Monday, June 09, 2008

Media Whores Online

Whatever the benefits of a Democrat in the White House, this campaign is the furthest thing from a radical repudiation of what has become of the mainstream media I can imagine. A significant portion of the Left has wholly adopted not just the tactics but also the frames and content of the Right against itself.

The most radical part of the netroots has been its claim to oppose the media, both the right wing noise machine and the increasingly co-opted mainstream media. The Left was finally gaining the same critical distance from the major media as the Right had adopted years before, and with the advent of the Internet was also able to self-publish their alternative perspectives in a cost effective manner. This had always been a disadvantage vis-à-vis the Right because, until the Web, dissemination of information had been the difficulty. Now, anyone with access to a terminal at a public library and a willingness to experiment with these things called “blogs” could let their opinions be heard. I remember the thrill of discovering new blogs with great voices. Daily Howler and Media Whores Online were the cornerstones. On an old LJ page, I can still see other finds – Altercation, TPM, Opinions You Should Have, Common Dreams, Truthout. There still is no replacement for Bilmon and Whiskey Bar.

Looking back, there is a trajectory of the A list blogs starting in and around the advent of the Iraq War, rising to critical mass with the 2004 elections, hitting a golden period between 2004 and 2006, then starting to tilt away from “documenting the atrocities” to becoming participants in it. I really think the high point of the blogger influence has to be the battle against Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security, led by Josh Marshall. Since the 2006 Yearly Kos, however, anyone paying attention has been able to see where the big-name blogs were headed, and wasn’t to stay in opposition to the MSM.

One question that no one in the MSM or the “serious” blogosphere has tried to answer is why have so many hard-core Democrats, people in the party for decades, rallied so strongly to Hillary’s side, their support becoming stronger and more obdurate the more she was declared a failed candidate? In most political races, the perception of being a winner or a loser will usually sway the voters, emphasizing the upside – like Obama’s big bump after Iowa – or reinforcing the downside – like Edwards never recovering after losing in Iowa. Hillary’s support increased the more it was accepted by the media that she had already lost. Take this phenomenon seriously because it did happen. When else have we seen this pattern in the rank and file? When Bill was under impeachment. The regular Democrats evidently know when someone is being railroaded by the media and they push back.

The press did to her what it did to Al Gore in 2000, inventing faux scandals and alleging words and behaviors that never happened. The epistemological status of the “stories” spread in the news is exactly zero – they have no real, rational basis. It is interpretation based on flimsy (if any) evidence. It simply did not exist. The difference between the rightwing hunting of the president in the 90s and the wilding of Gore in 2000 is this time the allegedly opposition blogosphere and “left” media fell all over itself to lap up the sewage flowing out of the same sources that have been brutalizing the Democratic Party, the left, liberalism and, frankly, democracy, since Reagan’s ascendency in 1980. They have picked up the crap, eager gobbled it down, and have fully incorporated it into their perspectives, rhetorical methods, and standards of evidence.

The liberal opposition has disappeared, all too eager to do the Right’s work for it.

Why else is there no conception or acknowledgement that there is a crisis of legitimacy at the core of the Democratic Party right now? As long as the loser is a Clinton, who the hell cares? appears to be the rejoinder. Even today, in blogs, online magazines, print newspapers and TV shows that ostensibly have a liberal bent, the news of the day is how can be finally be rid of that bitch. That she exists at all is an affront to their sense of how the world should be - and that comes right out of Scaife's Arkansas Project.

So many of us who remember the 90s sit here, aghast, and watch the wholesale incorporation of the 90s rightwing narrative by the alleged left. Every last line of bullshit, right down to drug dealing in Arkansas and who killed Vince Foster. If this were a movie, it would be a comedy by Terry Gilliam, or maybe the Cohen brothers, one with a knife edge doing the tickling, and too many innocents destroyed. Why are these fiery liberal spirits so swift to join in the rightwing assault on their own side?

Part of the reason in the blogosphere is simply careerism. Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Young Ezra, etc., are simply trying to jump in and get their careers going. I’ve written that up before. Bob Somerby does an even better job of this, documenting the eagerness of these Boyz to be agreeable and acceptable to the people who can pay their bills and give them celebrity. And thus you have WKJM shilling for a candidate whose chief economic advisor is comfortable with privatizing Social Security. I think that pretty much explains where Josh’s commitment to the left starts and ends. When WKJM is willingly taking his stories directly from Matt Drudge, where exactly is the line between the rightwing noise machine and the opposition?

But what of the people who aren’t careerists, at least in that way? Intra-party fighting can only explain so much, because there are some attack modes that they won’t jump into. There is something to it being class based, as I’ve discussed before and will continue to evaluate – a smug sense that somehow prejudice against lower class whites is justified, and thus you shouldn’t defend those kinds of people. It’s also not a mistake that the bulk of the people gulping this sewage are white and male. It would appear that the upper class white males of the Democratic Party have more in common with the upper class white male Republicans than they care to admit. It is not a mistake, I think, that the people on the left who responded best to the anti-Clinton spew of this round are socio-economically similar to those on the Right who share their taste in Drudge and sludge.

There was a time in the 90s and the early Uh-ohs that the left understood that the MSM had gone off the rails. The era of Murrow, Cronkite, Brinkley and Huntley (describing contrapuntally), John Chancellor, and other luminaries of post-war reportage was over, we knew it, and we knew that FOX was the enemy. It is a sad day when a lefty turns to FOX for news because at least you know the score with them. I remember the 1996 Republican convention (yes, I was there, it was in San Diego and I worked a booth there) when we were all giggling in anticipation of Pat Buchanan going off like a freak on national TV during prime time. It is weird now to think Pat Buchanan is the most sensible, rational person on the stage. Now, the more the media behaves in a way specifically designed to delegitimize our candidates, the more the left accepts and repeats what it hears. Bob Somerby and Paul Krugman are nearly alone in their insistence on telling the truth.

A few days ago I wrote up my disgust about the willingness of some people to go along with what seems a very clear ratfucking operation by the Republicans involving a tasty mix of misogyny, racism and anti-Muslim sentiments. What I also want to make clear is that should this particular attack continue – and it will – and should others of this kind surface and gain traction against Obama, then that part of the left that eagerly embraced a reprise of the MSM assault on the Clinton White House and the Gore presidential run have no ground to stand on. You whored your brains, your logic and your leftist credentials out to the bottom feeders of the right to try to gain a little advantage for your candidate and in the doing you have undermined him and every Democrat running for national office. You cried ”Yes, yes!” to painting millions of Americans as racists, you turned a blind eye to grotesque misogyny, you prostituted the corpse of a dead man to spread a lie, you eagerly defended nullifying votes of people in Michigan and denying full representation to Florida to rig the vote for your candidate, you continue to threaten to riot if anyone denies you what you want.

Here’s a little secret. If Obama has run an aboveboard campaign, if the Democratic Party leadership hauled off and slapped Chris Matthews et. al. silly for their Clinton Derangement Syndrome, had the Blogger Boyz been able to argue for their candidate without getting scoops from Matt Drudge, the chances are very good that he might have won in a squeaker. And then he would be poised to put together a Unity ticket, because the other candidate would not have been declared a monster and her supporters would, after the usual grumbling, have willingly thrown full support behind the ticket. At worst, he would have been second by a nose, and everyone would have been very happy to give him the VP slot.

Whatever one can say of Hillary, she was not and never has been the beneficiary of the rightwing noise machine. Obama has benefitted from the cooptation of the MSM and now the willing capitulation of the opposition netroots to that operation, behaving like extensions of Drudge, Scaife and Murdoch. If you support Obama, you are all right with that.

Well, are you?



lori said...

Ahhhhh, the site that set out to bring the press to their knees but found they were already there. How I miss that voice!!!!

Thank you for saying this. What finally dawned on me the other day is that half the left wanted to turn the Republicans out because they wanted access to the trough from which the Pubs were happily feeding. It was greed and not the principled objection I fancied. I guess looking at WKJM, we can see the same moral decaying process that the mainstream media has experienced in microcosm.

It's so creepy, Anglachel. I just told an Obama supporter who was asking how Hillary supporters could even think of voting for McCain that many of us are as frightened by Obama and his creepy supporters as we are of McCain and his. Now, I won't be voting for McCain but I oppose Obama winning because I oppose what he has done to the Democratic party. He needs to lose or this nation will be left without an instrument for progressive action.

Thanks again for your blog. Keep writing. Just keep writing.

Pieter B said...

I knew something was very seriously wrong when the turban-photo story swept the news. People who a year before would have run to the window to check had Matt Drudge told them the sky was blue were taking his unsupported word over that of Hillary Clinton that her staff was circulating photos of Barack Obama in "Muslim garb." Despite Drudge never having produced so much as one e-mail as evidence, a large number of people still believe that the Clinton campaign did that. Never mind the fact that it had been published in a supermarket tabloid three or four weeks before, and the tabloid article had been posted on a few right-wing websites a day or two before Drudge "broke" the story.

It's definitely a CDS epidemic.

Pat Johnson said...

Apparently these media whores are quite comfortable selling their souls to gain a foothold on the career ladder. Going so far to engage in outright hypocrisy to achieve their end result.

When the name of Helen Thomas is one of the few that comes to mind in answer to a question of integrity within the established media, you begin to quickly accept that integrity in reporting has pretty much disappeared.

Unknown said...

My mother taught me that I would be known by the friends I kept.

Excited by my visit to YearlyKos I and energized by the 'next door to populist' rhetoric of John Edwards I thought this election would be one where the progressive movement would continue to grow.

Then I started getting piled on by Obamacans at dKos. TR-ed again and again for...!Gasp!...criticising The One.

I left there although my account is still active.

And went to Open Left. Now I've met Stoller and Bowers and spent a few hours discussing the issues of the day in person.


It took me while to realize that Bowers is an idiot from his online rantings. Believe me he is one of the, if not the, worst writers you will ever read. Heh...I used to defend the guy in his site's threads because I felt sorry for him

Then I decided that Obama was not a progressive and that progressives should not support him based on the arguments I participated and read at OL.

My bad...

Then I had the nerve to suggest that, based on what I knew and could see, about the Electoral College that McSame would whup Barry's ass.


Then it was on to TalkLeft. Now Armando is, in my opinion another Bowers. Cannot write a lick. Uses the technique of 'banning' people for a day or whatever to hold his own in any debate there.

I beat feet before I got heaved....the writing was on the wall.

Next, MyDD where I was just purged in the latest push by Obamacans to 'purify' the site.

Now, I stopped using profanity in my comments years ago, I don't do ad hominem attacks, I base my statements on linked facts. I do not and never have made any racist comments.


I am very, very sarcastic with folks who are low-info, telling someone to shut up, telling someone they are an idiot. Basically any time I see folks trying to suppress the argument, suppress people saying what the think of feel NO MATTER that I agree with what's being said I.......

Get extremely vicious verbally. So I have my faults but I do not regret what I've said on lin inthe threads and at my blog. Not. In. The. Slightest.

I so think there is a lot to learn from this split in the Dem Party and the first thing we need to recognize is that a lot of what we call the 'enemy' are behind our lines. Kos, Bowers and Marshall are no more progressive than the Bush twins.

They need to go.

And they will as people evaluate what they've said and done.

Read what they write and try and tell me otherwise.

John said...

Damn, I miss Jenny Q.

Yes, he would have lost by a nose if everyone had played fair. The source of the Obamasphere's insanity is that everyone, at some level, knows this. That he should have lost by a nose is the reason for the extended panic at letting all of the states vote.

But aside from earning #2, I have to thank Obama for exposing the creative class for what it is: worse than what it claims to oppose. I also have to thank Obama for exposing the sneering, anti-blue collar left. I have to thank Obama for being the ultimate post-partisan, and proving that there is no real Democratic Party.

PM Summer said...

As usual, an excellent post that captures this white male's concern at the present, with the bonus treat of a tip to Prof. Leher.

Words like whoring and prostitution aptly describe the on-line "New Left's" behavior this year, and simply further underscore the lack of core that the Democratic Party suffers from, and lack of soul.

"The price of arugula at Whole Foods" is not a sufficient reason for the Democratic Party to exist. It is not a rallying cry that can gain support among sufficient numbers of Americans to be anything but a fringe party, and nor is "Let them drives Priuses".

Before you criticize me for my lack of faith in Hope and Change, you should walk a mile in my Birkenstocks.

Anonymous said...

Careerism seems to me like an insufficient cause for Kos & Josh and company move to the Drudge camp. There were no obvious signs of such behavior before the primaries that I noticed. The flip from left to right wing seems to happen on a dime. Had they been full blown careerists I doubt whether they would have been lefties until the primaries.

The argument that appeals to me claims that the lefty netroots where never really lefty, but rather the flavor of the month of upper middle class white males, too fancy to be Republicans and are faux intellectuals with rather week convictions. Our implicit assumption that racism, class divisions and elitism are dwindling, is highly overstated. Although hate of African American is way too out of fashion and even dangerous, there are always minority and ethnic group the hate for is still justifiable to upper middle class white males. This includes: blue collar worker the so call rednecks, Hispanics ("too many and illegal"), and Southerners such as the Clintons and Gore.

I always saw the common American left (non-Chomsky) as the Cliff Notes version of the left. Namely, no depths, no poetry, no foundation for serious work. Thus Kos, Josh, Matt and Ezra easily diverted into racism and the MSM ways.

Sexism is the difficult nut for me. How young men in our society where men and women work side by side and the number of highly capable women is huge can still be sexists is a mystery to me. Unless we assume that their racist attitude towards Hillary Clinton brought on even the kitchen sink in the form of sexism.

HenryFTP said...

Another bullseye, Anglachel -- while Obama had a well thought-out and well-executed campaign strategy, nobody in the corporate Media or the Obamacan blogosphere seems capable of acknowledging that there was no pay-off for that early campaign virtuousity -- Democrats in Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and South Dakota, notably including significant numbers of individuals previously thought to have been afflicted with testosterone imbalances, closed ranks instead behind the "out-of-touch monster loser candidate with the arrogant sense of entitlement", even though major Democrats in those states endorsed Obama. The Obamacan Blogosphere in particular seems oblivious to the fact that these millions of Democrats are only too well aware that the Party Leadership is complicit with the corporate Media in trying to bludgeon Hillary out of the nomination contest and spreading smears about her and President Clinton. And the lot of them are delusional if they think the voters have swallowed their spin about their "principled" disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan primary voters.

Arianna has been "Hollywood" from the get-go, so that's no great loss, except for, in all candor, the financial muscle she brought to the gig. Although she is undoubtedly extremely intelligent, I'm sure most of us have noticed for some time she has spread herself so thinly that she has rarely contributed much of substance herself, and that's without even beginning to question where her real loyalties lie.

As for the other web-based guerillas (most notoriously Josh) who seem to be preparing their audition tapes for the Media Establishment, I'm sure they'll all remember their days in the Sierra Maestre with nostalgia while they're being served cocktails in the palacio nacional. It's just old-fashioned careerism, nothing really personal, you know.

And if we're being honest with ourselves, we have to acknowledge that our former allies might have deserted us in exchange for being part of a winning coalition with the Obamacans, the Party Establishment and the Establishment Media. While I think that such a coalition is rife with internal contradictions and dangerously at odds with significant numbers of traditional Democratic voters, I could be dead wrong about that. After all, I was recently invited to join a "Young Lawyers for Obama" group, and I told them that by no stretch of the imagination could I be described as a "young" lawyer, and asked whether there was a "Grumpy Old Lawyers for Obama" group -- unsurprisingly, there isn't.

Whatever happens in the general election, it will not take long for the corporate Media to revert to their right wing-fawning, Democrat-trashing ways. Clinton and Carter were being undermined before they were even inaugurated, and Obama will be no different -- they'll start with the demand that he live up to his "unity" rhetoric by endorsing the avalanche of pardons that Bush is sure to issue after the election, which will just be an appetizer to the main course of reaffirming our commitment to "Iraqi democracy" by not "precipitously and irresponsibly" withdrawing troops. Before anybody pshaws, take a look at the following, which appeared this morning in the ostensibly left-leaning Guardian in England:

It will be bitter irony indeed for Hillary Clinton supporters if the candidate who surpassed her in no small part because of his greater perceived "credibility" on opposition to the war in Iraq finds himself badly hamstrung in trying to effect an orderly end to the American occupation of Iraq when his support proves evanescent.

For the sake of the country, I really do hope I'm dead wrong.

HR said...

Yes yes yes and yes. I told a friend yesterday that I feel like this is a divorce: I used to love TPM, Dkos, Americablog, Huffpo, etc, but they sound now just like the short-tempered "love us or leave us" partisans who populate Freerepublic (where I used to lurk in the early days of internet commentary). I remember reading Drudge and FreeRepublic during the Chandra Levy intrigue -- remember that? The commentators on Kevin Drum, of all places, sound just like that! What happened to the thinking blogs and thinking posters? The whole PB thing has been a di

Pat Newcomb said...

After Kerry's loss in November 2004, I became a regular reader and supporter of George Lakoff and the Rockridge Institute. I wanted to learn how to diffuse and redirect the "frames" of thinking that were being so masterfully used by the Republicans and other "right-wing conspiracists" to manipulate the thinking of so many Americans (as was also so well captured in Tom Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas .
To my sadness and dismay, the Obama campaign chose NOT to use Lakoff's work to improve the quality of the conversation, but rather to co-opt those very negative frames that he warned us about and to use them to acquire power and to hoodwink the DNC into buying his recipe for acquiring money and power.
In Hillary Clinton's speeches, videos, "Hill-casts", and even the debates, I heard the lessons that Lakoff wanted us to learn being put into place. If nothing else, Clinton succeeded at winning back for the Democrats a significant proportion of the those very people that had been lost because of the framing tactics of the right. Sadly, it didn't matter to the DNC, who have dismissed this group of people who had once upon a time been the core of their voting constituency. This diary is an important step at getting to the real "story behind the story" of this campaign.

Vince said...

I am not going to argue the whole Clinton/ Obama split. As a Michignan resident, I am tired of the Clinton claim that I was being disenfranchised by our votes not counting. We did not have a real election. My candidate (John Edwards btw)was not on the ballot. All the candidates HRC included said Michigan did not count. Only when she needed the votes did she insist that all votes must be counted.
Look, I am not anti- Clinton or pro Obama. I still have doubts about either overcoming their negatives in the general. That is one of my major reasons for supporting Edwards to begin with. But please stop with the poor disenfranchised Michigan people line. Our right was destroyed when all the candidates caved to the Iowa, NH stranglehold on the process.

mystic4hill said...

Ego - an exaggerated sense of your own importance and a feeling of superiority to other people (Encarta World English Dictionary)

Prejudice - an unfounded hatred, fear, or mistrust of a person or group, especially one of a particular religion, ethnicity, nationality, or social status (Encarta World English Dictionary)

Self-Esteem - confidence in your own merit as an individual (Encarta World English Dictionary)

Lemming - a member of a large group of people who blindly follow one another on a course of action that will lead to destruction for all of them

Fear - an idea, thought, or other entity that causes feelings of fear

I have an acquaintance, white male, Obama supporter, who insists on regurgitating the same old, tired arguments whenever we run into each other - I’m not voting for Obama because I’m racist; the Clintons are evil; the only reason they aren’t in jail is because of the statute of limitations on the atrocities they committed; murder, mayhem, and money; blah blah blah. Every word is parroting why the Clintons are bad. Never once has he been able to explain to me why Obama is good.

Supporting Obama allows him to feed his ego, nourish his prejudice, strengthen his self-esteem, hold his fear at bay, and revel in the safety and security of his community of lemmings.

I think the white, upper class males of both the Democratic and Republican Parties have all of the above in common, whether they are members of the media, the blogosphere, or the upper echelons of the parties themselves. Few have the courage to stand for what’s true any more; most stand for what they can get out of it (whatever “it” might be).

It breaks my heart. It scares the hell out of me.

dragoneyes said...

Currently I'm reading three books that are giving me ideas as to what's going on in the media and blogosphere. The phrase "follow the money" could be said to be the short answer. After all, what is the main reason for whoring? To get something, typically $$ (or access) for your actions.

(1) Superclass: The Global Power Elite And The World They Are Making, by David Rothkopf (a moderate/Clinton Democrat)

(2) Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich, by Kevin Phillips (a moderate Republican)

(3) Obama, The Postmodern Coup, by Webster Griffin Tarpley (a lefty/progressive that became suspicious about Obama's rise, a bit heavy handed on the conspiracy stuff but aspects of it are very credible when compared to other sources).

I want to keep this as short as I can, so here the two-bit summary of my thinking so far.

We are in a historical cycle where we now have an international group of elites (the "superclass") who want to keep the financial markets rigged in their favor and keep squeezing money out of the lower classes. While I am sure there are various factions within this superclass, I haven't read enough to determine who they all are. However, it is my contention that Obama is the "chosen" front man of one of these financial-power-elite groups. After all he is charismatic, handsome and hip. How better to sneak through more legislation that favors the rich than with this faux-Democrat. As one of the writers at Black Agenda Report commented, it's very suspicious how much Wall Street loves Obama and how Wall Street has donated to him more than any other candidate. A quick look at his economic advisors and uber-rich inside pals confirms this.

If it is true that Obama is the chosen of a rising faction of the Superclass (a group of which he desires membership) then it may be that the media does not turn on him the way many are expecting. After all these media are owned by members of the superclass.

HenryFTP said...


I have a ghastly feeling that careerism is not a sufficient reason to explain why Josh et al. jumped ugly -- your insight hits uncomfortably close to home with the older version of the upper middle class white males that pervade my Wall Street lawyer milieu, and from what I've seen of my juniors, they are no better, and often even worse, particularly where sexism is concerned -- they have little experience of what the struggle was like (whereas old guys like me can still remember fights over basics, like actually inviting a woman lawyer on a pitch to a client). But I also think it's somewhat generational -- Josh et al. would have gleefully kicked a Biden, say, to the curb if he had unexpectedly shown some strength with the voters. And some of it as well is some weird assimilation of the right-wing demonization of Bill Clinton.

pat newcomb: why oh why were the voters getting Hillary's message while the so-called opinion elite pretended to miss it altogether? Hillary and her much-maligned campaign deserve particular credit for succeeding in communicating that message with the voters despite the strenuous efforts of the corporate Media to sabotage her, including outright hijacking and distortion of her message to Americans. That success will be worthy of more in-depth study in years to come, not the Obama campaign's gaming of caucus and Deep Red states, which anybody can read in a Young College Republican handbook.

Sherry said...

I wonder if there is something like a critical mass beyond which a blog becomes co-opted by its own success.

This idea just occurred to me when anecdotal value mentioned Kevin Drum. I used to read Political Animal regularly. He seemed friendly toward Hillary long after the others had chosen sides. But then all of a sudden one day he turned, "voted Hillary off the island."

And I wonder if maybe he was pushed by those hundreds of vitriolic commenter/fans. Commenters there were vitriolic before this primary and I could never read them, both because they seemed very sophomoric and because there were so many of them.

Something of the same thing happened to Atrios, I think, though I never did read Atrios much. He's too cryptic. I like commentary on a blog, not quips.

Or maybe it's just that I'm not a young white male and so I don't get it.

But you take a blog like this one, where there is one intelligent voice and an equally intelligent conversation around that voice, where commenters actually discuss issues and minds are changed and no one, except of course the trolls, is shouted down but no one is pandered to.

Is this possible precisely because the audience is smaller?

Am I getting close to elitism?

madamab said...

Thank you for this excellent post, Anglachel. I had the same reaction in April of this year - pure disgust at the failure of so-called "progressive" media to do its job.

One would think that a leftie media outlet, like Air America or TPM/HuffPo/Kos/Eschaton, for example, would refuse to take sides in the Democratic primary race. After all, Obama and Clinton were both Democrats, right? What would be gained by ganging up on one over the other? Doing so could, oh, I don't know, divide the party!

For many reasons, they all jumped on the Obama train, and became nothing more than an echo chamber for Drudge's rightwing lies.

I wonder if, many years from now, we will find that the Master of Astroturfing, David Axelrod, was behind the co-opting of the left blogosphere with his paid Obamabots.

By that time, McCain VP Mitt Romney will be running for a second term.

herb the verb said...

If you can stomach going to WKJM's site (and I do to read the headlines in oppo research mode only), you will see prime example today (6/10/08) of the whoring, careerism at work. Two self-promotions, both giddy, "Arriana visits our site!", "Gary Hart visits our site!". To paraphrase Somerby, you can almost feel the thrill shooting up WKJM's leg.

And when they "visit", do they have anything interesting to say? Anything different than they already say on HER site? Or are they just rewarding a loyal lap-dog with the blessing of their presence? Well, that one isn't hard to answer.

Meanwhile, Obama is creating a "Joshua Generation" group (name borrowed from Bush's "Generation Joshua" group) to recruit "young evangelicals and Catholics" to his campaign.

Because Obama's problem isn't that he has turned off the Democratic party's base, it's that he hasn't turned off the Democratic party's base ENOUGH.

orionATL said...


one of the things that has angered me greatly about the weblog "a-list" (whatever that is and for whatever it's worth) is their verbal abuse of senator clinton.

and when i say abuse,

i mean,

leaving policy and preference differences ASIDE,

the persistent, often vitriolic, contempt for clinton the person in many of the criticisms from both posters and the commenters following their posts.

it is as if clinton were consider a LEGITIMATE target of contempt and scorn.

and in fact, i think that is precisely how some of these webworld elite and their slavering followers viewed her,

as an object which merited contempt and ridicule,

as a object whom they were AUTHORIZED by society to verbally stone.

the psychology of this, i would guess, is very similar to the psychology of dehumanizing an opponent in war.

and also the psychology of the mob.

on another matter concerning the weblog world's "elite",

many of them proved themselves incapable of both supporting a candidate and being even-handed in their news reporting.

slanted headlines were a commonplace at tpm.

a particularly egregious example of the abandonment of journalistic principle is the fact that talking points memo has not yet reported the tony rezko conviction all. this from a website whose self-proclaimed mission is muckraking.

it's not that i'm surprised at this glaring omission.

it's that i am amazed at the public evasions of truth that a major website like tpm dares engage in.

wouldn't you think they would be a bit embarrassed?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ricksramblings said...

There is always an agenda of self. No different in blogs or MSM. It is far easier to attack then defend. This is a story about being lazy. It is a hard job reporting with facts. The lazy youth and the old tired lazy MSM. Today credibility is bought with other peoples money. Facts are incidental.

Matt said...


Okay, so I am an Obama supporter. Am I welcome here? Can I say that I hope we can all find a way to unify and prevent McCain from winning?

hells kitchen said...

One of the problems that I have in steering through many blog posts re Clinton supporters vs. Obama supporters is the use of "liberal" for the people who are in the tank for Obama.

I am not a middle-of-the-roader; I am a liberal and have absolutely no use for the campaign by Obama and those of his supporters on the web.

Of course, I am also a reconstructed member of the working class. If you go to my user page at the Orange Devil, you will find the following description of me:

"Retired webmaster (2004). Disillusioned with current Democratic Party. While demographics say that I'm middle class, I am fiercely working class, anti-corporate, and progressive."

What's more, many of the fools in the so-called "creative class" are also working class. They just don't know it yet. They'll find out how working class they are when they get down-sized. As I have written many times, it makes no difference how many degrees you have; it makes no difference how professional you are; it makes no difference how much money you make; if you need a paycheck to live, and if someone else has the sayso on whether you get that paycheck, you're working class.

Speaking from experience.

isaac said...

thanks for the MWO reference, an oasis in the desert back in 2000, when i thought i was losing my mind. thankfully, atrios has mostly avoided the death throes fallout of the last gasp of the 'progressive' blogosphere. mostly. a surprisingly large number of bloggers i used to read and respect have sold their souls in an orgy of self debasement that is a disturbing descent into mainstream media prostitution and propaganda. i wonder why. for the precious, half of them, rightfully so, were critical of his leiberman like tendencies toward the bipartisan ideal at the risk of honest ideals. they must have been drunk on their own perceived power and insider status. suckers. obama is writing them off already.

femB4dem said...

If someone had told me in 2007, that by the middle of 2008 I would have stopped reading DKos and similar blogs all together, that I would have turned off Olbermann and Matthews, given up on Cooper and CNN, and turned, in disgust and dispair, to Fox News, I would have said "please, what are you drinking?"

Pretty potent stuff that kool-aid.

jdona said...

Colleen, you have been busted over at Uppity Woman's blog. You are a sham, a fraud, and you are using the lowest of the low, a mother's anguish over a child in a war zone. Folks, this same exact email that Colleen posted is posted on all the pro hillary websites under different and various names, some of which are legitimate names from other hillary supporters, and they all have the same IP address. This is the infamous Obama Echo War Room soundbyte at work.


TeresaInPa said...

I think you have been too easy on Obama. He not only benefited from this sickness and right wing memes in the blogosphere, he participated and encouraged it. It was his campaign that put out the first right wing borrowed smears on the Clintons and his surrogates who flew in to the media studios and cried racism when he lost NH.
I sincerely believe that the democratic party, the left and the country in general will be better off in the long run if Obama loses in November. I hate what the democratic party has become. I hate that the DNC and super delegates are so stupid to think that "bringing in new voters and money" is a legitimate reason to promote the loser of the popular vote to nominee.
I agree with femb4dem. Up has become down.

Anonymous said...

I have been lurking at your site ever since the demise of Hillary's campaign to find solace and like minded individuals. Thank you for your thought provoking blog.

I have been reading blogs from all across the spectrum.. anti Obama, pro Obama, anti Clinton, pro Clinton, etc, etc. I just wanted to see what was out there... what was being said. I won't vote for McCain, but the jury is out on whether or not I can vote for the "chosen" one.

Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that the bulk of the most widely read "liberal" blogs, ie KOS, HuffPo, etc have become the liberal version of Fox News. By that I mean that instead of reporting the news and letting us decide what it means, like the MSM, they have decided to support a very limited political view. If you do not share their enthusiasm, the vitriol is intense.

I recently saw Arianna Huffington on some news channel blather on about how "historic" Hillary's candidacy was and how she will always remain a role model for young women, yada, yada yada. She had an article on her site that said much the same thing. Am I dreaming this hypocrisy? The site that could not wait to print anything negative, regardless of the truth, about Hillary is now saying what a pioneer she was. WTF?

I was reading blogs this morning at HuffPo.(I know, I have this need for self inflicted pain) There was an article about what Obama needs to do to woo all us "uneducated" white women. What the article said was not really of interest and was simple minded. However, what did interest me were the comments. One of the arguments you hear repeated over and over again at these sites is that us Clinton supporters can't stand that Obama ran a much better campaign. I started to think about that and it probably is true. Obama did run a better campaign and that's precisely why I am so scared He does understand exactly how to manipulate the media, the blogs and come out clean as whistle. He has learned to maniputlate the message so well that the the MSM and the liberal blogs don't even know they are being manipulated. The republicans and Karl Rove scared the hell out of me in the last election. Obama scares me even more. And it's not just about media manipulation. Anyone who thinks that you raise the amount of money that he has and not be in the pockets of big corporate interests does not understand how politics gets done.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Hattie said...

Right in line with what SaraSoda says:
I got an e-mail from Move On asking if I would like to put on a bake sale for Obama!
I'm holding on to my head to keep it from exploding.