Thursday's snapshot included a lengthy discussion of Ezra Klein (Washington Post) and Glenn Thrush (POLITICO). An e-mail to the public account insists that I should have linked to Thursh's article.
Don't show up at my house and tell me how to entertain. You're not a member of this community which means you're not an invited guest. As Keesha long ago described it, this is a private conversation in a public place. Now you can eavesdrop but don't start trying to tell me what to do.
I was more than fair to Thursh. His Tweets were included and anyone could click on those Tweets and read more.
I didn't link to POLITICO.
I usually don't anymore and I'm honestly glad they're struggling now -- they're really struggling but no one's supposed to know.
Why don't I link to POLITICO?
Community members get very angry and, now that a year's passed, I can look at it and not just say they have a right to be angry but also that I do hope the outlet sinks.
As you attempt to rearrange my furniture, you showed up late to the party.
POLITICO felt the need to credit a right-wing website with being the first to write about McGurk. They weren't. They only wrote about it several days after we had.
As I disclosed in real time, I was visiting a friend's office (Democrat in Congress) when all hell broke loose. I didn't realize it until I was leaving. At which point one staffer whispered what was going on the member of Congress. (I think I've disclosed which house of Congress and gender previously but I'm not sure -- I know I did in the gina & krista round-robin because we even brought that member of Congress in as a guest in a roundtable.) Don't do that. Not around me. Talk in a normal voice and I've got other things to do and am focused on them. But whisper around me and you might as well have shouted.
That's how I learned about e-mails being posted online. I immediately looked it up on the cell phone and we covered it (rounding it out via two journalists I spoke to) in the snapshot.
We would have to cover it.
A) It was Iraq related.
B) It was a huge breach of journalistic ethics.
CJR didn't give a damn as usual. But it was a huge breach.
C) I had treated Gina Chon as a serious journalist.
Chon, before she was fired, worked for the Wall St. Journal. I took a lot of flack (more so from friends offline) for citing her reports. I would note that she knew a great deal. And she did. And she got it from sleeping with a government source (McGurk). When it turned out he was vetting her copy -- one of the reasons she was fired -- we really had to cover it because no other site online linked to and quoted Chon more than I did at this site.
But though we covered it first, we covered it for the longest, we had the best information. Including that McGurk would not be confirmed - there was a Democrat revolt against him because a number of Democratic senators grasped what sending McGurk over as Ambassador to Iraq would mean to women in Iraq and that group of senators -- Barack knows who they are -- are not real happy that after they refused to confirm McGurk, Barack still sent him overseas.
We had a ton of ways to cover McGurk, we were honestly just getting started. We were even going to delve into his (non-sexual) relationship with Hillary Clinton -- something California Dems in Congress were very talkative about. I'll even tease that out a little: What is is about Hillary that tolerates and embraces cheating men? You can include Anthony Weiner in that because until he went public just a while ago with the fact that Hillary is considering running for president, he was warmly embraced by Hillary.
I'm not attacking for forgiving Bill. That's her marriage. She's got every right to stay with or divorce. I believe she's happy with Bill (and I know Bill loves her) so I applaud her choice. But there are a number of men she supervised in the State Dept who couldn't keep it in their pants and -- especially in the case of one married ambassador (no, I'm talking about the child molestor) -- this kept rising up the chain to her. And she embraced and encouraged. (Didn't encourage affairs. Did encourage cheaters to continue with the State Dept.)
We had a ton to cover but Brett withdrew his nomination and all of that just sort of settled at the bottom of the tank.
When POLITICO refused to credit this site, I really didn't care. I had a lot of other things to do. But when I found out that they had refused even after friends in journalism had called them to tell them how cheap and trashy they were for not running a correction, I started to agree with the community. I thank my friends at ABC, CNN and CBS especially. These are offline friends. They don't get any special breaks here. (Except maybe they can pick up the phone, dial me direct and yell at me when they're displeased with what I wrote.) An NBC on air is the one who told me about all the calls being made. I had no idea. Again, thank you, that was very nice of all of you.
But after learning that 15 people called to complain -- some called more than once -- and that POLITICO still refused to do a little correction?
We broke that story.
E-mailer, you don't know that in part because I have not (until now) made a big deal out of it. We're stolen from all the time. This year, we were dropping back to a topic we'd covered in 2011. I was looking for some coverage of it beyond what we had noted in the snapshot. I was on the phone with Jim discussing something else as I tried to eat lunch and track down other coverage when I stopped him and said, "Listen! Listen! Someone's taken the issue seriously!" I read Jim a sentence. Then I read him a second one. Then I said, "Jim, did I write this?"
Ava and I have a certain rhythm to what we write together. I have a certain rhythm to what I write alone.
When I got to the third sentence, I knew I had written it. So I copied a full paragraph and searched. Sure enough it was me. Me only. No link. Me sounding off about an abuse/crime in Iraq.
Now the next paragraph?
The journalist -- this was a print newspaper, US newspaper -- may not have spoken Arabic and that might be why he (yes, it was a he) ripped that part off. I was translating an article in Al Mada in that paragraph. But why did he rip off the one before?
I have no idea. We get ripped off a lot. When I saw that he'd copied another paragraph but tried to improve on one word, I just laughed. (I was translating in the 'improvement.' His word choice to substitute is proof that he doesn't read Arabic because it's not just awkward, his word choice is wrong.)
And most of the time, I do laugh.
But when I found out that friends in journalism took it upon themselves to contact POLITICO, call the outlet out and tell them they needed to do a correction and POLITICO still didn't?
My attitude, again, was -- and is -- f**k 'em.
I have no idea what their problem was with me and honestly don't care. I think it's telling when journalists contact you and they're telling you to do a correction and you're admitting that you know you're wrong but you won't do a correction.
I think that says a great deal about the veracity of the outlet. Or its lack thereof.
Community members can get markers. I've noted that before.
I write something and they're bothered by it and we have a dialogue on it in which we're both listening but our positions are still at opposite ends, I write back that we aren't going to agree and I'm sorry about that but they now have a marker they can call in at any time. If they want something covered -- non-Iraq -- they can e-mail and say "I'm calling in my marker" and Martha or Shirley will let me know and I will include it in whatever I'm writing at that moment. It's usually a next day thing.
That went into the snapshot because it's a community member who's been a friend for decades and is at a network (broadcast). He wanted it addressed and his marker had to do with his being offended by what I'd written about one of his colleagues. We don't agree. I stand by what I wrote, he thinks I was grossly unfair. We explored it to death and he got a marker. Which he used two and a half years later.
Why? And why on that?
When someone calls in a marker, I don't ask why, I just try to honor it.
Glenn Thrush was not involved in the failure to give credit. For that reason, I made a point to include his Tweets. In one of them, he links to something Ezra wrote. That's the only link Ezra got. And I agreed with him. But I wanted to bend over backwards to Glenn Thrush because (a) he's not wronged me and (b) I wanted to be sure I wasn't punishing him for the actions of others.
The person whining that Glenn didn't get his POLITICO article linked to? That same guy also wants to whine that it didn't belong in the snapshot.
It could have been a section on candy caramel apples and it would have belonged if a marker was called in.
But it also belonged because the shutdown was being compared to the Iraq War.
Entries like this?
I'm not really fond of them. I think they're navel gazing. But they are popular.
And I was going to announce something on Monday for drive-bys and visitors but I'll do it today instead.
When I read this e-mail telling me what I needed and how I needed to do it and this person had done no homework on what he was writing about? I thought, "I am so damn sick of this."
And I am. And that's why, Monday through Friday, you're going to notice a drop off in morning entries. I'll do one. Some days I'll do two.
I only extend by six months now. People are figuring by my tone that I really, really want to end this site. And as the e-mails kept coming in about what happens after December 31st?
First, it's after January 1st. I wouldn't side-step a year-in-review. Second, I asked Martha and Shirley to track that question and when it got to a certain level, I spoke with Gina and Krista and asked if I could get a poll question in the gina & krista round-robin. Community members already know this.
I've agreed to go through July. Provided I can drop down to one entry a day Monday through Friday (plus the Iraq snapshot at night).
That was the vote.
As Beth pointed out in her ombudsperson column, "Not much of a vote. 'Let me drop down to one morning entry or I walk'."
Beth's right, it wasn't much of a choice.
But next month is nine years. That was not the plan. The plan was -- Ray, I'm getting to your e-mail -- two-fold -- end the Iraq War and get a Democrat in the White House in 2008.
The latter came to be and ended up meaningless while the Iraq War has not ended.
And that's nine years of writing. Over and over and over and . . . And not one damn day off. Not one. Until the last few weeks, I would do my morning run, shower and sit down at the computer. It's not how I want to start my day. But I've done it for nine years next month. And I'm tired of it and I want a break. I haven't taken a week off, I haven't taken a day off. Every day.
I'm sick of it and sick of my online persona.
A lot's changed and maybe we'll cover that next month. But, to Ray's e-mail, re: my comments in "John Michael McGrath is 'angry'," I'm comfortable with the word "feminist" if you need to hang a label on me. I am a feminist.
I was. I always voted Democrat, I always voted. I was a robotron. 2008, I broke away from that. I feel much better.
When we were out of power, we could stick together.
Now we can't. And some argue that it's a firing squad or it's this or it is that.
No, it's hypocrisy.
I called out Bully Boy Bush for spying. Why the hell would I act like it's okay now?
The same with war and all the other issues.
Now I've been there, where the Cult of St. Barack is now.
I know it's comfortable and it's friendly and we all giggle together when we think of mean names for Republicans. And it's real tempting to red-rover-red-rover-let-me-come-over. It's tempting. But I don't whore.
I like Bill Clinton. I called Bill Clinton out in the first term repeatedly. To his face. Not rudely because Bill loves a discussion. He hates a "you're right, you're right." He loves a discussion where people debate and discuss and disagree. That's what made him such a leader and so charismatic, his honest interest in people.
I had a lot on my plate in the 90s. It was easy to ignore a number of things. I still don't know about Waco. Sorry. You don't catch me writing about that. I was out of the country, I was in Latin America helping with irrigation projects in villages. (Yes, I can dig. No, I really didn't while I was there. My job was helping to identify the needs in various villages. And I've noted this before as well as noting that water rights are a huge issue with me.) Believe it or not, the whole wide world was not obsessed with Waco. There was no cable, there were radios but mostly it was music over the airwaves. I have no idea about Waco and have never had the time to learn since I started this website. I did that. I did my career. I did my family -- as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter. I was in and out of the country constantly.
But here's the thing. Marian Wright Edelman? I used to have so much respect for her. When I didn't realize she was just another whore.
I say that because she has repeatedly attacked Bill for gutting the safety net. (Which largely refers to the shift in unemployment benefits. And, for the record, I didn't support that. I don't believe in a cut-off date for benefits if you can't find work.)
But, thing is, when that was going down, she wasn't saying a damn word. I know because she wanted me to appear at her pet cause. And I didn't. (I was again going out of the country.) It was about violence.
Now that's an important issue.
But if you weren't actively protesting an action you believe was wrong, stop lying today and acting like you were leading an army against the effort.
Marian can lie today -- and does -- because who's going to challenge her?
She probably feels very safe.
Those days are over.
The internet exists and has a history.
Which means Marian, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Matt Rotschild?
You and the rest all have a rap sheet now that will follow you around forever. So in 2017 when you're railing against ObamaCare? Your readers will be able to easily find out that you whored in real time. They'll see all the whoring and lying you did.
That didn't used to be the case. Once upon a time you had to be Betty Friedan camped out at the library doing research on the media (the best parts of The Feminine Mystique are the media criticisms, in my opinion). Who had time for that?
But now people can go and look online. And, in 2017, when someone tries to pull a Marian and insist, for example, that The Drone War destroyed so many lives and it was wrong and . . . Someone's going to be typing that person's name and come across the reality that the bulk of the Matt Rothschild or whomever's days were spent offering one stupid defense of Barack after another.
If, in 2017, it will be especially sad for the Matties if the White House is occupied by a Republican.
As they pretend like spying is wrong and they were against it all along and, damn it!, we need to impeach President George P. Bush! -- well, someone's going to do a search and find out that The Progressive and The Nation and all these other 'defenders' of our rights didn't do a damn thing when Barack was spying or when he was prosecuting journalists or when he was doing The Drone War or any of it.
The internet means we're back in the 1960s and you do have a permanent record and it is going to follow you around.
Even if you wall off your archives, so what. People can go to Rebecca's site, they can go to Black Agenda Report, they can go to Norman Pollack's writing, to any number of places and find you critiqued -- in real time -- for refusing to stand up.
So lots of luck being taken seriously in 2017. I hope I'm offline long before then. But I hope, even more, that every little whore who's decided ethics don't matter when Democrats are in power -- I hope you are all held accountable.
And, Ray, we voted Dems into control of both houses in the 2006 mid-terms to end the Iraq War.
They failed. It was a two year Congress and they failed.
I don't support them as a group. There are individuals I will applaud. But the days of my being a Democratic cheerleader ended when they refused to end the war and instead attempted to use it for electoral gains.
People lost lives while Nancy Pelosi and others attempted to figure out how many votes they might win next time if they kept the illegal war going.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4489.
The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
i hate the war