New Blog

Check this new blog out, but make sure your mouth is empty when you click the link. I wish mine had been. Read the comments as well.

Successful Lefty Blog Activism, September

So conservative political blogs and netroots had a "success," with the CBS memos this month? Well, we on the left haven't done too badly either. In fact, because lefty political blogs and netroots have a tendency to focus on more than one issue at a time, we have had many more successes. Here is a partial list:
  • Raising, literally, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of dollars for Democratic candidates and causes, led by Dailykos, Eschaton, online 527's and campaign websites.

  • Continuing investigation into the Niger forged documents affair, led by Josh Marshall, and with a tremendous assist from Salon in distribution.

  • Bringing attention to the troubles of Lynne Gobbel, the woman who was fired for having a Kerry bumper sticker on her car. After a Dailykos diarist picked up the story, and the story shot to the top of the recommended diaries, her boss was forced to retreat and the Kerry campaign gave her a job.

  • Outing openly homophobic Republicans, including two members of Congress and a high ranking GOP staffer. Blog Active led this charge, and was assisted by The Raw Sotry, formerly the Blue Lemur.

  • Helping to force Kenneth Blackwell into a retreat over paper stock requirements for new voter registration in Ohio. This was led by everyone really, but started by Dailykos diarist Thistime.

  • Forcing Gallup into a public defense of its methodology, led by Donkey Rising, The Left Coaster, MyDD and MoveOn. (link)

  • A successful call for MSNBC to dump Frank Luntz, led by Media Matters and Tapped. (link)
There are probably many more victories that I either do not know about or have simply forgotten, but lefty political blogs have had a good month. Even apart from these well-publicized successes, who knows how many letters we have written and volunteers we have organized. Still, with the third quarter fundraising deadline looming and especially with the first debate, tonight we face our biggest challenges of all. We can, or rather must, be a part of Kerry's rapid response team and assist in the all-important post-debate spin. Here is a list of people and newspapers to email after the debate. Here are suggestions for what to write in those emails. Here is a way to coordinate with the Kerry campaign.

Take action. We are seeing a victory almost every day now, and we are clearly making a significant difference in this campaign. Also, we passed out goal of raising $3,000 for Ginny Schrader, who is perhaps the greatest blogosphere success of this election cycle. I honestly didn't think we could do it before the end of the quarter. You guys are unbelievable. I can't possibly ask you for anymore after already beating both goals. I can just let you know that you can still donate before the end of the third quarter, which is tonight at midnight. Thank you and congratulations!

Gallup's Defense Falls Flat

Much to my surprise, and with tremendous thanks to MoveOn.org, the critiques Steve Soto, Ruy Teixeira and I have long been making about the Gallup poll are starting to receive some coverage. It even prompted Frank Newport, Editor in Chief of Gallup, to make a public defense of the poll on CNN:

There's more...

bloggers and mydd

MyDD-centric post incoming... First, I gotta tip my hat to the job that Chris Bowers is doing here, cause as you can tell, he's an A-blogger and writer. Now, via  Matthew Gross (who is now heading up the NC's Bowles internet strategy), a link to How the Internet turned everyone into James Carville, by Farhad Manjoo, whose part concerning MyDD I'll include in the extended entry with some comments.

First though, let me briefly note Sunday's NYT's treatment. Chatting with Markos, we both got a kick out of the magazine article. I'm the sweaty enforcer with the grin, the blogger ready to throw a punch... hell ya!  You know, during the Dean campaign, at DFA HQ's, I shared cubicle space with the hackers  -- the ones that got dealt the NYT's front cover mag treatement -- Clay Johnson, Zack Rosen, and Justin Pinder... see, that's just the Mag's thing, and even though Matt's (the author) a great guy, the grin I had was for the parts we'd all be put into place for, cause it's gotta sell...

There's more...

No Need For Last Rites

Billmon, one of the better political bloggers of all-time, closed up shop a few weeks ago, after turning his comments off a few weeks before that. Today he wrote an op-ed on blogging in the Los Angeles Times. In a weekend when bloggers are receiving an extraordinary amount of national media attention, extraordinary even by the standards of the last few weeks, Billmon's piece stands out because it is the only piece about blogging in the national media written by an actual blogger:

By most accounts, blogs -- web logs to the uninitiated -- scored a major coup last week when CBS News admitted that it couldn't vouch for the authenticity of memos supposedly written by George W. Bush's commander in the Texas Air National Guard. The conservative bloggers who led the charge against the CBS story were hailed as giant slayers. And yet it's the blogging phenomenon itself that may need the last rites.

That may seem a strange thing to say, given the flattering coverage of blogs triggered by the CBS affair. But the media's infatuation has a distinct odor of the deathbed about it -- not for the blogosphere, which has a commercially bright future, but for the idea of blogging as a grass-roots challenge to the increasingly sanitized "content" peddled by the Time Warner-Capital Cities-Disney-General Electric-Viacom-Tribune media oligopoly.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Billmon, and the potential he revealed for long-form posts has had an impact on my own writing. However, I can also tell from what he wrote in the second paragraph that we have very different ideas about what makes the Blogosphere significant.

There's more...

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