrote an open letter to the White House Office of Media Affairs, asking to be considered for temporary news media credentials. In that letter, Graff stated that, "By both design and practice, Fishbowl D.C. is a non-partisan and independent publication that covers the media industry and journalism in Washington, D.C."

Cybercast News Service asked Graff if he discussed his current or former political work with officials at the White House.

"No, and I don't think ..." Graff said, not finishing the thought. "The simple answer is: My blog doesn't cover politics, you know? I think that you would be hard pressed to read through the, uh, the blog and really see it take any sort of political take at all.

"I mean, it's a blog about journalism," Graff added.

Internet activism for liberal groups and politicians

In addition to blogging for Fishbowl D.C., Graff serves as vice president of communications and articulation for EchoDitto.com, a politically-oriented and politically-liberal Internet consulting firm. Of the 16 team members listed on EchoDitto.com's site, Graff is one of 14 who previously worked on staff or volunteered with the Howard "Dean for America" 2004 presidential campaign. The organization also advertises that "In addition to our full-time staff, we work with a broad network of progressive activists on a regular basis, as well as others on a contract basis."

Graff hesitated when asked about EchoDitto.com's work with political groups.

"All of our clients are actually listed on the EchoDitto website," Graff explained after a pause.

A list of "EchoDitto Projects" published on the site includes a few of charities such as the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. But the overwhelming majority of the firm's clients are liberal organizations like Air America Radio, liberal political candidates and office holders such as Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and liberal activist groups such as the Campaign for America's Future.

"Not all of those are current clients," Graff explained. "And, obviously, since the election, we've done very little in the way of political work."
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Gee! Does this mean we can all get press credentials?

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