Perhaps it’s telling that we at This Is Reno had to discuss over email how to handle the recent slate of news releases from Nevada’s democratic party, authored by Phoebe Sweet, the party’s communications director and former reporter for the Las Vegas Sun.
While we set up the site in part not to filter the news sent to us, we also wanted to avoid the nasty tone of other news sites that let anonymous readers comment seemingly without abandon.
While Sweet’s missives penned for the Democrats aren’t anonymous, they certainly come across as spiteful and attacking in nature.
The state of politics is such that attacks create sound bites and thereby help ensure news coverage that attempts to one-up the competition (though, these releases don’t seem to have generated much news elsewhere). Sweet’s latest missive for the Democratic party fits the attack strategy to a tee.
It raises the question, however, as to whether Nevada’s Democrats agree with the tone of these strategies. Make no mistake: The Dems aren’t alone in adopting these strategies, and those on the other side of the political fence can also be quite adept at spin, negativity and misinformation.
Nevertheless, political parties have an opportunity to set a better example than what the Nevada’s Democrats are currently delivering. News being sent from the Nevada Dems comes across as vicious, spiteful desperation.
It would be surprising to hear if the members of the party as a whole agree with the approach the Dems are taking; if so, we can expect a long and unpleasant political season.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.