July 26, 2000
DEM'S CONVENTION COMMITTEE
BUGGED BY E-MAIL GLITCH
Political Reporters Get 'Spammed' By Flaks
By STEVE FRIESS
The Democratic National Convention Committee admitted this
week that it accidentally exposed the e-mail addresses of more
than 800 political journalists while issuing a press release
over the weekend.
Yet, even as reporters and editors around the nation started
receiving unsolicited promotional e-mail from flaks and political
activists who obtained the list, a spokesman for the convention
committee insisted the list was made up exclusively of e-mail
addresses belonging to journalists.
'So reporters got the e-mail addresses of other reporters,'
said Peter Ragone, spokesman for the committee organizing next
month's Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles where
the party is expected to nominate Vice President Al Gore for
president. 'That's all.'
Ragone's response on Tuesday was less contrite than the e-mail
sent out by fellow spokesperson Jennifer Mielenz on Monday in
which she apologized for the error and urged restraint from
'any unwanted e-mails that you received due to this problem.'
Mielenz wrote that the mistake was caused by a glitch in their
e- mail list, and Ragone said Tuesday that the computer itself
dumped the address list into the 'To:' field instead of the
'bcc:' field. Mass e-mails can be sent as blind carbon copies
to conceal the names of other recipients.
The first to use the list was Minnesota's Democratic Farm
Labor Party spokeswoman Karen Louise Boothe, who sent a note
suggesting stories on Minnesota's delegates to the convention.
Boothe refused to comment.
Other 'spam' received by list members included a party invitation
for Monday night in Alexandria, Va., from Nick Thimmesch of
the Washington D.C.-based PR firm USA Media Communications,
who said of the list, 'It was obviously a mistake, but all's
fair in e-mail wars.'
'It was a minor mix-up that could happen to anyone,' said
Politics Editor Brian Hartman of ABCNews.Com. 'We already put
our e-mail addresses online for the world to see anyway.'