Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Last (I promise) on Donohue, Bloggers and Edwards

After writing her side of the story in Salon, Amanda Marcotte is quite busy in the media these days, making various apperances on radio, including NPR's DayTo Day next week. She will also be joining TPM Cafe and has a post up on Huffington Post: Think Tanks, 503s and Rush Limbaugh--What's The Real 'Soft Money'

Now, Melissa McEwen published her take on the whole affair in Guardian: My life as a rightwing target. Check the comments and tell me that the Rightwingers are not delusional, dangerous psychopaths. And they are in the White House right now. (Oh, and if anyone thinks that Amanda and Melissa were wimps for quitting, you should read this)

I think that Donohue has jump-started their careers. And what they will do, now that they have more prominent soap boxes, is reveal to everyone how the Rightwing sliming machine works, how it is financed, and how it can be counteracted.

What Donohue has done successfully is make the story of Amanda and Melissa be framed as Bloggers vs. Edwards. And it pains me to see how many on the Left bit that bait (and hook and sinker). It is a multi-faceted story about the Rightwing sliming machine and how it works. It is also a story about the way the Party Establishment (both Left and Right) resists the democratization of the political process (it is the old-Millennium, dinosaur, computer-illiterate campaign managers who, I guess, wanted to get rid of the bloggers in the first place until Edwards stepped in and said No). It is also a story about the way Media resents the citizen journalism and the many-to-many conversation of the new media unrestrained by the he-said-she-said tropes. It is a story about the Beltway protecting their turf against the "rubes."

If this is the future, we are now in the middle of the war between the powers of the Old-Way-Of-Doing-Things that tends to protect the old power sturucture, and the New Way that gives the little man a say and overturns the old power structure.

Check out this Salon editorial as an example of this turf-protection. It is all about silencing the people. As I stated before, the netroots ARE the grassroots. It is the same people who knock on doors and donate money. Except, this time around, they do not just take orders and write checks, they have the means to talk back and tell the campaigns what to do (or to shove it). Of course the campaign managers used to the old way of thinking are afraid of the new world.

Here is another example from ABC: Loose Lips in the Blogosphere Don't Sink Presidential Ships

I hate the subtitle - what do they mean by "even Edwards" when everyone (including the techies with no political axe to grind) agrees he is the leader on the use of Internet and netroots: his website is by far the best, he announced to the bloggers first, then by video on YouTube, then by Video and post on his own website, and only the next day announced to the MSM dinosaurs down in New Orleans. He hired and (stood by in spite of calls for their heads) two of the most outspoken and popular feminist bloggers. He is prominently present and active on all social networking sites, not just MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook, but also the second-tier places, like Gather.

There are 199 Groups on Facebook for Edwards. The two biggest ones have 2,126 members and 1,849 members respectively - the rest are smaller, mainly due to being geographically restricted. Barack Obama has more than 500 groups, with the biggest one having 5,002 members and the others being small, local chapters. So, even including the overlap (people joining more than one group), there is not such a huge advantage for Obama on Facebook as the Media likes to point out. Edwards is right behind.

And he is the first candidate on Second Life. Yes, on Second Life! If you have no idea what that is, or if you want to know what techies and politicos think, follow the links here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Also, note that in fundraising, Hillary Clinton is expected to raise $100 million from the Beltway power-mongers and Holywood, Obama somewhat less, from the same sources, while Edwards is expected to raise about $50 million mostly from small online donations. He is killing all other candidates together in such donations through ActBlue ($860,861.35, compare that to Richardson's two separate funds at $284,916.57 and $10,154.85 and Obama's $16,885.56).

Oh, and if you do not believe Edwards stood by his bloggers and does not understand the netroots, I hope you watched the Situation Room earlier today (there should be a YouTube clip of it here soon). Listen to his defense of the bloggers and phrases like: "I stood by them," "new brave world with the net and the blogosphere," "a powerful world which will have a huge effect," "grassroots politics at it's best," etc. Here is the clip:

As for the bloggers, Jude, aka Iddybud, has an excellent take on the bloggers saga and Dave Neiwert takes another look at the 'Christofascists' who are Unhinged indeed. Also read important posts by Ampersand, Jeffrey Feldman and Richard Cranium.

And finally, let's look again at the posts for which Amanda got so much flak from Donohue and his ogre minions. They are about Plan B. Here are Part I and Part II.

She is not the only blogger explaining Plan B and why the opposition to it by wingnuts (including but not only Catholics) is bad politics and bad public health. For instance, Ema of Well-Timed Period blog wrote at least two posts on it here and here. PZ Myers of Pharyngula wrote about it here, here and here. DarkSyde of DailyKos wrote about it here and Bitch, PhD wrote about it many times, most recently here.

Is there any difference between these posts? They all get the facts about Plan B right. They all demonstrate that the opposition to it is hypocritical and based on mysogyny. And they are all written in typically blogospheric colorful language. Yes, those who deserved to be insulted got insulted. Now, tell me. If any campaign hired any of these bloggers to work on the technical and esthetic parts of their campaign blogs, don't you think Donohuse and his basement monsters would not come out against them? Of course they would - their goal never was to destroy the careers of Amanda Marcotte and Meilissa McEwen. Their goal is to undermine a Democrat - any Democrat - running for President because their job (for which Donohue is paid $300,000) is to go on TV and lie for Republicans. It has nothing to do with these two bloggers, it has to do with silencing the voices of the people who are actually telling the truth as it is, as opposed to The Truth as the conservatives want "to create" for themselves.M

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