The Silence of Our Friends

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kablooie In the Mainstream Blogosphere!

I've missed alot on the blogosphere! Maybe you have too, since one of the things I found out was that Atrios and Kos purged their blogrolls and have angered alot of B-list and beyond mainstream bloggers. I know that most of the blogs that I read and conversely who read me aren't especially interested in the A-listers or mainstream blogs, so you may have missed the fireworks on this one. What interested me is that the anger, and the comments, mirrored what we POC bloggers had to say about the Clinton lunch and the arguments used against us. The reason people are hurt and angry is that they are being told they aren't good enough to join the high school clique, and that if they wrote better they wouldn't be purged. For comparison remember what we were told, "on the internet people don't know your skin color, so if you wrote better you would be popular and invited to the Clinton lunch..." but, the problem is that POC bloggers write about POC issues which don't always interest the majority of internet readers who happen to be white. It has nothing to do with the quality of writing. We will never have the mega audiences that some white writers have unless we write more about their issues or at least shared issues, and less about our own. So yes, you sometimes can tell skin color, or at least that some writers aren't white, by what interests us and may not interest you.

I think Maryscott O'Connor has this particular purge pegged at My Left Wing.
Booman. Dropped. The Rude Pundit -- dropped. WTF? These are legitimate sites with longstanding audiences and membership. So... Wait a minute. Is this a question of being an EMBARRASSMENT with the more Establishment types with whom you now consort, having successfully crashed the gate?" Are we now your embarrassing cousins? Sure, you'll be happy to glad-hand with us at the YKos family reunion, but QUICK, hide the nutty aunts when there's company around?

We got our rude awakening and now I think some of the smaller mainstream blogs are discovering the same thing. It's not about being good enough, it's about group think. You have to say what they want you to say, be moderate and mild and pliable to the political establishment. Don't rock the corporate DLC boat. In regards to the Clinton lunch it was about coopting the largest most influential blogs so that they would tone down their criticism of Hilary for '08. Maryscott notices something similar going on with Kos:
But as for political activism and leadership? Sorry, no sale, man -- the day he threw Paul Hackett under the bus on Rahm Emanuel's bidding was the day I knew Markos was just another DLC in training. "Nice try, live to fight another day, we're going with the anointed one" -- what a bunch of fucking BULLSHIT.

And then came Casey and Duckworth and on and on and on -- one after another the truly PROGRESSIVE, LIBERAL candidates were shoved aside because the ESTABLISHMENT Democrats, in the form of Schumer and Emanuel and Clinton et al, put their imprimatur on the safe, solidly centrist-to-conservative candidates.

And even when the cabal agreed to dump Lieberman, their cowardice in failing to rein him in and forcing him to drop his outrageous switch to "Independent" status on the ballot, my GOD, these are the people from whom Markos takes his cues. This is not a political leader, he is a follower. And he is following the wrong fucking people, for the love of god, he is following the SAME PEOPLE who have been leading the Democratic Party further and further into the wilderness of spinelessness, of cowardice, of dishonesty, of obeisance to polls and bullies and liars and fools.

I think alot of political bloggers are in it for the same two major reasons I am, to rant and say what I want to say and for change. Yes! Change! In the hopes that politicians will let US MOLD THEM. Will listen to what we the people have to say. We aren't stupid or naive enough to think this will be easy, but we try. The big boys may have started out this way, but have let the politicians mold the blogger instead of the other way around. They are bought and paid for. They know that if they have progressive principles that CNN and the NY Times won't want to interview them, or if they are controversial (have actual progressive ideas) that politicians and media will spinelessly slither away from them just like Edwards did to Amanda and Melissa.

Crashing the gate is only about becoming one of the in crowd, not having an impact in politics, but enriching your own pocketbook or rubbing elbows with the famous in hopes of becoming one of them. They are no different than hundreds of political consultants in DC who give us wishy washy losing strategies for the last several decades. They are becoming what they blasted only a couple of years ago. So just be moderate (conservative) and don't make any Democratic politician look bad, even if he is a DINO, and support the corporate DLC electable candidate instead of the one with principles who won't play ball with the establishment. That's dangerous! For the rich and powerful...who hire you as consultants, or invite you to lunches, or otherwise give you access to the cocktail weenies you once derided.

POC and other "equality" bloggers have always known that the powerful do not give up power without a fight. They will dismiss you and demonize you, and if it appears that isn't working and you are becoming powerful on your own they will coopt you and silence you. They coopted the Democratic Party through the DLC/tons of cash through their lobbyists and now they have coopted the big boy bloggers in much the same way. Principles, issues, and people no longer matter; access, fame, and ad revenue are the goals now.

Think I'm being overly cynical? Then you missed the other load of bullshit another A-lister was spouting. I'll let Brilliant at Breakfast give the run down on Chris Bowers of MyDD being an ass. This quote encapsulates it for me:
Fuck the big boys. They're the blogospheric equivalent of the Washington pundits who think they're better than bloggers because they get invited to the right parties and of the Democrats who hold fundraisers where they take money from corporations. We hold bake sales and support our candidates twenty-five bucks at a time. What's hilarious is that most of these guys come out of the 2004 Howard Dean campaign, only a taste of success has made them forget all about people-powered.

10 comment(s):

And you win !

By Blogger Blackamazon, at 3/01/2007 7:13 PM  

Hi Donna,

You know, I just realized while reading your post that I miss hearing that lovely prose tone you always manage. :-)

Yes, I agree that the non-A-list bloggers are now feeling something akin to what we POC felt some time ago. If only they gave a shit then. If only they felt any interest in uniting with bloggers of color now. Because otherwise, I actually don't really care about blogroll politics. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know about all this until reading your post, and I've been online the whole time! Actually I'm now realizing that Nezua wrote a post about this matter which I only now understand; at the time, I had no idea what he was talking about.

Anyway, be well, Donna! Take good care of yourself, don't push it too hard. It'll be nice to have you back in the northeast. ;-)


By Blogger Kai, at 3/01/2007 11:53 PM  

The blogrolling thing is just strange. Lots of really thin skins on display. It's kinda flattering to be blogrolled, but it doesn't really have much effect on traffic so far as I can tell (I'm on one big blog's roll, and it's good for about one hit a day).

I think the people who are the most worked up about it are the people who are super-concerned about their traffic and status. Those of us who gave up on such things can pretty much just ignore the whole thing, or point and laugh.

By Anonymous Eli, at 3/02/2007 1:03 AM, I must go adjust something on a recent post....

By Blogger Renegade Evolution, at 3/02/2007 1:17 AM  

I don't know what is going on, but I haven't been able to comment on your site for the last two days--ever since you posted this--

i think blogger is acting up again...

By Blogger brownfemipower, at 3/02/2007 10:59 PM  

No, eli. That's not it, at all. But perhaps you haven't read the assignment.

I'll give it to you in a nutshell:

The Big Boys of Blogging have, indeed, crashed the gate -- only to lock it back up once inside. They would prefer the rest of us shut up now, just follow their lead, stop agitating for change, and god forbid we criticise THEIR mentors.

The BBB make a hefty living off their blogs -- and that has to do with advertising, which has to do with being ACCEPTABLE to companies like, say, CHEVRON, for whom Markos proudly displayed an ad front and center on Daily Kos. Ads for Clinton, et al -- and the powers that be don't take kindly to getting in bed with bloggers who are, however tangentially, in bed with OTHER bloggers who are loudly and profanely and justifiably critical of said powers that be.

Markos started his blogging career determined to change the system, to defeat the DLC.

Now, for all intents and purposes, he has been ASSIMILATED into the DLC.

There is more here than sour grapes about being delinked -- though I will not deny the fact that Markos, by removing MLW from his blogroll, has effectively cut my traffic by a third. And yes, I DO make money from advertising, which DOES have a lot to do with traffic -- so when he delinked me, he essentially fucked me over, financially. And he knows it.

But as I've said repeatedly -- ego? Dude. I have plenty of ego and I don't need Markos's aegis for that. It's the traffic, the advertsising, the money and the ACCESS -- the dismissal of everyone who isn't already in the BBB club as not worth their time or respect.

If you want to know more, read these posts:

You Don't Need A Weatherman to Know Which Way DKos Blows

My Response to Hunter

Jacta Alea Est

I posted them in chronological order -- "WEatherman" being the first post after discovering the Blogroll Delinking, and so on.

By Blogger Maryscott OConnor, at 3/03/2007 3:38 PM  

Mary we read the assignment .

We just honestly don't care.

Sounds harsh but it's true.

When POC , LGBT blogs where told to sit down shut up, or were told we were to special interest

We were the only ones talking.

When people told us to mind our place and shut up mind our betters

Only us talking

BE in ignorance , complicity or agreements , the echo chamber in many left wing blogs was DEAFENING

People were okay with it.

SO we weren't justifiably critical or we just weren't worth paying attention to.

Yes there is more than sour grapes but it's not sour grapes he would cut money.

It's that it never was expected by certain B or C list bloggers or A- list to happen to THEM.

That they were " special in some way " that we were not and it was okay that it happened to us

And thta getting "us" recognition was always good adfiniteum ad nausea

because we were "in".

And for the rest of "us" we remembered clinton/burqa/Nubian/bookcover/not worth /special interest gate

and we go so?

They didn't take you with them and most of us saw it coming not in the money sense but in the very way he handled things form get go the very way he structured it, the way he handled questions


those bloggers were Ok with it cause they were on the list.

Now their not and they wonder how to survive and are looking for sympathy and understanding

and we have none.

We're still here and you seem to think you'll be which is great and I hope you continue.

But we get, and when it mattered to us not for hits or money but getting out truth and facts and figures, people sat on their hands.

And now we should raise ours in alarm?

Eli got it right we gave up a long time ago and now when it happens AGAIN dang skippy we ignore or get our chuckle on.

We cna read just fine

By Blogger Blackamazon, at 3/03/2007 7:43 PM  

Actually it's both. It's almost always, "I got mine, now screw you!" these power struggles. This particular one doesn't affect us here, so I can see why both BA and Eli are shrugging it off, especially when so many of the ones who are angry now didn't make a peep when they saw us get told, "I got mine, now screw you!"

I'm sure MSOC could see that I understood her point and agree with it, but what she might be missing is that people of color have been very aware of the way that white bloggers get steamed when they are excluded but ignore it when they see others not like themselves excluded, like the many examples that BA listed.

I really wish that people would stand up to injustice whenever they see it but it's hard when we are expected to be understanding, to be allies, to help them crash the gate...but get the door slammed in our face or told to sit down and wait our turn, or that there are bigger more important goals than our issues. We have been standing up for others and doing our part and are tired of being taken for granted and no one standing up for us and doing their part.

By Blogger Donna, at 3/03/2007 9:30 PM  

Oh hey, I missed this one till now too. And, yep: what BA said.

"big fleas got little fleas, etc. etc. etc."

By Blogger belledame222, at 3/08/2007 9:07 PM  

and y'know: remind me why those of us who aren't making any money -at all- off our blogs are supposed to be sympathetic when bigger blogs' ad revenues fall off? I mean, it's great you found a way to earn money from blogging, I won't lie, I wouldn't mind doing it myself; but it's not something i, like, take for granted.

By Blogger belledame222, at 3/12/2007 3:47 AM  

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