Originally posted on: 2006-06-14
Original location: http://blog.chrisheath.us/2006/06/14/97
The 1st Yearly Kos convention over and Vegas blinks. marKos rekons that he's taking one for the team. Established political forces have been attacking him, while the progressive 'netroots' (if you will) keeps on rolling.
some most of the after-action review from the man taking the punches:
- Mercenaries. Byron York was pissed that he didn't get any good "moonbat" material out of YearlyKos, and he was pissed that he was "balanced out" on Meet The Press, so he retaliated by dragging out the most tired of attacks on me. The "mercenary 'screw 'em'" comments. It's telling that after four years of blogging and four million words written, that's still the ONLY thing they've got to attack me with.Bottom line, I wrote those words in solidarity with the five Marines killed that day that were completely ignored by everyone. My solidarity is with my brothers and sisters in arms, those who are wearing combat boots like I once did. Not with mercenaries. And that I won't apologize for.Of course, all the sycophantic tendrils of the Republican Noise Machine have chimed in about the "far left" and 'extremist" Daily Kos. Little do they seem to realize that the more they rant about blogs and this site, the bigger and more relevant we become. This site is a direct creation of conservative bloggers obsessed with everything on here. If the site was important enough for them to monitor, it must be important. Right? And so now the heavies join in -- Hannity and Limbaugh and O'Reilly, and all they're doing is making the site even more relevant. So, um. thanks guys.(The left could've learned the same lesson regarding Coulter. The more we protest her and bitch about her, the more books she sells and TV appearances she books. There's no better way to kill an opponent in politics than to ignore him or her. If no one pays attention to you, you are no longer relevant.)
- Mickey Kaus, who is still pissed that people mistake him for me, says that single "mercenary" comment from almost three years ago is worse than all of Ann Coulter's greatest hits to date. Mickey, there must be better ways to stay relevant than this pathetic attempt at attention.
- Slate's John Dickerson writes why I "shouldn't believe the hype". I don't. I came from a journalism background. I know how this shit works -- build you up so they can tear you down. Great piece by Dickerson, and I agree with just about all of it.
- And then there's Dowd, whose snarky piece wasn't just par for the course with her, but wasn't really that bad all things considered. I snapped about it somewhere else and I sort of regret one of the three words I used. The other two I don't -- insecure and catty.Our interview consisted almost entirely of her wondering whether we really wanted to replace them ("the mainstream media"), and if so what would happen to her. Would she still have a job? And (here's the "catty" party) wasn't it just horrible that Anna Marie Cox was writing at Time? I mean, Dowd had spent 15 years working her way up to get to where she was at the NY Times. Cox got her Time gig after just two years of blogging. That just wasn't right!And how crazy was it that we were doing things that were "mainstream", huh? As though we're doing all of this gate crashing in order to remain on the outside...
- MoveOn's Zackley says this is all fake blog hype. That real power is still a few years off. That's fine, but I wonder why he had to suggest that I had become swallowed by the establishment simply because I've done Tim Russert. Media schedulers all over the country will testify to how reluctant I am to go on their shows. I just don't like doing them. The Daily Show and Colbert Report excepted. I'll go on those shows any day of the week.
Someone asked about how traditional media was missing the story, or attacking us, or mocking us, or whatever, and what we could do about it. My answer?
Who gives a shit.
Who cares what people say, or write, or do. They will continue to attempt to marginalize us, to tar us, to destroy us. This is politics, would we expect any different.
In a way, the fact that I have become the lightning rod is good. It keeps our enemies focused on me as a personality rather than the movement, which will continue to grow with or without me. In a lot of ways I'm providing cover. And even if they could bring me down, it wouldn't matter. That's the beauty of what we're building here. I'm ultimately irrelevant.
You are the real power, the real force. And by me taking the incoming, our enemies miss the real story and power. And for that, I'll happily take one for the team.
Finally, a hat tip to the Nation's Ari Melber, who wrote what must be one of the best pieces about the conference. Read it all, but I particularly like this passage.
"Yet many of the online activists are new insiders who got noticed more for ideas and attitude than for their political connections. The top bloggers also have an ongoing dialogue with thousands of people, providing an instant, public reality check through online comments. (Typical political insiders do not face such accountability once they enter pundit orbit.) As Salon's Peter Daou emphasized this weekend, bloggers can cross-pollinate with mainstream media without being co-opted, because "the blogosphere is a new power base, a stand-alone entity with its own ethos." Most important, this open, interactive structure may be a model for profound societal changes beyond Democratic politics."
Few writers really grasped that Vegas had very little to do with me, other than getting credit for laying down the plumbing for this place. Melber was one of the few who understood that this thing really isn't about me. (And that I don't want it to be about me.)
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