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What A-list blogger called Digby "a chicken shit"?

vastleft's picture

From Eric Boehlert's Bloggers on the Bus:

"I thought it was character assassination," Digby told me a couple weeks after the RFK controversy had passed. She was exhausted by the toll the campaign had already taken on the blogosphere. She was also aware of the kind of pie fights that would erupt on her site if she posted a condemnation of those who unfairly attacked Clinton for her RFK comments. So Digby, who never endorsed either candidate, simply passed on the story. "I'm a chicken shit," she said with a shake of her head.

There are two possibilities, folks:

1. Digby, after years of wisely and tirelessly critiquing the rot in our politics and punditry, was suddenly and baselessly afraid of her own shadow

2. The Obama movement bullied her into submission

In an interview with eRiposte, Boehert reports that Digby was not alone in biting her tongue, lest she be torn to shreds by the Hope Brigade:

One of the most interesting things bloggers have told me (often off the record) about the primary season was how clear it became that their readers really did dictate what the bloggers wrote. For years, bloggers and their readers had been in heated agreement about Bush, about Iraq, about the MSM. But in lots of cases they were not in agreement about who should be the Democratic nominee and bloggers mentioned to me how strange and uncomfortable that schism was, and how in the end many of them did just punt. Meaning, they got tired of fighting with their readers and simply didn’t write certain things because they knew it would create a pie fight within the site. They’re not especially proud of it, but they have conceded that they did alter what they wrote. And that for them it was a real eye-opener because they had spent years educating their readers about politics and the press and creating certain narratives together. And then during the primary season, some bloggers felt like their readers just completely ignored those shared lessons (and of course, the readers would say it was the blogger who ignored those shared lessons) that left the bloggers with the uncomfortable choice of essentially rejecting their readers or editing what they wrote. Today, some will admit they opted for the second choice.

Should the progressive blogosphere try to learn from what happened, and perhaps apologize to those who were maligned — and even threatened — for taking a stand against truthiness and abusiveness among within our own (progressive blogosphere) ranks?

Nah! Don't forget, we're all Scalia now.

No votes yet


SullyFick's picture
Submitted by SullyFick on

I get enough links, and I see points made here spread elsewhere often enough, so that I don't worry too much about this mythical "broader audience."


Shorter lambert: You're confusing me with somebody who gives a shit.


We're not looking to build this community. Go away, you unclean heathen!

Or, am I missing something? Is there some kind of code-ring that I need, O Great and Powerful Oz?

Submitted by lambert on

Taking quotes out of context is the oldest troll trick in the book. I include the whole quote; the portion you quote is underlined:

... with being an unpaid political operative. I get enough links, and I see points made here spread elsewhere often enough, so that I don't worry too much about this mythical "broader audience."

In other words, what is written here is read by others and propagates. Now the key portion our troll omits:

The DFHs and the Cassandras find it pretty hard to get a broader audience... Until reality catches up. The poster must be unfamiliar with the word shrill, since they use it without irony. It was a word Versailles used for Krugman, in the days when he was almost the only one, literally the only one, to call bullshit on Bush. So shrill is a badge of honor. And Krugman did pretty well with his blog, after reality caught up with the shrill.

Obviously, Cassandaras (note plural) and DFHs (note plural) can and have built communities, though not, possibly, the sort of community our troll have in mind.

Let me clarify: You're confusing me with somebody who gives a shit about what you say. That's because you're a concern troll.


deniseb's picture
Submitted by deniseb on

to see what we were put through. I tried for a year to discuss things rationally and was screamed at and insulted every time. One by one I was quite deliberately driven out of every blog I had normally visited. Thank god for this place or I would have been off the net altogether.

Go away. You have lots of other places to go.

Nadai's picture
Submitted by Nadai on

I will not respond to comments of that sort, but if you would like to discuss getting a broader audience to learn from past mistakes, I am happy to respond.

as long you get to decide the parameters of the discussion, you're graciously willing to let your wisdom trickle down upon us. And here I am without my umbrella.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... our presumed goal of purity?

Or are you concerned that the top echelon of progressive bloggers was bullied into silence -- the admission of which has finally come to light -- on the election we all agreed might be the most important in our country's history?

Were those who created or turned a deaf-ear to the breakdown of this new medium among the progressives you "expected better from"?

Are you concerned that there is little appetite for learning how to, well, purify ourselves (to use Dr. King's term) in order to be a legitimate corrective to the MSM?

At least there's plenty of well-meaning sounding STFU. That's something to build on.

SullyFick's picture
Submitted by SullyFick on

1. No.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. ?

Message received. You are more comfortable with ridicule than with dialog. I can handle that.

SullyFick's picture
Submitted by SullyFick on

there's plenty of commenters who haven't matured since junior high. That's something to build on.

...and thanks for all the fish.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

We're all going to kill ourselves to clear the way for your shining talents and superior personal qualities to take center stage.

SullyFick's picture
Submitted by SullyFick on

for responding and confirming that Corrente Junior High School is still in session, vastleft.

mass's picture
Submitted by mass on

this site like that at all.

If you find reflection and discussion of the primary tiresome than you may want to find some other place to lurk because the "primary wars" as you call them exposed a lot of misogyny on the Left certainly worth discussing.

I mean, I am not sure how discussing the primary election, which anyone interested in politics, and after all this is a political blog, would say was the most fascinating primary in at least a generation, precludes discussion of ""progressive" bloggers [who] supported the Iraq War at the beginning (which helped give the War credence)...[Or,] politicians? [Or, the] people [who] are still dying in this war (and in Afghanistan)", or any other relevant topic. I think this site has been absolutely the best source of information for understanding the implications of the current administrations handling of the banking fiasco, for example. That's not related to the primary. Really not sure I understand your argument.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

that it was disappointing that Digby folded on some of the more critical pie-fight-inducing topics.

But it's also a hard position to take -- I escaped first to TalkLeft (until Palinmania took over), and then TC and here, among others, because I just couldn't stand, even as an occasional commenter, all the crap on the A-list sites. It was just too freakin' exhausting. And I wasn't even around for the really, really bad stuff at DK.

It IS possible to both sympathize with and be disappointed in someone; Digby is often fantastic but I don't quite understand the aggressive she-may-not-be-criticized reaction, and esp. against someone like kb who has labored mightily for the cause. The loyalty-challenge sounds far too much like the odious OFB tactic employed to such negative and discourse-ruining effect during the campaigns -- you're not a real Democrat/liberal/progressive/kitten-lover if you don't worship Obama.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Precisely because it was genuine self-criticism of the kind we don't see all that often.

And I appreciate your comment, because it's nuanced and fair, things that used to be hallmarks of progressives.

Nervine5's picture
Submitted by Nervine5 on

True enough, she WAS Chicken Shit
By katiebird (not verified) on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 11:53am

Wow. Can you imagine how different things might have been if Digby had been braver?

One of the heartbreaks of last year was my disappointment with her and her blog.

* reply

OOOOOOOOOOOh, katiebird: what did YOU do in the war
By Sarah on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:27pm

to stop the OFB from taking over the FKD?

And what you said above about Digby is shamelessly self-serving.

Digby got out there and gave the news and facts.

Did you run an A-list blog last year? Do you now?

Don't sling mud at Digby. This is not the venue that'll welcome such chickenshit behavior, even from a bird.