Digital Broken Telephone Pt 2: I’m an “Intern-Turned Mastermind”

It has certainly been interesting times on the Foush! Last week I wrote about  Digital Broken Telephone: I’m THE Obama Strategist, and how it was important to make sure that you are transparent and honest in dealing with misrepresentations online, especially when they big you up. This week, the pendulum swung the other way, and someone tried to tear me down.

The New Republic’s blog, The Plank, wrote a piece about me entitled “The Foush and The Furious” also titled “Meet The Most Shamelessly Self-Promoting Former Obama Volunteer”, by Amanda Silverman.

Awesome. My favorite part is when I’m called an “intern-turned-mastermind,” I am debating putting that on my business cards. ;)

Dealing With It

Anyway, I sent the Editor of the blog an email correcting the assumption that I acquired these opportunities based solely on my conniving ability to deceive people into thinking that I was the brain trust behind the campaign. (These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.)

When my new site it up, it will include a comprehensive list of my previous projects, speaking engagements and book contributions for those interested. For newbies to my site, I have been in this space since 2006. I have contributed to three business books (Wikinomics, Grown Up Digital and Everything I Needed to Know About Business I Learned From a Canadian) and have been speaking about technology and New Media since 2007.

Broken Telephone

In the meantime, for your enjoyment, check out what happened when the story was picked up by the Economist Blog in a post titled Cashing in on Barack.  While they got my name wrong (maybe I should have been happy with THE strategist) they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal:

That makes sense—why should one staffer turn her story into profit while the rest of the young volunteers in her position are waiting to hear if they’ve scored a low-level job in the administration? Yet Ms Harfoush is far from the most calculated profiteer of the Barack Obama myth. If you pass on an exclusive speech from Ms Harfoush, look what you can get.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, a children’s book published before the election that tells the then-senator’s life story and is consistently one of the best sellers in its reading level on

The “presidential vault”, a collection of campaign trail knicknacks and some of the new president’s speeches.

Issue #583 of the Amazing Spider-Man, a special edition of the comic book in which the super-hero prevents an impostor from taking the oath of office. It’s in its fifth printing.

Barack, Inc., a quickie business manual that encourgaes capitalists to apply the lessons of Mr Obama’s campaign to their companies.

So why don’t other members of Mr Obama’s campaign start cashing in? The window is closing, and it’s not like their options are expanding from month to month.

I have to admit, at first I was taken aback by the nasty tone of The New Republic article, and then I realized that there are always going to be people out there who will take pleasure in writing things like this. So, calmly respond to what you can, laugh about the rest and see the silver lining- a bunch of new twitter followers and increased blog traffic.

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