Archive for the ‘Blogging’ tag
A listener takes issue with Citizen Radio’s language, Obama administration refuses to relax Plan B restrictions, Oregon court rules bloggers aren’t journalists, Alabama’s racist immigration laws, and TIME names Occupy Wall Street the story of the year.
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Citizen Radio had the great privilege of interviewing Daily Kos founder, Markos Moulitsas, at this year’s Netroots Nation. Topics of discussion include his little spat with MSNBC anchor, Joe Scarborough, which led to Markos being banished from the network. We also asked him about his military service, and conversion from Republican to Democrat.
Listen to the interview here.
Markos is the author of the excellent book, American Taliban, which you should totally read.
“We all agree with the Taliban.”—Rush Limbaugh, October 9, 2009
America’s primary international enemy—Islamic radicalism—insists on government by theocracy, curtails civil liberties, embraces torture, represses women, wants to eradicate homosexuals from society, and insists on the use of force over diplomacy. Remind you of a certain American political party? In American Taliban, Markos Moulitsas pulls no punches as he compares how the Republican Party and Islamic radicals maintain similar worldviews and tactics. Moutlitsas also challenges the media, fellow progressives, and our elected officials to call the radical right on their jihadist tactics more forcefully for the good of our nation and safety of all citizens.
You should also follow him on Twitter as he continues to torment former Republican politicians-turned-television personalities.
Poor Maureen Dowd is in a little bit of trouble. I don’t know if you’ve already heard the news around the blogosphere, but she plagiarized her latest column from the work of Talking Point Memo‘s Josh Marshall. Dowd claims this was an accident, and that she got the idea for the material in question while chatting with a friend. Yes, it’s odd that her “friend” recalled Marshall’s article verbatim, but that’s Dowd’s story and she’s sticking to it. No one ever accused the gal of lacking moxie.
And no one can blame Dowd for being drawn to Marshall’s idea. He’s one smart guy, and winner of the prestigious Polk Award for excellence in journalism. Talking Points Memo has been hailed for “(leading) the news media in coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country.” While Dowd missed the attorneys-firing thing, she did come up with clever puns for Sarah Palin (emphasis mine):
I don’t agree with those muttering darkly that the picture of Gov. Sarah Palin with a perky smile and shapely gams posing with a pleased Henry Kissinger, famous for calling power the ultimate aphrodisiac, is a sign of the apocalypse.
It isn’t even a sign of the apocalipstick.
How did you ingrates expect her to maintain this level of excellence all these years without occasionally plagiarizing from a “parasitic blogger?” And yet I see this latest scandal as a cry for help from Dowd. She’s trying to tell us, and her bosses at The New York Times, something very important.
Maureen Dowd wants to retire her column to Josh Marshall. Think about it! He’s a smart, insightful journalist, who runs one of the most respected blogs on the internet, and has published other works in other respected forums such as (see, this is how you credit other sources, Maureen): The American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Post, Salon, Slate, and even The New York Times. And just to soothe the nerves of any snobs out there, yes, Josh Marshall went to Princeton, so he already knows how to speak the language of the privledged.
Such a silly, blatant violation of basic journalistic values is beneath Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. Sure, she won for essentially gossiping about a blow job during Lewinskygate, but those fellatio euphemisms weren’t going to write themselves, damnit! Now, Dowd is telling us, her loyal readers, that she wants to step aside and let a new voice take her place. She siphoned Marshall’s excellent idea because she has no excellent ideas of her own. Dowd is an empty vessel, filled with nothing except gossip and bad puns.
The old girl is asking to be put down. When she’s not plagiarizing, she’s writing about Star Trek or trying to figure out how Twitter works. I mean, how long are we going to watch her suffer? Well, I for one, am going to try and put a stop to this. I have already written the editors at The New York Times with the following request:
First time writer; long-time reader here. At first, I was quite distressed to learn about Maureen Dowd’s plagiarism of Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall’s excellent article. But then, I realize Maureen was trying to tell us all something.
Maureen Dowd…wants to retire! I think this is great news, and I propose that Mr. Marshall take her place at the Times. He’s more than qualified as a Polk Award winner, and he’s already been published in numerous, nationally distributed newspapers. Oh! And he went to Princeton. I know it’s not Harvard or Yale, but seriously guys, loosen up.
You already know Marshall has good ideas because Maureen stole one from him, so we’re halfway there!
Requesting Josh Marshall replace Maureen Dowd,
I suggest you do the same. Email a letter to email@example.com.
Bloomberg.org’s Amity Shlaes recently grouped me together with two other “left-leaning” bloggers in an article about the nefarious world of the Internets. In this murky underworld, faceless bloggers exist only to baselessly attack innocent politicians post-election as part of a dastardly plan to undermine “gentlemanly” newspapers. My qualms with Shlaes article are threefold, but I first want to offer a little background about the article and my initial response.
I am “Exhibit B” in Shlaes’s example. “Exhibit A” is Talking Point Memo’s Eric Kleefeld, and “Exhibit C” is Think Progress’s Matthew Yglesias. In a truly bizarre turn, Shlaes links to a video I cross-posted from TPM of Bobby Jindal retelling the fictitious encounter he had with Sheriff Lee in post-Katrina New Orleans. She cites the headline I gave the post: “Bobby Jindal: Chronically Stupid.” Other than the title, that blog post came entirely from TPM. So Shlaes actually presents TPM as two of three examples of the supposedly dishonest bloggers trolling the Internet.
I am sort of disappointed that Shlaes linked to one of my cross-posted blogs because she would no doubt also enjoy my original Conservative-bashing blogs where I write that Peggy Noonan is a terrible columnist, who “practically shouts that she wants a penis inside of her” at the slightest hint of an impending conflict, Davis Brooks is “elite and clueless”, and that Douglas Feith (among other former Bush officials) are war criminals. Shlaes failed to find these other, better examples of “character assassination” either because the Jindal post really pissed her off, and she was seized by the desire to use it as example of nutty bloggers gone wild, or she was too lazy to properly search my blog for an original work. The blog post is clearly marked “Talking Points Memo” with a link to the original work at the top of the page, so I have to assume the latter is true.
One of China’s most famous bloggers was stabbed at the weekend.
Xu Lai, the writer behind Pro-State in Flames, was speaking at the One Way Street bookshop in Beijing on Saturday afternoon when he was attacked, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. He had been speaking for a couple of hours and was answering questions when a fracas erupted.
His wife said that two men forced Xu Lai into the men’s toilet. She chased after them and found that one was holding a vegetable knife and the other a dagger. The men escaped, leaving Xu Lai on the ground with a cut to his stomach.
A report on the English-language blog Black and White Cat noted that “Xu Lai may not have the megastar status of Han Han, but he’s very much an A-list blogger.”
The Southern Metropolis Daily said: “Xu Lai is a low-key sort of person and he’s just a science journalist who wouldn’t provoke anyone. However, there are many things on his blog that can touch a nerve and he has probably made enemies that way.”
The newspaper quoted a witness as saying that they heard one of his attackers say: “You brought this on yourself. You know why we’re doing this, don’t you?”
However, this could also refer to a personal feud as much as to any ideological vendetta over views expressed in his blog.
Mr Xu is famous for his biting and often sarcastic style in commenting on social and political issues. He is an editor at the popular Beijing News daily and his book Fanciful Animals was published last November. His blog is believed to carry many entries penned by other contributors.
Blogs are extremely popular in China, where newspapers are heavily censored. Cyberspace police patrol the internet, swiftly closing sites deemed too risqué, but they remain the most important medium for self-expression in China.
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military’s plans for “information operations” – from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.
As the world turns networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer.
From influencing public opinion through new media to designing “computer network attack” weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.
The declassified document is called “Information Operations Roadmap”. It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.
Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.
The “roadmap” calls for a far-reaching overhaul of the military’s ability to conduct information operations and electronic warfare. And, in some detail, it makes recommendations for how the US armed forces should think about this new, virtual warfare.
The document says that information is “critical to military success”. Computer and telecommunications networks are of vital operational importance.
The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.
All these are engaged in information operations.
Perhaps the most startling aspect of the roadmap is its acknowledgement that information put out as part of the military’s psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.
“Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience,” it reads.
“Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public,” it goes on.
The document’s authors acknowledge that American news media should not unwittingly broadcast military propaganda. “Specific boundaries should be established,” they write. But they don’t seem to explain how.
“In this day and age it is impossible to prevent stories that are fed abroad as part of psychological operations propaganda from blowing back into the United States – even though they were directed abroad,” says Kristin Adair of the National Security Archive.
Public awareness of the US military’s information operations is low, but it’s growing – thanks to some operational clumsiness.
Late last year, it emerged that the Pentagon had paid a private company, the Lincoln Group, to plant hundreds of stories in Iraqi newspapers. The stories – all supportive of US policy – were written by military personnel and then placed in Iraqi publications.
And websites that appeared to be information sites on the politics of Africa and the Balkans were found to be run by the Pentagon.
But the true extent of the Pentagon’s information operations, how they work, who they’re aimed at, and at what point they turn from informing the public to influencing populations, is far from clear.
The roadmap, however, gives a flavour of what the US military is up to – and the grand scale on which it’s thinking.
It reveals that Psyops personnel “support” the American government’s international broadcasting. It singles out TV Marti – a station which broadcasts to Cuba – as receiving such support.
It recommends that a global website be established that supports America’s strategic objectives. But no American diplomats here, thank you. The website would use content from “third parties with greater credibility to foreign audiences than US officials”.
It also recommends that Psyops personnel should consider a range of technologies to disseminate propaganda in enemy territory: unmanned aerial vehicles, “miniaturized, scatterable public address systems”, wireless devices, cellular phones and the internet.
‘Fight the net’
When it describes plans for electronic warfare, or EW, the document takes on an extraordinary tone.
It seems to see the internet as being equivalent to an enemy weapons system.
“Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will ‘fight the net’ as it would an enemy weapons system,” it reads.
The slogan “fight the net” appears several times throughout the roadmap.
The authors warn that US networks are very vulnerable to attack by hackers, enemies seeking to disable them, or spies looking for intelligence.
“Networks are growing faster than we can defend them… Attack sophistication is increasing… Number of events is increasing.”
US digital ambition
And, in a grand finale, the document recommends that the United States should seek the ability to “provide maximum control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum”.
US forces should be able to “disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum”.
Consider that for a moment.
The US military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet.
Are these plans the pipe dreams of self-aggrandising bureaucrats? Or are they real?
The fact that the “Information Operations Roadmap” is approved by the Secretary of Defense suggests that these plans are taken very seriously indeed in the Pentagon.
And that the scale and grandeur of the digital revolution is matched only by the US military’s ambitions for it.
Sticking with the theme of shouting whatever crazy crap pops into his giant Irish head, today Chris Matthews enlightened us all by explaining journalists can’t be bloggers, and bloggers contribute nothing to journalism.
The declaration came after NY Daily News reporter Liz Benjamin cited blogs regarding the possible “affair question” with regard to Caroline Kennedy’s withdrawal from consideration for the New York Senate seat.
Matthews cut her off: “Let’s stick to journalism. I don’t do that here. If it’s just blogging let’s drop it.”
Riiiight. Apparently the law and journalism degrees are so darn heavy that graduates can’t possibly juggle their qualifications and their keyboards, rendering them physically incapable of being learned AND bloggers. Someone should really tell the thousands of qualified doctors, lawyers, civil rights workers, and authors that they are literally defying the will of nature by posting their thoughtful analyses online.
After all, Chris Matthews knows real journalism. The man has always been a professional whether he’s screaming at his producers that “We’re all reacting here and we’re putting on shit, we have nothing going,” or he’s thoughtfully analyzing the Middle East situation: “We are not going to fight it out with Iran for the next thirty years to see who the big shit…” Or who could forget his nuanced critique of geo-political post-World War II demographics? “I’m so sick of Southern guys with ranches running this country…I want a guy to run for president who doesn’t have a fucking ranch…”
I can taste the Pulitzer. To be fair, bloggers do have a habit of posting speculative gossip, which is surely why Chris Matthews dismissed them as a serious source of news. Matthews has set such a high standard of journalistic integrity that it’s no wonder he so zealously dismisses non-Washington insiders as a source of meaningful journalism. Bloggers can be gossipy and shallow.
I gave Val Kilmer a ride home last night. I met—let’s go through the names of who I met, John Cusack. I love—I always wanted to meet him. He said he always wanted to meet me. That’s kind of cool. And Ed Harris. And Robert De Niro, I met him last night.
– Chris Matthews, post-inaugural party-hopping
Bloggers can make unfair assumptions and be especially crude, sexist, and indecent:
“[T]he reason (Hillary Clinton’s) a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win there on her merit. She won because everybody felt, ‘My God, this woman stood up under humiliation,’ right? That’s what happened.”
– Chris Matthews, on Hillary Clinton
Bloggers can be partisan and regurgitate propaganda thoughtlessly:
“It’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”
– Chris Matthews, post-Obamania
Bloggers can be blowhards, and social ladder climbers, quick to anger, and incapable of calm, thoughtful analysis:
Chris: What did Chamberlain do, just tell me what he did, Kevin? What did Chamberlain do that you didn’t like?
Kevin: What, what Chamberlain did? <confused> What, what, the President was talking about, you just said the President was talking about Barack. Look…
Chris: You’re making a reference to the days before our involvement in WWII. When the war in Europe began. I want you to tell me as an expert, what did Chamberlain do wrong.
Kevin: You’re not going to box me in here, Chris. President Bush was making that. I’m glad, I’m glad.
Chris: You don’t know, do you? You don’t know what Neville Chamberlain did
Kevin: Yeah, he was an appeaser, Chris….
Chris: You are BS’ing me… You don’t know what you’re talking about.
– Chris Matthews, screaming at right wing blogger, Kevin James
I guess we’ll just have to take back that Polk Award from Joshua Micah Marshall, editor and publisher of the widely read political blog, Talking Points Memo. I’m sure Josh will understand, even though the Polk award is a major journalism award, and Talking Points Memo has been hailed for “(leading) the news media in coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country.” You know, that little story about the attorney firings that the mainstream media only started covering because those crazy bloggers kept harping on it.
Millions of international bloggers will also have to close up shop, even though they are oftentimes the only windows into their societies, especially if the press is controlled by the government. Sorry, crew, Chris Matthews says you’re not real journalists and shouldn’t be taken seriously. That means you, Yoani Sanchez, winner of Spain’s coveted Ortega and Gasset prizes for digital journalism, and Nasim Fekrat, winner of ISF’s award for freedom of expression.
Fold the laptops, people! Chris Matthews fears change!
More than print, TV or any other medium, online journalists are now the most-jailed category of journalists worldwide. A study by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that the online reporters, editors and bloggers make up 45% of the 125 journalists it found behind bars, the first time the Web category has eclipsed print (42%) since the study began in 1997.
CPJ director Joel Simon observed that without organizational support, online journalists are easier targets. “The image of the solitary blogger working at home in pajamas may be appealing, but when the knock comes on the door, they are alone and vulnerable,” Simon said in a news release.
The study notes that in China, which leads the world in captive journalists, 24 of the 28 currently behind bars did their work online. Cuba, Burma, Eritrea, and Uzbekistan round out the top five countries on the list of journo jailers.
Read more about the report at the CPJ web site.