• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Pop culture sensations
    djmm on Pop culture sensations
    Beata on It’s All Biden’s F…
    jmac on It’s All Biden’s F…
    jmac on It’s All Biden’s F…
    Beata on It’s All Biden’s F…
    William on It’s All Biden’s F…
    jmac on It’s All Biden’s F…
    William on It’s All Biden’s F…
    Beata on It’s All Biden’s F…
    William on It’s All Biden’s F…
    William on Pop culture sensations
    Beata on It’s All Biden’s F…
    jmac on It’s All Biden’s F…
    Propertius on Doxxing by PA Republicans…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Open Thread
      Use the comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. Facebook Twitter WhatsApp LinkedIn
  • Top Posts

PB and J 2.0

Remember when the brave bloggers of the “progressive blogosphere” were going to lead the resistance against the forces of evil personified by the MSM?  Those brave souls were going to fight for truth, justice and the American Way (although what the first two have to do with the third is questionable.) 

So what happened?  Did Lex Luthor zap them with kryptonite?  Did the Joker blast them with laughing gas?  Were they kidnapped by Islamofascistcommies?

Philosopher/Poet/Revolutionary Leader Lambert at Corrente has been talking about the nearly-complete meltdown of the progressive blogosphere and calling for the formation of Progressive Blogosphere 2.0 for months now.  Last Thursday Corrente hosted a symposium on the topic, featuring Big Tent Democrat from TalkLeft as a guest blogger.  I highly recommend you read both the post and all of the numerous comments. 

Well?  What are you waiting for?  Go read it, then come back here.  I’ll wait.

Okay, now that you’ve read it, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so I’ll just drop a few ideas of my own.  As I see it, what went wrong with PB 1.0 and what PB 2.0 needs to look like boil down to these issues:

1. Infrastructure

2. Ownership

3. Membership

4. Ethics

Infrastructure is the hardware and software that makes the blogosphere possible.  The “tubes,” and the servers are the hardware, and the software is wordpress and other similar programs.  With few exceptions, all of it belongs to large “for-profit” corporations.  This is a point-failure threat, as the recent attacks on Google bloggers have shown.  These telecommunications corporations (Telecoms) do not share our interests, and often oppose them.  Short of self-financing our own Telecom, the only protection available is government regulation.

Blog ownership was one of the primary failure points of PB 1.0, and remains a failure threat in the future.  At the beginning of this primary election campaign, a handful of people controlled most of the progressive blogosphere.  These are often referred to as “A” list bloggers.  Everything was great when we shared common interests, when it was “us” against the evil Bush administration.  The problem became evident as soon as our interests diverged and people chose sides.  Suddenly, editorial control of blog content became an issue.  Another problem was the personal ambitions of the bloggers themselves.  A few seemed to sell-out in hopes of fame and financial reward.

Blog membership consists of individual diarists, commenters, and those who just lurk and read.  Although they comprise the vast majority of the denizens of Left Blogistan, they have no rights and only as much input as they are permitted by the blog administrators.  Unrestrained they can be a mob.  Even democratic tools like the power to recommend and/or troll-rate diaries and comments can be misused by the mob if no control is exercised.

And yet, “control” can be just bad when it becomes censorship.  This brings us to the key issue – blogger ethics.  In order for a “progressive blogosphere” to succeed at its purpose, it must be firmly wedded to ethical standards.  First and foremost must be reverence for truth and honesty.  Second in importance (just barely) is the concept of fairness.

Truth is not a matter of opinion, even though it may at times be disputed.  Fairness requires equal treatment for everyone, even those you don’t agree with.  Far too often the last few months we have seen truth confused with opinion and fairness nonexistent.  Although this post isn’t about either Hillary or Obama, they provide relevent examples.

Early in the primary campaign, it was apparent that “A” list blogs did not care for Hillary.  But the coverage was relatively fair until Edwards dropped out making it effectively a two-person race.  Some of the “A” listers were overtly supporting Obama, the rest leaned toward Obama while claiming neutrality.  The difference in these positions could be described as “sins of commission” versus “sins of omission.”

If we look at a few of the big stories during the campaign we can see the difference.  Remember the picture of Obama in Somali garb, the allegedly “darkened” photo and the doctored “war room” video?  Each of those stories was prominently featured on the sites that were overtly supporting Obama, even though the sources and/or basis for each of those stories was questionable.  Those are examples of sins of commission.  But the supposedly “neutral” sites ignored the stories, even when they were debunked.  Those were sins of omission, because those “neutral” sites claimed to be interested in promoting truth and exposing hackery.

Then there was the ABC debate, and the RFK comment by Hillary.  The only thing shocking to Hillary supporters about the ABC debate between Hillary and Obama was that Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous treated Obama like a Democrat.  They asked him some tough questions about some non-policy issues such as his relationship with Rev. Wright.  Hillary had been getting raked over the coals by debate moderators from the beginning of the campaign, and the treatment was so one-sided that Saturday Night Live even did a skit about it. 

But this time the blogospheric reaction was different.  One supposedly “neutral” site (let’s call it “Thieves and Prevaricators”) was so outraged it did at least eleven separate posts in two days regarding the debate, none of which discussed how the candidates had done or who had won or lost.  There were calls for a boycott of ABC, protests were organized, and Obama used the debate as an excuse to refuse any further debates.

Compare that to the RFK assassination comment by Hillary to the editorial board of the Argus Courier at the end of May.  It was obviously a fauxrage story and was prominently pushed by the overtly pro-Obama sites, but it received zero coverage by “Thieves and Prevaricators.”  They didn’t push the story, nor did they denounce it.  They simply ignored it.  So did the other allegedly neutral “A” listers.  That’s a sin of omission.

If truth and fairness are to have any meaning, stories should meet certain standards.  Anonymously sourced stories with inflammatory content should be highly suspect, not the basis for major coverage.  And any story that requires that the plain meaning of a statement be interpreted in order to have a nefarious purpose should be rejected.  But a truly progressive blogosphere must also be willing to call bullshit on its own members when ethical standards are breached.

Then there was a major “sin of omission” by certain major bloggers regarding commenters on their sites.  Obama supporters were allowed to misuse the ability to recommend or troll-rate others to suppress Hillary supporters.  Even worse, they were permitted to be abusive and even threatening in comment threads.  Name-calling and personal attacks became common.  It was truly mob rule.  Ultimately, many Hillary supporters were driven from those places and ended up at new blogs, such at The Confluence.

But there is another concern that covers several issues: the astroturfing of the blogosphere.  Any regular visitor to Left Blogistan can bear witness to the speed at which Obama talking points are spread throughout the entire community.  I will provide a personal example.

Back in March, when the Rev. Wright story first broke, it was announced that Senator Obama was going to give a speech on the subject of race in America.  Strangely, this speech was not timed for a primetime audience, but I digress.  At that time, I was a regular at Balloon Juice, which by then had degenerated into a CDS infested place for Obama supporters to get their daily kool-aid fix.

Even before the speech began I posted a snarky comment gushing about how wonderful and stupendous the speech was.  I called it something like “Teh Greatestest Speech Evah.”  I must have been psychic.  Obama was still speechifying when the reviews began coming in.  They weren’t just positive, they were orgasmic.  Two separate commenters claimed to have been moved to tears just reading a transcript of the speech.  But now the only thing people remember from the speech is poor grandma being thrown under the bus.

But the immediate “reaction” to the speech crystalized a notion I had had for weeks.  I had noticed numerous nearly identical comments being posted under different names simultaneously on different blogs.  I started to watch for it and by the time of the ABC debate I had three windows open at once so I could quickly switch between comment threads on separate blogs.  Watching the debate in real time while monitoring the comments made it obvious that someone, somewhere was directing the dissemination of talking points.

Anyone who has endured Obama trolls knows the way they all regurgitate the same tired memes, often word-for-word.  Frequently, these trolls appear and disappear as if they are on shifts, with one replacing another right on the hour.   Prove it, you say?  I would if I could, and it doubtlessly will be proven some day in the future.  But even if these astrotrolls don’t exist, they will someday if preventative measures aren’t taken.

Each of the issues mentioned here is worthy of a much longer post, or even a doctoral dissertation.  I’m not claiming to have all the answers, nor even some of them.  The key here is to begin a discussion where we identify the problems and the causes thereof.  Then we can begin to address remedies.

So have at it, discuss!

 

(Cross-posted at Klownhaus)

117 Responses

  1. WILD CHEERS! Wonderful, wonderful post.

    I really liked this part:

    If truth and fairness are to have any meaning, stories should meet certain standards. Anonymously sourced stories with inflammatory content should be highly suspect, not the basis for major coverage. And any story that requires that the plain meaning of a statement be interpreted in order to have a nefarious purpose should be rejected. But a truly progressive blogosphere must also be willing to call bullshit on its own members when ethical standards are breached.

    This is what really, really bothered me about the fauxgressive blogosphere. Their HDS and ObamaLove made it impossible for them to be fair or balanced. Truth was jettisoned in favor of nonstop promotion of their candidate. If I want hysteria masking itself as truth, I’ll go watch cable TV.

    I know for a fact that there is astroturfing going on in the blogosphere. I saw a commenter on The Confluence – she called herself Colleen – who posed as a concerned military mom. She was quickly denounced as a troll and banned.

    About 15 minutes later, this same commenter attempted to cut and paste the exact same comment onto my blog.

    This is not the behavior of a normal blogger.

  2. I’m not sure what the hell would fix the blogosphere, really. I don’t think anything can. It blew apart, the bits are coming back together. Fixing the blogosphere would require fixing the society that created it — the frathouse “anything for a buck of my 15mins of fame” mentality that has been around since the dawn of the US. It sent grown adults onto a stage dressed as produce for a chance to scam $50 out of Monty Hall’s pocket, why would that greed and lust for notice not function now? Especially when it got alloyed with gleeful, overjoyed womanhating on a scale that probably caused more boners than Viagra?

    I just don’t know. I doubt anything can be done. I guess my role is to outline the problem and then hand it off to someone foolish enough to believe a solution exists. If one DOES exist, they’d be the ones to find it anyhow.

    And don’t even get me started with that fucking speech. I practically saw women falling to the ground and speaking in tongues who professed to be “feminists” who would have greeted a similar speech about women and girls with a big, fat yawn and a blush of embarrassment. It sickened me, partly because of the contrast with how I KNEW a similar speech about women would have been received, and partly because I knew immediately that the whole thing was nothing but political ass-covering.

  3. The more inflammatory the story, the more carefully sourced it should be. And accusations of racism or criminal behavior need to be substantiated and strongly supported by evidence.

  4. Heh…there’s something hilarious about whining about “mob rule” and “site owner bias” ona site which bans posts from anyone who doesn’t worship Hillary and agree with everything on the site.

  5. Early on, long before Clinton announced, i was stunned at the frequency of “Hillary don’t run” diaries at DK. While I’m not in favor of censhorship, I find it hard to understand how the Democratic party is served by frequent public pleading for a legitimate and progressive candidate to refuse to run for higher office. At the time, I just didn’t understand why Kos and the other front pagers, didn’t take a stand against that rhetoric. The reasons are a lot clearer now.

    We really do need that course in blogger ethics that Atrios is always joking about.

    So, now, are we diaspora or are we the blogosphere-in-exile?

  6. I think we were had. If any of these people were progressive, it was because they had ulterior motives. I’ll admit I thought sites like crooks and liars were there just to combat the mess that was the MSM, but they weren’t, they were there to compete with them. And how easily they grew into giants (who DOESN”T hate GWB by this point?). I just feel stupid that I got sucked into it. Won’t happen again. i don’t think pb 2.0 can exist. I won’t be a part of it, that’s for sure…..

  7. The issue is that anyone can start their own blog and are then allowed to say and do anything. Look at the idiot postings at MySpace and Facebook? People no longer have to censor themselves or be censored for that matter.

    When the big name blogs adopt the same methods of communication, then the problem becomes something entirely different as they are taken at face value.

    Anonymity brings out the worst in us but I have no idea how you go about censoring these postings. Most have an “agreement” attached to the site but I am finding that it means next to nothing. The monitor can prohibit your views if they are in exact disagreement.

  8. elitistjohn, this site is reactionary. it came into being as a result of the “mob rule”.. You surely wouldn’t expect us to allow those that ran us out on a rail to follow us here to spout their propaganda do you? So fuck off sweetie, you’re not welcome

  9. ElitistJohn: This is why this site exists. To free ourselves from comments like your which add nothing whatsoever to the discourse. This site was created by and for like minded bloggers who were getting the shit kicked out of them for no other reason then they disagreed with your point of view.

    Don’t like, leave. No problem.

  10. Elitist John,

    The Confluence doesn’t present itself as neutral. this is a pro-Hillary site and has it roots as a pro-Hillary site. There is nothing wrong with that or with pro-Obama sites.

    The problem comes about, as it did with DK, when the proprietor professes to be running a blog dedicated to elected progressives, and then targets one campaign – as legitimately progressive as any other candidate – for abuse and allows one candidate’s supporters greater latitude for abuse than others.

    You come here knowing we support clinton from the get-go. But Kos was supposed to be a home for all Democrats. That mission changed. While Kos may have the legal right to do that, if you are the premier blog for progressives in the most powerful nation in the world, you have greater responsibilities than simply your own wishes.

  11. Now now, conflucians, don’t be rude.

    Every village needs an idiot.

  12. does every village need an asshole?

  13. I’ll give him one comment, just to prove him wrong.

    If he keeps acting ignorant he can converse with Spammy the Moderator.

  14. We’ve had our share.

  15. sorry, not very “progressive” of me. but you know what. I’m tired of that too. I am not progressive, I’m liberal dammit. I think the whole “progressive” label is contrived and meaningless….as if being a liberal was something bad (another narrative they coopted from the right wing, along with CDS).

  16. They are like dive bombers. They zip in then zip out. Better than the ones who overstay their welcome though.

  17. Ethics. Imagine that.
    myiq2xu, I am your fangirrrrl. Excellent post-as always.

    “The more inflammatory the story, the more carefully sourced it should be. And accusations of racism or criminal behavior need to be substantiated and strongly supported by evidence’

    True. But that’s not their purpose-to be truthful.

  18. Just more astroturfing by Obamabot jerks – or Republicans.

    Certainly insults don’t change anyone’s mind, so that could hardly be the goal of such commenters.

  19. I have always believed the definition of a liberal is, live and let live. I would like to think of myself as such. But my intense dislike of people like the last troll who comes in merely to offend often gets in the way of my “liberal” thinking. This is when I get really angry and want to tear their heads off.

  20. I don’t consider myself a progressive. I’m a liberal in the tradition of FDR.

    I consider “progressive” a label for cowards who are too ashamed to fight back against conservative framing.

    But “progressive blogosphere” was the expression being used.

  21. You Guys Here At RD are Great Writers.

    Lets Get ready to Rumble
    McCain HITS Obama HARD

    “Don’t ‘hope’ for a better life. Vote for one.
    “I’m John McCain and I approved this message.”

    Big Mac ATTACK
    Thats what McCain New Ads Says

  22. Astrotrolls have two objectives:

    1. Disseminate David Axelrove’s (aka Obama’s brain)talking points.

    2. Disrupt pro-Hillary sites and hijack threads by picking fights.

  23. fred:

    I hope you realize that this is not a pro-McCain site, although some here intend to hold their noses and vote for him.

    We consider Obama to be the evil of two lessers.

  24. myiq – I agree. Our goal as a blogosphere should have been to yell “Liberal Good!” as loud as we can.

    I was very disappointed in AAR for saying they were “progressive” instead. But then, they drank the Obama koolaid pretty early, so I guess they weren’t liberals at all…

  25. “I don’t consider myself a progressive. I’m a liberal in the tradition of FDR.’

    myiq2xu,
    You’re DREAMY. (Sigh). Oh and BTW, me too.

  26. But the supposedly “neutral” sites ignored the stories, even when they were debunked. Those were sins of omission, because those “neutral” sites claimed to be interested in promoting truth and exposing hackery.

    Crooks and Liars, one of my favorite former sites – are very much guilty of this crime. AND I REALLY like John Amato & Nicole Belle. but damn.

  27. As long as there is money to be made, or power to be gained (even if only as legends in their own minds), I’m not sure how PB2.0 can happen.

    The only thing that at least somewhat works is to not patronize the one-sided, verbally violent blogs.

    The MSM has become a joke — there was a study that came out a bit back that had the public trust them less than politicians — I think they were second to last on the list (maybe used car dealers were lower). That’s where Markos and Arianna et al are headed. Unfortunately it may happen too late to save us this year — the MSM has been degenerating for well over a decade but only now are people acknowledging it in a widespread way.

    Even-handed but strong moderation is the only thing that will work, imo, but for that you need site owners who are committed to it.

    Still, I think there is a place for partisan blogs even in PB2.0. A big part of the problem this round has been that sites that most assumed represented progressive blogs, interests and opinion generally were taken over by the hordes who were anything but and site owners reveled in the much while pretending neutrality.

  28. I remember the alleged photo darkening incident. I was doing interviews for HuffPo’s “Off the Bus”. They remembered that I had worked on the “O” campaign and I got an an em asking if I had any of the original fliers and pamphlets.

    At the time, I had not crossed over into full fledged support of anyone, I was still nursing my wounds from the Obama campaign.

    I still remember my utter amazement, when they said they thought someone had intentionally darkened the photo. I was totally like WTF? I told them I still had all the stuff, but didn’t skin tone have to do with the posting of the photo, how it was scanned in, etc.

    Thinking about it still blows my mind, that they were so bogged down in conspiracy theories.

  29. One of the things that I admired about Brand X, once upon a time, was the insistence on links or other hard proof to back up claims by a commenter. The deliberate misinformation campaign of the Bush administration, the false stories coming back about Iraq, and on and on, makes it imperative that opinion be rigorously separated from fact. I still believe that sourcing is critical to believability. Unfortunately, in this campaign, it wasn’t just the bloggers but also some of the politicians who demonstrated feet of clay, as well as showing overt prejudice instead of good judgment.

    As garychaphill pointed out, blogs were originally a reaction to the demise of the 4th estate. Most newspapers today are only providing entertainment rather than reporting the news in an unbiased fashion. So a counter to the press is still necessary.

    I think it’s fine to speak passionately on a blog as long as the speaker is upfront about his or her biases. I also think it’s fine for a blog to have an agenda, as long as everyone understands what that agenda encompasses. Too often, however, bloggers talk themselves in to a comfort zone, denying that they really aren’t in agreement with the blog owner.

    I won’t go on and on. As you say, myiq, the subject could fill at least one volume, if not more. Just as it’s important to look at the personality and history of a politician, it’s important to look at the personality and history of someone who owns a blog. Cast your vote accordingly.

  30. ‘Even-handed but strong moderation is the only thing that will work, imo, but for that you need site owners who are committed to it.”

    I’d say Talkleft tried to fit that, but BTD was incredibly damaging and in my opinion, dishonorable the way he played to both sides.

  31. Kim – That skin darkening thing was the last straw for me and the “A Listers.” They all believed Drudge instead of Hillary.

    My mind was blown by that fact – they believed a well-known Republican shill and liar, over a woman who had faithfully served the Party for decades.

    I knew right then there was no hope for them.

  32. One thing that I noticed early on in the A-list blogs is the 25-hour run on Obama ads, while NONE for Hillary except for those awful mockups pictures with Hillary’s mouth open or looking mean and captioned in a mean way.

    I wrote & complained to several site owners which said that the Obama ads were Google generated and they had no control over it.

    But what stuck me funny is that the ads were there FOR MONTHS & STILL, UNMOVEABLE – not interchanging Google ads that I see on other sites.

    The fix was in, and PB 1.0 sold out their own beliefs for a buck & a spotlight.

  33. One can be partisan and still adhere to a code of ethics.

    Here at the Confluence, commenters who post racist or unsubstantiated smears against Senator Obama are warned and any such comments deleted.

  34. well, the obamazoids looked upon the blogosphere the way the post-civil war population of (white anglo) america looked upon the land west of the mississippi – as a vast unexploited resource. those of us who were here before and maintaining a peaceful, low-impact, live-off-the-land lifestyle got rounded up and put on reservations.

    axelrove started as an astroturfer for corporations, so he didn’t have to change many things in his current job.

  35. I think once you become a well established member of a community you should be free from moderation. I don’t always agree with everything everyone says here, but I would never dream of moderating any of you (that I know). Newcomers, on the other hand, should have to earn that trust….just as one would do in “real life”. I think what happened to a lot of us is that we had been “community members” and then they took out the long knives and cut us out abruptly. I also don’t like somebody defining what is “good taste” much the way that Taylor Marsh and Jeralyn police their blogs. I find it terribly patronizing.

  36. It is what we believe in that identifies us.

    Equal rights
    One man, one vote
    A woman’s right to choose
    Gay marriage
    Stem cell reseach
    Strong military
    Lawful immigration
    Economic security
    Social Security
    Universal Healthcare
    Justice
    Separation of church and state
    Co equal branches of government
    Fair taxation
    Education
    Opportunity
    Unions
    First Amendment
    The right of dissent
    Truth to power
    Taking care of the disadvantaged
    Death with dignity
    Abolition of the death penalty
    Truth in government
    Transparency
    Strong and fair leadership
    The common good

    American and personal values.

  37. I second that pat.

  38. Great list, Pat. I would simply change First Amendment to The Constitution (after all, the Fourth Amendment is under siege now, and it’s important, too), but yours is as comprehensive a list as I’ve seen.

  39. Kim — are you the one who was asked by HuffPo to do reporting on PUMA? What did you decide about that?

    joaniebone — I agree, yet I still comment at TL because Jeralyn’s thread’s tend to be more evenly moderated and she’s clear about what’s out of bounds politically. Also, there’s a pretty big contingent of commenters who call bullshit on people who parrot the talking point of the day or are working the overtime cut-and-paste keys.

    It’s not perfect — actually one commenter who I always DISagreed with got kicked off recently for chattering and I was very disappointed. Although this person was annoying, i thought their arguments were well made and did often provide sources.

  40. Yeah, I was asked, but I have not heard back from BB on RD’s thoughts on it.

    The only thing I think that might be missing from this post is how a normal person reacts to the blogs.

    I just have a BA from App State. No doctorate, or Masters, and a regular school. When I read some of the posts, I am literally blown away by the skills and the abilities of the blogger to just nail it and I wish I could write that well. If you are like me, this tends to lead you in a certain direction.

    Then you get an email from one of those bloggers, you adored, like the email I got from HuffPo about the skin darkening incident and good old fashioned horse sense kicks in.

    I think I had to respond when they were asking me to scan the photo and when that didn’t come out how they wanted to try and send it through a blackberry. I think I finally had to respond with, “You guys did know he was black, right?”

    I thought, how stupid and ignorant can you possibly be?

  41. This year’s election will be the start up and the future strengthening of blogsites for political races across the country. We only need to look at the Confluence alone as one which has had somewhat of an impact on this year’s presidential contest. The MSM will slowly begin to lose any credibility in time to come as the blogs have exploded in just 12 months.

    What will be interesting to see is who survives and who does not. Credibility will be the dominant factor as to which blog offers the most comprehensive analysis and informative pieces.

    The political operatives will be setting up shop on the blogosphere because it will be the fastest and easiest way to get out the message and attract the voter. This is where it will all happen in future races.

  42. I was reading comments over at MyDD the other day (on a couple threads related to PUMA linked from here) and I saw an old pattern: 3-5 commenters ganging up to attack and troll-rate anyone they disagreed with.

    Those few were responsible for 80% of the comments.

  43. I big issue that I had was a large number of prohillary points that I would post on Huffington Post, The Salon, or The DailyKos were moderated into oblivion. It was especially bad at Huffington Post. It wasn’t any spurious or obscene, just not pro-Obama. After one or two got through, they all got flagged as abusive or something and I was just constantly moderated and things would never show up. This outraged me. I’d never experienced select ‘editing’ like than before.

    Additionally, I got ganged up on and berated. This happened a lot at FDL and I finally complained to Jane to say something about the tone of discussion to folks. She brushed my complaints off. Just continually being called a racist when you say you don’t buy into Obama is such an widespread tactic that it HAS to come from the campaign.

    Great article and it must’ve been a wonderful discussion.

  44. And I absolutely agree with Kim. This site has some of the best writers out there. Sharp, concise, accurate, informative. The fact that none are professional writers is all the more mind boggling.

    The diaries that have found their way to this site in the last few months should be bound and sold for their content. I cannot say enough about their individual abilities to draw one into the missives.

    Like you, I stand in awe.

  45. if you think there is any comparison between this primary and the Dean/Kerry primary you’re completely delusional

  46. Kim:

    What I found most disturbing was the number of people who were perpetuating already debunked stories.

    The best example is the “Not as far as I know” comment by Hillary. Eric Boehlert thoroughly debunked that story with a transcript of her 60 minutes interview, and yet it still pops up occasionally, and not just from anonymous trolls.

    Anyone spreading debunked stories should have their comments immediately deleted and be given a warning. Second offense -banning.

  47. eeps, I’m in moderation…. did some troll steal my identity?

  48. I haven’t even read this yet, I had to comment on the graphic. That is one of my all time favorite internet cartoons. I was actually looking for it recently to use myself. I love that you did. Okay, now to read.

  49. I warned elitist John, so now he can deal with Spammy.

  50. ElitistJohn2: The difference between then and now was that Kerry had experience. Obama has none. We all held our collective noses for years in disagreement with whatever candidate was the standard bearer because of our hopes for the party itself.

    This year something different took shape. An unknown, unqualified, inexperienced candidate was “chosen” out of a field of highly qualified candidates who certainly came to the table with fatter resumes than one who had probably only sat in the Senate for a total of 300 days. A man who lacked serious judgment in my opinion and I am not about to just hold my nose yet again since this time we are faced with one who lacks any of those qualities that brand leadership.

  51. For those Big Dawg enthusiasts among you,

    W00t! Bill Clinton to be on the Warren Beatty Tribute tonight. It’s gonna be on the USA network.

    Give Bill some love and some ratings. He’s finding any and every excuse to be anywhere but where the DNC wants him. I give him an amen for that.

    Shake and bake, Big Dawg!

  52. Interesting that the Trolls like ElitistJohn2 come here and read the posts. There must be something they are interested in.

    I can’t tell you the last time I went to DKos or Crooks and Liars. They lost all credibility for me.

  53. The best example is the “Not as far as I know” comment by Hillary. Eric Boehlert thoroughly debunked that story with a transcript of her 60 minutes interview, and yet it still pops up occasionally, and not just from anonymous trolls.

    Anyone spreading debunked stories should have their comments immediately deleted and be given a warning. Second offense -banning.

    Yes, that one was a stunner. I could not believe all the intelligent folks that were insistently pretending she was doing something she was not doing at all.

    That non-story led to my desertion of Big Blue for Talk Left. I still see Valhalla there too – I think we may be converting BTD, but it’s too late now.

    Jeralyn is becoming ridiculous IMHO.

  54. myiq: Exactly, if you are already leaning in a certain direction and your favorite blogger posts an untruth; or maybe something that could be true, but is unsubstantiated; a regular joe believes it to be the gospel.

    I may not be an Obot, but I will send an email in response to a lie about the falsehoods out there.

    One well circulated email or post, can spin totally out of control.

  55. myiq2xu: I know what you mean about holding the nose and voting Mccain
    The DNC have given us 2 winners in 37 years. they have forgotten what a winner looks like. Hillary wins all the states it take to win the Presidency and they chose the weakest unqualified one. I bash the Bush supporters for giving us Bush i will not be a hypocrite and vote for Bush with a tan because hes a democrat. Obama is the New Nixon, so i am left with McCain

  56. Tomasic is the one who wants an article from us.

  57. Mawm:

    Not interesting, basic strategy as old as the Bible.

    Send operatives out to infiltrate and report back what we’re talking about.

    IOW – Spies

  58. My question is: what are the fundamental philosophical principles behind Pat’s list?

    The crunchy peanut butter needs to have a solid philosophical foundation which guides it so that it becomes less likely to become corrupted. I don’t see nearly enough philosophical discussion.

  59. I ❤ myiq’s posts…

    Sorry, I’m probably coming off like a stalker, but I’m really thrilled to see him and Madamab frontpaged here these days.

    (I’m a frequent lurker but I rarely post, since you folks usually make all the eloquent points before I get here ;))

  60. Obama Bloggers And Supporters Worried Barry will Throw Them Under The Bush

    Tomorrow could mark the beginning of official condoning of warrantless surveillance of law-abiding citizens in the U.S., not to mention foreign nationals. Much of this information has been covered by Glenn Greenwald in the past week.

    In the video below, I talk about what every American needs to know — and do in the next 24 hours — about the new FISA (Federal Information and Surveillance Act) amendments. The interview, and below partial transcription, answers questions like…
    http://www.alternet.org/rights/90792/?ses=ece9956535bc9221bbf90308754253de

    What Every American Needs to Know (and Do) About FISA Before Tuesday, July 8th VIDEO

  61. Just left a post over at HuffPo on the PUMA article but they have me in moderation. Probably combing through to be sure I had only positive thoughts about Obama. I didn’t.

  62. Is anyone gonna do a FISA post? Obamalamading-dong just put out a statement on the issue and if no one else is working on it i’ll do a post for tonight or early tomorrow.

  63. Jeralyn’s comment: “FISA is not a deal-breaker for me.”

    My response: It’s not a deal breaker for me either. No way in hell I’m voting for him.

  64. Pat: They asked me if I was interested in moderating way back when. I had to tell them that I was too biased.

  65. MYIQ – go for it – I’m sitting out for LULAC results.

  66. MyIq, great post — thank you.

  67. I have to depart temporarily, if EJ or any other trolls come by just ignore ’em and I’ll clean up their mess when I get back.

  68. […] 8, 2008 · No Comments The perception exists that the flagrant bias pro-Obama and againt Hillary started when this became a 2 candidate race. […]

  69. That place is a hellhole. No dissent from the theme of Obama all day, every day over there. When it becomes that one sided it has lost every bit of value. The diarists, the commentators, the ads. No wonder they trolls follow us. They end up talking only to themselves.

  70. I notice nobody is naming the nice, polite sites that stayed nice and polite while allowing commenters to run amok with Hillary hate, so I won’t either.

    But I consider the faugressive idolization of Obama and demonization of Hillary to show such a shocking lack of judgement that their credibility on *everything* is blown.

    I have a very long list of sites I will not go to again (I still look at the dogs on Thursday at tbogg) unless some one at riverdaughter, anglachel, reclusive leftist, et alia recommends them.

  71. There was no fairness while Edwards was still in the race –
    the fix was just a bit less clear then.
    No one quantified the blogosphere bias, but some independent studies were made on mainstream media and talk radio (AAR)
    AAR and the blogosphere went parallel – and this is what Air America did to Hillary as of October 2007:
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/07/08/682/

  72. Planned Parenthood found the right moment to endorse B0!
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/another-black-eye-for-roe/

  73. I just got home and a friend forwarded this to me from the Obama campaign.(maybe it can be tied to the post as ‘infrastructure’. Obama is having home meetings to discuss what will be in our platform. My suspicion is he wants religion and abortion restriction added. Suspicious because I’m paranoid and don’t like the man one bit.

    Subject: Our platform

    Every four years, the Democratic Party assembles a platform that outlines the party’s position on a number of issues.

    Traditionally, the drafting of the platform is not open to ordinary people.

    This year, that’s going to change.

    For two weeks in July, people all across America will hold Platform Meetings in their own communities to discuss the issues and share their input. The outcome of these meetings will be reviewed by the Drafting Committee as it creates the final Platform.

    No political experience is required. Your thoughts and experiences are all that matter, and they will shape a platform that — like this party — is owned by the people.

    Sign up to host or attend a Platform Meeting in your neighborhood:

    http://my.barackobama.com/listening

    This year, ordinary people like you will gather in their homes, community centers, places of worship, and even coffee shops to discuss the issues that matter to them and help decide what should be at the heart of the Democratic platform for change.

    The input we get from these meetings will help shape the platform at the Democratic Convention in August.

    Platform Meetings are a great way to connect with fellow supporters and help write the next chapter in the history of the Democratic Party.

    We’ll make sure you have all the resources and support you need to succeed. All you need to provide are your ideas for America and your hunger for change.

    To get started in your community, just log onto My.BarackObama.com and go to our Platform Meetings page. (If you don’t have a My.BarackObama.com account, creating one is simple and easy.)

  74. Thanks, Eleanor A! 🙂

    Myiq2xu – I have a new play ready to go – I can post it for late-night entertainment or evening. Go for it re: FISA, it’s a disgrace that people are making excuses for his flip-flopping.

  75. What has been interesting to me in following this is the target-marketing– this was ONLY done for one candidate, and not Hillary Clinton. The bigger blog people — had their candidate picked in advance, and then there is the use of the “bubble sort” in a search engine.

    Preplanned, and publicity?

    All of this fundraising happened while the FEC in Washington see

    http://www.democracy21.org

    For the history of that — Has it been fair?

    Or has it swayed the election?

    How could unethical actions in the blogosphere contribute to swaying an election and have they been paid to do so, and by who?

    Censorship, is not a Democratic Process. That happened.

    Who is responsible for monitoring that in here? Is it the FEC?
    Washington DC?

    just thoughts —-

    great post, btw, and I saw the thing over at Corrente — that PJ was a pretty funny package when you researched the company it came from…

    I suppose people who recognize each other in here, by humor, or possibly decency? Will all group up together…Funny how us Left Coasters have so much in common with Blue East Coasters…

  76. Another great post!

    Just FYI: I am finally back in the States after being away for more than 18 months. I have had many political discussions with total strangers since I returned (I’m on an Alaskan cruise) and I have been totally shocked about the Obama comments. Universally, the men (no offense to the great ones here) are saying, “Obama is just sooooooo inspirational”. That’s it – none of those men have an answer to the basic question of mine: “but what has he DONE?”
    Interestingly, most of the women supported Hillary in the primaries and cannot believe she isn’t the nominee. Quite a few of these women are married to the same men above.
    And these are just everyday, probably at least middle class, probably at least somewhat educated Americans. I sense that there are a lot more potential PUMAs out there, guys.
    Cheers.

  77. It took me a while to hate Obama. I didn’t just happen over night, and it didn’t happen because people told me to hate him. No, my hate was born from Obama’s own actions.

    There is nothing anyone can say or do to get me to pull the lever for him, and at this point, my vote for McCain is not a protest vote. I truly believe Obama is more dangerous than McCain.

  78. AM, agreed on the credibility thing. I’ve seen so many people who are now suddenly doing the “eeeeeeh” handwavey thing over “free speech zones” and FISA who would go postal when Bush said, did, or used them. I can only conclude that, since it’s not so bad now that Barky’s doing it, they weren’t really to be taken seriously when they complained about Bush’s transgressions either.

    I also think we’re barking up the wrong tree when we talk about why the nutroots went apeshit over every little bit of CDS that could be spun, no matter the complete lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary. They didn’t believe that Hillary made sideways comments about him being a stealth Muslim because they had evidence that supported it, even with spin. They believed it and propagated it because they wanted to. Because they hated her and still hate her and were happy to fall in line with anything that took her down.

    We are trying to kill a monster using logic bullets that does not exist in the logic dimension, people. Our logic bullets will go straight through it.

  79. Think about it this way — do you REALLY think that the people who went after her husband actually thought that Whitewater had any legs at all?

    What they were thinking was, “Get him on this, and if nothing’s here, get him on something else. Keep digging, keep going until we can find something, we will not stop until we get him on something … ANYTHING … ”

    The actual truth of anything they could dig up was inconsequential. Just dig up ANYTHING and if you can’t find something, keep digging. Witchburnings like this aren’t based on logic, so our insistence that they be “ethical” and gather “evidence” and “proof” is going to do no good. These things aren’t about proof. You can’t reason with a mad dog. You can deal with it, but you can’t reason with it.

  80. Jmac–What a joke! As though he’s actually pretending to listen…. Can you say FISA anyone? Yeah, he almost cares what voters think. My guess is that you’ll have to register and it’s just another attempt to scarf up voter data.

  81. grayslady, thats funny. Instead of holding platform meetings, Obama could just listen to our phones, and find out what we are thinking.

  82. “Thieves and Prevaricators” (!) used to be my favorite site. It was the first place I went on HP. I still go once in a blue moon to see what Blue Gal has contributed. She had me fooled for the longest time – I thought she was making fun of Obama on her personal site, but she’s a big fan.

  83. mawm–LOL!

  84. I think Obama is going to change our platform. I’ve always thought his “change” was to change the Democratic party. And just like he brags he gets his $$ from ordinary folks, he can now say they want the platform changed.

    I thought Bush had destroyed the Republican party as we know it; now I think Obama is actually the one who might split a party into.

  85. Oops – split our party in two! Time for dinner.

  86. (i posted this on an old thread by mistake and am reposting here)

    I heard from one of Clinton’s $ raisers today who is also a delegate that there is concern re the “tone” of Clinton delegates around the country. I have to assume this means an amplified discontent.

    If you don’t mind I have shortened my name here and would like to continue with the shortened version, unless that is not cool.

  87. Indi-Can you clarify. Who’s concerned about whom, or what?

  88. fuzzybear is here as promised to talk about what we can do to help Hill out I saw in a previous thread where I broke the news that hillary has been given a shorter time span than we thought because Dean and Obama for Obama want to squeeze her out.

    I Obama’s newest email from the DNC the words “open convention” are used but when you read the text of the request for cash…it becomes clear they (big o and DeaNC) want the convention to be open for only supporters of Obama with the acceptance speach being held in Numemburg style a la 1933.

    There was no mention of a nomination process a roll call or even Hillary being present or have her name placed before the convention for consideration.

    I can hear the goosestepping upahh music now-someone que “Truimph of the Will”.

    Lets all put on our thinking caps about raising money for hillary and putting our campaign debt behind her.

    fuzzybeargville

  89. I have an idea for how PB 2.0 could maybe work- it doesn’t fix all of the issues. But some of the issues could be better policed through some hybrid of collective ownership and an academic peer-reviewed structure.

    I know that subscription has been floated as an option, and I definitely don’t know how co-ops really work, but some kind of collective subscription-based ownership model could help level power inequalities. And in terms of preserving journalistic integrity and fairness, I think that a juried journal type of set-up would be ideal. Then anyone could submit articles for publication, but a (possibly elected?) oversight committee (from a variety of backgrounds?) could choose which were most appropriate and what level of fact-checking needed to happen. Each poster could give a short bio listing conflicts of interest or biases with each post. Comments could be rated, but the lack of sock-puppets (unless people wanted to pay for multiple subscriptions) could hopefully cut down on the mob rule.

    As a sort of jumping off point, does that sound even remotely feasible?

  90. Please visit My Diary on the DNC, the Roll Call, and Donna Brazile’s Hypocrisy at Alegre’s Corner. It’s based on a Wall Street Journal Article:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121547964529734509.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Remember When Donna’s Mama Told Her to Play by the Rules?

  91. Obama’s is a fascistic movement. As such, the fan(atics) are very dedicated, events are carefully orchestrated and massive and everything is controlled by the big dog.

    Getting a new, fresh progressive blogosphere requires: progressives of which we have only a few left, reformed Democratic party where the Pelosis are gone and a new breed of leaders who believe in the FDR coalition and new college graduate that are not called Ezra (help in Hebrew, and he helps himself only).

  92. i’ll try but i really don’t know enough. i think what he was trying to tell me is there’s increasing discontent among clinton delegates and it’s being vocalized more loudly. i don’t think this guy can tell me specifics tho – certainly not in an email. i didn’t want to push.

  93. I like the topic of the post. I am one of those that hasn’t been able to get a Corrente account. The topic bled over to TL but only partly.

    Seek out contrary advertisers, that way a site isn’t beholden to a candidate or issue. The idea of Justsaynodeal with multiple sites under an umbrella might provide a structure reference. The advertising income could be shared. I think more advertising could be had at the top level of the structure if there was a blog (under the umbrella) with legitimate debate that could be picked up by MSM.

    Have minimum ethics for bloggers to fall under a particular infrastructure or not be in the blogroll of the other sites. Ethics for visitors would help too. I don’t like the term censoring, it should be ethics. Most people have minimum boundaries in real world and they should on the net. Some are there just to make trouble. I like TLs format of specific threadss versus open threads. It’s nice to have/read an issue debate or have a free for all. Debate separate from venting, seems like it could be provided on one site or multiple sites under an umbrella (something for everyone.)

  94. Koshembos, Obama’s movement IS tyrannical, I agree completely.

    I’ve never seen death threats thrown around during a presidential election, but I am now, and they are ALL coming from Obama’s side. And no one seems to care. The same supposed “progressives” who decried such tactics when Bushites used them are now all over them.

  95. When are we expected to begin wearing uniforms? Seems to be the next step forward if The Mess gets elected. Will give a whole new meaning to “identify politics” after Denver.

  96. I am having probs updating the thread now on my screen anyone else?

  97. Michael P – Might be because I just posted a new one.

    [blush]

    It should work now.

  98. I was glad to read this post. As someone who is brand new to the very idea of blogging I have many conflicted thoughts about the whole concept. I came to this site as many have done because “there was nowhere else to go”. I have become a daily reader because of the outstanding writers and of course because I agree with many things that are said. I have also appreciated it when one person asks another about the source of their information. Blogging seems to be a way to carry on dialogues between people who don’t think exactly alike. That is something that seems to have disappeared from the American connversation. It would be great if blogs were able to bring that back as hard as it may be.

  99. one of the comments on the link refers to the orchestrated way pro-BO/anti-HRC posts were recommended at dk. it would be great if one PUMA could devote some time to checking this out. which posters were responsible and when did they sign up at dk.
    although i’m an outsider (not an american) i used to visit all the so-called “progressive” dem blogs on a daily basis, but i stopped before the walkout at dk, because they had become totally unreadable.
    as for polls, the same corpmedia are manufacturing the polls in order to influence voting. PUMAS need to organise at least one transparent poll – not too difficult as most polls are only canvassing approx 1,200 voters. surely this is something that could be carried out by PUMAS in each state if you put your minds to it. i have no doubt the results would be very different from what the corpmedia is peddling.
    as for mccain, let me tell you he is invisible outside the US. we never hear a word about him.
    also, if you google mccain and click “news” on any given day, you may find a grouping such as that below, but when you click on the link to the nearly 2,000 results, somehow they have all morphed into pro-BO stories.
    the fix is in in a very big way. if the polls can pretend the race is close, there’s nothing to stop the votes being flipped to BO in november if mccain wins.
    someone on a blog recently looked into subliminal pro-BO messages in HRC’s own ads – forget who it was – and that was an important analysis which needed further investigation.

  100. noepiphany, i would recommend tracking icebergslim, and geekesque, I don’t remember if geek was a long time member before hand or not, but check posterd on IBS’s ‘this week with barack obama’ diaries and see who shows up and what they’re on about. that’d be my start for detective work, if one is so inclined. I certainly remember IBS totally off the chain as far as jumping on every single possible thing and declaring it was race baiting by the Clinton campaign.

  101. I, too, am not sure it can be fixed, but I think civility is the starting point, and the onus rests on the blog owner and bloggers. Yes, the commenters have been vicious (one hopes none of them lives on the same block). But they were only responding to the viciousness of the bloggers themselves.

    Nowhere was this so evident as at TNR. It’s highly paid, professional journalists spilled vitriol minute by minute, day by day, on Hillary and the Clintons. Is it any wonder that the commenters went even deeper into the cesspool?

    Sully, supposedly an adult, believing Catholic, didn’t even bother to hide his bile.

    But how, in any kind of blogosphere, does one “police” civiility? There are some anti-Obama sites that I find disgusting, and a couple I like that seem to be occasionally barely staying inside the line.

    Worse, in this particular case, the venom was also spewing forth from the major media: not just MSNBC and CNN, but Time and Newsweek, the NYT (can anybody imagine the Gray Lady keeping Rich and Dowd on the payroll if their target was an AA?), the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Economist, New York Magazine, etc. etc. Who, besides Krugman, had anything positive to say about Hillary? (Which, by the way, makes those 18 million votes even more impressive.)

    It’s easy to understand under such circumstances how bloggers, let along commenters, feel no reason to hold back.

    OTOH, blogs like this one to which many of us ran have, somehow, remained civil – if increasingly angry – with the focus where it should be in a campaign: on a candidate’s qualifications.

    So, maybe there is hope.

  102. I am happily home in my apartment the weather so so bad out there tonight florida is being hammered by rain….

    fuzzybeargville

  103. I’m confused.

    I haven’t changed.

    One of my first posts about Obama was concerning Rezko. It’s not that I didn’t like him as a candidate, but that I wanted the issue aired before the campaign got too far underway.

    I didn’t say much negative about Reverend J. Wright because, like Chaplinsky in New Hampshire, I believe some people are “damned fascists” and “god-damned racketeers.”

    Some partisan Democrats aren’t much in the way of thinkers, or up for much feet-holding-to-fire.

    Did you expect something different?

    And if every lefty or progressive blog doesn’t get their dander up about every issue (Clinton and the RFK comment) maybe it is because _every_ issue is too much for _anyone_ to handle. On Clinton and RFK, I found Bob Somerby at DailyHowler.com to be perfect. Did I need to post on it, too?

  104. Has anyone read this. It is from Frank Rich of the NYtimes. A far to the left writer for them. I love it will I read stuff like this. Seems like it is closing in on Obama. When Hillary got out the spot light was on him and people now know what he is really about.

    When I saw BO with the fake presidential seal, I thought to myself… “unbelievable!!!”… but then again he probably thought that is what the sheeple will fall for… so sad. Actually, when I saw him in front of that faux presidential seal… I became very angry. What a phony. If you ask any of the Obamaniacs what exactly does BO stand for? They can’t give you a straight answer. All the warble is “Hope and Change”… ridiculous!

    x
    Jad

    1. Frank Rich Uses ‘WALL –E’ Film to Whack Obama

    Frank Rich recently hit Barack Obama, and he used a Pixar movie to do the hammering.

    The New York Times perennial left-of-center columnist handed out kudos to the “WALL-E” film but in the same column gave a less-than-rave review to Obama.

    In fact, in media terms, it may already be over for Obama, according to Rich.

    “For me, Mr. Obama showed signs of jumping the shark two weeks back,” Rich wrote, “when he appeared at a podium affixed with his own pompous faux-presidential seal.”

    Rich went on to say that the bizarre recreation of the presidential seal “could have been a Pixar sight gag.” He then described a scene from “WALL-E,” in which, via flashback, a foolish cartoon executive creates his own fake presidential podium.

  105. The blogosphere was relatively late to dividing the Democratic Party. One MUST look at the role the media and the GOP played in the incessant propaganda and manipulation of voters which laid the groundwork for the nutroots.

    The nutroots do NOT exist in a vacuum; the mainstream media are still far more powerful than these rebels without a cause.

  106. I love you myiq2xu, I truly do.

  107. but btw, and it breaks my heart to say this, but Randall (the xkcd guy) is a Barack Obama supporter. He said so in his blog. I was tempted to remove him from my Reader, but luckily he does no proselytizing.

  108. Anyone who has endured Obama trolls knows the way they all regurgitate the same tired memes, often word-for-word. Frequently, these trolls appear and disappear as if they are on shifts, with one replacing another right on the hour. Prove it, you say? I would if I could, and it doubtlessly will be proven some day in the future. But even if these astrotrolls don’t exist, they will someday if preventative measures aren’t taken.

    considering Gary Trudeau (Doonesbury), who usually has the pulse of the culture, has devoted a few panels to this idea I’d say it is a very real phenomenon!

  109. this was a very cool post

    i loved it!

    check out my blog sometime
    http://www.bre101.wordpress.com

  110. More blogs like this one!

    Seriously, more blogs run by one individual and a small group of her delegates. No “front pagers,” no “diaries,” no “recomended diaries,” no “superstar” diarists, no complicated procedure for becoming a “member,” no complex “rules” about what is and isn’t allowed, and no “troll” or “mojo” ratings. Just one person, or a very few people, running a blog, with the bias being open and well-known. Obama supporters, of course, have the right to run their blogs just like RD runs this one. If someone acts like a jerk, kick ’em out. If others don’t like that, TS, there are plenty of other places on the internet. And, with that being said, it seems to me that there is more open dialogue on this site than on many of the so-called “A” list sites.

    Where the trouble starts, in my view, is having pseudo-blogs like MyDD or Daily Kos, which purport to be omnibus sites for “progressives” or :”Democrats,” respectively, but, instead, become viscous, nasty, incestuous echo chambers with witchhunting mobs running amuk, looking for the slightest nonconformity and punishing it with all the tools (the ratings, the recs, etc) mentioned above. At the same time, these goons try to outdo each other in being the most “like Mike” when it comes to the opionions of the “front pagers” and “superstar” diarists. To me, all of this is antithetical to the whole spirit of the internet, never mind what liberal politics should look like in practice.

    I think this disitinction is one reason why true indivdual “blogs,” like Digby and Atrios, for all their failings, never became as horribly conformist or McCarthyesqe as the frontpager/diary’rec. diary/ratings sites like DK and MyDD.

    In addition, there should be more true “discussion board” type sites. These could serve a variety of communities (Democrats, progressives) that the pseudo-blogs purport to, although, in my experience, they can also accomadate the entire spectrum of politics, as long as they are strongly moderated.

    As an example, an atheist board where I formerly posted had a politics section. Naturally, the main sections of the board, dealing with religion, chuch/state seperation, and so on, tended to have a lot of one-sided conversations, as most users were in agreement about most issues. In the politics section, however, atheists being what they are, the whole range of viewpoints, from libertarian to conservative to liberal to radical to social democrat to socialist to communist to anarchist, was represented. The discussions were lively and free-wheeling.

    This is where the strong moderation comes in. The main thing, of course, is not to allow personal attacks on any other users. Also important is not allowing derailments. Public figures are fair game. But the conversation, however intense, always remains civil.

    A discussion board like this is a million times more egalitarian, pluralistic and free than a Daily Kos could ever be. Anyone can start a “thread,” with the only caveat being that redundant threads are “merged” into one. Anyone can express any opinion they like, without fear of being rated as a “troll.” In fact, on the board I was on, to call someone a “troll” was considered a personal attack and was not allowed. And, without a rating system, there was no mojo “whoring” or “swapping,” and no bad feelings about who did or didn’t get mojo. Moreover, if a user felt that someone had broken the rules, that user had to press a complaint button and specify which rule was broken and how, exactly, the offending post broke that rule. Then, the moderators would investigate and take action, if necessary. So, you did not have a bunch of “troll rating abusers” running around like you do on MyDD and DK..

  111. *proof.*

    http://www.correntewire.com/trolls_captured_in_their_natural_habitat

    I linked to my post at Corrente just in case Suburban Guerilla has a power outage, or something.

    The original post:

    http://tinyurl.com/6cdzxh

  112. I want to add my voice to those who eschew the label “progressive” and embrace the word “liberal.” Even before Obamamania set in, I had announced myself as a member of the liberal camp. To me, “prog” is a term of ultimate derision.

    Nevertheless, we must use the term “progressive,” if only because so many people thus self-identify.

    Has someone archived what happened on the prog-blogs between January and June, 2008? That was the strangest political phenomenon I’ve ever witnessed.

    Freemansfarm got it just right. The blogs run by individuals functioned better than did sites like the Cheeto and D.U..

  113. Single proprietor or small group blogs are the only ways to go. When Kos went to the Scoop platform, the site immediately went to seed. Not that it was that great to begin with, but the complicated system just wrecked it.

    Sure it helped his profile and brought in money with the dramatic increase in hits, but it’s a total mess to navigate.

  114. I’m totally late to this post, but I wanted to say great post. Alos, I don’t know if you are aware, but there was at least one group on Kos who organized offline to make talking points go viral. They were quite open about it when they were advertising for membership in February or early March. I forget the name, but they used the same diary name for several diaries.

  115. 1) I’ll name some who stayed silent. Ms. Magazine. Where were they? Oh, yeah, publishing Donna Brazile’s lousy columns. Ms. Magazine did nothing. I let my subscription lapse in March. Not going back.
    2) I hold certain individuals accountable and I’m not seeing them mentioned. Laura Flanders, Amy Goodman, Sharon Smith and assorted others who are not Democrats but carried Barack’s water for him.
    3) Bill Moyers.
    Ava and C.I. (Third Estate) documented Moyers bias repeatedly. But in http://thirdestatesundayreview.blogspot.com/2008/06/tv-strength-greeted-with-confusion.html
    they really drive the point home. Bill Moyers called it Hillary’s “”moisty” moment (PIG!) and then wanted everyone to know what he was talking about so he played the clip.
    Of Hillary speaking? No, of Jesse Jackson Jr. lying (“she didn’t cry for . . .”). If Bill wanted his audience to know what happened in New Hampshire, why did he chose to play Junior’s distortions and not the actual clip?
    It’s those bits of bias that when you piece together you get the real picture.
    There are people who are just liars. I used to like Amy Goodman until Ava and C.I. started documenting the way she tilted her show. Bringing on people with the Barack Obama campaign and not telling the audience that little fact was only one example.
    4) Rebuilding the progressive web? Never happen and not worth it. Joseph, Riverdaughter, Ava and C.I. and Lambert were the only ones that mattered to me. Most of you aren’t linked that widely to begin with. Probably because you won’t play by the ‘rules’ and type up hogwash. The only way it will change is if those on the same page right now decided to revamp their blogrolls and only include the ones who had earned it. And that could be some Barack Obama blogs. I didn’t see any during the primary but I would hope at least one pro-Barack site was able to make their case without lying. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that there wasn’t even one.

  116. Talk Left? I see the point about it seeming a lot weaker. Not sure that’s Jeralyn’s fault or not and not really interested in visiting it these days.
    Air America was horrible and I can’t stand it. I walked away before Randi’s nutso behavior was news.
    A point I saw a lot of that I agree with is “never again.” Those people who lied blew it with me. The Nation, Air America, all of them.
    As for the Moyers thing, I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for that link and I liked that it included Katie Couric’s video. Anyone notice FAIR didn’t send out an action alert asking us to get on board with Couric and show support? Didn’t do anything to note her commentary on the sexism in the primary season.
    Like I said, I’m done with a lot of people I used to trust.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: