Of course there will be no reporting, because Democrats have not yet acknowledged (though they have been told repeatedly) that unless you make media part of the story, and work in concert with our alternate media machine online, you have no chance to breach the filter.
ABC/Disney story proved this.
But the Dems have another barrier to this. It's not just that the party does not coordinate well. It's not just that even when they do, they don't coordinate with us. It's not just that they refuse to campaign as a unified group against the establishment media. It's that the center of gravity in the party is still the Clinton machine, and unless the secret signal is given from those quarters to go after a campaign that would include coordination with bloggers and making media part of the story, nothing will happen.
Here's how this could be done: going into NOvember, we could make big hay in Greenwald's Iraq for Sale movie, talking about war profiteering and about the fact that establishment media have been burying this story for years, in complicity with the administration.
It focuses the dialogue of Iraq and Republican failure. It highlights good Internet and grassroots reporting on this. It makes the establishment media's failures part of the story, so they will ultimately cover it, if the rest of is get together and refuse to let it go. And it controls the dialogue going into November.
We could do it. But the bottleneck here is not from the blogs. It's from the carriers of the party brand. They just don't want to pick a fight, and Rahm and Chuck don't really want to coorinate with us. They would rather fail in November and then try to blame us for it.
OK, well, look: FDL is a progressive movement site. We're progressive fighters doing media and organizing who also fight for and defend other progressive fighters. We hold Libby and Cheney and Bush and Lieberman and Emanuel and Schumer to accountability, and many more.
We were attacked very personally based on lies by someone of very bad faith. We're progressive fighters: suddenly we're not supposed to fight when we're attacked? When any other progressive fighters are attacked, if we're aware of it and we can help, we're the first to defend. We're not setting ourselves up as superheroes (quick, to the TRexmobile!), but we do fight for and defend progressives, because, as a movement site, that's what we do.
Don't be mean? Well, we won't be mean to people who don't lie. But if someone like Liza does what she does, we will bring it. Directly. And we'd do the same if someone came after you, too.
As for the larger lessons, the growing pains approach to this, let's hope so. That's the approach I took in my only FDL post related to this, but it has unfortunately taken a lot of background work like this right now in conversation with people whom I respect, whom I also hoped my have better judgment in all this. And that's time we all could have put into some more productive, positive political work.
It's not the personal offense that galls the most: it's the wasted time and effort and the threat to progressive politics represented by the destructive fruits of bad actors. And it's also the unfortunate misapprehension of the entire situation by well meaning people who fell for the con, because that represents a vulnerability in the movement. The longer it takes for us to succeed politically as a movement, the more people die, the more injustice is perpetueated, etc.
TRex wrote a great post, whose most controversial line clearly referred in context to talent, not race. People used a misconstruction of his writing to argue that he is racist, Jane is racist, FDL is racist, Peter Daou is racist, the whole meeting was racist, "insiders" are racist, no minorities were invited, etc., etc.
TRex posted updates explaining all this and even finally re-edited the post, but no one makes any acknowledgment of this. Somehow, FDL is supposed to write about this more so that somehow more dishonest accusations of racism can be given further currency and credibility. Balogna.
Getting real? Ok, let's get real. Liza and some others have had it in for Jane from the get, because back in the day, before FDL was on anyone's radar, Jane refused to take part in a coalition of attacks by women bloggers on Markos and Atrios, calling them sexist and demanding - DEMANDING - links and attention. Jane said no thanks, did her own thing, and has been the subject of lies and smears from that same sector ever since. This is real. Did you know Jane is paid by Rahm Emanuel to bash NARAL for its endorsement of people like Lieberman who shine Alito's shoes on the Supreme Court Steps? No? That's because it's not true. But it has been printed.
Sour grapes are not a source of wisdom. The experience of powerlessness, marginalization or of being abused does not automatically confer wisdom. Wisdom comes from moving past one's own experiences to have empathy and understanding for all people. There is no virtue in bile, especially when one propels an allegedly justice based agenda through lies and smears, which are inherently unjust.
If Terrance had not written his post, where would we be today? A lot better off. He could have done some reporting, gotten facts, looked at TRex's words in context, looked at FDL's performance record, etc. He could have contacted Peter Daou directly to ask some questions or make some suggestions. Had he done so, or other critics done so, before calling people racists and making hay through falsehoods, we'd be a lot better off, not wasting time mopping blood off the floor after an unproductive, pointless circular firing squad.
A bit more about TRex: he's a talented, excellent writer. He's creative and he attacks, helping to move the goalposts of what can be discussed in politics because he's willing to say things others will not. Over the long term, we need aggressive, creative, truthful voices like that in the movement, because they help to change what is open for discussion in politics.
But people like that will draw heat, they will become targets, because they are not gentle. But instead of looking at TRex's words or work in context, he was called a racist: let's be frank, that's what was going on. And that was a lie.
There are very good people who are held hostage to fear by people like Lies-a who play the racism/sexism/resentment/smear card to get attention, destructively. People like that weaken the whole progressive movement, and good people who associate themselves with such people, out of whatever sense of misplaced idealism or whatever, continue to hurt the movement by trying to foment these blogger ethics conferences which are really about paying blackmailed lip service to the lunatic with the gun in the corner.
Yes, it's been pointless. No you're not all idiots.
If fairness and collegial discussion were the goal, then the issue would have been advanced by critics in that spirit. It wasn't.
If anyone wants to look for a silver lining out of this to justify the lies, attacks and smears, please consider that anything that you may look to see come out of this that's productive could have been much more effectively advanced through an entirely different approach.
Some well meaning people who care about fairness are making common cause with a few people who use the rhetoric of fairness to promote selfish, destructive agendas.
Now, the alleged advocates for fairness and inclusion who used this event to 1) obscure that the presence of bloggers at that meeting was a victory for every blogger and commenter in the progressive netroots, becasue it means we're all being effective 2) make lying accusations about well known progressive voices, have:
1. alienated many would be allies
cast suspicion on the composition of any future meetings Daou or anyone like him will put together, because it's very easy for established power toplay the checklist tokenism game to cynical benefit
promoted a failed, losing model of tribal politics, like what we've seen in New York City, whose net effect has been to keep progressives out of the mayor's office in what should by any logic be a Democratically controlled town
created an excuse for media observers of the blogs to run with false stories based on lies prmoted by bitter self promoters acting in bad faith, abetted by well meaning people who care about fairness who really don't appreciate the full set of agendas in play here.
All of that has been destructive, not productive.
As a matter of fact, the composition of the meeting was brought up during the meeting, but no one cared about the fact or even about inquiring after the facts. There were attacks to me made, an attention getting opportunity was to be had.
If you infer anything form my writing, k. o., beyond what I've written, the inferences are yours. How you make inferences from what I wrote, the words I chose, about the TRex post when I never even reference it a bit of a stretch.
TRex has made updates to his post that I don't see anyone reading or acknowledging.
Ok, let's talk about building bridges: as far as I can tell, among prominetnt liberal sites, FDL is alone in going out of its way to bring diverse and often underrepresented voices to the online discussion of politics and culture. That's a fact. I see no one acknowledging or discussiong it.
FDL has been and has always remaned aggressive in confronting racism all over the place, even when commenters at places like MyDD grow squeemish. When Ned took shit for being photgraphed with Sharpton and Jackson, who stood up for all of them? FDL. When people talked shit about Maxine Waters campaigning for Lamont, and what a "mistake" it was since she has so much "baggage" for "Connecticut voters," who put up a YouTube of Maxine on their front page? FDL.
In fact, let's talk about coalition and alliance building, and inclusion. When Maxine and Jane were in CT, Jane worked hard to build offline ties and a relationship with Maxine. Why? Because we want to help build ties among people who actually fight for progressive causes, and Maxine is a fighter for people who are often dismissed and left out of the conversation.
There's a lesson in this. If you want to promote inclusion, work offline to build relationships that include people. Nothing about the attacks on TRex, Peter Daou or the Clinton meeting was in the least bit constructive or likely to promote stbale coalitions or positive relationships. Nothing, nada, zilch. FDL does that. I don't see FDL's critics doing that. They seem to believe that shouting accusations will gain them "access" to some "insiders club."
Jane saw a niche open for a strong woman's voice in the blogosphere, and she worked her ass off writing new material all day, seven days a week, 16 hour days, while building good relationships with other online writers. She did not proceed from a sense of aggreivement that said, "you boys should link ot me because I'm a woman and you're not." She focused on quality work that gained a following, and the blog really took off because hers was the go-to Plamegate site. She owned the story, and that's how Christy became a front pager.
There is nothing to stop other people from working hard and finding a niche, especially if they can own a big story. You don't get there by playing identity, resentment politics, and you don't get there by assuming that the online world represents a fixed pie and all audiences have been tapped or maxed out. They have not.
If people believe they have to knock other people down who have gained an audience in order to gain an audience, they are mistaken, and actually working against their own interests.
At FDL, when progressive fighters are attacked, we defend them. We don't believe progressives should spend their time cutting each other down. It harms the brand and limits the growth of the whole movement. When we stick together and gain power, there's more room for everyone to find and create a niche. Everything Liza and a few others have done has been against that principle. FDL responded to an attack but did not precipitate an attack on another whose agenda is allegedly progressive.
And what's left out while the conversation proceeds? Liza has been telling outright lies about FDL, Jane's actions, etc. and no one calls her on it. Why? Really, why? Why is a strong, movement building site that creates ties with and gives voice to underrepresented voices the enemy, when someone who is lying is somehow to be defended?
And by the way, do you really think that envy is not a part of the motivation of what's been going on here? I get that there are sincere people who want to see justice and fairness done who have not sorted out all the dynamics in play. But there are others who simply and undeniably are operating from bad faith. And it ain't TRex, and it ain't FDL.
I'll have more confidence that people really are interested in fairness and inclusion when they stap denying or just plain missing some inconvenient truths about what's going on here.
nor anyone in particular. I take serious issue with some, but not all, of Terrence's reactions and interpretations. Other who have done the bandwagon do not merit the same respect and deference, though I refer to people I have not seen gnaw this bone at MyDD.
I've commented many times in praise of your work. I think this is beneath you, and I hope for the sake of our common goals for the common good, you reconsider this outlandish approach, this graphic ad hominem attack premised in a straw man argument.
what people choose to interpret. Meaning is created, not inherent.
The photo is a rorschach, an ink blot. Hey, I'm a trained shrink, I know about those.
For some, it brought out their resentments, envy, or tendencies to reduce people to their appearances in the service of labels and tribal, identity based politics, which have more than failed every progressive constituency group in the past, which is Oliver's point.
Other people saw other things.
This whole sad saga says more about the people who have weighed in on it than about the actual meeting itself. It's not about the meeting, it's about the picture. Imputations of bad faith ascribed to the people in the picture are way off. They are opportunistic arguments made in very bad faith.
I declined my invitation to the Clinton meeting, as Markos did.
I'm a light skinned half latino fag with limited Spanish fluency. Had I been in the picture, which thank the Inca gods I was not, all the hate trolls would have said, "Another white guy," and I would have felt compelled to tell all of them from the front page of FDL in no uncertain terms to fuck off and kiss my gay ass in Macy's New York window, because they don't know me and they lack the right, legitimacy or competency to define me.