In Springfield this past weekend, Akin compared incumbent Claire McCaskill to a dog who plays fetch for expansive government.
Had this been any other candidate, the story might have been overlooked, but because he’s, well, Todd Akin, the story was published by PoliticMo.com immediately.
And who was behind this story in the first place? Naturally, a Missouri School of Journalism student.
Eli Yokley is a junior at MU and is the founder of PoliticMo.com. He is a transfer student who plans to enter into the print and digital sequence soon. Yokley attended the event in Springfield and caught Akin’s comment before everyone else decided to pick it up.
I just happened to catch Akin’s remark by showing up. There’s a lot to be said about reporters showing up to campaign events. It doesn’t happen as much as it used to, and when it does not, things like this get overlooked. It blew up because some national outlets like the Huffington Post and BuzzFeed–both of which carry significant sway–jumped on it that night. The next day, it was on nearly every DC news website, the audio was being played on MSNBC, and was soon in print in the New York Times, the Kansas City Star, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and the Daily Mail in London.
Yokley, simply by showing up to the event, has created a stir in the political world.
This should be a lesson to all of the reporting students who groan when they’re assigned to cover speeches: If you’re awesome like Yokley, your story could be linked in the New York Times. No big deal.