June 22, 2006

Kos talks about Townhouse and Kosola.

Kos verifies that there is an email list called "Townhouse" and that he really did send the email that TNR printed and we were all talking about yesterday. Kos:
There was one big rule for this list, an important cog in the growing Vast Left Wing Conspiracy -- everything discussed was off the record.

That was obviously violated today as the New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement...
Well, TNR didn't break the "one big rule." Someone with the privileged access of list membership did. "Betrayed" is an interesting verb to have TNR as its subject. TNR isn't a traitor. Someone on the list is, and I assume Kos is concerned about that betrayal.
There is nothing controversial about the email, but Jason Zengerle [of TNR] tried to spin it as evidence that there is a "smoke-filled room" and that I send "dictats" to other bloggers, controlling what they can and cannot write about. In a subsequent post, Zengerle went further, saying that I control the financial fates of much of the progressive blogosphere. My power apparently knows no bounds!
Kos usually brags about the power of his blog. Here, he tries -- strains -- to laugh of the suggestion that he could influence bloggers in his sphere. A "diktat" -- let's start spelling it right -- is an "authoritative or dogmatic statement or decree." Kos tries to load on the meaning that it must be able to control what people do and zings Zengerle for asserting what he did not assert. Clearly, Kos aims for power and likes to use it and threaten to use it. Of course, bloggers can do what they want, but there are consequences that they understand.
Ludicrous, all of it, but that's the new rules of the game. TNR and its enablers are feeling the heat of their own irrelevance and this is how they fight it -- by undermining the progressive movement. Zengerle has made common cause with the wingnutosphere, using the laughable "kosola" frame they created and emailing his "scoops" to them for links. This is what the once-proud New Republic has evolved into -- just another cog of the Vast RIGHT Wing Conspiracy.
So you must believe there's a wingnutosphere out to destroy the progressive movement, with the evil New Republic at its core. Somehow, that's not laughable. But I am amused at the accusation that it has "rules." Not "one big rule"?
If you still hold a subscription to that magazine, it really is time to call it quits. If you see it in a magazine rack, you might as well move it behind the National Review or even NewsMax, since that's who they want to be associated with these days.
Now, that's funny! Here, he openly works in financial pressure. Cancel your subscriptions to the noble old magazine. Is that a diktat?
But I do admit being surprised by the sheer creativity of their invented attacks, such as my supposed "pay for play" scheme. Let me be crystal clear. I deny that charge completely.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am not a crook.
I have stated the sources of my income and they do not include money from people asking me to shill for anyone or anything. Problem for these writers, is that the law doesn't protect such defamation. The truth is an absolute defense to libel cases. If they have evidence for those smears, then they have nothing to fear. But if they, say, recklessly invented all manners of illegal or unethical activities by me without bothering to see if they bore any basis in truth, then they'll have plenty to worry about.
Here, Kos tries to scare people off with threats of lawsuits. I agree that people shouldn't write "recklessly invented" things about other people and try to smear them. But is Kos following his own standard? And did Zengerle recklessly invent something about him? Zengerle published an email that Kos confirms he wrote, that gives a fascinating view into the operation of a set of bloggers that Kos strenuously portrays as extremely important in politics today. Why, exactly, is that illegitimate? I can certainly understand Kos's opposition to TNR in the political sphere. TNR tries to call Democrats away from the left-wing politics that Kos promotes.
It is now beyond clear that the dying New Republic is mortally wounded and cornered, desperate for relevance. It has lost half its circulation since the blogs arrived on the scene and they no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry. We have hit their bottom line, we are hitting their patron saint hard (Joe Lieberman) and this is how they respond. By going after the entire movement.
So, let's see what's really here: an important fight for the Democratic party. I'm on TNR's side in the fight. I'd like to see everyone fight fair. And we should talk about what it means to fight fair. Can we publish leaked emails from a private list with a "big rule" about secrecy? Wouldn't Kos publish an email from a private list of right-wing bloggers? Wouldn't he report and speculate about rumors that are equivalent to the ones about him that people are discussing?

69 comments:

Balfegor said...

Problem for these writers, is that the law doesn't protect such defamation. The truth is an absolute defense to libel cases.

I'm pretty sure the law does, actually. As a public and political figure, he's up against the higher malice standard, no? Somewhat harder to shut down public commentary under that standard.

Ann Althouse said...

Balfegor: "Defense" is a key word. He'd be the plaintiff, not the defendant. As a "public figure" he needs to meet the "actual malice" standard even if the defendant lacks the truth defense. That's why he's talking about "reckless invention."

MadisonMan said...

Wouldn't Kos publish an email from a private list of right-wing bloggers? Wouldn't he report and speculate about rumors that are equivalent to the ones about him that people are discussing?

The answer to your two last questions is undoubtedly "Hell yes"

yetanotherjohn said...

What is most amusing to me is what was intended to "starve a story of oxygen" is now the chief source of oxygen for the story.

I'm not a big fan of music, but isn't there a line in a song somewhere about "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"?

kimsch said...

Wouldn't Kos publish an email from a private list of right-wing bloggers? Wouldn't he report and speculate about rumors that are equivalent to the ones about him that people are discussing?

Wouldn't Kos publish a classified document (1) if it was leaked to him and (2) if it hurt any of his "enemies" but especially the Bush Administration? Like certain other "journalists"?

downtownlad said...

He's just one blogger. Who cares.

Balfegor said...

That's why he's talking about "reckless invention."

But that would be somewhat hard for him to establish, I think. There are two things he can go after here -- he can go after TNR for republishing his Townhouse email, and he can go after people for speculating about his giving good coverage and funnelling cash to candidates in exchange for their hiring Armstrong.

On the first, since he admitted he did put out the email, I can't see where there's a defamation case.

On the second, he says:

I have stated the sources of my income and they do not include money from people asking me to shill for anyone or anything. Problem for these writers, is that the law doesn't protect such defamation. The truth is an absolute defense to libel cases. If they have evidence for those smears, then they have nothing to fear.

If he's targeting Suellentrop, who I think was the first person to talk about this, and Suellentrop just made it up whole-cloth (i.e. Armstrong wasn't hired by campaigns Kos supported etc.), then maybe he has a case. I don't think Suellentrop was working off of anything but the public record, though, since others (Geraghty) seem to have been able to check who Armstrong worked for and what dates.

In order to prove that "reckless disregard", he needs to prove things like "serious doubts as to the truth of the publication." St. Amant v. Thompson. When people appear simply to be drawing not-unreasonable inferences from the public record and almost certainly have no specialised knowledge of the facts, how can he show this? The inferences (really, the one inference -- that there is some financial connection whereby funds can pass back to Kos via Armstrong) don't look like something that would awaken serious doubts to me -- they're business partners, after all, aren't they?

Indeed, apart from whoever was the first to break this story, the St. Amant arguments seem pretty close to the situation at hand, since at core, these bloggers are just repeating the original suspicions with a little elaboration here and there, based on their own knowledge of what is going on.

Jeff said...

"Wouldn't Kos publish an email from a private list of right-wing bloggers?"

What does what he says others should do have to do with what he does?

Elizabeth said...

Does this raise issues of how blogs differ from traditional journalism? Of course Kos would publish a leaked email, after, I'd hope, establishing its provenance. But where I see blogs fail to meet the same standards as mainstream journalism, and this is across the board, left and right, is that when blogs post stories, they don't necessarily, or even very often, include attempts to contact those people referenced in the story for comment. In this story, TNR seems to be "reporting" like a blog, and that's problematic.

Balfegor said...

In this story, TNR seems to be "reporting" like a blog, and that's problematic.

Wasn't this story from their blog, "The Plank?" They're reporting like a blog because it is a blog.

PatCA said...

It's apparently okay to leak if it is to 'speak truth to power' (against Bush) but certainly not if it is against the Knights Templar of Progressivism.

Let the purges begin!

David said...

It appears that either someone put a mole in the KOS group or KOS was getting to big for his blog and one of his soldiers rolled over to the other side.

This is symptomatic of the problems within the Democratic Party. Interesting that it happened so close to the recent KOS conference.

I feel the power coming down on the cause, I mean KOS!

Pogo said...

More skirmishes on the battle for the soul of the Left.
Are you a Kennedy/Truman/Lieberman Democrat?
Or are you a Kerry/Gore/Dean Democrat?


The Kos approach here reminds me of similar skirmishes for control of the radical left under Tom Hayden and the SDS. In that regard, one couldn't choose a more appropriate word than "diktat".

It will be instructive to watch for the purges.

California Conservative said...

So is the TNR really joined the "vast rightwing conspiracy" as some are claiming?

We might finally have to bookmark it.

David said...

POGO;

This group has no soul to battle for. They will eat their own in a Darwinian battle for survival. KOS replaced his soul with a keyboard.

It will be interesting to see where KOS and his ilk stand on the Democratic food chain!

Kerry/Feingold failed to pass just now. The 2006 games have begun!

miked0268 said...

This affair highlights an interesting phenomenon one sees occasionally on the left. They assume, usually with no evidence at all, that the "right wing" uses some sort of shady or vaguely unethical technique, and then decide that they are entitled to do the same thing since they are only "fighting fire with fire".

Plenty of folks on the left have ludicrously asserted that all the conservative bloggers are somehow coordinated or kept "on message" by some kind of secret collusion, usually with someone like Glenn Reynolds or even (ominous operatic flourish) Karl Rove himself as the putative ringleader. Nothing of the sort takes place of course, but just asserting it apparently entitles them to do the same thing.

I just love to hear them moan about how the conservative side has an unfair advantage since they don't tolerate any dissent, in contrast to the enlightened folks on the liberal side who believe in intellectual freedom. See, those benighted conservative knuckle-draggers have an unfair advantage keeping a united front, since they are such fascists anyway...

It's always been obvious that quite the opposite is true - nothing infuriates liberals more than "heresies" from their own side - and now it turns out that the big lefty blogs actually ARE being coordinated by a genuine secret e-mail list. How rich.

Mr. Snitch said...

Release of information unapproved by Marcos (even if true) = betrayal of 'the new people-powered movement'.

So much for openness. Yeah, there's a guy I want to have MORE power.

Adam said...

There are a few separate issues here:

1. Why didn't other left-wing bloggers write about the Armstrong allegations? Because without comment from Jerome (who's apparently restricted by law right now), there's nothing to say.

2. Zengerle's allegations of financial power by Markos over others are ludicrous.

3. There have been an awful lot of efforts to discredit Markos in the wake of YearlyKos. Funny, that.

Jeff Medcalf said...

"So much for openness."

Well, yeah. Transparency is for the Right, which means anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky. For the anointed, the progressives, there is too much to worry about with getting and keeping the right people in power, and getting the right policies passed. Sometimes transparency makes it harder for the anointed to do the right thing, and that means that transparency cannot apply to them. QED

reader_iam said...

1) The Plank is a blog, as someone here noted. Do/should the standards be different for blogs affiliated with publications that are otherwise clearly bound by libel law than standalones?

2) I'm not a lawyer, nor an expert, but I do have practical familiarity with the concept of libel and what you should and should not do to avoid litigation. I feel pretty comfortable saying that it's going to be tough, tough going to pursue a libel suit against The Plank, even if blogs are treated the same as traditional journalistic publications, especially because of the public figure/malice standard issues, but not confined to those.

(As an aside, in reading various blogs that addressed this latest blogflap, I did indeed run across at least one which made me wince like hell, because of what was written and how, In fact, I wrote in an offline e-mail to someone to whom I was forwarding one link-rich link:

"...but you could follow the bottom link, just because it links to so many other sources and does some overt dot-connecting [which is interesting for us to read, but, by the way, I sure as heck wouldn't have written what this blogger has, given that I try to keep in mind
what could get you sued in a newspaper]."

3) It's not clear yet, is it, how and to what degree existing law applies to, much less protects, bloggers, especially as blogs and blogging are evolving, particularly in light of aspirations to citizen-journalism. There has been at least one case recently which came down on the side of bloggers as functioning journalists, in a case involving Apple losing its appeal to subpoena e-mails from bloggers who posted internal Apple documents about future Apple products. But the whole area seems murky and undefined so far, to me; we have a long way to go before there's an established framework, which, frankly, I'm not sure that bloggers really, really want.

Wouldn't it be deeply ironic if Kos chooses to sue (and I'm not registering an opinion as to what he should do, either way) bloggers on such issues and ends up circumscribing the very free-wheeling nature of blogging which he helped pioneer and on which he's built his movement and status? If because of that, at least political bloggers are forced to accept standards and take on some of the long-standing values of the MSM?

Fascinating, from a strictly academic standpoint.

4) I believe some of your fellow lawbloggers addressed some of the obvious issues in a number of the papers presented at the Bloggership conference in which you participated, Ann. Perhaps some of your readers might want to dust off some of the links you provided a while back and read through the papers.

Sorry for the quickness and disorganized (incoherent?) nature of this comment. Swamped here, but thought the points might be of interest in your discussion.

Internet Ronin said...

My first thought after reading about threatened lawsuits was "highly unlikely" because I understand that would give the defense license to go an a fishing expedition through all sorts of otherwise private and personal documents and account. For example, I assume most of the e-mail exchanges between the participants in the Townhouse group would become fair game. The identities of all would become generally known and it is doubtful that the privacy of the communications could be guaranteed. Many things said in private, in the heat of a moment, are better left unreviewed much less published.

Kos suggests his readers ought to cancel their TNR subscriptions and then writes this weird statement:

If you see it in a magazine rack, you might as well move it behind the National Review or even NewsMax, since that's who they want to be associated with these days.

Was that, too, a suggestion? If I go to Borders and Barnes & Noble tomorrow will some loyal follower actually have hidden the magazine? I don't know, but I almost feel compelled to re-subscribe to The New Republic and purchase a couple of gift subscriptions as a result.

Randy Rogers

Pat said...

Zell Miller had it right. Kos would rather be part of a majority in a minority party than part of a minority in a majority party.

I do tend to think the supposed issue they're arguing about--payola--is nothing compared to the issue they're really arguing about which is the future of the Democrats.

The amusing thing to me (as a conservative) is that this argument has been going on since before I was born and has actually been settled a few times (in favor of the centrists)--in 1948, in 1976 and in 1992. But each generation of liberals must learn the lesson anew.

nowgirl said...

I'm not so sure that sweeping generalizations about the behavior of the left or the right get to what's really going on here.

What I see is a leader of the new media coming under attack, forgetting the primary rule of the new media (transparency uber alles) and resorting to old-media command and control tactics... only to be tripped up by the new media's love of transparency!

It's unfortunate that Kos wasn't able to defend himself in a fundamentally bloggerly way; by offering for public consumption the clearest and most convincing analysis of the facts. But this isn't about left/right, it's about old/new.

Are there any really good examples out there of how the new media (on the left or the right) handles itself with transparency and authority when attacked? Or is it just impossible to break through the he said/she said, thus prompting a retreat to c and c and threats of libel lawsuits?

Elizabeth said...

My interest isn't in the legal question of libel, but in the questions about what is blogging and what is journalism. The Plank is a blog, but its parent is a magazine, and in my mind, that creates an expectation of journalistic practice. Bloggers don't do much actual reporting, no matter how they may enjoy the name "citizen journalist." There's very few bloggers who actually go to the scenes of events, interview people, then research and report the who, what, when, where and why. Bloggers take from all sorts of informations and reports and toss it all out for discussion.

When mainstream media decides to "blog," it's something of a hybrid. I'd hold any magazine, television or radio news outlet that decides to cash in on this blog thing to the regular standards of journalism, i.e., contact the people referenced in a report for comment, and find two sources to confirm any reports. I don't think TNR has done that here.

Internet Ronin said...
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Internet Ronin said...
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P. Froward said...

Jeff,

"What does what he says others should do have to do with what he does?"

That is a very, very cool sentence.


Adam,

"There have been an awful lot of efforts to discredit Markos in the wake of YearlyKos. Funny, that."

Oh, dear, oh dear... Conventions of roofing contractors in Vegas draw multiples of Kos's attendance. Anime conventions draw ten times the crowd he did. That's the scale Kos is operating on.

Okay, so the Kos Kids generated some hype and so people talked about them. BFD. The same effect applies with Britney Spears.

Tell me, Adam, does your unerring instinct also tell you that Britney Spears is a looming existential threat to the Bushitlerian Empire?

Obviously people made fun of them; they're funny, in a spastic-with-behavioral-issues sort of a way. Even normal people in politics get made fun of, in case you hadn't noticed.

Of course, if they'd been ignored, you'd be claiming that the Right Wing Noise Machine had put a lid on the story because it was scared of giving them exposure.

So, any reaction is proof of a conspiracy, and no reaction is proof of a conspiracy. Ask yourself what kind of a mind thinks that way.


Oh, but wait, wait... If trying to discredit somebody means he's winning the debate, then all those lefties who disagree with Donald Rumsfeld must be... realizing... that Rumsfeld is winning the debate! But Rumsfeld is trying just as hard to discredit them, so, therefore... Therefore you're grasping at straws, Adam.

Internet Ronin said...
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Icepick said...

Randy Rogers wrote: I almost feel compelled to re-subscribe to The New Republic and purchase a couple of gift subscriptions as a result.

Send one to Kos, and the other to Jerome. I'm sure they'll appreciate it!

Internet Ronin said...

Icepick:

What a great idea! I actually tried, too. I thought the digital edition would be appropriate, but TNR requires a street address as well. (As it was, I wasn't too sure where to have Armstrong's copy sent as it sounds like he isn't still at MyDD.) Maybe I should drop Zengerle a note and see if he can make the arrangements - he probably has the information. I'd be happy to put his name on the gift certificate ;-)

Randy

reader_iam said...

Elizabeth, I see what you're interested in (and that's one of the areas I'm obviously interested in as well) and that you're not interested in the legal question of libel, as such. At the same, that issue is implicitly a part of a discussion of journalistic standards.

The Plank is a blog, but its parent is a magazine, and in my mind, that creates an expectation of journalistic practice. Bloggers don't do much actual reporting, no matter how they may enjoy the name "citizen journalist." There's very few bloggers who actually go to the scenes of events, interview people, then research and report the who, what, when, where and why. Bloggers take from all sorts of informations and reports and toss it all out for discussion.

I don't actually disagree with you on your first sentence, insofar as I generally anticipate that media-related blogs will likely follow journalistic standards because, well, most of the bloggers come from that background. (There's a distinction I'm making there, by the way, in using the word anticipate rather than expect.) Whether that is the standard, or should be, is a different question (and yes, you made your position clear).

Here's something to think about, however (and this is more generally directed, Elizabeth, though I'm using the remainder of your excerpted comment to make the point):

Much of what appears in print media also could be described PRECISELY in the way you describe blogging, and many of the articles etc. that appear in newspapers (including letters to the editor) do NOT rely on the methods you outline. This is true even of many "news" articles, briefs and newsfeats, and certainly true of many feature articles etc. etc. etc. Yet every bit of editorial material in a newspaper can be vulnerable to libel. It's about the public dissemination of information in "print" form (which is the difference between libel and slander), not whether we're talking about hard news articles.

For example, did you know that newspapers can be sued over letters to the editor? And I can think of a whole number of hypotheticals involving items you see in newspapers all of the time which are not associated with the technique you outline, but which could cause trouble if an irresponsible statement or claim was made in the process.

This concept is partly why, among other reasons, I see more of blurring between blog/newmedia and print/traditionalmedia than I acknowledge many (most?) do. I know that people view the accountabilities as different in many ways, but I guess I see a) fewer differences to begin with and b) a strong likelihood that eventually the blogosphere will be held to the more traditional accountabilities--and I mean legally. Sure, I could be wrong, and there are heavy-hitter bloggers who, at least as I interpret them, would disagree.

Still, it's be interesting to see how things shake out in the next few years.

Part of it will depend on when/if anyone in the blogosphere gets sued, on what basis, and how that turns out. (Thus my allusion to the dangers of a blogger actually suing.)

And would anyone disagree that the courts these days are less sympathetic to received protections for even traditional mainstream media? This wouldn't be the climate in which I'd like to be a test case.

Again, sorry for the rambling.

Jacques Cuze said...

Ann, that guy you like to guest blog for?

In discussing this non-event, Glenn Reynolds couldn't help but toss out the innuendo that Kos, who is married, and a father, is gay. He tosses out this smear just like you do, with a thin veneer of plausible deniability.

Ann, now there's a fair fight for you.

Your other blogfriends, LGF says, I can’t help noticing how much Moulitsas’ conspiracy-oriented mindset echoes the anti-rational paranoia of radical Islam. When the New Republic actually criticizes him, and reveals some of the secret Kos Nutroots Knowledge, the only explanation possible is that they’re apostates under the spell of a massive organized conspiracy. And having been cast out of the fold by Mullah Moulitsas, they’re now legitimate targets for revenge.

So there you have it Ms. Fair Fightin' Constitutioal Law Professor. Kos is the leader of a political hit squad that accepts payola (Ann), who is gay (Glenn), and his actions are those of the terrorists determined to destroy America (Chucky).

Congrats, you all got the memo.

Craig Ranapia said...

It seems to me that Kos needs to do a James Carville and hang a sign over his computer: IT'S THE HYPOCRISY STUPID!

As many bloggers (on all sides of the political spectrum have discovered the hard way), credibility takes a long time to build up, and it can be demolished in a second. It seems to me that the whole Kosola issue could have been avoided with a few simple disclosure statements - you know, the kind of thing the despised corprorate whore MSM use on op-ed pages all the time.

yetanotherjohn said...

Jacques,

I think you should really work on your reading skills. Glenn noted that some people were suggesting the connection between Armstrong and Kos was a homosexual one. Glenn was noting that this was not likely given Kos's miscarriage. So rather than trying to smear Kos, he is actually trying to defend him.
Here is the actual quote from Glenn

"And as an aside, I see some blog-commenters are speculating that Kos is gay. Why that should matter, I don't know, but I remember -- back when the blogosphere was younger and people were nicer -- commiserating with Kos over his wife's miscarriage (my wife and I had several) and assuring him that it didn't preclude successful pregnancies later on, which I believe his wife has since had. So try to keep things at something better than a seventh-grade level."

I suspect that his seventh grade level was meant at making snickering observations on people's sexuality. But perhaps it could also apply about critical reading capabilities.

p.s. Ann is, in my opinion, in the center of the political spectrum. I suspect that why she happens to be on the right side is less that she moved and more that the lefts movement further left has put centerist in the center right position. Think about that when you come up a few votes short at the next election.

mcg said...

In discussing this non-event, Glenn Reynolds couldn't help but toss out the innuendo that Kos, who is married, and a father, is gay.

Jacques, you have got to be kidding. He did no such thing; rather, he responded to the innuendo by providing evidence the contrary.

Now, on the other hand, I have no idea whether or not you are married or have children, so there you are.

mcg said...
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mcg said...

Nevermind, I retract my innuendo. You're probably not gay, because as your blog makes clear you have an absolutely unhealthy fixation with Ann!

Then again, if we adapt the leftist formula "virulent homophobe = closeted homosexual" to your case, I'd have to conclude that you secretly wish to be a centrist female law professor, or at least some subset thereof.

Ann Althouse said...

Jacques: The notion that I'm friends with LGF is just absurd. You need to study the archives of this blog.

The stuff you said about Glenn is just stupid. And I think you're insufficiently politically correct because you said that calling someone gay is a smear.

Jacques Cuze said...

And as an aside, I see some blog-commenters are speculating that Kos is gay. Why that should matter, I don't know

He doesn't link to the commenters are, just mentions their smear, then says that the smear shouldn't matter.

When you walk away, what do you remember? Someone says Kos is gay, and where there is smoke there is fire.

Read Digby and Tristram Shandy.

In the 1992 election when I was making volunteer calls for Clinton, Mary Matalin made a major gaffe she had to apologize for quite publicly. (Doesn't matter what it was.) I was riding down in the elevator with a high level political consultant (who didn't know me from Adam, of course) and I smugly mentioned that Matalin had really stepped in it. He looked at me like I was a moron and said, "she got it out there, didn't she?"


As for

And I think you're insufficiently politically correct because you said that calling someone gay is a smear.

I'm not politically correct at all. But you don't think that calling someone gay is still a smear to many of Insty's readers? I am not saying that it is right. In fact you know I am saying that that is wrong. But you don't think that Republicans think calling someone gay is a smear?

Odd, then your support for Mary Cheney against Kerry and Edwards.

Jacques Cuze said...

Oh regarding your being friends with LGF, I am referring to how all of you are faithfully following the diktat of your TNR masters to smear Kos. You start by printing the accusations without printing the facts, Reynolds adds in that he is gay and then over to LGF to equate Kos with being an Islamic terrorist.

Not a bad day's work for your cabal in following the clear diktat of Marty Peretz.

Ann Althouse said...

When Kerry mentioned that Mary Cheney is a lesbian, he lowered his voice in this utterly creepy way that showed he believed and meant it to be a slur.

And I'm not supporting the idiotic speculation that's apparently out there, by people who are trying to smear Kos. I'm just saying that Glenn's swipe at those idiots isn't bad.

As for what's on LGF, I have no idea. I haven't glanced at it in months and I've never done much more than glance at it.... especially after that time when they talked about me and called me names.

Jacques Cuze said...
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Jacques Cuze said...

As for what's on LGF, I have no idea. I haven't glanced at it in months and I've never done much more than glance at it.... especially after that time when they talked about me and called me names.

You may claim that you are not following your Martin Peretz' commands, but your behavior shows otherwise.

Why not just admit it?

mcg said...

Jacques, by your own words, you are guilty of spreading the Kos gay smear by mentioning it on this very blog. After all, it does not seem to matter to you the context in which the smear is discussed; it only serves to spread it further. And as you were the first to bring it up here, you are the guilty party in this case.

I await your ful, prompt, and public apology to Mr. Markos M.

Palladian said...

"You may claim that you are not following your Martin Peretz' commands, but your behavior shows otherwise."

Yeah, those damned wiley Jews have their mind control machines turned up full blast today. Hell, they may have even infiltrated our government!

Quick poll: has anyone actually ever read more than a couple sentences of any of the 10,000 word quotes that Jacquxxo pastes in here? Why not just link to Mother Jones or whatever it is, and let people read it if they want? Oh, wait, I accidentally assumed good faith on your part. You don't actually care if anyone here reads the garbage you post. What you're doing is deliberately colonizing space on Ann's blog, making sure that all the trash you post ends up getting ranked higher by Google because it's now posted on a high-traffic blog.

Wow, you're not only a parasite, you're a living spambot.

And drop the "moral" indignation crap about the Kos gay allegation. First, it's not, as you seem to believe, shameful to be gay. Whether he's bi or straight or whatever, who cares? Having gratuitous, far-flung personal allegations posted on the web about him should be the least of his worries. And hell, it's an age-old political tactic, one especially beloved by the old "outing" queer left and being a professional political opportunist as he is, he should anticipate such tactics in the first place. Maybe he should deflect it by claiming he had a bitter affair with Marty Peretz.

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian: I don't think Google picks up the links in the comments like that. But I agree that people shouldn't post long quotes. I haven't been harshly deleting these things in the last few days, but I'll start again. People need to just link and maybe have a brief quote. Generally, people don't like scrolling, so don't put up stuff that will make people just have to scroll a lot. It's disrespecting the privilege of commenting.

Lou Minatti said...

"Reynolds adds in that he is gay"

This tactic of yours is highly disingenuous, Jacques Cuze. For the second time, Glenn did no such thing. This is what Glenn wrote, complete and unedited:

"And as an aside, I see some blog-commenters are speculating that Kos is gay. Why that should matter, I don't know, but I remember -- back when the blogosphere was younger and people were nicer -- commiserating with Kos over his wife's miscarriage (my wife and I had several) and assuring him that it didn't preclude successful pregnancies later on, which I believe his wife has since had. So try to keep things at something better than a seventh-grade level."

Jacques Cuze said...

O RLY?

Earlier this year this exact same smear was trotted out in an election in North Carolina, only this time, Kos was claimed to have been bedding the democratic candidate.

Why is Glenn Reynolds, who has a history of misleading others, saying people are doing this again, and yet not naming names nor providing links?

Internet Ronin said...

Oh, Jacques. I feel so sorry for you. I earnestly hope you get the medical attention you so obviously need before it is too late.

Thorley Winston said...

Quick poll: has anyone actually ever read more than a couple sentences of any of the 10,000 word quotes that Jacquxxo pastes in here?

Who?

Lou Minatti said...

"O RLY?"

Yes, "O RLY". You flat-out lied. You wrote, "Reynolds adds in that he is gay". Glenn certainly did not, and in fact scolded those who made the claim.

Why do you do this? It seems kinda, well, kooky.

Jacques Cuze said...

Illudium-Q36 and Downtownlad: gay.

Lou Minatti: not gay, no matter what Illudium-Q36 has claimed.

YA RLY

Jacques Cuze said...

Condi Rice, who is 50, looks very good, but isn't married and prefers stiletto heels?

I read on the Internet (just google it) that she is a lesbian. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a lesbian, but I think that's a crappy rumor for people to spread.

mcg said...

Why is Glenn Reynolds, who [1] has a history of misleading others, [2] saying people are doing this again, [3] and yet not naming names nor providing links?

[1] Jacques, when did you stop beating your wife?
[2] Because they are
[3] So as to not give them any traffic, which they do not deserve.

This really isn't that hard, you know.

mcg said...

I read on the Internet (just google it) that she is a lesbian. I don't think there's anything wrong with being a lesbian, but I think that's a crappy rumor for people to spread.

You just did, by your own definition.

So now I expect to see a full apology from you to both Markos and Condi. But I won't hold my breath.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Downtownlad said: "He's just one blogger. Who cares."

Kos is a valuable asset to the Republicans. Smart Dems know that he must get with the program (Hillary) or be destroyed before '08.

Kos wants to be a player in hardball electoral politics. He's chosen to take on Hillary. I predict he will get with the program or get his ass kicked.

Palladian said...

We should be starving this Kos gay rumor of oxygen!

reader_iam said...

This is where this thread has ended up?

Wow.

Palladian said...

Sad, really.

LoafingOaf said...

p.s. Ann is, in my opinion, in the center of the political spectrum. I suspect that why she happens to be on the right side is less that she moved and more that the lefts movement further left has put centerist in the center right position.

Yeah, and now The New Republic is being called "right wing"! Uff dah!

The only way for the Democrats to take back the House and Senate, and then down the line the White House, is to win the swing voter. Duh. Normally I would think it should be easy for them to take back some seats since most people realize it's not healthy to have one party dominating things for long. But is calling for a jihad against The New Republic the way to achieve that?

The New Republic is not widely read amongst average citizens because most people aren't so into political magazines, but don't kid youselves - there are more Americans who think like they do than think like Kossacks do, and the Kossacks are now telling them they have no place under the Democratic Party's tent and if they try to have a place they should be bullied and silenced. Interesting strategy there.....

Whenever I visit DailyKos (and I visit it mostly just for links to stories elsewhere that I don't have time to hunt for myself) I feel like I'm looking in on a cult and it's rather creepy.

amba said...

Creepy cult, yes, a little bit. Kos sounds like a mini-megalomaniac, intoxicated with what he imagines to be his importance.

Diktat: German for fatwa.

amba said...

yetanotherjohn said...
What is most amusing to me is what was intended to "starve a story of oxygen" is now the chief source of oxygen for the story.


As in: the cover-up is worse than the crime.

amba said...

As for "what's fair": it's not fair to betray your fellow members of a confidential list by making an e-mail public -- unless you are a disillusioned member, or a mole, who feels the public has a need to know what's going on behind closed doors, in which case (like a psychiatrist telling the police a patient is planning murder) a higher good trumps the promise of confidentiality.

If you are a reporter and said principled traitor comes to you with that piece of clandestine information, is it fair to run with it? Hell yes.

amba said...

Bloggers take from all sorts of informations and reports and toss it all out for discussion.

Bloggers do to information what earthworms do to soil, what algae do to sewage sludge: digest, transform, enrich and/or purify it. Bloggers have sprung up to fill a need and an ecological niche created by information overload and the passivity and powerlessness of "consumers" of corporate-generated information.

amba said...

Hey Cuze,

Instapundit doesn't toss out the innuendo that Kos is gay. He debunks and criticizes that innuendo.\:

And as an aside, I see some blog-commenters are speculating that Kos is gay. Why that should matter, I don't know, but I remember -- back when the blogosphere was younger and people were nicer -- commiserating with Kos over his wife's miscarriage (my wife and I had several) and assuring him that it didn't preclude successful pregnancies later on, which I believe his wife has since had. So try to keep things at something better than a seventh-grade level.

Read a little more carefully before you sound off.

amba said...

Sorry, I see I was duplicating yetanotherjohn's effort. Well, maybe for Cuze to get it right you have to say it at least twice.

George P. said...

Kos, circa 2005:
That. Is. It. I’ve had alls I can take and I can’ts take no more. I am the one and only true Progressive, the Alpha and Omega. I shall rain fire and brimstone down on the DL screw ‘em C. In 5 - 4 - 3 - $Cha$Ching...uh...uh...boy, that Mark Warner sure is a great guy.

Kos, shortly thereafter:
The DL-who? Oh, them. Well...The Great and Powerful kOZ is very busy, come back next week! Slam!

-chirp, chirp-

Kos, a bit later:
This just in, I have just received incontrovertible proof that Karl Rove has stolen a first grader’s lunch money. Expect an indictment and frog march within the week!

-The End

Jacques Cuze said...

amba, If reynolds thought it was important enough to mention it, than why not a separate post? Why not name the jerks doing this or provide links? Why merely a throw-away few lines that mention only what some people think?

If he doesn't want to provide the perpetrators any traffic, why does he want to provide the idea itself any traffic?

This is entirely similar to Ann's mentioning everything bad about Kos, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry that she can find. Stuff she knows is wrong gets airtime here as it all helps to provide repeated exposure to "Dems bad, Bush good"

If Reynolds really wanted to do Kos a favor, Reynolds would have named the individuals responsible for this bad behavior. Why did he provide them cover?

amba, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for Senator McCain knowing that he fathered a black baby out of wedlock?

mcg said...

Let's play a little game.

Who first brought up a Kos gay smear in this comment thread?
Who first brought up a Condi lesbian smear in this comment thread?
Who first brought up a McCain illegitmate child smear in this comment thread?
Finally...
Who, in so doing the latter two, violated pretty much every rule he thinks Glenn Reynolds should have followed in doing the former---for example, failing to name the individuals exhibiting said bad behavior or linking to the offending posts?

Here's a hint! The answers are all the same!