Aviation Website Scooped The Media On Edwards
July 8, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Bryan Smith is not a journalist.
But the 39-year-old airplane mechanic from Moon Township, Pa., was behind the biggest political scoop of the week.
The first word that Sen. John F. Kerry had tapped Sen. John Edwards as his running mate trickled out not from a newspaper or cable news network, but on an aviation website in a far-flung corner of the Internet.
A popular niche site, USAviation.com, beat all the major news outlets with a message board posting at 11:44 p.m. EDT Monday night by Smith, who had spied "Kerry-Edwards" emblazoned across the campaign's 757 parked in a Pittsburgh airport hangar.
"I thought it would be something interesting to put on there," Smith said of his post. He passed the plane, mysteriously covered with paper and masking tape, during work and later peeked in the hangar window to spy what was going on.
The rest of the world heard news of the Kerry-Edwards ticket - kept secret by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee until early Tuesday - nearly eight hours later from the first reports by NBC at 7:30 a.m. EDT.
"It was such a well-kept secret, I guess people couldn't believe that it would leak out on a little website like this," said Kevin Laufer, a 28-year-old commercial pilot from Moorestown, N.J., who co-founded the site.
Even though his site broke the story, Laufer was oblivious to Democrats' machinations and the buzz surrounding them. He was too busy caring for his newborn son, 5-day-old Michael Joseph.
Smith conducted a handful of interviews Wednesday, including one with National Public Radio.
"I get a kick out of it," he said. "I didn't really think it was that big of a deal."
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07-08-2004, 02:15 PM #1
Hehehe...The Power Of Web Forums...IACOJ Canine Officer
07-09-2004, 02:33 AM #2
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Its too bad that the New York Post couldn't get it right.
07-09-2004, 02:45 AM #3
I did love that the Daily News sent the newsroom at the Post a case of Champagne and a note of Congratulations...
Now that's ball busting done right!IACOJ Canine Officer
07-09-2004, 07:30 AM #4
What did Gephardt get from the deal? A fee subscription to the NY Post?Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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07-09-2004, 12:11 PM #5
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