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Good post thank you. BTW: Durbin did reach out to bloggers for support in the critical hours and days immediately after reading the declassified FBI cables. In fact a blogger live blogged the conf call and later deleted it.

And yes they did tear into him viciously for what I assume (it can clearly be tracked) was an apology that the Dem leadership delivered on cue. McCain demanded it on the Sunday MTP and in fact he said he expected to get said apology in the upcoming week. And he did...

Yes it is a pity the ''A listers'' operate too closely with the DC Dems and take cues from the very tired Dem establishment.

It's a crying shame...

Well said. I couldn't have put it better myself, though I tried.

Media Girl has banned critics of feminism from her site. She doesn't deserve to be heard when she denies the same to others.

Great post.

I've been working on my response to Kevin in the Alito thread at my site and it keeps getting longer as I become more and more repetitious about the fact that the Dems won't fight - I join you in the pit of despair.

What a time we live in.. what a time...

Great post, eRobin. I want to write something which pertains to this right now, but it's quarter til 6 on a Friday night and, well.. I think I'll just wait until Monday.

And I think we can all decide for ourselves whether or not media girl's comments are safe for consumption by our eyeballs, Papa Byron.

I didn't mean to say you shouldn't read it. Yeah; it kind of came out that way.

There's two problems with what media girl does, one is relevent here more than the other. Firstly media girl seeks to control views by force -- which is the very problem this article is discussing how to fight against. So media girl is not only a hypocrite but she's the enemy in an important sense.

Secondly for various reasons that are probably apparent, anyone who goes around forcibly eliminating dissent as she does (1) is anti-liberal and (2) is probably going to be a poor speaker because she doesn't have to make any sense.

If you visit the site it's 90% complaining that women are oppressed because they have reproductive rights and men don't.

No hijacking the thread to dis Media Girl, whom I am thrilled to see visit this site. Email all complaints to her directly.

Right... because determining what one will and won't allow in a privately owned venue that you pay and maintain for is really out of bounds. And the removal of Byron's MRA claptrap from her private property is "force". Apparently, Mr. Byron is of the opinion that her dollars in a purely private transaction should provide him with a platform for his views, and if she doesn't agree, she's the "enemy". Whatever. Damn, what a festive pity party he's thrown for himself.

I went into my archives, and it's true, I didn't support Durbin, and I think I was naive about the pressures that his own leadership let him suffer. I regret that post now, though I still feel the frustration.

I have to say, I don't think that most of us could have done much to support Dick Durbin. Even the A-List bloggers on the left don't have much power to shape the media narrative yet compared to the Republican smear machine (built with very little on-line presence).

The point is that the bloggers withheld support from a senator who had gone with his gut on the senate floor and read declassified FBI material over what can be easily described as the ethics debate of our era (torture).

If it does not matter then none of us should ever call a senator or rep either, nor place or withhold a vote or a political contribution...

The point is they ganged up on him with the Republicans who cued the hapless Dem leadership. And the Democratic leadership (a misnomer) jumped to the height specified in the (Republican operatives) memo.

That is the point.

And it is a big one.

The (big box) bloggers are somewhat media (small and tinny, essentially reactive to MSM, day in and day out) and somewhat propaganda. They are tied to factions of the party... and in the case of Durbin they were POODLES.

It is a bad combination....

What they really are not is independent.

Spoken like a true Republican.

"Right... because determining what one will and won't allow in a privately owned venue that you pay and maintain for is really out of bounds"

All this about "triangles" is never going to work unless at some point you face the fact that your problem is the same one I just described. THEY own the media, all of it, and THEY won't let you say anything on THEIR TVs, radio and newspaper networks. Ever. You're banned.

I guess you don't see the irony of constantly complaining that you don't get to play the game with the corporate media while at the same time shitting on anyone else in a petty way?

I suggets you start reminding yourself now: freedom of the press belongs to those who own it -- the Republicans. Freedom of politics belongs to those who own the congress -- the corporations. You want to get your ideas across? Buy your own TV network. Buy your own congressmen.

Sounds fair to you?

"what a festive pity party he's thrown for himself"

Right back at you.

I have to say, I don't think that most of us could have done much to support Dick Durbin.

It's hard to know because nobody tried. There's so much creative talent out in blogtopia though, I can't believe that something couldn't have been done. But you're right, we need to work with the national party and get some congress members on board to get any traction. It's the only way the corporate media will be forced to pick up a story.

At this point I'm pretty sure that the Dems don't want the progressive netroots to have any messaging power. I'm worried that the A-Listers, the only LWNM we have, enable that policy by buying into a lot of the worst of the corporate Dem agenda, i.e. the candidacy of Casey in PA.

On the bright side, the national Dems seem to be truly unable to know how to stop us completely. They can only ignore us as they continue to think they have a chance to win without us. I'm hoping that if Casey does get the nomination in PA, they are proven wrong. I don't have much hope that they'll get the message though.

Robin, the Daou dairies assume a symmetric media (one without a political bias) similar to the Chomsky propaganda model. A fair playing ground. No party political axe to grind even if they have built in pro-corporate bias. I don't believe that media exists, do you?

US corporate media will never allow a progressive voice to be heard. It doesn't matter how much flak is produced. It isn't the same as duplicating the Right wing flak because the difference is the Rightwing OWN THE MEDIA. Truthfully they didn't need any flak except as a pretext to cover the bias that was being pushed by the owners already.

And as paperwight just demonstrated, that means even so-called liberals will consider the situation where the left is eliminated from politics to be fair.

Now if you are a Democratic congressman, who are you going to owe more alleigeance to -- us, or the corporations?

Consider a few issues and the progressive view where it deprats from the corporate Democrats. How much does the media cover these views?

Healthcare: single payer.

Elections: fraud.

Iraq: war is criminal

Bush: Impeach.

These are the issues that never get anywhere. Daou seems to treat this as a level playingfield that we're playing poorly on because of a bad team.

If that were true then the media would at least entertain the idea of single payer healthcare -- which the majority of Americans support. Before the war the majority of Americans were against invading Iraq. You couldn't have guessed that from the TV.

The progressive view is fundamentally aligned against the corporations that own the media. You got as much chance of a fair hearing as I have of a fair hearing on media girls site.

Marisacat -

I should have been more clear. I did not attack Durbin for what he said. I expressed disappointment for his backing down from it. I think he was right in what he said. The kinds of behavior in the FBI report are the kinds of behavior you expect from a totalitarian state, at least compared to the myths we tell about ourselves.

eRob -

Well, Atrios isn't happy with Casey as the only option, and I don't think Aravosis is, or Stoller. I haven't bothered to check TPM or the cafe, and I don't really read DKos any more, so I don't know who's beating the drum for Casey.

Well, Atrios isn't happy with Casey as the only option, and I don't think Aravosis is, or Stoller. I haven't bothered to check TPM or the cafe, and I don't really read DKos any more, so I don't know who's beating the drum for Casey.

Good point. I broke my own rule. My problem is that they aren't agitating strongly for a vigorous primary.

Mr. Byron is Little Mary Sunshine, isn't he?

He does seem not to grasp much in the way of subtle distinctions. like the difference between blogs which anyone can have for free and television or radio bandwidth, which are a limited resource that at least for broadcast are licensed by the government. Hence (in the past) the fairness doctrine for broadcast media, which never applied to newspapers or magazines, and now does not apply to blogs. Or maybe he wouldn't object to someone coming up on his front porch during a party he's throwing and using that audience to attack his character.

Of course, he also makes some really big leaps about what I (or others) think the proper solution is. I have my own little blog-newspaper. I don't pretend it doesn't have a point of view, or that it's anything but opinion. That's the primary liberal complaint about the media -- they don't do the jobs they say they do -- they don't do actual news. I would happily invest in a liberal network if I had the resources.

It's amusing that Mr. Byron seems to think that he's the only person who's ever thought that concentrateed ownership of media by corporations is a problem. Once he'd made that leap, though, I found it a bit sad that he is so proud of the false analogy (a classic MRA argument tactic, from what I've seen) between what mediagirl or I might think about our right to police our own (small, individual) blogs and the very different case of, say, corporations controlling broadcast outlets. It's as if because someone think it's appropriate to jail an adult for theft, it's therefore appropriate to jail a three-year old. Same crime, same time, right?

I continue to wonder, since Mr. Byron doesn't like the reception he gets on other people's blogs when he's attacking them, why he doesn't just start his own blog to attack them. He's already today written enough for 2-3 good posts, in the general vein of the sneering maybe-lefty cynic, and the "men are second class citizens" vein. There's got to be an audience for that particular combination of nihilism and mens rights advocacy just waiting to be tapped. He could take a shot just like the rest of us, join the mob, and see how many people think he's interesting on his own.

Just like any of us, Mr. Byron has the resources to start a blog on his own. Anyone does. Blogger is free. Zero cost to enter the market and no use of the commons, unlike, say major media organizations or broadcast radio or television.

But I think he won't, because he'd rather piss in other people's swimming pools (he's now pissing in mine). Maybe he's afraid no-one will visit, and he knows that he'll never get a bigger audience on his own than the one he can get parasitizing the blogs he professes to disdain, even as we parasitize the news media he mocks us for criticizing -- making Mr. Byron a mite sneering at the tick he lives in. He could aspire to tickdom, but he probably won't.

Quit posting while drunk paperwight. Robin doesn't need your manly protection.

re: the Penn. primary:
I think a lot of people, bloggers included, haven't realized how important primaries are. Atrios keeps saying he "doesn't get involved in primary fights".

This is stupid. That's where the real fight is for progressive issues. We will never have candidates we are more than lukewarm about if we don't start paying attention years ahead of the general election and get involved in a big way.

This is why the Democratic leadership has become so powerful. They decide who will be The Candidate, and like sheep we go along. Then said candidate owes who a favor? Not us, that's for sure.

As for the rest of what Daou says, I can't bring myself to read that. I mean, did anyone really think the netroots (particularly the liberal netroots) were at all influential? We're just a huge echo chamber, but that's not necessarily a bad thing--it beats talking to yourself.

Kathy I think your statement is over pessimistic.

"That's where the real fight is for progressive issues. We will never have candidates we are more than lukewarm about if..."

You are assuming that the only way to get progressive laws passed is to elect progressive representatives to some party or other and then make that party win an election.

Not only is it not the only way, it isn't the best way, and in fact it's a very poor way. For proof of that just look at the Religious right who are 30 years ahead of you traveling down that same road. They did what you are suggesting for decades and what did it get them? Gay marriage, gay TV shows on prime time, gay lovers as a #1 movie, nothing happening on abortion even with a Republican house, senate, presidency and supreme court. Nothing on prayer in schools. Laughed out of court on their anti-evolution crusade. Government spending through the roof, but never on the poor. Biggest political corruption scandal ever.

You're saying if we work hard for 30 years maybe the Democrats can controll all that and ignore progressives the same way.

If you look at how progressive issues were pushed into law -- which has happened many times -- how did it happen? By pushing the whole country along so that eventually BOTH parties pander to those ideas and compete over which will enact them.

Just to go back to the media bias thing though....

Compare Pat Robertson with Noam Chomsky. One is a nutcase who calls on God to assassinate world leaders, the other has been called the West's leading intellectual for years and years.

Who get's time in front of the camera?

Chomsky is the leading domestic critic of US foreign policy. Logically if the media wanted a he said / she said discussion he would be on TV all the time.

As for the rest of what Daou says, I can't bring myself to read that. I mean, did anyone really think the netroots (particularly the liberal netroots) were at all influential?

Daou headed up Kerry's online rapid response but, the story goes, got no support from the rest of the campaign and left. So he is particularly invested in believing that the netroots have power. I agree that they do - at least to identify and issue and keep it afloat, forcing the corporate media to follow-up. Nobody is interested in figuring out how to get that power harnessed though, which is the source of Daou's Despair. That's the 21st century equivalent of the Cassandra Complex, by the way ;)

Any attempt at getting the left's netroots organized would involved empowering them even slightly. The Dems don't share power - it's their greatest flaw as a party - and so they are doomed not to have any. That plus the party isn't remotely progressive and doesn't want us upsetting their corporate apple cart.

Robin doesn't need your manly protection.

Get a new witticism, David. That one's used up, and it says more about the person using it than it does about your putative targets. As does your shrugging off of paperwight's rather cogent observations.

His cogent observations about piss?

paperwight, I understood you were not attacking Durbin for what he said.

However the apology was forced from him. NOr is it the first time that Reid (and there is indication that Daley was involved as well) has cooperated with the Republicans to produce apologies they demanded (The Hill reported an instance where Reid forced Jay to apoligse to Roberts over an on going battle over, get this, Abu Graib/photos, the very thing the R had to hide before the election - and they were successful).

Sorry, unnaccetable this once long time dyed in the wool Democrat.

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