Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Writers Strike at DailyKos"

Alegre's recommended diary on Daily Kos:
This is an open letter to the progressive blogosphere...

I’ve been posting at DailyKos for nearly 4 years now and started writing diaries in support of Hillary Clinton back in June of last year. Over the past few months I’ve noticed that things have become progressively more abusive toward my candidate and her supporters.
I’ve put up with the abuse and anger because I’ve always believed in what our on-line community has tried to accomplish in this world. No more. DailyKos is not the site it once was thanks to the abusive nature of certain members of our community.

I’ve decided to go on "strike" and will refrain from posting here as long as the administrators allow the more disruptive members of our community to trash Hillary Clinton and distort her record without any fear of consequence or retribution. I will not be posting at DailyKos effective immediately. I will not help drive up traffic or page-hits as long as my candidate – a good and fine DEMOCRAT - is attacked in such a horrid and sexist manner not only by other diarists, but by several of those posting to the front page.

There's more

OK, that's enough comments for this diary. Someone go start another one for discussion. -ct

* Alegre's diary :: ::

Instead, I will put my energy into posting at sites where my efforts aren’t routinely trashed, spammed and ridiculed by a handful of angry, petty and spiteful folks who clearly have too much time on their hands.

This is a strike - a walkout over unfair writing conditions at DailyKos. It does not mean that if conditions get better I won't "work" at DailyKos again. As a regular contributor to the discourse in our community, I would certainly hope to take part in the conversation at DailyKos again some day if we ever get to the point where we’re engaging each other in discussion rather than facing off in shouting matches. But not now. Writers need a safe place to reach out and exchange ideas, to communicate and challenge one another. DailyKos should be that place, but its tone, its essence has evolved into something ugly and destructive. Good writers can't survive in that kind of atmosphere. Democrats shouldn't have to put up with that from fellow Democrats.

Sadly, the majority of the administrators have allowed this hostile environment to develop in our online community for anyone who isn’t planted firmly in the Obama camp. They've routinely ignored personal attacks and allowed disruptive, spam-like posts to go unchecked whenever anyone expresses support for Hillary or challenges something their candidate has said or done. There are however several front-pagers who have managed to avoid taking part in the attacks on Hillary and for that I’m grateful. But the site has grown to the point where they simply can’t – or won’t monitor it.

As a result, our community has become little more than an echo chamber with an attitude that harkens back to the early days of Dubbya’s administration - yer either with us or yer a’gin us, heh! The attackers and disrupters are no better than Chris Matthews with their sexism, hate, lies, and obsession with bashing - all – things – Hillary.

No, I won’t post specific attacks here. That would just be repeating the lies and the hate, but I will note that one of my fellow Kossaks (someone with whom I thought I could agree to disagree) went so far as to suggest that others try to dig up real life information on the pro-Hillary members of our community. To what end? Was his aim to find enough information on us to try to get us fired from our jobs and leave our families homeless – or worse? Suggesting that they dig up real life information on us is the lowest form of intimidation and goes way beyond the limits of all things civil and reasonable. It’s nothing more than the worst form of thuggish, hateful and intimidating behavior toward other members of our community.

Now in all fairness, that diarist saw just how far over the line he went with that post and eventually took it down. But the fact that he posted it in the first place shows us the kind of mob mentality that has been allowed to develop, grow and fester at DailyKos.

Either way, is that the kind of behavior that Obama would be proud of? Do the venomous attacks and lies about fellow Democrats represent him and all he stands for in an accurate and fair manner? Does this spiteful and vindictive behavior reunite our party? Would outing this working mother represent hope? Would it bring about change? Would Obama encourage that sort of anger, bullying, intimidation and hate from his followers toward another Democrat and her supporters? Do those followers of his help his cause at the end of the day?

I have been working for decades to get countless good Democrats elected – going back to the early ‘70s when I stuffed envelopes and walked precincts for George McGovern (ok so I was 10 back then but I still helped and gladly – Nixon sent several of my uncles to Vietnam). The causes I've worked for are those which Obama’s followers at DailyKos claim to care about. As a Yellow-Dog-Democrat and a progressive, I am deeply saddened to see what’s happened to our community.

I’ve also been a posting to discussion boards and blogs since the mid-90s, and have worked for and written about a wide range of causes from: women’s rights; the environment; an end to the genocide in Darfur; benefits and decent equipment for our troops; an end to domestic violence; the protection of children; education; strengthening our economy; healthcare; impeachment; alleviating poverty; peace... the list goes on and on and on. Many of those diaries have generated hundreds and hundreds of comments – several having topped the thousand comments mark (take THAT Keith Olbermann!).

But let me make one thing crystal clear here - this is not a GBCW post. If and when the community I once respected and of which I considered myself a valued member returns to its roots and stops attacking and maligning Hillary and other good Democrats in such a hateful and destructive manner, I'll be happy to return as an active member of what used to be the online community of progressive activists. It is my hope that the day will come sooner rather than later.

Until that day, I'll participate in other sites such as MyDD & Talk Left etc., and focus my energy on building them up to help fill the void that DailyKos has left in the progressive blogosphere.

Until then, I’ll take up the WGA strike motto: "We write. You wrong." when it comes to DailyKos, and say the following to anyone reading this diary right now...

If you're sick of the way Hillary – a good and decent Democrat - has been vilified and attacked... if you've EVER recommended one of my dairies on this or any other site then please join me in this effort. Let's take a stand here and now and tell the world we will no longer remain silent in the face of the sexism, anger, irrational hate, lies and attacks against Hillary. Nor will we add to the bottom line of a site that continues to lead the charge in fueling it.

The double standards, the distortions, the hateful, irrational, personal attacks, and the lies about Hillary and her long and distinguished record of public service stop here – and they stop now.

So I hereby announce the formation of a new labor union...

The American Federation of Concerned Bloggers (AFCB).

This is a writer’s strike - who’ll join me on the picket line?

By the way...

Are you current on your union dues?

Pony-up folks.


Wow - I never expected this kind of support here you guys. I have to say I'm deeply touched. We made the Recommended List with this one - THANK YOU!

I'd like to formally thank those who've rec'd this so far - you guys have given me hope that this community will be able to come together after the nominee is chosen. We have GOT to do that guys, if we're going to take out the rethugs in the general election. You guys ROCK!

Pacific John
Susan Hu
Gabriele Droz
Lying Eyes
Mike Pridmore
Norwegian Chef
akr nyc,
Clem Yeobright
The Fat Lady Sings
anna shane
Brahman Colorado
A Person
The Smoldering Crone
Nature Guy
Daily Obama

Of course this list is probably already incomplete - I'll try to update with more names in a little while.
Howie P.S.: The names on the list that stuck for me: Populista and Susan Hu. H/t to the always Clinton-friendly Ben Smith.

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