At first blush, the online Liberal ad campaign would seem a relative success. The goal was press coverage, mission accomplished. However, after watching a CTV piece on the ads, you have to wonder if the point is lost within the tiring Jason Cherniak debate. One commentator laughed off the ads effectiveness, referring to Cherniak as frankly a joke- no mention of content, just another swipe at the human pinata. After my MSM news fix, I go online, only to find ANOTHER raging debate about Cherniak on the National Newswatch.
Jason does an excellent job with self promotion, but I also think his motivations are mostly sincere. That said, if the goal of the new technology is to help the Liberal profile, you have to wonder if Cherniak isn't more hindrance than help. In other words, is this really the person who should be the "face" of the online community? Clearly, the media doesn't take Cherniak seriously, and don't even get me started on the online community.
If you accept this premise as fact, then the question becomes what is best for the Liberal cause? This online exercise shouldn't be about one persona and his ambition, it's supposed to be a collective of people, under the big tent, with a common purpose. This ad campaign highlights two contrasting paths. One, demonstrates the slow rise of bloggers to be part of the traditional discussion. The other, the Cherniak saga, checks any said benefit because the messenger becomes the message. Does anyone really believe that we win any converts with such a divisive "leader"? Frankly, Jason Cherniak hasn't demonstrated that he is ready to be "President" of anything. Jason is a lightning rod, who's prominence is often times embarrassing, juvenile and just plain distracting.
If the goal is defeating Harper, drawing attention to real issues and trying to exert some real influence, beyond a circus sideshow, then maybe it is time for Jason to ask himself a question. Does my high profile help or hinder the Liberal Party? If the answer distances itself from self-interest, the answer becomes more painfully obvious everyday. I thought it was about Liberals, too often it becomes the never ending soap opera. I await the next act, because as sure as the sunrise, there will be one, and credibility is the victim. Two cents.