Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Infamous Scribblers

Well, it seems that at its birth American journalism was a good deal like today’s political blogs, more interested in grinding political axes than in balanced reporting of the news.

On NPR’s “Fresh Air” today Terry Gross interviewed Eric Burns about his book, Infamous Scribblers---The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism. Fair and balanced? Hardly. If you owned a press you weren’t about to give an equal hearing to your opponents.

You can read the story and get the audio link here.

Speaking of infamous scribblers have you noticed that Tedski has banished anonymous comments from Rum, Romanism and Rebellion? I haven’t gone that far here at The Data Port since, thanks to some regular visitors, we are temporarily experiencing peristaltic waves of sweet reason in the comments section.

38 comments:

cc burro said...

Thanks for the link. I caught just the tail end of that program.

I'm glad that Ted got rid of the nominal ANONYMOUS. However, it might be best if no one could be truly anonymous because then they might pause/reconsider before putting down an unsubstantiated rant against someone else. It's easy to dehumanize someone else when you're anonymous.

Gretchen Wagenseller
LD 26

Anonymous said...

Like in China.

No one is anonymous there, and our American cousins, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft collaborate and imprison anonymous bloggers.

So you're right. But its easier to dehumanize a known blogger if you toss them in jail.

I never lie, unless I'm hiding Anne Frank in the attic, so I have no need to be anonymous. This is America and our free speech used to be protected. Right? Wrong?

cc burro said...

You are right.

However, here, would some of the ranters be so brave in their unsubstantiated attacks if they were face-to-face with the person they attack?

Gretchen

Anonymous said...

The first amendment guarantees that:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That includes whistleblowing, reporting crimes, and yes... free speech.

This is the commons and we are the citizens. No rant here. Only anonymity and the market of ideas.

Tedski et al. have problems controlling the message when they steer the discourse. Censorship is a better tool for editing dissent.

cc burro said...

My understanding is that you can still blog anonymously on his blog--only you can't call yourself "ANONYMOUS".

It IS his blog [newspaper, so to speak]. For those who don't want to sign up for a name/account, they are "free" to blog on any of the other gazillion blogs.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

There is no anonymity when you register your email and IP with Blogger. Its one more chain of trust that you give to an anonymous corporation.

Kind of like the trust the DLC gives to corporations. If you trust email and think its safe then register and blog. You are now vulnerable to any and every kind of payback for making a political opinion.

Tedski and the Gabby Blogger Brigade attacked a bunch of anonymous bloggers, rather than answer the pro-business tilt that Gabby, the Bashas, Finleys and the DLC bring into this race.

On 12/01/05 Gabby described herself as "a pro-business" democrat. Her FEC log shows lots of realtors, lobbyists, developers and lawyers.

Not many wage earners on the FEC list, and lots of Republican influence.

These donors take no chances. They support both sides, and it seems when they do, the Republicans win in November when the DLC campaign culture triangulates another defeat.

Just my constitutionally protected opinion.

cc burro said...

Good point re someone's job may not allow them to participate with their real name.

My main complaint is against unsupported accusations--the anonymity in itself doesn't bother me. Unsupported accusations provide no light, do not further understanding/knowledge.

Kralmajales--Hi!

Gretchen

Art Jacobson said...

To Our Anonymous Poster(s)

One of the differences between blogs and newspapers is that most (I believe all) newspapers refuse to accept letters that are submitted anonymously. Do you judge that to be a violation of your freedom of speech?

A Kralmajales and others have pointed out some folks have job-sensitive concerns. I'm sympathetic with that view and have left anon commenting enabled.

Speech, in addition to being free, should be effective or otherwise what's the point? I don't believe anonymous posts are as effective as those that are identified.

TGIF,
Art

Tedski said...

Wow...I guess I'm a fascist then.

Yes, the First Ammendment guarantees that the state cannot abridge the right of freedom of speech. I'm not the state. Also, I'm not abridging the right of sppech, I'm just saying you have to register a Blogger profile. Heck, you can claim to be Henry F. Ashurst, Kid Antrim or Moctezuma on your profile for all I care.

By the way, the First Ammendment allows me to also run my blog the way I want.

This supposedly authoritarian restriction I have is the same as what they have on Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and Huffington Post. I guess they are all facsists too.

Too many people seemed to use the Anonymous options to make personal attacks on the candidates (and they attacked candidates other than Giffords, by the way) but also each other. I got tired of the blog being an excuse for a food fight. Too many people seemd to confuse playing the dozens with actual political discourse.

Anonymous said...

"Then I'm a fascist, then."

I hope not for all of our sakes, but spiking dissent for the sake of partisanship is not a trend towards open society democracy.

You attack lots of folks and use cartoons and Photoshop to dehumanize people.

Its your 1st amendment rights that let you do it. Old Guard Pro-Business Democrats have always squelched and moderated the message into a public relations mishmash.

We need a clean break with the Old Guard.

Tedski said...

I wasn't "spiking dissent in the name of partisanship." I got tired of the attacks flying around...attacks against all sorts of people, not just Giffords. I first considered getting rid of the anonymous comments about a month ago when a food fight erupted between people accusing Grijalva of being sexist and Napolitano of being a racist. That fight had little or nothing to do with what is going on in the CD 8 race.

You're calling me an "Old Guard Business Democrat" is amusing, given where my politics actually are. I've also spent a great deal of time on the blog supporting SEIU's struggle to organize county workers, something that is opposed by the "buisiness Democrats" (their biggest stumbling block is Barbara LaWall).

I am trying not to be insulted, I have no idea who you are, and you probably don't know too much about me either. But if you are truly concerned about civil discourse, then you also should be concerned when that discourse turns into a food fight. That ain't productive for anybody.

Anonymous said...

No one called Tedski Old Guard.

These opinions are generic.

Full Disclosure:

I have worked with Ted and many of Gabby's top money people.

I am not the only an0nymous post here.

Its sad that Gabby will use her "pro-business democrat" credentials to condescend us into another loss, paid for by the lobbyists that give to Republicans and conservative, corporatists in the Democratic Party willing to act like they support workers, when they are protecting and enhancing the investment portfolios of their friends and contributors.

Tedski said...

Wow...I guess I'm a fascist then.

Let's hope Tedski changes his orientation, if this is ironic or sarcastic, it tends to sound awful coming from a democrat.
Come back to helping Americans, instead of investors.

I don't think you are being paid to support Gabby, I really think you want her to become a true progressive, and so do I.

It won't happen until she has a significant emotional event that teaches her empathy for the poor and underprivileged.

We can't wait for that to happen. We need an electable democrat free from the lobbyists that dictate her campaign.

Her whimsical poses on motorcycles and flight suits lack the gravitas required for Congress.

Do you vote for whimsy or do you vote for serious?

Anonymous said...

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/printDS/118294

"The ability to make one's case — to argue for one's religious or political beliefs, and to criticize weaknesses in others' beliefs — is essential to informed opinion and wise decisions.

Without that freedom to disagree — and to be disagreeable, even to the point of overstatement or blasphemy — we indeed may have a more civil society. But it will be a civility purchased at the expense of everybody's freedom."

Art Jacobson said...

Dear Anon...

"The ability to make one's case — to argue for one's religious or political beliefs, and to criticize weaknesses in others' beliefs — is essential to informed opinion and wise decisions."

You have made your case and criticized weaknesses without interference. However, you begin to remind me of the old criticism: "He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument."

We all get it. I doubt any of us wants or needs to hear it again. You're anoyed with Tedski, but can't criticize him on his own turf because you are afraid to register.

I guess you don't write to newspapers, either, for the same reason. Has it occured to you that an exaggerated concern for ...what, your safety, privacy, has deprived you of the right to criticism? You do it to yourself.

Start a blog. Tell us where it is and we'll come and visit; otherwise, stuff a sock in it.

Very cordially yours,

Art Jacobson

Anonymous said...

Its important that we discuss the issues and not the personalities here.

Hell, we all know you too, Art.

Anonymity allows me to work to win elections, and the lack of it would make me a target of... fascists.

Is stuff a sock a metaphor for "shut up"?

We need discourse not propaganda.

All I want is some truth. Just give me some truth.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"In fact, she will win this primary."

Numbers, please. She has low approval ratings among likely voters, including independents and republicans.

Her republican credentials might not get her the ballast to win either the primary or the general election, as she has blurred her image into a "pro-business democrat", which is shorthand for voting against the poor, against universal health care and against taxing the rich to pay for corporate welfare.

She has low approval numbers and high negatives.

Her actual voting record is not available without a trip to Phoenix.

Post her record, and if its good her negatives will drop.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Look at Gabby's own internal poll, its all there.

Anonymous said...

Our American cousins know how to deal with ANONYMOUS disstenters:

http://tinyurl.com/fukx7

The branding experts did a good job with Yahoo!. Everything about the Internet giant evokes a groovy vibe--from the name itself to the company's bright purple colors, wacky font and fabled Silicon Valley work culture. Creativity, innovation and freedom are the catch-words Yahoo! wants people to associate with its brand. The problem now is that the company is actively colluding with the Chinese government to help identify Internet dissidents to be thrown in jail. Not cool.

"Yahoo! has a Chinese-language portal hosted inside China, with a search engine that filters out all websites and keywords deemed unacceptable by Chinese authorities," writes former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Rebecca MacKinnon in a recent Nation online exclusive. "It does not inform users that the content is being censored in any way. Yahoo! also offers a Chinese-language e-mail service hosted on computer servers inside the People's Republic. Because the user data is under Chinese legal jurisdiction, Yahoo! is obligated to comply with Chinese police requests to hand over information. Such compliance over the past several years has led to the jailing of at least three dissidents."

Does Gabby's corporate portfolio include corporate collaborators: Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco?

They help China the way IBM helped Hitler. They can avoid liability using their corporate veil.

Gabby should reconsider her pro-business stance, when American corporations redefine ruthlessness as an American cultural value.

Being pro-business and in bed with China Collaborators is as absurd as Labor Secretary Robert Reich supporting the Dubai Ports deal.

We can do better, and so can she.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I venture a guess that her investment portfolio is a better indication of her politics than her liberal friends.

Her voting record is available, but not on the Internet.

I love 'em all and I want Gabby to come back to helping people, not investors.

If she is sincere, she will disclose her investment links and her voting record.

Pro-business democrats seem to place profits before people. Gabby calls herself pro-business, not pro-people.

Lets give the gal some empathy. Will she roll back these free trade deals that she has supported for years? Or will she continue to support those that have hollowed out the American middle class to enhance their investment portfolios?

Notice that these threads have only the same supporters of Gabby, and no groundswell of voters buying the pro-business slant that she has staked her professional career on.

Art Jacobson said...

Dear Anonymous

“I venture a guess that her investment portfolio is a better indication of her politics than her liberal friends.”

I venture to guess it isn’t. Millions of people have “investment portfolios” in retirement plans of all sorts. Most of them have only the foggiest idea of what their mutual funds are invested in, and never make political decisions based on what’s in their IRAs.

Giffords is pro business only in the sense that she has recognized that unfair burdens are sometimes placed on small businesses, the “mom and pop” family businesses that are the major employers of many in Tucson.

“… will she continue to support those that have hollowed out the American middle class to enhance their investment portfolios?”

You mean the unions that support her? They certainly have been hollowing out the middle class!

But now, anonymouse, it’s your turn to let us know you better. Are you saving for retirement? Who have you voted for in the past? What do you do that’s pro-people? What do you do that entitles us to trust your political judgement? Most important, who do you support and why?

Anonymous said...

Full Disclosure:

Art's family has been paid and is being paid by Gabby to craft this kind of campaign.

They know the internal polls, the investments, and her voting record better than the public ever will.

I work in education... helping the people.

Gabby works in property management, managing investment portfolios. Not educating the people, but marketing to them.

This matters, as does the fact that she pays the Jacobsons for their political advice.

What these blogs and her website lacks is:

her FEC list
her investments and their links
her voting record
her pro-people credentials

Anonymous said...

Art! The Unions have not been hollowing out the middle class!

Only their corrupt leaders!

The workers have been losing this one to the pro-business side of the street.

Don't tell your readers that:

"You mean the unions that support her? They certainly have been hollowing out the middle class!"

And Tedski:

Refrain from calling yourself a fascist.

And Gabby:

Refrain from calling yourself a pro-business democrat and get back to helping your mom and pop's portfolio.

We need some seriousness here, and some real answers.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

She's not corrupt.

She's more in league with the investors of Arizona and not the voters.

That's amoral, not immoral.

She can't be a conservative running to the right of democrats and most Americans, and be pro-people. The straddle is obvious, and the gap defines the Gabby image.

What is good for business, is good for Gabby.

She belongs to the fraction of Americans that the Bush tax cuts benefited.

She has said nothing about rolling back these tax cuts, nor has does she have a plan to mitigate the damage her free trade policies have caused the border communities.

She is the face of globalism. Sunny and bright on the surface, with the investments well hidden by trusts and warrants.

She is not transparent, that is apparent.

Anonymous said...

Defense lawyers will tell you that most conspiracies work.

Its the ones that don't that makes them their money.

Do you know her actual voting record? I sure don't and I won't make up my mind until I read the fine print.

If she has a better voting record than her endorsements, then I may vote for her.

Only a small percentage of her endorsements even live in CD 8, and her donors hardly even know where CD 8 is, as most have never even seen the scenery of our great district.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

FEC
Opensecrets

I think the public can get that info pretty easily and see who has given, from where, and how much. It's there and it's revealing.

The voting record is staying pretty close hold. You seem to have it, fuss up.

I sure would like to here your dirt on the others. Again, fuss up, you say you have it.

Art Jacobson said...

Don't know if anyone will read this,buried down here in the sub-basement of the comments thread,
but I'm sure that a detailed analysis of te Giffords voting record will eventually be available.

The other candidates, of course,have no voting records so all we have to go by are very general position statements and the hope that newcomers to the political arena will find some way to maneuver effectively in Washington.

Blue in AZ said...

With what is going on in government, people want a newcomer to the political arena. There are at least three candidates who have effectively maneuvered in Washington during their careers. Giffords isn't one of them, although I'm sure she could learn.

Anonymous said...

Art Jacobson said...

Don't know if anyone will read this,buried down here in the sub-basement of the comments thread,
but I'm sure that a detailed analysis of te Giffords voting record will eventually be available.

The other candidates, of course,have no voting records so all we have to go by are very general position statements and the hope that newcomers to the political arena will find some way to maneuver effectively in Washington.


We all know how well that Voting Record Kerry and his suporters bragged about during the Primary 04 worked out to Democrats Advantage in the General...... Voting Records are bad baggage a candidate can't shake and the GOP will use against them.

Kralmajales said...
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cc burro said...

There is nothing wrong with being "pro-business". Without businesses, most people would be unemployed and starving. The question comes on those issues where someone has to decide whether to favor employers versus employees--pension protection. Likewise with business versus consumers--consumer protection law. [Likewise consumers versus workers--Walmart].

Most of the anti-Giffords rant on this and Ted's blog has been unsubstantiated/overly-generalized/innuendo-laden, and thus would best be ignored.

However, one point--If you are going to say Giffords' "proven record" is one of several reasons to support her, it would make sense that her record on what she deems to be important votes should be made available so that the primary voters who aren't familiar with her record can know what she supported while in office.

If she wins the primary, surely the Republicans will go through her record with a fine-toothed comb--just as the Democrats will go through Graf's or Huffman's.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Gabby supporters make it sound like she has been an experienced elected official fighting for the common man for decades. In all reality, it’s only been 5 short years. Before that, she was a Pro-Business REPUBLICAN working in the business world. Not being critical or anything, just stating the fact. I’m not sure how much of an impact 5 short years as an elected official makes on 11 years as a registered republican/business woman. Everyone is so excited about her experience. Well, let’s look at her experience over the span of her adult life - not just a select few years.