Saturday, August 11, 2007

Virtual Mud Slinging

As states jockey to be the first to offer a primary in the 2008 election, New Hampshire continues to be an important site for political participation at the national level.

A recent radio story on This American Life, My Reputation, tells the harrowing tale of the experiences of the state's Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley for whom computer use was equated with criminality with disastrous results.

First, a Republican political rival and former friend accused him of storing child pornography on a party owned computer. Then, after Buckley was cleared in the case, his opponent engineered further humiliation on YouTube, where to this day an angry user posts anti-Buckley videos with embarrassing footage from the political strategist's youth. Finally, Buckley has been smeared by accusations that his MySpace page is only "a few clicks away" from pages for gay teenagers.

Of course, my MySpace page (for research purposes only) is also a few clicks away for pages of gay teenagers, because I am affiliated with the CHAMP network, where I have been an invited speaker, and the group sponsors teen political actions to improve sexuality education and school access to condoms.

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