There is an interesting story by Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone eviscerating Democratic consultants. He makes some powerful points that Democrats really ought to think about. Right now, Democratic media consultants get paid by a percentage of the buy for ads, so there is an inherent conflict for them - the more ads they run, the more money they make. And Dickinson goes on to make some other smart points.
The problem with the article is that it is so poorly thought out and riddled with errors of omission that it loses credibility with anyone in the know.
- His makes some pretty glaring factual errors. He mentions that Hillary has the only consultants to ever win a Presidential election on her staff, Mark Penn and Mandy Grunwald (who both worked for Bill Clinton). But he's wrong. He mocks Stan Greenberg as a former Gore staffer, but Greenberg worked for the first Clinton campaign in '92. If you're going to portray someone as a loser, you should make sure that they, in fact, have always lost.
- This article is about two years too late (as TNR points out, it was written two and four years ago, in much better form). Last year, Democrats recaptured the House and Senate majorities. The same people Dickinson is cutting up just helped lead the Democrats out of the wilderness.
- He slams Sen. Obama's media consultant, David Axelrod, for getting "his start helping the last presidential candidate from Illinois -- Sen. Paul Simon -- lose to Mike Dukakis in 1988." Later, he talks about the success of James Carville in helping Bill Clinton win. But Carville had a far worse start than Axelrod. Carville by his own admission lost most of his races early in his career. Since losing in 1988, Axelrod has built a name for himself winning a ton of races, is well respected in the industry, and most importantly, stayed away from the Gore and Kerry debacles. To try to saddle him as loser because he worked on Paul Simon's longshot bid in 1988 is gratuitous, and takes away from the central point of the article - the exhorbitant fees made by consultants.