It's the tale of two attempts at "digital astroturf" or "online grassroots activism" or whatever you want to call it. Regardless of the label, there's an apparent media double standard at work: attempts to rig prominent online information sources for political gain is only worth reporting if the perpetrators are conservatives.
The blogosphere - though not the mainstream media - has been buzzing about a proposed campaign by a Daily Kos blogger to game Google's search algorithm to promote stories unfriendly to the Tea Party and the GOP.
Contrast the media's silence with the buzz over an alleged attempt by a conservative group on the aggregator Digg to "bury" stories on that site. That plot got coverage from ABC News, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, even across the pond at the UK Guardian - not to mention from scores of liberal blogs.
As liberals tumble over each other extending apologies to Muslims for any American that would even whisper idly about burning a Koran, they should start apologizing for the Daily Kos. On Friday night came a plea from the atheist blogger "qinkilla" to burn all the religious texts, to keep people warm:
I am fine with the Koran being burnt, but only if the Bible and the Torah and any other religious document is included in the prodigious torching. If you've watched the Denzel Washington movie "The Book of Eli" you'd probably think that a braille copy of the Bible could save humanity. Well, in this country, we've got one of 'em in just about every hotel and motel room - and things just aren't getting better.
I believe sans religion, we'll all be better off....So here's my plan. We spend the next month gathering up all the religious documents in the world -- after all, it's time to let the invisible man go - and we allocate them to cold places, so they can be burned for a good cause...heat.
Taking in the current furor over the tiny-church-of-Koran-bonfires story, The Washington Post front page today strangely suggested "Debate may drown out quite 9/11 reflections," with "post-attack unity lost." Does anyone remember any 9/11 anniversaries after the first one that were all about "unity" and were free of partisanship?
The blog Daily Kos was lobbing bombs at "right-wing white guys" Wednesday. In her praise of the new book-length rant "American Taliban" by top Kosmonaut Markos Moutlisas, "Hippie grandmother" Jane Stillwater pleaded, "Right-Wing white guys, it's time for you to stop acting like General Custer."
You have no idea how lucky we are that this tactic of "bringing the war home" has not happened in America except only once so far. We have been just plain LUCKY so far -- that Middle Easterners, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians haven't dragged any more of Eisenhower's or Johnson's or Nixon's or Reagan's or Bush's or Obama's wars out of the streets of cities like Saigon, Mogadishu, Gaza, San Salvador, East Timor, Santiago, Shanghai, Baghdad, Tehran, Brazzaville, Port-au-Prince and Kabul and into the streets of our American cities.
We have been very lucky that, so far, we have only suffered just one 9-11 -- when you consider the many past decades of America's habitual and continual shabby treatment of "Others" all over the world.
A petition is beginning to show up in e-mail inboxes across the country thanks to the left-wing website Daily Kos. The goal? Ending the practice of filibuster completely and letting Senators pass news laws with a 50 plus 1 vote.
For those who paid attention to Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) becoming the infamous "number 41," the implications are all too clear.
The Senate passed Obamacare on Christmas Eve in 2009 only because there were exactly 60 votes to stop a Republican filibuster. Brown's election weeks later dropped Democratic control to 59 and virtually stopped them cold. Democrats are now expecting to lose the House in November and keep the Senate only with a slim majority.
The folks who run Daily Kos, apparently thinking 49 Republican votes should not matter, are trying to change the rules to make it easier for Democratic agendas to sail through. Behold the thought process of today's Machiavellian liberals who will do absolutely anything to get their way (h/t NBer choselife3x):
Here's another item for Bill Press and his ridiculous conceit that left-wingers are so much more civil than the "toxic talk" being emitted on right-wing radio. The Daily Kos blog now features a vicious, profanity-polluted blog post by "Brainspank" attacking Rush Limbaugh with the less-than-charming title the "Human S---smear." He attacks Limbaugh for spreading an idiocy infection to "oxygen-starved brains" in the Tea Party:
If you listen to this guy and you believe a single word he says, you’re an idiot. A lost cause. I’m not talking to you and I’m not writing this for your benefit. You are proof of the 1/4 paradigm. Common sense and logic are lost on you. The 1/4 paradigm are those that still supported Nixon after he was forced to resign. The 25% percent who still believed in the idiot Dumbya when he left office and the rest of us in a s--tstorm. You people are incurably stupid. You still think Jesus Christ will be here to save you personally before you die. I’m not talking to you. As far as I’m concerned, you people are worthless human stains who’s only potential contribution to anything at all would be polluting the gene pool.
It's bad enough that the Daily Kos posts outrageous claims like “the 9/11 attacks were horrific, but they were more about optics than actual harm.” When bizarre sentences like these are exposed, then the exposers are accused of being enemies of “meaningful dialogue.” What is meaningful in telling the families of the victims of 9/11 that their losses were more “optics” than “actual harm”? But that's how the blogger "Something the Dog Said" tried to defend himself against my post on NewsBusters:
Mr. Graham is using the quotes from my posts that are most likely to confirm his readers prejudice against the Left and Daily Kos. By doing so he makes sure there can be no meaningful dialog between the Right and Left.
While the Ground Zero Mosque controversy strikes the media as an opportunity for "healing" that's being denied by stubborn conservatives, the leftists at the Daily Kos see it as an opportunity for Holocaust Denial. The blogger known as "Something the Dog Said" dropped this jaw-dropping paragraph Thursday morning about fear of Muslims:
Given that they are such a small minority in this nation, it is odd that so many of our fellow citizens see them as such a threat. Yes, the 9/11 attacks were horrific, but they were more about optics than actual harm. The economy was already taking a hit before the Twin Towers fell. The reaction of the nation to seeing two major buildings in New York fall on T.V. has boosted the attack out of proportion. While the loss of even a single life is to be condemned and the devastation these deaths caused the families of those killed, more than this number of teens are killed every year in car crashes. These are also tragic losses but we do not make the kind of high profile issue of it that the 9/11 attacks are.
This blogger obviously can't tell the difference in political meaning between a collection of teen car accidents and an intentional, ideological mass murder. This is the same blogger who just wrote on July 30 that Republicans are much scarier than jihadists:
The atheists at the Daily Kos blog just keeping lobbing bombs. On Friday, the blogger with the handle "Something the Dog Said" protested the protests against the Cordoba Center mosque at Ground Zero. After predictably assigning the anti-abortion shooters to the Christian conservative camp, the Kosmonaut actually said the Muslims are "a pale reflection" of radicalism compared to Republicans:
In the end it is just the SOP of the Republican Party. Find and issue and whip up hysteria, without consideration of the long term affects or what might be lost by the tactic. It is just another of the legion of reasons why the modern Republican Party can not be trusted with the government of the United States or any single state for that matter. The radicalization they claim will come from mosques is just a pale reflection of the radicalization that has occurred in the ranks of their Party. If there is a group to fear, it is Radical Republicans, which is basically to say the most of the Republican Party at this point.
For all the daily talk on the Daily Kos that conservatives are dictatorial, their cast of bloggers isn't without grand designs for social control. Take this post: "Time to begin working for the death of religion (a rant)." The diarist "BlueMoon" expressed no attempt to disrupt free speech, but the "end of organized religion" must be attempted:
However, the time has come to begin work to actively disrupt official organized religion of all stripes. Yes, I know there are many good christians. But when I hear of another moral pronouncement coming out of the Roman Catholic church, I am ready to splutter.
The church of pedophiles that brought you Cardnal Law and the current head, Ratzinger dares open its filthy mouth again? To preach about morality?
The Reverend Phelps dares picket servicemen's funerals? And tell us all that "Heath [is] in Hell?" And call Lady Gaga a "proud whore"?
A variety of crazy wackos calling themselves the "Tea party" peddle vicious racism masquerading as christian faith.
Memo to media members wishing to invite the Tea Party Founder on your show, or use him as a source for your biased reports: He isn't exactly who you think he is.
Since the NAACP voted to condemn extremist elements in the Tea Party, news networks, sites, and liberal blogs have rushed to include ‘Tea Party Founder', Dale Robertson, in their reports. Problem being, Dale Robertson as Tea Party anything has frequently and thoroughly been, um ... ‘refudiated'.
Despite this, the media has a history of holding Robertson up as a shining example of Tea Party racism. Why? Robertson once demonstrated a level of ignorance that boggles the mind by holding a sign reading "Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = (N-Word)", at a Houston Tea Party Society (TPS) event.
The reality however, is that Robertson has predominantly self-described, if any, links to the Tea Party movement, while legitimate factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man. Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day. He was formally denounced in a statement released by the Houston TPS. He was called ‘no friend' of the Tea Party at Pajamas Media, and mocked at RedState. He was shown to be for his infamous sign, before he was against it.
So logically, the media has decided to help further the cause of the NAACP by bringing Robertson back out of the shadows. Since word of the the NAACP resolution got out, Robertson's name has appeared at...
Markos Moulitsas, founder of the far-left blog Daily Kos, announced today that he has been "blacklisted" by MSNBC for taunting "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough. "I just don't know how one could reasonably expect to be welcomed onto our network while publicly antagonizing one of our hosts at the same time," MSNBC president Phil Griffin told Moulitsas.
Griffin's ostracism marks the second instance in recent days that a prominent MSNBC personality has spurned Kos or his blog. A couple weeks ago, Keith Olbermann announced he would no longer be writing for the site. He returned a few days later.
Still, there seem to be some reservations even at liberal MSNBC about the often crude, pugilistic style employed by so many of the Kossacks. What set off the most recent tiff? A tweet exchange, recounted below the fold.
If the bloggers at Daily Kos can imply that Keith Olbermann isn't pro-Obama enough for them, you can only imagine what they think of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The Kosmonaut known simply as "Overlander" relayed that the general has written short stories with plots about presidential assassination, so clearly it's a "fantasy" of his:
I hope the Secret Service strip searches this monstrous thug before his meeting with Obama in the White House Wednesday. For the humiliation, mainly. But you can't be too careful with this devil.
Hastings' article reveals that sometimes, America's military is not made up of our best and brightest, but of our sickest and most pathological criminals. Half frat boy, half eighth-grader, half murderer and all evil, McChrystal is a sad remnant of Donald Rumsfeld's dysfunctional Pentagon who should have been kicked out of the military in West Point rather than be allowed to slouch his way through a brutal career and find his way into the White House.
When the vitriol is too much for Keith Olbermann, something is seriously wrong.
The MSNBC prime time anchor parted ways with the far-left Web site Daily Kos on Wednesday, citing the site's apparent unflinching, see-no-evil attitude towards President Obama, and the omnipresence of wild leftist conspiracy theories there.
"You want Cheerleaders? Hire the Buffalo Jills," Olbermann wrote. "You want diaries with conspiracy theories, go nuts. If you want this site the way it was even a year ago, let me know and I'll be back."
The divorce came after Kossacks relentlessly railed on Olbermann for having the gall to criticize their dear leader for his let-down of a national address on Tuesday. He took to his Twitter account to defend the decision.
Media bias often shows itself in which organizations journalists choose to cite or ignore. A very prevalent form of this bias is selective reporting on polling data--polls that show results friendly to the liberal position like are touted while those that show the opposite are buried.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd, pictured right, is the latest reporter to demonstrate such a bias. He took Rasmussen Reports to task on Twitter yesterday, claiming it is "has a horrible track record and us [sic] proven to be unreliable" and is really "[n]ot a serious polling firm." Todd said he would only report on "numbers from a more reliable pollster."
Apparently one such pollster, in the mind of Todd's cable network at least, is Research 2000. But R2K was recently rated one of the least reliable major polling firms in existence by liberal statistician Nate Silver. R2K was not even accurate enough for the Daily Kos, which officially dropped the firm on Wednesday.
UPDATE: Kosmonauts upset Obama flack decried Helen Thomas comments: "when has he [Obama] ever kicked anyone's ass? Not counting little old ladies, that is."
Even as she sneered that the Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine," Helen Thomas could easily find fervent defenders in the hard-left environs of the Daily Kos. Some of them couldn't believe such a sweet and good-natured woman would be demonized. The blogger "General Choomin" literally claimed that on Tuesday night:
This diary is mostly about the smear campaign aimed at Helen Thomas and how right wing propaganda easily mixes with Israeli propaganda. It is a story that people would label me as crazy if I didn't have the facts to back it up. How could such a good natured woman have so many people denounce her without even knowing the effort that went into it? How could so many people turn their backs on her even though she served her country in a way that most civilians never could?
Perhaps these people should try being on the other end of one of her rants before they try to paint her as Sweet Polly Purebred. "Chipoliwog" agreed on Tuesday that Helen the "patient heroine" had been wronged and her legacy of greatness was unappreciated:
Yesterday, the world lost the voice of one of it's greatest journalists. Lost to the exigencies of political correctness. Hoisted on her own petard.
Daily Kos boss Markos Moulitsas is scheduled to appear on Jake Tapper's Sunday roundtable on This Week tomorrow. It would be great -- although the odds are very slim -- if Tapper would quote some of this Daily Kos bilge and ask Moulitsas to defend it. This Saturday morning post by Karen Hedwig Backman imagined Dick Cheney as a malevolent Angel of Death. It's called "Dick Cheney's Dismal Swamp of Death," and is so overwrought it's unintentionally funny:
A vast sea of dead and dying creatures presided over by the fat, repulsive Angel of Death Cheney. His ratlike minions scuttle around clutching their Blackberries and chittering corporate code.
Gloating, he hovers over the Gulf of Mexico, his oil-grimed black wings sinuously flapping... eldest daughter gleefully yapping at his ankles.
For the moment they are strangely silent, after months of constant presence on accommodating American television, showboating on Fox, one hopes that they might at last be experiencing guilt and shame -- but no.
They are momentarily stunned by the awesomeness of their success, silently savoring the sight of their spoils, dying pelicans dripping crude oil on the beaches, whitening and fouling corpses of fish, sea mammals, all manner of dead creatures brought to life by the seas and felled by the U.S. Supreme Court-strengthened arm of the Almighty Corporation.
From the "Did I Say That Out Loud?" Department: "Crashing Vor" on the Daily Kos asserted on Tuesday morning that a good crisis should never go to waste. The Gulf oil spill must be exploited, and the greens must "use this moment, use the deaths of species and the suffering of people who depend on them, in the most cynical, calculated way, as bad as a Republican after 9/11, to make real, lasting change in how we address the costs of our way of life." That means a command-and-control "climate change" bill. Get it now, before stupid Americans lose interest:
There is only one possible redemption in this horror, and even that is a slim chance. If the enormity of what has happened in the Gulf can hold the country's atrophied attention long enough, and if we can mobilize fast enough, we might, just might, be able to bring about a positive change from this:
Real and comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
We must act now to force our legislators to write law with teeth and real effect, law that requires consumers pay the true price of the carbon they burn, law that requires business to pay the true price of the carbon they spew, law that includes the costs of things "no one could have anticipated" into the price of doing business.
While liberals consistently worry out loud that conservative talk radio inspires violence, they're still avoiding blogs like the Daily Kos, which posted an item on Sunday headlined "I don't want to punch Rand Paul in the face, but...." This tongue-in-cheek lameness unfolded:
....but if someone happens to punch him in the face, I believe that this is their right and that we as a people should not put safeguards in place to prevent such an occurrence.
My name is glutz78 and I'm a Libertarian through and through (not really but let's just say...) and especially when it comes to punching people in the face. Because getting punched in the face is part of the free market....
If you think it's odd for Chris Matthews to blame Dick Cheney for the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Daily Kos will go one further. The Kosmonaut with the byline "RFK Lives" is blaming Ronald Reagan:
For 30 years, our public policy has been dominated by this basic creed. Whether it was telecom deregulation, financial deregulation, welfare "reform," regulatory "reform," or most any other issue, the Reaganite philosophy almost invariably prevailed. Whether it was Gingrich, Greenspan, W, Cheney, or anyone else playing the tune, they were all using St. Ronnie's sheet music.
We have, sadly, reached the logical end result of Reaganism.
The anti-capitalist left seems to despise all privately owned media outlets as hopelessly servile lackeys of the robber barons. But even through this dark lens, Fox News is still the worst. Raccoondog on the Daily Kos says in the wake of the Gulf oil spill that it is "by design a criminal enterprise" and Sarah Palin is guilty of "criminal imbecility." [Image at top right also from Daily Kos.]
Mostly unreported or downplayed by the corporate media, which every day that passes lengthens its record of complicity in its masters' crimes (and I'm not even thinking here of Fox News, which is by design a criminal enterprise), the oil industry has seen thousands of accidents injurious to the environment just in the last quarter century.
Daily Kos may be an almost official stop of the Democratic Party -- today's top ad demands you help the Arizona Democrats fight the new immigration law -- but it's certainly not a religious website. In fact, last Friday, the blogger "HumeSkeptic" declared that all religions pale in comparison to earth worship:
In so far as all morality is fundamentally based on preservation, betterment and continuation of life, there is no higher morality than environmentalism.
It appears that it wasn't only media types such as MSNBC's Contessa Brewer who were disappointed that the Times Square bombing suspect turned out to be a Muslim. They were joined by virtually the entire leftwing blogosphere in their frustration that the suspect wasn't a tea party activist or a member of a "rightwing" militia group. Before the identity of the bombing suspect was made known, Kossack "waterboard sean" conducted a poll on who the perpetrator could be. And here are the hilarious results of that poll (I am using Kossack terminology here):
April 28 was apparently Abortion Uber Alles day at the liberal Web site Daily Kos. Aimee Thorne-Thomsen of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project stated that the number of women who receive abortions is “too low” in “Keep Abortions Safe and Legal? Yes. Make it Rare? Not the Point.” A separate article blasted the new law in Oklahoma that makes it mandatory for woman to receive ultrasounds by making crude comparisons and calling it “blackmail.”
Even though 1.21 million abortions were performed in 2005, this was not enough for Thorne-Thomsen. She wrote, “On the other hand, if those 1.21 million abortions represent only the women who could access abortion financially, geographically or otherwise, then that number is too low. Yes, too low.”
Some conservatives don't bother reading or quoting from the Daily Kos because it's just too bizarre to take seriously. This would certainly be a good exhibit: Fox News is the network of "exterminationist rhetoric."
There's no doubt in my mind that Glenn Beck is the closest thing we've had to a Neonazi leader in America in a long long time, and he's by far the most dangerous conservative to have emerged in my lifetime in terms of the violence he's inspiring in American citizens.
His eliminationist rhetoric has already inspired an American Neonazi to murder police officers.
Will Fox News ever pull him off the air for his eliminationist talk? No. The network itself is a rabid supporter of exterminationist rhetoric and the consequences of it.
Over at the Daily Kos, the gay activist that writes under the byline "Bill in Portland, Maine" (I'd prefer Boogers of Change) slammed both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts in his regular "Cheers and Jeers" column on Thursday:
CHEERS to justice served. Let us not forget that the Catholic Church isn't the only institution owned and operated by ultra-conservatives that's getting battered with pervert accusations. There's also the Boy Scouts of America, which a jury just tied up in knots:
Is there anything more ridiculous than putting on the architect of the dark and ghastly radical castle called the Daily Kos to denounce extremism and irresponsible rhetoric? And yet that's exactly what Keith Olbermann did on Tuesday night's Countdown -- he brought on Markos Moulitsas.
Bloggers and activists on the left are furious when anyone suggests that the religion of Islam leads to violence. But on Thursday, bomb-throwing secularist Barrett Brown on the Daily Kos (and also on the blog True/Slant) compares the Catholic Church – unfavorably – to the atrocities of Stalinism and Maoism.
He even wrote, more broadly, that "Next to the Christian God, Stalin was a piker" – in that, Stalin only killed your body, while God torments the souls of unbelievers like him for eternity. Brown argues that the Catholic Church was a remarkable slaughterer without modern technology:
To smile upon the Church for reigning [sic] in its excesses is to smile upon the Soviet hardliners for reigning in its own. Both were dragged into an age of individual liberty by way of other ideologies. Look back upon the road on which they were taken, and one sees the marks made by fingernails grasping frantically at the ground in an effort to stop the process.
In the upside-down universe of the Daily Kos, Tom Brokaw is a conservative who rooted for Bush-Cheney, and his Thursday night CNBC special on Boomers lauded the "Greatest Generation" at the expense of the real patriots, the ones that dropped acid and protested the evil military-industrial complex that ran America:
I know plenty of people with battle scars from nightsticks and tear gas who did it out of a love for this country and dedication to its founding principals [sic]. Kent State proved to all of us that we didn’t have free speech. Our country, our National Guard would open fire on any student and not just those who protested. If we didn't agree to die in Vietnam - they'd kill us here instead.
We got the message Mr. Brokaw. Our country killed our heroes and was taking aim at us. It would have been safer to go along with the establishment. But these were people of conscience, people of great courage. They were patriots in the truest sense of the word.
To follow up on Brent Baker's post about the move to put Ronald Reagan on the 50-dollar bill, this was not well-received by the feverish left at the Daily Kos. The blogger "Kansasr" wailed on Wednesday:
It's bad enough that I have to fly into the Regan [sic] airport in Washington (I still call it National) or have to drive on the Ronald Regan [sic] Turnpike in Florida. What's next? Slobodan Milosevic on the twenty?
To ask how one would compare Reagan to a Yugoslavian war criminal, you would have to imbibe deeply of the myth that Reagan did nothing about AIDS. (That's what they call "counter-factual." See Brent Bozell's refutation here.) But that's the rationale:
Washington Post "investigative humorist" Gene Weingarten mocked conservatives again in Sunday’s Post Magazine, playing off the recent Daily Kos poll playing up the number of Republicans who believe Barack Obama wasn’t born in America, is a racist, and should be impeached. Weingarten makes no mention of the leftist source of his data. For all the reader knows, it’s a Gallup poll. Weingarten then makes up his own poll questions and answers for "humor,’ and the lowest blow is smearing conservatives with an anti-Semitic brush:
Do you trust any mainstream TV or print publications?
Eighty-one percent said, "Only Fox News."
Nineteen percent said, "Only The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Here’s more of his fake poll of the right-wing haters: