Saturday, February 2, 2008

Obama & Spam

It appears that the presidential primary campaigns are getting into gear here in Western Pennsylvania. The e-mail exchange below pretty much speaks for itself. I didn't mind the sender's honest mistake, though I thought it was best to blog about it since my work e-mail address is now publicly circulating on a campaign mailing. This implies no disrespect for the Obama campaign. I'm an old-fashioned reporter who doesn't take sides and loves learning about all sides.

Does this mean I should accept the Facebook friend invitation I've received from a conservative speaker I've booked for the event? I suppose the alternative to maintaining public neutrality by not being on any group's mailing list is to be on a wide variety of groups' lists instead.

From: Bob Mayo
Sent: 02/02/2008 11:19 AM EST
To: [Name & E-Mail deleted for this blog post]
Subject: Re: PA Supporters - OBAMA needs your help this weekend

[Name Deleted],

I'm a reporter for WTAE, and apparently my attempt to reach a media contact for the national campaign some weeks back resulted in more than one of my e-mail addresses being put on campaign e-mail list for intended for supporters instead. I was letting it ride for a while, to see when -- if ever -- an actual person would contact me. You're the first, but unfortunately it was not in response to my request. I was trying to arrange for reps of the various Democratic and Republican campaigns to speak on a panel at an upcoming regional conference of journalists here in Pittsburgh.

Could you do me a favor? Please let whoever provided you with my e-mail address know that it belongs on a media contact list and not a volunteer or fundraising list. Please also let them know that I'm still waiting for an answer to my original phone calls and e-mails.

(Reporters sometimes don't mind being on organization mailing lists, if they provide a window into what the campaigns are doing. That's why I wasn't in any hurry to stop the spam from the national campaign. It was disconcerting to see my e-mail address visible on a local mailing intended for supporters, however. That's through absolutely no fault of yours. )


Bob Mayo
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

----- Original Message -----
From: [Name & E-Mail deleted for this blog post]
Sent: 02/01/2008 07:56 PM EST
To: [A long list of e-mail addresses appeared here. It was visible to everyone on the list.]
Subject: PA Supporters - OBAMA needs your help this weekend

You are receiving this email because you have previously shown support for Senator Obama. He needs your help now. Please volunteer a little time this weekend and come sign his petitions. [The message continued with the details.]

A footnote: As I was typing this, a new spam arrived from "David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America" asking me to help get out the vote on Super Tuesday. This one was addressed to my G-Mail account. Argh.

Inclusion of the Monty Python "Spam" YouTube video above does not necessarily imply either endorsement of or disdain for quirky British humor in any form.


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