Thursday, August 21, 2008

Deep Throat

Microsoft announced today it was coming to West Des Moines. It's always reassuring to have an announcement that says the same thing I reported the day before. Phew! For me, it was one of those "sources say" kind of stories, not exactly something that will likely make my old school journalism professors giddy. But sometimes, if it's sources I can trust, it's the only way to get the information out to the public. And first (which is nice, too).

This story was a tricky one because officials had been forced by Microsoft to agree to non-disclosure clauses so they wouldn't spill the beans early on this plan. To my knowledge no one did. At least they didn't to me. After the official announcement at the Iowa Statehouse today, some of the principals involved (I won't say who at this time) pushed me again and again to reveal my sources. Seriously. Are you kidding? I'll be honest, I was pretty fired up about this for a bit, but then simmered down later. I was a bit offended they even thought they could get me to reveal who helped me figure out that Microsoft was coming to West Des Moines (instead of Urbandale) and the exact location where it was coming. Like I said, I've simmered down about it now. But since these same folks told me they read my blog, I decided to do this post. Out of respect for your positions, I'm not calling you out by name. A friend thinks I really should. But I won't, for now. Just realize the way we do our jobs in the media (or at least the way we SHOULD do our jobs) involves trust. I need people to trust me. And if I squeal about the identities of sources when I know I shouldn't, then I can not be trusted. Nor should I be. O.K., I'm done venting about this. Next time, don't ask me.

The event itself seemed a little discombobulated (I don't know if I've ever written that word before. Good thing for dictionary.com). The West Des Moines City Manager talked. He pitched to the Governor. The Governor pitched to Microsoft's representative. He introduced Congressman Leonard Boswell. Boswell then didn't know where to pitch. He said, I'm supposed to have a list of who I introduce next and I don't see it. So where did you hide it, somebody?" The Governor then whispered Senator Chuck Grassley's name. He then spoke and walked off without introducing anyone. He then pointed to State Senate Leader Mike Gronstal. Gronstal spoke and concluded with "I'm not sure who's next." The Governor was. Again.

One other note...the Dems may want to save the clip for 2010. When Senator Grassley (the Republican) took the microphone, he said, "Thank you, Governor, for your economic leadership." Next time the Repubs rip on Culver for spending too much money, not doing enough for businesses, taxes, etc., will someone pull out this Grassley quote?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG. Culver didn't do jack on this deal. He acts like he brought MS here. They have been in and out of the state for the past year. He found out because the state finally had to vote on the welfare for MS. Then he acts like it is a perfect match for our hardworking workforce. I agree we have great workers in this state and more specific the rural communities, but the people working in this facility are not going to be in the top 10% of IT talent in this state.

...and I told you where it was about 3 weeks ago on your blog. Granted, I'm anonymous, but I turned you on to that location.

Dave Price: Is it the Mckinney land at Booneville and Xavier.

Source: I can't say.

Assumption: Booneville and Xavier.


Your source was not very good since half the stuff you are reporting is mildly accurate at best. I am curious how much WDM was giving away before the flood versus after the flood. Did anything have to be done at WDM water works to ensure it wouldn't flood? Granted, they have a pile of dirt protecting it, but if that goes under, the data center shuts down. I don't care how much power you have, if you can't cool those machines, they will turn them off.
Oh yeah, you need sewer capacity as well. Not all that water is evaporated, which should also provide a nice industrial look for the neighborhood. Oh yeah, and if Michael's Landing ever gets back on its feet, they will get the constant hum of a generators cycling and chiller towers buzzing.

And can someone send a memo to the rest of the media. THIS ISN'T A DATA FARM. PLEASE CALL IT A DATA CENTER. You guys use the word farm cause you are surrounded by them and everyone thinks it's cute. It's annoying to the profession. Seriously. Believe me... Microsoft doesn't call it their Farm. ..but they might after listening to the news in Iowa. Give Kiernan a heads up for me. She is ground breaking and she should start using the workd Center rather than Farm. Go against the grain, Kiernan.

>Peace

Dave Price said...

Mr. Anonymous,

Thanks for the correction on the data center, not data farm. Point taken. I have to tell you, though, you didn't put me onto the location. I already had that. If I remember correctly, I mentioned Booneville and Xavier because I thought you were saying I didn't have the location yet. Thanks for all your other points though.