As usual, when Rightwingers can't win outright, they cheat. Such is the case on the very popular social aggregator website DIGG, as documented today at Alternet.
We've suspected for quite some time that links to The BRAD BLOG's articles as posted on DIGG have been quickly "buried" by Rightwingers hoping to keep our stories from reaching the front page --- or even the "upcoming" page, where others might see the story rising in DIGG "votes," so that it might then be propelled to the front page, where millions more would then see the link to the article.
The AlterNet piece details a "massive" Rightwing cabal which has been doing exactly that, and we weren't particularly surprised when we found The BRAD BLOG named in the piece as one of several non-wingnut websites that have been targeted for "burial" by a Rightwing group of Internet hacks calling themselves "Digg Patriots"...
I recently attended the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in D.C., with video camera in hand, to report on the attendees. I was particularly interested in interviewing James O'Keefe, the miscreant (and accused felon) responsible for the ACORN video media hoax that The BRAD BLOG has been meticulously detailing for several weeks, including the important focus on how the mainstream corporate media (the old-media) have been had by the scam.
O'Keefe's phony "pimp" story has been debunked, but, as Brad Friedman has shown, the old-media remain remarkably reticent to admit their errors, and the publisher of the videos, O'Keefe's employer and promoter Andrew Breitbart, has been unwilling to help them off the hook. Witness the outrageous email responses from the NYTimes' Senior Editor for Standards Greg Brock and then from their Public Editor Clark Hoyt, when it was shown to them that "the paper of record" had been had --- that O'Keefe had never "visited Acorn offices...dressed so outlandishly" in the now-infamous "pimp" costume as the paper had reported, as O'Keefe had represented, and as Breitbart himself had claimed in his own column, to the public.
While I didn't get the chance to speak with O'Keefe, I did catch up with his partner in fraud, Hannah Giles. Alas, she was surrounded by a protective coterie and fled without answering any questions when one of her entourage recognized me.
But then my luck turned. I trekked to the basement to cover the "XPAC" party and found myself standing shoulder to shoulder with Breitbart, O'Keefe's promoter, publisher, and employer, and owner of the website which launched the infamously damaging, misleading, deceptive, and highly doctored video tapes. I had previously questioned Breitbart at a press conference at the National Press Club press last October. He's had a pretty easy ride of it since then, facing questioning only from a largely adulatory press.
Though old-media, as Brad has shown, have been remarkably reluctant to demand answers to hard questions from Breitbart --- or any of the players involved in the ACORN secret video scheme --- I felt it important to do so for a number of reasons. The results were revealing, both in Breitbart's insanely manic demeanor, and in the substantive content of his answers to my questions.
Ultimately, as I believe you'll find in the video, he reveals a lot about his own editorial judgment, professionalism, and reliability --- none of it is good...
* * *
The Breitbart/O'Keefe media fraud has been wildly successful for the pair, helping to launch Breitbart's BigGovernment.com site late last year. But, unfortunately, it's hurt a great number of innocents.
Lost in the outrage against the New York Times for having fallen for the scam without bothering to fact-check, as The BRAD BLOG has been detailing for the past several weeks, is the fact that Breitbart and his ward O'Keefe have accomplished a despicable goal: They've all but destroyed an organization committed to helping those Americans most in need. Real people --- thousands of children amongst them --- will suffer hardship as a direct consequence of Breitbart's and O'Keefe's mendacious and malicious hoax, and singularly partisan political agenda. When will the media get around to telling that story?
And what of the damage that disreputable propagandists like Breitbart and O'Keefe bring to the real citizen journalists in the new media --- those of us striving not to sell a political agenda under false pretenses, but, rather, hoping to document facts, truth, and on-the-record positions of those who would corrupt our system through disingenuousness, self-enrichment, and lies?...
Shortly after my original piece, “Hate Speech and the Process of Dehumanization,” I received a form of constructive criticism. A friend suggested that while I provided a coherent explanation of Prof. Zimbardo’s basic concepts regarding the process of dehumanization as it relates Nazi atrocities and the Jim Crow South, my application of Zimbardo to the more contemporary question of Muslims and Arabs failed to do justice to Prof. Shaheen’s academic study of American films.
While the criticism is valid, that certainly had not been my intent.
The problem entails issues of length in the blog format --- the risk that length will reduce the size of the audience one hopes to educate.
For those who feel they’ve read enough, please stop here.
Not sure whether to laugh deliriously or cry here. The 'death of media,' and the ensuing plummet in ad sales, don't help or please folks like us either...even if some believe we're somehow partially responsible for it all...
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): "My hope is that our Democratic colleagues - if you start listening to the bloggers - if we're going to let the bloggers run the country, then the country's best days are behind us."
Out of touch much, Senator? We suspect if the bloggers actually did run the country, we'd be much better off (if only because you'd be out of office.)
But perhaps Graham is confusing responsible, educated "bloggers" with the right-wingnut "bloggers" he's likely more familiar with. For example, here's the very popular (on the Right) Dijon deranged wingnut "Gateway Pundit," Jim Hoft, with his insightful perspective on the important news of the day yesterday:
They're just two ordinary metrosexual guys going out for a burger ... Obama and Biden, two ordinary guys, go out for a sandwich and Obama asks for Dijon mustard at Joe's Hell Burger. ...I hear it's delish with arugula lettuce. Yum-Yum.
If that's who you meant by "bloggers," Senator --- and we're ashamed that Hoft represents our former hometown of St. Louis, MO --- we might agree with you.
Over the last few months, it looks like the wingnuts have undertaken a specific and systematic effort to try and downrate items that don't reflect well on them at places like REDDIT and DIGG.
Of course, lots of recommendations on those two sites result in thousands --- if not hundreds of thousands --- of more eyeballs to the various stories we run here at The BRAD BLOG --- stories which are often not seen anywhere else in the media, even in the Progressive Blogosphere for that matter!
So your REDDITs and DIGGs actually do matter quite a bit, particular now since the wingnuts seem to have begun their downrating campaign. Click here to see the amazing number of DOWN votes at REDDIT, for example, for last night's "Franken Isn't 'Leading'; He Won and Coleman Lost" story. Without all that downrating, the story would easily have made it to the front page of REDDIT for a long while, and therefore been propagated across dozens of other key sites on the net as well.
It takes about 30 seconds to sign up for REDDIT and/or DIGG the first time, and then you can remain logged on forever. It then takes less than 2 seconds to vote for and/or uprate our stories here at The BRAD BLOG without even leaving this page by hitting the REDDIT and DIGG vote icons for stories that you believe are important to get out there.
Your 2 seconds of a mouse clicking matters. Really. And, as ever, your help is much appreciated! (And thanks to those regular DIGGers and REDDITers who already help out!)
In what should send a frightening chill down the spine of every blogger, writer, journalist and First Amendment advocate in the United States, Phoenix police raided the home of a blogger who has been highly critical of the department.
Jeff Pataky, who runs Bad Phoenix Cops, said the officers confiscated three computers, routers, modems, hard drives, memory cards and everything necessary to continue blogging.
The 41-year-old software engineer said they also confiscated numerous personal files and documents relating to a pending lawsuit he has against the department alleging harassment - which he says makes it obvious the raid was an act of retaliation.
The search warrant lists “petty theft” and “computer tampering with the intent to harass” as probable causes. He has yet to see an actual affidavit that lists in detail the probable cause and is skeptical that one even exists.
“They say everything has been sealed,” he said.
Read the rest of the story for details. It's pretty amazing. Journalist/Blogger Pataky is our most recent new hero. And Journalist/Blogger Miller, who covers the story, is no slouch either given what he's had to go through in a similar vein to Pataky.
While these things are usually decided by numbers of readers for any particular website --- and as we noted when originally nominated as a Finalist for the 2008 Weblog Awards, that would likely be as far as we'd go, given the huge readership of many of our fellow (excellent) nominees --- we're happy to remind you that you can vote for us anyway.
And you can even do it once every 24 hours! So do it! And do it again! (Yes, in this election, stuffing the ballot box is perfectly legal!)
Who knows, but a good turnout may put a few important BRAD BLOG stories, such as those on election integrity issues found nowhere else, in front of that many more eyeballs.
With all of that said, we're delighted and grateful to Jill C., of the always-sharp Brilliant at Breakfast (Disclosure: Jill has guest blogged here a bit of late) for her endorsement of The BRAD BLOG in a category with a particularly impressive club of fellow nominees. Here's her kind endorsement...
The Best Liberal Blog category is crowded with many excellent choices, and a few "WTF?" choices (Wonkette, Taylor Marsh). It's hard to vote against blogs like Hullabaloo and Talking Points Memo, especially since they are both invaluable resources for me. There are other choices, like Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory and Dave Neiwert's Orcinus that are THE places to go for commentary on Constitutional law and civil rights issues, respectively. But since just about everything that these guys write about comes down to who's in office at any given time, I have to go with Brad Friedman's Bradblog on this one, because no one covers the pathetic state of our electoral apparatus better.
Thanks, Jill! And be sure to read her full item for other endorsements, and marvel at her ability to keep up with so many blogs! Yes, we're jealous of that!
We don't much care for the "Liberal Blog" label, but as neither "Best Independent Blog" nor "Best Non-Rightwingnut Blog" were available categories, and given the company we're honored to share, we'll take whatever we can get and note --- as it is said, and we mean it --- the honor of simply being nominated.
Online voting for the title begins right here at the Weblog Awards site on Jan 5th. Though given the sizes of the (mostly) group blogs we're nominated alongside, as mentioned, we're honored to have simply been nominated, without even campaigning, as Finalist.
Over at HuffPo, Nancy Scola files a nice piece asking whether or not "New Media's obsessiveness" can save democracy, given that "Elections in the U.S. involve countless moving parts and...so many different players [that] Improving the way we vote demands sustained, focused attention --- not exactly the strong suit of the American Press."
It's a job for bloggers, she suggests, since the corporate media have, at least so far, not proven up to the task. She may be right, even though the thought simply exhausts me more than I am already.
She goes on to mention a few of us (yes, she names me specifically) who have been fighting this battle for quite some time. "From the sidelines, their campaign often seemed quixotic," she writes, "But [as electronic voting machines are now being scrapped for junk, recycled and/or sold on eBay] we're watching history bend their way."
Nice. Though not as nice as the following turn of phrase, so well writ that I had to share it:
When it comes to injustice, there are the "overlooked Americans": soldiers and other overseas Americans voting still have to hop over hurdles to cast their vote. (While I'm on this point, it's inconceivable to me that someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan should have anything less than a ballot served to them on a silver platter that's then carried directly to the ballot box in the beak of a bald eagle.)
Game, set, match. Well done, Nancy.
With that, one friendly critique for her if I could be so bold: Paperless electronic voting is not the problem --- as she suggests in the piece --- as if adding "paper trails" to touch-screens makes a damned bit of difference (this article and its accompanying video from the Computer Security Group at UC Santa Barbara should make that crystal clear, no matter what some computer scientists like Princeton's Ed Felten and Verified Voting's David Dill keep saying out loud.) The problem is that democracy in this country demands nothing short of the transparency offered by a hand-marked paper ballot --- one that is actually counted, and counted accurately --- for every vote cast in America. Period.
And that point should be served from a silver platter, and carried directly to every election official and election official in the country, in the beak of a bald eagle.
Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'
A study written for U.S. Special Operations Command suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."
Since the start of the Iraq war, there's been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs --- and the servicemembers who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops' time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers
blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary
troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.
This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach --- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.
Seriously, people. Why won't somebody please buy me off?! I'm a "prominent blogger," or close enough to it. I'm starving over here. Where are you, CIA? Military? George Soros? It's tax time for crying out loud, and rent is due!
In lieu of the big bucks, hopefully you will consider buying me off. Therefore, with plenty of premiums to "sell" you in return, I am now cutting the price for 'em!
See this post for how you can receive your choice of any or all of the following, beginning at just $5...
DVD of Uncounted, signed by the filmmaker, David Earnhardt
CD of Duhmocracy, signed by the singer/songwriter Victoria Parks
Copy of Politics as Usual board game, signed by nobody (though I'll sign it if you really want me to!)
Take your pick from the premiums above, most available beginning at just $5/month sustaining subscription to The BRAD BLOG. We could use it. Seriously.
...At least until Wal-Mart, Diebold, or the U.S. Army come knocking.
And if you don't wish to become a sustaining monthly supporter but still want to support, you can, of course, just toss us a few bucks. We'll take that too. $50 or more tossed this way, will get you that signed copy of Uncounted, a gazillion dollar value!
"Alegre", a longtime Daily Kos diarist, has called for a writers' strike at the world's largest supposedly-Progressive blog site, due to what she says has become a "hostile environment" for pro-Clinton supporters.
She writes that the place has become "little more than an echo chamber with an attitude that harkens back to the early days of Dubbya’s administration - yer either with us or yer a’gin us, heh!"
We don't know whether that's the case or not, since we haven't much followed what goes on at dKos for years for our own personal, if not necessarily unrelated, reasons.
If you really want to get the attention of a blog owner, however, we'd suggest a readers' strike is far more likely to accomplish that goal, since the business model for such operations relies on reader traffic to help set ad prices.
Want to make sure the folks running dKos take notice of your concerns? Stop hitting those pages in big numbers --- yes, even checking for new comments counts as a new page view for advertisers --- and believe us, they'll notice. That is, if you believe getting at their bottom line is useful towards getting them to behave more responsibly --- and more progressively --- over there.
[Full Disclosure...since we believe in such things, even if the owner and front-pagers at dKos do not...
About the website of Domrzalski, who says he was not contacted by the indignant Haussamen for comment before the scathing story ran, he wrote "This is not a reputable journalistic site."
Yet, incredibly, Haussamen failed to disclose, in his article on this yesterday, that Rep. Heather Wilson's campaign spokesperson, Whitney Cheshire, wrote a weekly column at his blog site until October of last year, when she stopped to go to work for the Congresswoman.
In fact, it was Cheshire who forwarded Haussamen's article, defending her boss, via email to the News Director at Albuquerque radio station KKOB, after reports had surfaced that they had spiked the vote-buying stories, broken by one of their own news anchors initially, reportedly after pressure from Cheshire herself. That News Director, in turn, forwarded Haussamen's article, sent by Cheshire, to us late last night.
in a nutshell, we believe blogroll amnesty should be an occasion to bring our readers' attention to other blogs thru generous linkage; diverse and new blogs which our readers may not be aware of, but would find interesting.
we know that the bradblog is one of the few sites that concentrates on investigating and reporting hard news, specifically about election integrity. we're especially honored, therefore, to be guest blogging here today...
While we put a lot of miles on our car, at our own expense, we're not nearly clever enough to figure out how to get to places like Hawaii or Cape Cod, much less trick the government into picking up the tab like the DoJ's John "Minorities Die First" Tanner.
But we will be visiting lovely Denver for a day or two in December, as we've been invited to speak this weekend at Progress Now's Root Camp on our way back towards Los Angeles.
If you're in the 'hood, please stop by for some Election Integrity strategizing in the Mile High City and to say hello! In addition to discussing EI and blogging at the free conference, we'll also be moderating a Q&A to follow a screening of David Earnhardt's new documentary UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections. Would love to see ya there!