Saturday, July 19, 2003
E-mailing the President: The New York Times had a front page story earlier this week on a change at the White House.
No longer can you simply send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org -- now you've got to go through as many as 9 different screens to send your message through.
Pain in the butt? Yeah.
Evidence that the president is no longer reading your mail? Hardly.
What is surprising is that this is a front-page story. Seriously. (The San Diego Union-Tribune also ran the story on its front page. For those of you who think that the Times doesn't have much of an impact on your news locally, this is your wake-up call.)
Some, including Times letter-writers, see the new system as a way of stifling dissent -- ignoring those who oppose the White House viewpoint.
Sorry, but I've got news for you: The president wasn't reading your e-mails before. Nothing's changed.
What this story is really about is classifying e-mails and streamlining responses.
It's a manpower issue.
No longer do interns or paid-staffers have to read every single screed or fan mail. Now they immediately know that the e-mail is about "Issue A" and the writer "Opposes/Supports" the president's view and they can send out "Canned Response #38."
Part of a vast, right wing conspiracy to ignore you? No.