Easily Leavenworth Street’s most popular story has now made it to the national news.
Back in October of 2006 we wrote the post “Facebook Campaigning” about KPTM’s Calvert Collins posting a photo of herself with 2nd District Congressional candidate Jim Esch on her Facebook page. She wrote “Vote for him on Tuesday, Nov. 7th!”
At the time, Esch wrote on his campaign blog:
Cal is a friend of mine and she posted a picture of us from a fundraiser we both attended on her facebook site. Anyhow, it’s amazing the comments people are making about it.
Ah, life in a fish bowl.
Well, now in a relatively major story, MSNBC.com’s Bill Dedman writes about how “Journalists dole out cash to politicians (quietly)” and includes the Collins-Esch tale. And Collins’ story gets a little trickier as well, Dedman writes:
A few journalists let their enthusiasm extend beyond the checkbook. A Fox TV reporter in Omaha, Calvert Collins, posted a photo on Facebook.com with her cozying up to a Democratic candidate for Congress. She urged her friends, “Vote for him Tuesday, Nov. 7!” She also gave him $500. She said she was just trying to build rapport with the candidates. (And what builds rapport more effectively than $500 and a strapless gown?)
Collins, a 23-year-old reporter for Fox station KPTM in Omaha, said that her father actually wrote the check for $500 to Jim Esch, the Democrat who lost a House race last fall.
“I had told my dad that I was friends with this man. He said, ‘Would you like me to make a donation?’ I said, ‘That’s up to you, but don’t do it in my name.'”
The reporter also posted a photo of herself with Esch on her Facebook page, with the note, “Vote for him Tuesday, Nov. 7!” After the photo was posted on a Nebraska political blog, she apologized but explained that “it is part of my job to build rapport with candidates and incumbents during election season.”
“I foolishly wrote, in jest, to vote for him, and forgot completely that that was on there,” Collins told MSNBC.com. “When my boss heard about it, I immediately removed it.”
“In a way, I’m glad this happened to me at age 23, and not 33,” Collins said, “and I will learn from it.”
Of course, MSNBC uses Collins and Esch photo for their story.
And now the MSNBC story is the main headline on the Drudge Report.
Life in the fishbowl indeed…