June 28, 2006

Job title: Blog Advisor!

Peter Daou signs off over at Salon, as he leaves to serve Hillary Clinton as "a blog advisor to facilitate and expand her relationship with the netroots." Take note, bloggers! That's a new job description, and you qualify! Blog Advisor, facilitating and expanding relationships with the netroots.

Is it too late to complain about the word "netroots"? It should be two words. I'm seeing troots too much. Or could we just shorten it to troots, which is cute? Cute troots.

Wait. Back to the subject. I keep meaning to quote some of Daou's statement, but it's boring me terribly for some reason. Does something happen to a blogger when he goes on the payroll of a politician? Don't you read bloggers because they're independent? Once they're bound to a specific candidate, what the hell are they?

They are Blog Advisor, facilitating and expanding relationships with the netroots. But we bloggers are prickly, feisty characters. You can't facilitate and expand with me.

Okay, focus:
The past few months have been a challenging period in the growth of the blogosphere, with the YearlyKos convention marking the “arrival” of the blogs as a political force (at least in the eyes of many mainstream reporters and political operatives). But YearlyKos has also touched off a series of harsh attacks against the netroots and specifically Daily Kos and its founder Markos Moulitsas. As blog influence continues to grow, we can expect more intense fire directed at the blogosphere by those who have a vested interest in undermining it.

One of the standard practices of blog detractors is to use the comments of the anonymous few to tarnish the genuine passion and sincerity of the many millions who log on to express their views and to connect with other denizens of the Internet. The “angry left” is a stereotype used to pigeonhole left-leaning bloggers, but the truth is that far from being a bastion of ideological rigidity, the blog world is a hard-hitting and free-wheeling discussion among Americans of all political stripes. These attacks won’t weaken the community; on the contrary, this nascent power base is only beginning to make its presence felt. It will reach fuller potential with the participation of Democratic leaders and responsible reporters.
That's turgid and in need of translation. I'm thinking it's a rephrasing of his pitch to the Clinton campaign about why they need him. Kos and his ilk are a threat, storming the gates, and they need someone who can deal with them, talk to them, tame them.

IN THE COMMENTS: They're playing with the "troots." Example: The troots? You can't handle the troots!

MORE: Amba makes a key point: "'Troots' would be a construction exactly analogous to 'blog' (ne-troots, we-blog)." I kept trying to think of other examples of forming a word like that, and the only thing I could think of was "shrooms."

74 comments:

Ron said...

"troots" sounds like a corrupted version of "truths," so it has that going for it!

Isn't much of our pop culture about facilitating and expanding? Ahem.

Internet Ronin said...

Once they're bound to a specific candidate, what the hell are they?

Well-paid PR flacks.

I'm not particularly interested in anything Peter Daou (or anyone else) says as a paid tout for a candidate. I'll give them credit, though, at least they were open and above-board about it, unlike some in the last election, who waited until the campaign reports were coming out to admit they were paid to post.

Adam said...

The only bloggers whose payments weren't disclosed until the FEC filings in 2004, so far as I know, were two "independent" bloggers on the payroll of the John Thune (R) Senate campaign in South Dakota.

Icepick said...

Actually, "troots" sounds more like "troops" than "truths".

"They're attacking (fill in cause or person of choice) again! We'd better rally the troots!"

Of course, it also rhymes with fruits. Fruity netroots troops = troots?

Goesh said...

Trooties

Icepick said...

Troot Loops?

Russell said...

Troots? Too much trootie!

Buddy Larsen said...

Trooting their own horns? Introoters?

Bruce Hayden said...

I would think that the perfect blog advisor for someone like Hillary would be someone like Ann - a Democrat who can, and routinely does, reach out to the middle and even, horror upon horror, to those of us on the right. It is those in the middle that will have to be woed to win the election, not those on the ranting fringes.

AJD said...

Bruce: There is a much more accurate word for the kind of Democrat that Ann is. And that is: Republican.

No actual Democrat is obsessed with taking jabs at Hillary, Ted Kennedy, and Kos, to mention just a few, the way that Ann is.

Pogo said...

It seems like a classic misunderstanding of the medium to even consider a 'blog advisor'. Like corporate rock, it's bound to be bland, inoffensive, and ignorable.

It's just so tin-eared, telling your staff, "I'd like to use those web thingies. Do that, that, that thing, that bloggy stuff." Just don't get too close. Hands off the candidate.

Buddy Larsen said...

After carefully calculated tutoring, the senator went online, netrootering.

Pogo said...

Ajd said, "No actual Democrat is obsessed with taking jabs at ..."

Of course, ajd. Lots of Republicans have only voted for Democrats in state elections. I think you're searching for the term moderate, or maybe independent. Otherwise, as Inigo Montoya would say, You keep using that word...

Russell said...

The troots? You can't handle the troots!

Internet Ronin said...

AJD: Who died and left you in charge of determining who is or is not a Democrat? Or are you getting paid to pretend be one?

AllenS said...

Don't limit your aspirations to Blog Adviser. Always strive to reach a level of Supreme Blog Poobah.

PatCA said...

I would like to be a fly on the wall at future interminable meetings where they parse the wording of comments they will be leaving at various websites as the campaign heats up...

He will now sink into a highly paid, comfortable obscurity.

Goesh said...

It's good to see the wags are out in full force again

RogerA said...

OT: SCOTUS ruled on Texas destricting. SCOTUSblog.com has it.

Thorley Winston said...

"troots" sounds like a corrupted version of "truths," so it has that going for it!

But it looks almost identical “trots” which considering the quality and content of the writing may be more appropriate.

Bob said...

"someone who can deal with them, talk to them, tame them." And neuter them, channel (and perhaps dissipate) the energy, encourage them to blog the good but not the bad, essentially, as at least one commentor has noted, to turn bloggers into PR flacks. Drain the life-force, suck away the soul - it is the way of things bureaucratic, and the Democratic and Republican parties are nothing if not bureaucratic.

I do like the "Supreme Blog Poobah" thing, but it runs the risk of sound too dot-com'ish, when people had job titles like "Java Plug-in Evangelist" or "Facilities Maintenance Wizard." And wasn't Howard Dean supposed to have had the blog/netroots thing down tight, and that would make him unstoppable?

Paul Zrimsek said...

In these days of Kosola, if we're going to coin "troots" we'll also need to coin "trootiness" to describe things that look like troots but aren't.

Jacques Cuze said...

That's too positive and so needs my corruption. I'll be smearing that it's a rephrasing of his pitch to the Clinton campaign about why they need him. I will claim that Daou said that Kos and his ilk are a threat, storming the gates, and they need someone who can deal with them, talk to them, tame them.

There, I have fixed that for you.

BTW, are you familiar with any of Daou's work? Have you read his prior blogposts? (Not his summaries of other people's blogs, but his own blogposts.)

Since you are allowing OT in this thread, have you seen An Inconvenient Truth yet or the Road to Guantanamo?

Ann Althouse said...

I haven't read Daou's blog, no. It's too much of a pain to go into Salon, and I haven't followed any links that ever took me there. If the part I quoted is typical of his style, however, I would not be interested in reading it. It's turgid and dull. I already have to read too much prose I dislike in the form of court cases. I'm not looking for more. I don't enjoy it and I don't trust it.

And I really find it hard to believe that you can read that passage and not perceive what Daou is supposed to do for Hillary. It's damned obvious.

RogerA said...

I just mentioned SCOTUS, Jacques--had no intention to discuss it unless our hostess chooses to make it a thread topic later

Jacques Cuze said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jacques Cuze said...

And I really find it hard to believe that you can read that passage and not perceive what Daou is supposed to do for Hillary. It's damned obvious.

You seem to think he is there to coopt the netroot bloggers for Hillary.

While I am certain he will be asked how to improve Hillary Clinton's image in the left, if you had actually read Daou's work you would understand his role is not to coopt the left wing bloggers, but how to improve the projection of Hillary Clinton's message in the right wing media. To do that, he will want to use progressive blogs, not to coopt them, but to improve their ability to defend against your smears, glenn reynolds', and powerline's and mainly to improve the message that will be then smeared in the right wing media.

I am not saying this well, but I actually have a job I need to get back to.

You should consider doing some research, I understand that is what higher education and tenure is all about.

You're so darn hip, you probably think that research is beneath you, or would awkwardly be an act of moral superiority. Hey what's that? Another reality show is just starting. Click. Click. Click.

Jacques Cuze said...

Hey no prob rog, I myself think that the best conversations are those that are allowed to bob and sway to the music. You can learn so much by listening to what other people feel is an important off topic element.

But it does make message control much harder.

Simon Kenton said...

Pardon in advance:

We support the troots. We just don't support their mission.

Blogs blogs the magical fruit,
The more you blog, the more you....

TMN said...

I hope that the recent leaked e-mail from Mr. Zuniga and this (and other) defections from the blogosphere to political campaigns help deflate some of the self-righteousness that runs rampant throughout the blogging community. Bloggers are not saving the world from mainstream media. Mostly, bloggers are people that wish that their diaries had been discovered as teenagers who happenned upon a powerful medium. The medium is so powerful that you are now being folded into the mainstream power structure because there is too much money, fame, and power at stake for you to do otherwise. Also, this is a waste of time for politicians. How many votes to netroots and moveon.org money buy Howard Dean in Iowa? Perhaps I would feel differently if people could vote via the internet. Heh, heh, I wrote troots.

Ann Althouse said...

Bruce Hayden said..."I would think that the perfect blog advisor for someone like Hillary would be someone like Ann - a Democrat who can, and routinely does, reach out to the middle and even, horror upon horror, to those of us on the right. It is those in the middle that will have to be woed to win the election, not those on the ranting fringes."

I think what Hillary is looking for is someone to keep Kos from hurting her too much. That's what the current alarm is about and what Daou seems suited to do. As for whether I would do well as someone's Blog Advisor -- clearly not. For one thing, I have a job. (One that Jacques is obviously hilariously jealous of. With good reason! It's ever so much better than his.) I could see taking a leave or even taking early retirement to do something else, but it would have to be awfully good. It's hard to imagine. But more importantly, I wouldn't subvert my blogging energy for someone else's interests. Once a blog isn't the expression of the blogger's own ideas, it's not a real blog anymore. I can't imagine wanting to receive assignments from anyone else. It would ruin the whole feeling of blogging for me.

AJD "There is a much more accurate word for the kind of Democrat that Ann is. And that is: Republican. No actual Democrat is obsessed with taking jabs at Hillary, Ted Kennedy, and Kos, to mention just a few, the way that Ann is."

AJD, you're just such a partisan that you don't notice when I take shots at Republicans. Scroll down to the most recent political post. The shot is at Frist. Scroll down to find another political post on the front page. Hardly anything. Some obsession!

I've been fairly positive toward Hillary, Gore, and Feingold lately. You'll have to look hard to find a recent mention of Senator Kennedy. As for Kos, you're not reading carefully if you think I've been anti-Kos lately.

Really, you are blinded by political madness.

Buddy Larsen said...

Hillary's help wanted ad: "You shall know the Troots, and the Troots shall set your fee."

Diecast Dude said...

"For one thing, I have a job. (One that Jacques is obviously hilariously jealous of. With good reason! It's ever so much better than his.)"

Oh, don't be ridiculous. How could being a law professor compare to being professionally angry at the wind for not asking you its permission to blow?

P. Froward said...

One of the standard practices of blog detractors is to use the comments of the anonymous few to tarnish the genuine passion and sincerity of the many millions...

"Genuine passion and sincerity"? I think that's the behavior the rest of us have been calling infantilism, hysterical paranoia, creepy homophobic outbursts, and a bizarre scatological fixation.

"Passion and sincerity", indeed. Intensity of emotion correlates negatively, if anything, with clear thinking.

P. Froward said...

No, make that a "troubling scatological fixation".

Heh heh heh.

Jacques Cuze said...

Scroll down to the most recent political post. The shot is at Frist.

The most recent political post is this one, which bashes Hillary Clinton. Your post shooting at Frist doesn't even include his name in the post or in any of your remarks in the comments. A pretty soggy shot.

I've been fairly positive toward Hillary, Gore, and Feingold lately. You'll have to look hard to find a recent mention of Senator Kennedy. As for Kos, you're not reading carefully if you think I've been anti-Kos lately.

How can you even pretend to say that when you provide your disdain for Hillary Clinton's smart hiring of a blog advisor to counter right wing spin, when you spin her efforts, and when you claim she would Kos in her eyes as "Kos and his ilk are a threat, storming the gates, and they need someone who can deal with them, talk to them, tame them."

You're favorable to Gore? O RLY? Just what did you think of An Inconvenient Truth which you promised to blog about almost two weeks ago now?

Am I jealous of your opportunity? Of course, who in their right mind would not love a tenured position paying upwards of $160,000 per year where you get to live in a beautiful city, and interact with students?

Of course, I am not jealous of your apparent hatred towards your profession and your disdain of its principal practitioners. You do help me appreciate the fact that I actually like my profession.

I think it is a colossal personal waste and waste of taxpayer money that you would blog about reality shows with everything that only someone has highly trained as you could be analyzing and speaking about. And with tenure yet.

You have a golden opportunity laid at your feet that few people get, and that I will never have. And you are actively pissing it away. And you somehow connect that to the 60s. Very odd indeed.

peter hoh said...

I agree that "netroots" is a terrible word.

If I were in charge of coining a replacement, I would choose "webroots." And yes, there are brutes among the webroots.

And what kind of Democrat takes swipes at Hillary, Ted, Kos, etc? A real one. Wasn't it Will Rogers who said that he wasn't a member of an organized political party. He followed that line by pointing out that he was a Democrat.

Jacques Cuze said...

You'll have to look hard to find a recent mention of Senator Kennedy

Like duh! It's been three weeks since I bashed Kennedy! Frankly ajd, I find you partisan, weird, and I find your name terribly difficult to pronounce!

(Note to Ann, just how hard do you think it is to use search.blogspot.com or a google search with site:althouse.blogspot.com?)

Buddy Larsen said...

Robespierre stalks the courtroom, holding high his DVD "An Inconvenient Troot", which he occasionally must stop and use to pry an inconvenient wedgie out of his cream-colored culottes.

P. Froward said...

Yo, JC, if she suggests that Kos is precisely what Kos most loves to puff up his little chest and brag about being, how does that qualify as being "anti-Kos", exactly? Unless you're willing to admit out loud that to describe Kos as he wishes to be described is equivalent to dismissing him as a joke.

N.B.: There are certain risks in the above assessment due to the fact that your relevant paragraph is virtual gibberish, including the fact that I may be misinterpreting what you're attempting to communicate. In fact, I may be mistaken in my assumption that you are attempting to communicate. Anything is possible.

"How can you even pretend to say that"? Actually, surprisingly enough, she wasn't pretending to say it. She just, you know, said it. Saying things is easy. For most of us, anyway.


For somebody who loves his job, by the way, you spend a remarkable amount of your working day squeaking at Ann.

Jacques Cuze said...

Fritos JC, if she suggests that Kos is precisely what Kos most loves to puff up his little chest and brag about being, how does that qualify as being "anti-Kos", exactly?

Althouse Kos and his ilk are a threat, storming the gates, and they need someone who can deal with them, talk to them, tame them.

I would wager my pseudonymity that Professor Althouse has not read "Storming the Gate" by Markos Moulitsas(*). And I doubt if she knows what it is about, has considered whose gates are being stormed, or understands who the netroots threatens.

(*) Mainly because there is no such book.

CB said...

"...the two troots..."
"the two what?"
"troots."
"Did you say 'troots'? What is a 'troot'"
"I'm sorry your honor, the netroots..."

Diecast Dude said...

He said he loves his job.  Nothing about doing any actual work while he's there, though.

Buddy Larsen said...

Well, there's all sorts of jobs. "Sideshow Bob" in "The Simpsons" for example, undoubtedly draws a check.

Buddy Larsen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diecast Dude said...

True, but his pathological, irrational hatred of Bart explained only by his seething jealousy over another's success, the kind he can never achieve...

... come to think of it...

Buddy Larsen said...

Point is, Sideshow Bob's idle mind is his own worst enemy (the 'devil's workshop', as Cotton Mather or someone poetically said).

P. Froward said...

Diecast Dude,

Valid point. He strikes me as the type who does less damage that way, assuming he has something resembling a real job. But I don't think he does.

If you drink raw corn liquor and bite the heads off chickens for a living, slacking off on the job is understandable. Nevertheless, a real trouper never lets his audience down. The show must go on, JC. The show must go on!


JC,

Maybe you can explain the vast difference between "storming" and "crashing" there. Sanely, I mean. Good luck with that.

I'm not quite sure what your point is about the book, though. Must I read A Navy of Goliaths before I can accurately describe what Glenn Reynolds says elsewhere? Nope. Are you trying to pretend that Kos doesn't see himself and his Kiddies as a triumphant mob forcing their way into the corridors of power, or that he's a fan of Hillary Clinton? It is to laugh.

--

I'd like to share with the group, by the way, the immense effort of will required not to say, both scurrilously and irrelevantly, that Kos wants to "storm Hillary Clinton's gates". If only I had succeeded...!

Diecast Dude said...

The phrase I heard once used on a co-worker was "no, you want him to sleep at his desk.  His work output remains the same, but his error ratio goes way down."  I'm sure it came from a different source, but I'd never heard it before.

Buddy Larsen said...

It's like Congressmen--they'd be more worth their cost if they'd just go to Tahiti or someplace and stay there--

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

"We support the troots. We just don't support their mission."

Just like in 2004 when I supported John Kerry, but did not support his candidacy for President.

Jacques Cuze said...

Ya know, I don't know what's in Markos' book -- I haven't read it.

Have you read it? Has the divine Ms. Althouse, tenured so we can protect her research, read the book? She teaches her interpretation of Daou on her understanding of the book and of Kos. What is her understanding of that book?

Has she read it?

What do you call an academic that bloviates without reading or researching? The proper term is unemployable. Thank heavens for tenure and taxpayers.

Having read Kos, Daou, Digby, Yglesias, FDL, Atrios, the LA Times, and the NYTimes I think I know what it is about. But I won't pretend to tell you what is actually in it, or interpret someone's statements based on my "knowing" what is in it.

My understanding is that it's about winning elections and reforming the Democratic Party. If Hillary Clinton can do that, Kos will be all for her. If she wins the primary, Kos will be behind her 100 percent. What is Daou's role? Not to threaten her with Kos or coopt Kos with her, but to help Hillary understand how to use the netroots to fight back to a weak and lazy press.

The folks that should feel threatened by the book? The consultants that help the Democrats lose and get rehired. The party mechanisms that lead to those consultants. Bob Shrum. Joe Klein.

Diecast Dude said...

So if I read this correctly, you're ripping on someone for not having read a book you yourself haven't read, but rather form your understanding of based on what others have said about the book.  Correct?

If this is the case, can you say with certainty the understanding of another, based on reading what others have said about the book, is invalid?  For if their understanding is invalid, what does that make yours?

Diecast Dude said...

Also, why haven't you read the book?  Given your strident defense of Mr. Zuniga, one would think you'd be eager to see exactly what he had to say.

Jacques Cuze said...

The divine professor says it is obvious what Daou means, but admits she doesn't read Daou. She tells us all about Kos' book, but it doesn't seem as though she has read that either.

I have read Daou. I have read Kos extensively. I have not read Kos' book. I have read Atrios, and Digby, and FDL, the NYTimes, and the LA Times on Kos' book and their reviews comport with my reading of Kos and not with Ann Althouse's.

I don't know if Professor Althouse's views are accurate or not. I am asking her if she has read the book.

I am not telling you what to believe or not to believe. I am telling you that based on my lack of knowledge and only on my prejudices, I would not be telling readers that what other people say is not what they mean, and that it is obvious that there are hidden meanings or quid pro quos. I think that to do so would be intellectually dishonest, not a fair fight, and the mark of a wanker.

Jacques Cuze said...

why haven't you read the book?

I would like to. Please send money. Please send time.

I have read a significant number of his posts at DK. I have read what those who know him say about him and what he is about. I have heard him speak. I have met him. I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country. And I appreciated so very much the frank dialogue.

Internet Ronin said...

I have read Daou.

And I have read The Dao.

Diecast Dude said...

The book is $14.17 at Buy.com.  You can't afford that?  I'm not being snide; I'm genuinely asking if the book's purchase price is excessive for your budget.

Ann Althouse said...

"difference between "storming" and "crashing" "

The difference, which caused me to use the word I deliberately chose, is that if you're storming the gates, you are approaching them and haven't broken through yet. If I wrote that they were crashing the gate, the image would be of them entering. I didn't want to say that.

Buddy Larsen said...

Thanks, JC, for the anecdote about your kindred-spirit moment with the author in question. Knowing that the two of you are so agreeable affirms several felt impressions.

Simon Kenton said...

Buddy, I think the Quckup was quoting Bush on Putin.

Buddy Larsen said...

It was perilously close to a cut 'n paste, wasn't it?

John Salmon said...

Hillary: If you're a natural blonde, why do you dye your netroots black?

amba said...

"Troots" would be a construction exactly analogous to "blog" (ne-troots, we-blog). Next it'll be "trootsiness." I haven't read all these comments to know if somebody already said that. Jinx on a Coke!

VW: alqut

(Jihadi hackers?)

Theo Boehm said...

"Instatrootionalized." Where blog trolls eventually end up.

Ann, you do this for fun?

w3bgrrl said...

Is there a time-table for a troots pullout?

w3bgrrl said...

No matter who she hires, there will be no troots with Hillary Clinton! Or at least, not until the Ascendent in Aries is at 4 degrees and Saturn is in opposition to the Moon and Chiron, a condition most favorable for a sudden betrayal of our stated principles.

Buddy Larsen said...

Not only that, but as the organization takes on that pyramid shape, can a troot-anchorman be far behind?

(i know--ugh--sorry)

reader_iam said...

Re: Crashing the Gates

Ann's take is a perfectly valid one.

Quxxo's take captures a different aspect, also valid, but certainly not more so.

There's more to it than captured in either take. That said, it's not exactly chock-full of surprising or unpredictable insights such that people can't, for the most part--though there are exceptions--pretty much figure out the major theses without reading it. It does bring together a collection of insights representing a particular viewpoint on the state of the Democratic party and progressive politics and what needs to happen going forward.

Quxxo, of course I'm just Puppy Chow, but I've got this going for me: I've almost finished actually reading the book.

As for sending money and time: you put your $ where your priorities are, and, well, I'll bet you could find plenty of time to read this book just by taking a break from commenting here. It's an easy read and a quick one; at any other period of time, I could pretty much have sat down and read it in an evening, two tops, depending on bedtime.

I have heard him speak. I have met him. I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.

LOL. (Seriously.) Clever reference to the Bush/Putin thing.

reader_iam said...

I think Hillary would prefer it if she could sing, "Troot-troot-trootsie, good-bye!"

But wishin' ain't gettin'.

I think that's exactly why she's hired Daou. Ann's got it right, IMO.

vh: ytvepnki

An ancient Russian technique to emit one's soulpower into another.

Bill Woods said...

Another word abbreviated from the front: [pa]rents.

Paco Wové said...

[quaa]ludes.

[ste]roids.

[re]tards.

Ann Althouse said...

Bill, Paco: Those are examples of using the last syllable as the shortened form, but I'm looking for examples that do that AND take the last letter from the previous syllable. Thus, blog (not log) and shroom (not room) are examples of the phenomenon.

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