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Glenn's reply to my open letter

vastleft's picture

My original letter is here.

Glenn's response, followed by mine to him:

Thanks for sending me that email letting me know of your post. The email you sent it to is one I really don't use any more and only check very sporadically, so I am only seeing it now.

I registered for an account at Corrente a few days ago in order to post a comment correcting a false claim that was made about me there, but my account hasn't been approved, so I haven't been able to comment.

I understand the point you're making but it's all grounded in a false premise - the same false premise as the other Corrente post: that I was an Obama supporter during the primary. I just wasn't. I didn't support Obama either in public, in private, or in secret in my brain, and that's not going to change no matter how many times Hillary supporters assert that I did.

For many reasons, I largely didn't write about the primary wars. I didn't really feel strongly about any one candidate. I would have supported any of the plausible Democratic candidates more or less to the same extent over McCain. Even if I had a strong preference, which I didn't, I didn't think that I could have any impact on the race no matter how often I wrote about it. And I didn't want to support a candidate and thereby impede my ability to work on the issues that I write about and work on.

So it's completely false to say that I had some role to play in Obama's nomination or that I am only waking up now to his flaws, etc. etc. That's just all fabricated out of whole cloth.

The very few times I wrote about the primaries, I tended to focus on media issues -- I criticized the media treatment of Hillary on several occasions and did the same with Obama. Starting in late February, I did believe Obama was likely to be the nominee, and so focused on media treatment of him more, but I never advocated that Obama be the nominee or that Hillary should leave the race.

I criticized Obama in the past as well -- for circulating what I thought to be an overtly and inappropriately religious flier in South Carolina and for failing to take a leadership role on FISA. The only time I criticized Hillary, as I can recall, is for her lack of leadership on FISA, and I criticized Bill for his Jesse Jackson comment about Obama in S.C.

That was the sum and substance of my involvement in the primary. I'm well aware of Obama's flaws as a candidate and long have been. I recall vividly what he did during the Connecticut Lieberman/Lamont primary. I'm supporting him now and criticizing him when he deserves it exactly as I would have been had Hillary been the nominee.

There's a tendency on the part of people for whom a strong primary preference was their overriding political concern to project that mindset onto others. Not everyone shared that mentality and I definitely didn't. There were bloggers who were reverent of Obama and hostile to Hillary -- but I wasn't one of them, and I have to say that I resent to some degree the willingness of people to simply concoct facts about what I wrote and did and then assert them as though they're true. I'm not saying you did that -- I found your comment thoughtful and insightful -- but it was grounded in the same myth that I was "pro-Obama" in the primary.

Feel free to post this on Corrente. I would have posted it myself, but my comment registration wasn't approved.

Glenn Greenwald


Glenn, thank you for your reply.

I'm sorry about your difficulty in getting an account. For a number of reasons, our process for approving accounts has gotten seriously bollixed up, and quite a few folks are frustrated. I hope we can work out the kinks before too long. It would be great to see you comment here, if and when you are moved to do so.

The premise of my letter/post was not that you were an Obama supporter (or an uncritical one, if you were). It was that the left blogosphere, with staggeringly few exceptions, joined the mainstream media in embracing the kind of malignant Manichean mentality that you wrote a book about.

The "intellectual," "activist," and "creative classes" of the Democratic Party collectively decided and ritually repeated that Obama was a transformative savior and that Hillary was a Rovian racist warmonger-assassin witch with Multiple-Personality Disorder, bent on destroying her own party in pursuit of her selfish, entitled aims. A small bit of searching on leading sites like Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, and most any A-list blog's comments threads (and, frequently, the posts themselves), will show how routinely these ridiculous positions were put forth, often with the barest of criticism.

If wishes were mulligans, I'd like to have seen you focus some (or more, if you did some that I'm falling to recollect) of your astute and articulate how-we-fix-America attentions on that problem when there was still time for the candidates to have been properly vetted and properly pressured to earn their progressive bona fides.

As one of the most insightful critics of the Beltway's smarmy and deceptive "bipartisanship" meme, perhaps you might feel that in retrospect Obama's post-partisan agenda needed to be called out more loudly and regularly for its utter dishonesty and for its deleterious effect on whatever small resolve the Democrats may have had to protect and restore the Constitution and other foundations of American decency and legitimacy.

As time-travel, like impeachment, is off the table, my goal is to encourage you to tell the story of how progressive netroots helped get us into this fix, how the Left — just when the public was truly ready for real change — got just as lost in truthiness as the Right has been since St. Ronnie ascended to the White House. It seems an awfully fitting theme to envelope into your arguments about the hazards of placing Obama beyond criticism, as his own set of angel wings prepare to waft him into that stately home.

If you feel it would be gainful, I could describe where I did get the impression that you leaned somewhat more toward Obama than Hillary, but IMHO that topic is something of a red herring in this discussion. I don't dispute that you were at least relatively even-handed as a rule, and I unreservedly take you at your word about your true preferences or lack thereof among the candidates.

My goal is to enlist those who would listen into helping us all understand and learn from what went wrong in the blogosphere during this campaign and to help determine what steps should be taken to build a Progressive Blogosphere 2.0 that won't fly off the rails at the first glimpse of shiny, hopey promise or at a suddenly tempting whiff of old, unfounded smears against Democrats.

Again, I thank you for your taking the time to respond and for blowing the whistle on Obama and company's outrageous capitulation on FISA and more.

Best regards,
Vastleft

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leah's picture
Submitted by leah on

A thank-you goes to Glenn as well. This was an importantly worthwhile exchange.

My own posts have been limited, of late, for reasons, as you and the rest of our Senior Fellows know, that will be revealed next week.

However, I have been working on several posts which try to address the issues raised here, and issues I see raised in the response to Glenn in other posts and comment threads, as well as my perspective on how we move forward, without resorting to a "get over it" mentality, or by pretending that our experiences of the Democratic primary, the primary from hell, in my view, are now irrelevant, and that any and all attempts to understand the implications of what went on need be viewed as unnecessary impediments to victory in November.

My experience of reading Glenn during the primary is consistent with his own description of the position he consciously took, to remain distant from the day to day push and pull of being for one candidate or the other. Before other commentators seek to challenge that perception, I hope that they will take a look back at his work this year, for instance, and include references to it in their critique.

I was disappointed in his response to the "incident" that was made of Bill Clinton's mention of Jessie Jackson in So Carolina, although even then, Glenn went out of his way to make clear that he had been unimpressed with the attempts to paint Clinton as some kind of Rovian obsessive ready to do anything to win, etc., etc., etc.,. Then again, I don't expect to agree on every point with those I stand shoulder to shoulder with at the barricades, which I hope strikes no one as an overly dramatic trope, because that's sure as hell where it feels like we these days.

If anyone missed Glenn's post yesterday on "Keith Olbermann, Then and Now," hie yourself over to Salon and read.

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

Meanwhile, on you-know-where, there are now a number of recommended diaries warning everyone that if they keep talking about this Glenn/Keith battle royale (missed it, don't watch Keith), McCain will kick their puppies.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Greenwald grossly minimizes how viciously he attacked Bill Clinton and the Clinton campaign. It was the distortions and lies of Greenwald that for a lot of people who didn't know better legitimized the accusation that the Clintons were running a racist campaign.

Of course, Greenwald never 'noticed' the racism coming out of the Obama campaign itself --- and it is this selective 'vision' of Greenwald that shows how in the tank he's been for Obama.

I mean, how can you take seriously anyone who says "Starting in late February, I did believe Obama was likely to be the nominee, and so focused on media treatment of him more, but I never advocated that Obama be the nominee or that Hillary should leave the race" when, in fact, it was the media itself that was driving the "Obama is inevitable" theme in "late February".

While Clinton was being savaged from January 9th on, Greenwald remained silent. But media "crimes" against Obama were documented by Greenwald, and his piece on Obama's Wright speech read like a teen-aged girl's mash not to Zach Efron. (reaction to the Wright speech was the Kool-Aid equivalent of a breathalyzer test --- the more efflusive your praise of that speech, the more you'd bought into the mytho of Obama).

As to Greenwald's claim that he never publicly supported Obama -- neither did Donna Brazile...

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Obama's staff were all pushing an orchestrated -- and memo'd -- campaign to paint them as racist--starting from "She never cried during Katrina" and raising the Bradley effect in New Hampshire.

Greenwald was never raving about Obama, but he ignored enormous dirty tricks from them all along.

Swift Loris's picture
Submitted by Swift Loris on

preemptively calling [the McCain campaign] racist even before they’ve gotten started

It's a setup. They couldn't be quite so obvious about it with the Clinton campaign because of the Clintons' long record with the A-A community. With the McCain campaign, they just announce it ahead of time, then do what they did with the Clintons, "finding" racism in the most innocent remarks and screeching, "See? See? We told you so!"

Makes it almost impossible for the other side to campaign--but that's the point, of course. What a classy strategy.

Submitted by gob on

against Obama. I'm disheartened by the failure to call this what it is in the "big media". I have no love for McCain, but really, how can a person defend himself against a charge that he intends to launch a racist attack (that's what Obama's "they're going to try to scare you ... and by the way, he's a black guy" line amounts to). It's a nice variation on the "when did you stop beating your wife" smear.

Sadly, I see Digby has taken up this line of attack, against the detestable Karl Rove.

A smear against a bad person is still a smear. This is pure poison being injected into the national psyche.

I am so happy!!!!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they perfected this strategy ages ago, and successfully use it against candidates of all colors--and aren't ashamed or hurt by being called racists either.

Just like we never win when we try to move right and out-Republican and out-tough them on stuff--especially when the candidates aren't forceful and clear and tough at all--like Dukakis, Kerry, and Obama.

Submitted by lambert on

But I don't see any. A word like "vicious" demands backup.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2...

I appreciate that he included a lot more relevant caveats than most other bloggers did, and he didn't make a habit of that kind of post.

Still, like Leah, I was seriously disappointed in the post (which took grave offense at a mere sour grapes comment that Jesse Jackson himself wasn't troubled by) and the fact that he never got exercised then or (AFAIK) later about the race-boating context that set the tone for the SC election.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

millions of us all over the country loved him and voted for him -- and he was great on issues that mattered and had a long track record of fighting for rights and opportunity and community--things Obama doesn't have.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

Turning Jackson into an insult was beyond the pale. But then so much of Obama's campaign was focused on demeaning the accomplishments of others.

That said, beyond the offense to Bill Clinton, the charge implied Jesse Jackson was nothing or at most a joke -- only fools and republicans believe that. For Obama to be the one that belittled and then weaponized Jackson, when Obama most certainly benefited from Jackson's runs both symbolically and literally, and especially with the delegate allocation changes that Jackson fought for and won at convention, makes it that much worse.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

nor did he deign to notice the vicious treatment that Clinton recieved nightly from Olberman and his crew -- only now that Olberman praised Obama when Greenwald criticized Obama does Glenn seem to notice that Olberman isn't exactly an objective journalist....

As a gay man, I'm particularly sensitive to gender issues -- and who is paying attention to them. Greenwald, while displaying all the symptoms of a limosine liberal when it came to racial issues, completely ignored the sexist treatment aimed at Clinton -- including statements by Obama himself. Sexism and misogyny is alive and well in the gay community -- and Greenwald's refusal to address that issue is just one example of how "fashionable" gay men are happy to treat women (including lesbians) as second class citizens.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

None of us writes about or notices everything. To paint Glenn as a "limousine liberal" gay misogynist because he didn't write about Olbermann's McCarthyesque rant or certain other issues that might matter to you or me is quite uncalled for.

You've got a lot of legitimate axes to grind (not so much, I think, vis-a-vis Glenn, though) with concerns and grievances about Obama, and a worthy debate going about whether PUMAs must refuse to support Obama -- until their leverage gets them something or never at all.

But this ad hominem crap is bad for the blog. And it's just plain bad. I don't want to have to delete your comments, but you're crossing a line here.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the ignoring of his highlighting of McClurkin the ex-gay, and the refusal to even take pics with Gavin Newsome, and his "separate but equal" policy for us, etc---none of those things ever are brought up, but one comment by Bill--a non-candidate--gets big attention. Even wonder about all that?

Just as many online and off ignored blatant sexism and misogyny, they ignored and still ignore blatant homophobia and insults towards us.

You're right that you can't attack because they didn't write about something--but why is it all so selective and why do some things never come up or count, and others do, and others only count when it's too late? It's important to pay attention.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and of all Democratic achievements and legacies not deserve that attention his selective outrage at one comment by Bill got?

all these things that aren't covered or given attention count too--that's the point of paul's comments and many of ours too--this selective fauxtrage about Bill in SC was wholly orchestrated and pushed by Obama's campaign and Glenn jumped at it--why was that?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"you can’t attack because they didn’t write about something" or you don't.

In my focus on Obama's serial throwing-under-buses, I'm sure I've missed all sorts of unrelated important facts and narratives. I do think one is responsible for doing due diligence on the stuff that one focuses on.

That's why I take Glenn to task for missing the race-boating, because it was completely germane to the topic of his Bill Clinton/SC piece.

Naturally, I'd wish that a writer as gifted and popular as Glenn would have joined us in condemning Olbermann's despicable RFK-gate rant, but I can't expect him to cover the entire waterfront, and I'm certainly not to going project personal stereotypes onto him when he doesn't.

For example, I don't know much about other crummy rants that Olbermann has done since he jumped the shark. Should people generalize about me based on that?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

how selective and how many things got ignored--and it's important to ask why that is--big bloggers are almost all white straight men of a certain class--and they jumped on some things and totally ignored or minimized others that were more important and affected tons of people--and even the ones who didn't drink the kool-aid simply ignored so very many things while still jumping on the things Obama's campaign was pushing--repeatedly and loudly.

Even now, they still do it for the most part. And it's not good enough to point to female or gay blogs/bloggers as a counterpoint -- or as a remedy. Just as the big media ignores tons of things, we see it online as well. Just as the big media makes the story of the day out of Drudge/Politico and the campaign's fauxtrages of the day, we see the same thing online as well.

Why was Bill's comment such a big thing? Why did Greenwald jump on it? ...

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

and why did he not notice the consistent pattern of sexism and misogyny that Clinton was subjected to for months?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I know that, like any other blogger, he followed his own path about what to write about.

If he leaves out essential and easily accessible material in a story he does write, as I believe he did in the Bill Clinton SC article, I think it's worthy of criticism.

However, demeaning, ad hominem attacks on my blog are worthy of criticism, too, and I'm waiting for you to delete your uncalled-for generalization about Mr. Greenwald.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

...nor do I think it was an ad hominem.

but its your blog, so delete it if you want to.

and while you're at it, write to Greenwald and ask when he's going to apologize for his ad hominem attack on Bill Clinton and the Clinton campaign....

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

is that you noticed some of it.

Greenwald, since January 9th, noticed none of it.

At all.

While casting the Clinton campaign as racist, praising Obama, and criticizing the media for its treatment of Obama.

Unless you were drunk on the Kool-Aid, it was impossible to NOT notice what you noticed, VL.

Submitted by lambert on

I tracked the misogyny, and even drove some of the coverage. But if we want to set the record straight, statements aren't enough, the links are needed. "Separate but equal," doesn't ring a bell with me, for example, and I do try to keep track.

Absent some evidence and reasoning, VL's right: We just have an ad hominem attack so, amberglow, your comment is non-responsive.

Nothing wrong with taking on any blogger, but the blowback affects the whole blog, not just the poster, so a real case has to be made. I'm not seeing that here.

NOTE Snark, sure. Snark is obviously snark. This stuff is not snark.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by lambert on

Back it up, Paul, or take it down. VL is right.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

with links the fact that someone completely ignored something?

I've done the searches of Greenwald's columns -- the words "sexism, Clinton" or "misogyny, Clinton" don't show up anywhere in his DAILY blog at salon since January 9... except for ONE time when he was quoting Digby -- and he was writing about how wrong it would be for Obama to be treated as badly as Clinton has -- he couldn't be bothered to write about the media's treatment of Clinton --- and only deigned to notice it when Obama was subjected to just a small sample of the crap that Clinton put up with.

This was his diatribe about the "stephanopolus/Gibson debate" -- a debate in which most of the 'non-issue' questions were about things that has come to the public's attention SINCE the last debate. And lets face it, Obama was practically allegic to the discussion of real issues until this debate -- when suddenly he starts complaining about "distractions".

It was the OBAMA CAMPAIGN ITSELF that pushed the "Bosnia sniper" story. OBAMA HIMSELF tried to make an issue of the Clinton's tax retursn (even though Hillary had been providing personal financial information for years as a senator -- and the ONLY thing that would be revealed by those tax teturns would be stuff about her husband, since they filed jointly)

NONE OF THAT MATTERED TO GREENWALD. SUDDENLY, BECAUSE OBAMA WAS GETTING A DOSE OF THE MEDICINE HE'D BEEN TELLING THE MEDIA TO GIVE TO CLINTON, GREENWALD HAS A HISSY FIT.

I can't give you links for the stuff that Greenwald never bothered to write -- but the fact is that it was OBVIOUS to anyone who wasn't drunk on the Obama-Aid....

Swift Loris's picture
Submitted by Swift Loris on

Sexism and misogyny is alive and well in the gay community — and Greenwald’s refusal to address that issue is just one example of how “fashionable” gay men are happy to treat women (including lesbians) as second class citizens.

I think you have Greenwald dead to rights on his omissions. And you may be right about what I quoted above, but it certainly never occurred to me as I read his columns that those omissions were due to his being gay. If you can't document that--and I don't know how you possibly could--it seems gratuitous.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

as a gay man, its practically impossible for me to NOT be aware of gender issues.

however, I'm also aware that a lot of gay men don't take womens issues seriously. Greenwald's virtual silence on the misogyny and sexism directed at Clinton speaks volumes to me -- he made a CHOICE to ignore this issue (he even obliquely acknowledges it, while obsessing over media treatment of Obama).

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

some of the most prominent bloggers are -- and it's not an insult but an observation.

and there's an established pattern of totally ignoring certain things -- Drudge, Brock, Sullivan, Aravosis, etc -- they all did it/do it and all pushed the Obama campaign's preferred focus and talking points.

(For instance: this gets ignored and actually is important and relevant to Obama governing and our rights--unlike Bill's comment, which wasn't: "... The wife of Democratic candidate Barack Obama spoke before the Democratic National Committee's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council about civil rights struggles "from Selma to Stonewall."
She showcased what she called her husband's long record of pushing for equal treatment for all, spinning his refusal to endorse gay marriage by noting he supports civil unions and would let states decide what's best. ..." -- compare and contrast to the intense and prolonged focus given to Bill's SC comment--"separate but equal" & "state's rights" = "long record of equal treatment for all" ???)

Swift Loris's picture
Submitted by Swift Loris on

--that wasn't what I was saying was gratuitous.

Rather, what struck me as gratuitous is the assumption that he failed to discuss sexism and so on because he's gay. It may be true for all I know, but it's not something that occurred to me as I read his stuff. I think tnjen's right, it's a more general issue that should be discussed separately.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...the critique of omissions in coverage is much needed but the conclusion regarding where his impetus comes from is neither necessary nor helpful. It's cause for your questions and critiques to be ignored and dismissed. I know you're speaking from a position of knowledge regarding a certain strata of the gay community but that's neither here nor there, since in order to get there and cite it as a general cause, you have to make an assumption without any evidence.

Wouldn't it better to separate the issues and critiques? The dominance of gay bloggers/reporters in the MSM and A-list blogs and whether or not gay male hegemony sets a specific and/or skewed tone that controls/shapes much of the dialogue is a topic worth exploring on its own. It goes right along with questioning and critiquing the male dominance of the media in general, the type of media culture that such dominance creates, and how and why, it results in specific coverage and priorities in coverage.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and it's certainly an established pattern of behavior by that subgroup in particular--along with the larger male group online--who all ignored, dismissed, and/or minimized overt and orchestrated behavior/comments/strategies that didn't hit them directly in the case of sexism and misogyny--and were even excused in the case of homophobia-- all from Obama's campaign.

It's not like Paul pulled it out of nowhere as an insult.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

like ignoring or minimizing things that don't insult you personally, or simply catapulting the smears and insults a certain candidate wants pushed that week, etc?

It's like the Clinton Derangement Syndrome in general-- and how the assumptions are that they're evil Machiavellian racists with no principles and deserved no benefit of the doubt ever--unlike Obama (not!)-- can you prove the motivations behind that--or can you only document and critique what you see as a pattern?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Glenn is pretty damn far from an active catapulter of the propaganda.

Could he have done better? I think so. If you think so, show some linky goodness and make a point.

But to defend these kind of generalizations while criticizing comparable offenses such as misogyny is abject hypocrisy, and I'm ashamed to see it happen here.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...and has been on full display. A certain former TNR editor comes immediately to mind as do a few others. I'm not trying to condemn Paul for pulling it out of nowhere and actually think he's making a much needed critique of a rather abhorrent segment that too often gets a free pass. I'm just saying that it's (1) worthy of discussion in its own right and (2) in the case of Greenwald, Paul's critiques regarding omissions stand strong but going further than that and saying he explicitly made those omissions because of X or Y needs evidence of X or Y. There's an important difference between saying any given culture may have contributed to a lack of sensitivity and/or lack of coverage regarding specific issues and saying that he did it because he is an unabashed member of the gay misogynists club.

I'm not saying don't make the case but rather if you're gonna make it, pin them to a carnival wheel with mounds of evidence before you throw knives at them. Otherwise, it all gets dismissed and a much needed critique is ignored.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

this whole convo tho, reminds me exactly of the big media people and outlets who once in a while look back at their coverage--of the Iraq runup, of a missing white girl, of celebrity messes, of an Election, of sexism towards Hillary, of their blatant propagandizing of Administration and DC Village and GOP viewpoints and talking points, of using retired Military puppets to push Pentagon propaganda, of open crimes by Republicans compared to Dems, etc--and decide they weren't guilty of anything at all.

--even tho for each and every one of those topics, they ignored, minimized, dismissed or shut out issues, points, voices, actions, etc, that conflicted with their chosen viewpoints/narratives at the time -- at the same time they were clearly pushing others. For some of those things, you can point directly to a cause/motivation--pressure from GOP/Administration of loss of access or being shut out, peer pressure from other media, corporate demands because of legislation they wanted or party id, industry conflicts with advertisers or parent companies, a network being solely white male hosts, or Republican staffed, etc...

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...comparison and agree that much of the media will likely reach the same self-exculpatory conclusions **if** they can be somehow forced into self-examination. I also think it's a safe bet that a lot of people know exactly what has been going on regarding coverage of the primaries and what caused it precisely because --and as you point out-- we've seen it so many times before in other situations and have often been proven correct by media studies after the fact.

The problem is we're caught between knowing and proving and when we start naming names and making hard statements as opposed to generalized critiques we've got to have the person or persons we're calling out dead to rights or we're dismissed and labeled reactionary (and many, many, other unflattering terms). One mistake or error in charging the wrong person, or even the right person without proof, becomes a tool for them to fend off all critiques. They've got the bully pulpit so our burden when critiquing them from the outside is much, much, greater than it should be.

Submitted by hipparchia on

that states it very well

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Just as many online and off ignored blatant sexism and misogyny, they ignored and still ignore blatant homophobia and insults towards us.

that is what made AmericaBlog so weird, all this fan love for a candidate that denigrates you, I just don't understand it.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

fair or unfair. (maybe unfair, but isn't how Paul sees it as connected and relevant actually relevant when talking groups and ignoring or dismissing or minimizing glaring actions in favor of blowing up nonsense?)

It's grouping, labeling, and recognition of a similar pattern and certain identical behaviors by some prominent online folks.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

It's a demeaning generalization that's being kicked around here, taking one of the finest people who's ever worked in this medium and reducing him to a stereotype. And for what? Because of a couple of posts he wrote that interpreted or included/excluded facts or conclusions different from what one of us may have written!? Or for some posts he didn't write!?

This is shameful!

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

it's the grouping/labeling/observation and critiquing of just a few similar very visible and prominent gay men who act in similar ways and ignore/dismiss/demean the same exact things in favor of blowing up certain specific other things.

the fact that they're gay isn't a bad thing -- but is a very relevant thing.

stereotyping would be painting all gay men online as having the same negative characteristics/attributes--Paul didn't do that either.

The very fact that there are tons of other gay bloggers/blogs (but they're all either ghettoized, invisible in comparison, or not visited/linked by the bigger folks) that do always cover the whole shebang-- they're actually aware and sensitive to how all the actual stereotyping and demeaning based on sex or race or gender or orientation, etc, needs to all be assessed and judged and covered or not based on truth or damage done and why, etc--- while these few bigtime white gay male bloggers of a certain status and stature don't ever do that -- is remarkable. And whether it's provable or not, the facts are there in stories pushed and not pushed on those topics--the labeling is accurate.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

or is it an accurate assessment of some who act in consistent and specific ways and push the same things--or don't ever--based on their posts and records, etc?

Olbermann makes a good contrast actually--he actually wholly changed the things he covered and didn't cover and the things he chose to be outraged about and talk about, etc--all at some point during/after NH primary. It used to be all against the Administration entirely, and became all against Hillary and Bill -- and all for Obama. He drank the koolaid, like others did, and it was evident. Greenwald accurately assessed and trashed him for it.

These specific bloggers tho, actually have consistently ignored or minimized or dismissed or demeaned very important and relevant things -- from explicitly GLBT-related things like when Congress took the T out of ENDA and HRC was horrendous, or ex-gay McClurkin was made Emcee of Obama's Gospel Tour to get Black votes, and the lineup of haters/bigots on Obama's Faith Committees, etc -- to tons of other racial/religious/gender things -- like "claws coming out" and "periodically" and the recent Muslim/Ellison stuff, and the Wright/Phleger stuff that openly demeaned Hillary at the pulpit--to all the blatant sexism and horrors against Hillary, etc... while consistently pushing and propagating and loudly reinforcing what Obama wanted to be outraged about instead--like Ferraro and Bill and Jesse and RFK and MLK/LBJ, and the BET guy, etc. instead.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

this isn't about one or two isolated issues...

its about the biggest story of the last five months (the fight for the Democratic nomination) -- a story that Greenwald covered from a very specific angle (Obama can do no wrong) -- and chose not to cover from a very specific angle, despite being a self-proclaimed 'media critic'.

its about Greenwald's highly selective critique of the media and politics -- its not just that he missed detail X or didn't cover story Y, its he massive void in his coverage that could only have been intentional.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

they're the poster boys for masochistic and wholly pro-Obama blinders, i'd say.

--but they've also both always been lousy on stuff that didn't directly affect them or others like them--and downright hostile/dismissive about many working-class, L, and T things too.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

Well, you can make the (correct) argument that Mr. Greenwald put other, more positive stuff in his column, and also was less biased than some other columnists, but he called Mr. Clinton the Chris Matthews of South Carolina (his column title at the url below) and he did choose to use (with other, better things) this quote:

"Here's how Clinton fan and loyal Democrat Anonymous Liberal put it:...Clinton is sullying his reputation, harming the Democratic coalition, and setting back race relations in this country, and he's doing all of this solely to advance his wife's near-term political prospects. It's as if he's become so focused on winning this primary battle that he's completely lost sight of all larger considerations."

Since I think Bill Clinton happened to be talking about the success of a friend of his, Jesse Jackson Sr., I think using this quote was way over the top. But even if you don't share my view, surely Mr. Clinton's one mild comment about Mr. Jackson's success wasn't "setting back race relations in this country"?

I don't believe that Mr. Greenwald generally talks in this way--in fact I could find no other entries on a Google search of his name with race or gender relations. So I believe this criticism and the tone of that column, written 1/27/08--before Mr. Greenwald's personal belief began that Mr. Obama would be the nominee--were probably somewhat influenced by the general pro-Obama media coverage. (I am not pretending to read Mr. Greenwald's mind here, just remarking that the media promoted this story a lot then.)

Submitted by hipparchia on

is there a subset of gay men for whom women [and sexism and misogyny] really are invisible? or even antithetical? yes [what paul said, what amber said, and they both said it with more authority than i will ever be able to]. and no, it's not just a stereotype, it happens a lot in the world of straight men too.

is greenwald a member of that subset? i wouldn't know. i seldom read any of the a-list blogs, and i don't spend enough time in the company of gay men to keep my radar fine-tuned.

linkiness, of a sort [very unscientific and lacking in rigor] --

as of this writing, when i type site:http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/ ________ into google, i get ___ hits returned:

============================

clinton, 734 hits
hillary, 410
hillary clinton, 327

============================

obama, 1270 hits
barack, 490
barack obama, 472

============================

race, 182 hits
racist, 28
racism, 8

============================

sexism, 3 hits
sexist, 2
misogyny, 0
misogynist, 0

============================

so, coupla things:

The very few times I wrote about the primaries, I tended to focus on media issues — I criticized the media treatment of Hillary on several occasions and did the same with Obama.

greenwald's blog mentioned racism more often than sexism or misogyny, so yeah, his media critique on this was lacking, as was pretty much everybody else's in the a-list-osphere.

Even if I had a strong preference, which I didn’t, I didn’t think that I could have any impact on the race no matter how often I wrote about it.

if you mention one person or issue markedly more often than any others, people will, rightly or wrongly, infer that that person or issue is more important to you. and if everybody who's got a national audience mentions person a quite a bit more than they all mention persons b,c,d,e,f,g,h, it eventually piles up and b,c,d,e,f,g,h all become less visible to the public. doesn't matter what the motives are for mentioning or not mentioning someone, the result is still the same.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i can sympathize with pelosi to a great extent, actually. i've spent a lot of years being the only woman, or one of just a few, working in a hyper-macho environment. unless the misogyny is truly blatant, or unless i very purposely look for it, i don't notice it much anymore either.

it's still out there, though. a lot.

Submitted by gob on

and for the same reason - that I know what it's like to block out the woman-hating for the sake of self-preservation. But she should have learned by now that the price for that is too high.

Submitted by hipparchia on

ok, i made a quick-and-dirty count: 18 hits mention 'race' as in race relations, race in america, inter-racial, etc.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

If I had a little more sense, I'd delete it all.

1. Ad hominem attacks
2. Stereotyping based on sexual orientation
3. Proving Mr. Greenwald exactly right that people are wrongly painting him as a major Obama shill
4. Making it untenable in this exchange to give him any reality-based criticism of those posts that suggested to some of us a degree of bias toward Obama and against Hillary
5. Ignoring the series of remarkable posts he's written about Obama in the last week, which have galvanized thought about the new head of the party's pathetic and hypocritical capitulations on essential Constitutional issues
6. Completely overwhelming the original agenda, which was to invite a leading light of the blogosphere -- not just well-known, but an extraordinary knowledgeable and articulate individual who has proven himself capable of criticizing the anointed presumptive nominee when few others were prepared to -- to discuss the blogosphere meltdown and potential remedies. Instead we have a meltdown of our own here, as offhanded theories about the mentality of gay bloggers are suddenly the coin of the realm in these parts.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you can delete my comments if they detract from your purpose. i haven't got a problem with that.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

Delete at will or if you prefer I'll delete what you'd have me.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

1. Ad hominem attacks

Greenwald has no problem engaging in them -- look at his column on Bill Clinton... or anything having to do with John McCain.

2. Stereotyping based on sexual orientation

never happened. I simply noted that as a gay man, I know that its virtually impossible to not be aware of gender issues -- and that its clear that Greenwald chose to not write about the sexism and misogyny to which clinton was subjected. Struck with these rather 'contradictory' facts, I posited that he was among those gay men who don't take women's issues seriously.

3. Proving Mr. Greenwald exactly right that people are wrongly painting him as a major Obama shill

Was in he John Cole's league? No. Was he an Obama shill, absolutely. So now we're merely debating the definition of the word 'major'

4. Making it untenable in this exchange to give him any reality-based criticism of those posts that suggested to some of us a degree of bias toward Obama and against Hillary

he drank the Kool-Aid. He's never going to admit to what he's done. (just look at how he described his piece eviscerating Bill Clinton -- as if it were something minor said in passing.)

5. Ignoring the series of remarkable posts he’s written about Obama in the last week, which have galvanized thought about the new head of the party’s pathetic and hypocritical capitulations on essential Constitutional issues

Obama hits Greenwald in the head with a cast iron frying pan on the FISA issue -- and Greenwald has an epiphany!!!!! Some of us who didn't drink the Kool=Aid figured this out months ago.

And, if you actually bother to read what Greenwald has written, most of it has been whining about the media -- and a LOT of it has been about HIM. I mean, if he had focussed half the energy and attention on Obama's lack of character that he has on how the media is writing about this issue, he'd be worth defemding...

6. Completely overwhelming the original agenda, which was to invite a leading light of the blogosphere — not just well-known, but an extraordinary knowledgeable and articulate individual who has proven himself capable of criticizing the anointed presumptive nominee when few others were prepared to

geez, when Obama did his 180 on FISA, half the fauxgressive blogosphere went after him -- Greenwald was just one of a crowd.

— to discuss the blogosphere meltdown and potential remedies. Instead we have a meltdown of our own here, as offhanded theories about the mentality of gay bloggers are suddenly the coin of the realm in these parts.

Greenwald id part of the problem, not part of the solution. He's an "A-List" blogger who is far more concerned with promoting himself and telling people how smart he is than in doing intellectually honest commentary. (Is he currently promoting his third or fourth book -- he churns them out with such regularity he's the Stephen King of pandering-to-progressives authors.)

Greenwald is obviously one of your heroes, but he's not one of mine. You obviously don't have a problem with 'off-hand' theories here.... so I guess its just the person being criticized that is at issue.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

is to have more testosterone (or adrenaline, depending on how p.o.'d you are at the time) in your system and spend it more freely.

Example: Jerk calls me a pejorative/cutesy name over the phone that my spouse of 15 years knew better than to call me even in private.

Once call is over I walk into my supervisor's office and explain to him very matter of factly that if this turkey calls me that again I will break his jaw if I have to walk all the way to Dallas to do it.

Maybe it's the fact that we went to the same high school, and I had a rep for throwing people across tables in the lunch room back then when they mistreated my friends. Or maybe it's that I was still so pissed off I spoke barely above a whisper and I was trembling from head to foot. Or maybe it was that, clearly, I was not making a threat; I was stating a fact.

Anyway, my supervisor decided to "look into it" seriously (which IMNVHO the company should have done months earlier when other females complained about this jerk's treatment of them). "Looking into it" revealed some other unsavory episodes, and the guy was fired.

Justice? Nah, 'cause his attitude about and his treatment of women probably won't improve. But it did get him out of the other women's hair.

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

"Don't mess with Sarah"!

The good state of Texas should send YOU to clean up the mess at the FLDS compounds! :-)

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

excellent work on a number of the Bush administration problems and great stuff on constitutional law. Check him out over at www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald to see what he says about the constitutional stuff now.

What kind of remedies do you think there are to the blogosphere meltdown? I guess we should all talk about what went on for us, but personally I thought this explained a lot:

"Becky Carroll, national director of Women for Obama...said the Obama campaign's outreach to women has grown through the primary season to now number 30,000 core organizers and surrogates, who actively recruit online, through block parties, phone banks, book clubs and other outreach efforts."

30,000 just for the women. How many for the men and children? I hope Obama's paying these people, even if they are uncool at times on-line. The Obama fellows are unpaid volunteers, which pretty much limits them to the richer. Many of these campaign people created part of the problem this year--I'm assuming many will leave after November.

Giving uncritical endorsements of the preferred candidate and then acting like a fan at a ballgame seem to me to have made a lot of the problem. The internet's at times a curious mix of id and superego.

Hide the ponies!

Submitted by cg.eye on

bloggers, mostly A-list and male, could not help themselves to the misogyny platter at the buffet?

Didn't Shakes document the atrocities?

Now that we put 2 and 2 together, and start wondering whether the misogyny was connected to the old strain of gay dismissal of women and their concerns, we're doing something bad, bad, bad?

Look, vastleft, do you know why most homophilic organizations start out with Lesbian, Gay, et al.? Because prominent gay organization heads suddenly got feminist? Nope. Because they suddenly started dying, and the only people willing to step up with frequency and political commitment to help were lesbians. I was old enough in the 80s to read the papers and mags and listen to the debates that women had with men in the movement, the open discussion of 'if you want our help, value us, pretend to give a damn about breast cancer and dental dams and womens' space'. If a word ahead in the acronym served as acknowledgement, we took it, but we were under no illusion that gay men wanted us in their main spaces (bars especially. And when women try to do for themselves -- know any 7 day a week lesbian bar in the country? Know ten?) and that no money would be shared to address lesbian causes unless we fought for it. If lesbians had to fight for respect, how do you think straight women fared?

Now with the receding memories of the Second Wave of feminism, some gay men, on the whole stronger, more out, healthier, are now able to pretend the bad days didn't make them reach out for womens' help, would really like their old cultures back, thanks, with none of this pesky feminism to process power relationships or question why guys just can't have their way. Some of that rage came out against Hillary Clinton, but I have no doubt that if given the chance to Go Wide, it would.

Just because we have a common enemy doesn't mean lesbians and gays are automatically friends. Friendships take work, and fidelity and proof -- and a lot of the names on amberglow's list at 16:54 are being tested now on whether they'll stand up for lesbians and straight women's rights, when it goes against their dreams of a hunky guy winning the Oval Office. (And don't tell me Obama's not asking for gay male votes; I saw the dudes handing out the stickers at Gay Pride last weekend.)

I don't share this type of pessimism often, because it's bad form. But each and every time I read an Aravosis post about Hillary, I hear his muttered C-word, the ancient jokes about fish, the appropriation that he must be the fiercest one in the room, and all women must suffer, like Jame Gumb, for his envy. I know Greenwald is more principled, and more fair, but not seeing that big a problem when he is a media and political commentator? Man, he must have been distracted.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Why is that Glenn's problem?

The rapidity and verve with which he has been reduced here to someone who should be judged on his personal life instead of the content of his work simply astounds -- and offends -- me.

I'm not going to defend his Bill Clinton/SC post (his, mine) or his lofty praise for the supposed Greatest Speech About Race Evah (his, mine), same for his uncritical recommendation of Samantha Power's foreign policy memo. IMHO, he got those badly wrong, and that gave rise to speculation that he was in the tank for Obama. Ditto for his apparent concern for sleights about Obama and his seeming lack of same when it came to Hillary. He explains his thinking on the latter part, which one may accept as a legitimate argument or a rationalization. His most recent actions, a series of withering posts that strip bare the pretense that Obama's capitulations on FISA are anything but capitulaion ought to earn him the benefit of the doubt. He didn't need to escalate this fight, just like he didn't need to call bullshit about Obama's Christ-y brochure.

And, arguendo, say he's a liar who's handsomely paid by Axelrod to stealthily manipulate unsuspecting people into voting for Obama.

WTF would that have to do with his sexual orientation???

Do you admire it when conservatives rebut arguments by saying, "you know how women/blacks/Jews/etc. are"?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i seem to remember a CD post about Jews, money, and Israel that didn't raise a peep out of you---while it was based on and loaded with actual pernicious and historically deadly stereotypes and lies. This is nothing like that.

i think you see being called gay a slur, vast--get over it--many of us here are gay, and we know what we speak of. and we know what we see when we see it.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

http://www.correntewire.com/when_irony_o...

See also my other reply on that thread, which -- as it happens -- cites some relevant data found in one of Glenn's posts.

Sorry I lack the gay cred to properly defend myself from "i think you see being called gay a slur, vast—get over it—many of us here are gay, and we know what we speak of. and we know what we see when we see it." I'll have to let my posts speak for themselves.

What I'm disturbed by in this thread is substituting stereotypes for legitimate analysis, which is demeaning.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

do know stuff--just as members of other groups/subgroups also know stuff others aren't always aware of or sensitive to-- for all of us--and it's denigrating that knowledge and instead insulting -- and assuming that some kind of pernicious stereotype is being peddled to hurt people.

it's not. calling a gay person gay is not a stereotype or an insult. calling a prominent comfortable gay white male blogger out for displaying the same behavior that comfortable gay white males display online and offline is not a stereotype or insult.

(there's a reason that marriage is in the news more and is more of the focus of attention -- and not housing or employment discrimination, which directly affect far far more of us LGBT people than marriage does.

that reason has much to do with race/class/gender. and there's a myopia/blinders on all of us, but most prominently of white gay males of a certain class who have demonstrated for decades a willful ignorance, hostility, and/or dismissal of the concerns of others)

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

is that Greenwald's failure to make any mantion of the misogynistic attacks on Clinton for the last five months (while screaming 'racist' numerous times when it came to Obama) is primae facie evidence of sexism and/or Kool-Aid drinking in my book.

But sexism is generally associated with the "straight male" community (the objectification of women, etc)... but its not merely a "straight male" phenomenon -- and its important to note that there is sexism and misogyny in the gay male community.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Vast Left writes:

***************
But this ad hominem crap is bad for the blog. And it’s just plain bad. I don’t want to have to delete your comments, but you’re crossing a line here.
***************

Lambert writes:

**************
Back it up, Paul, or take it down. VL is right.
**************

What a joke. I suggest you two spend a little more effort getting Mr. Greenwald's registration here squared away and then getting out of the way.

(Paul, I think VL and Lambert think they're on the verge of trading up -- you understand I'm sure.)

Submitted by lambert on

1. Greenwald's registration is caught up in another matter which, we hope, will be resolved Monday. It has nothing to do with this thread.

2. Trading up? Wow.... Blog and grow rich, eh?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

if it was my blog, I'd rather have greenwald commenting than me -- the guy is a freaking ATM machine....

Submitted by lambert on

... why are you here? Go find yourself a blog that isn't a cesspool of corruption like this one.

Sheesh.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

approve Glenn's account, assuming he is still interested in posting!

Glenn, if you are reading this, know that I am a huge fan of your work and if we save the fourth amendment, you will be a big reason why. Thanks!

Submitted by lambert on

Greenwald’s registration is caught up in another matter which, we hope, will be resolved Monday. It has nothing to do with this thread.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

“Don’t mess with Sarah”!

The good state of Texas should send YOU to clean up the mess at the FLDS compounds! :-)

But thank you for the thought. I am not a social worker.
I am not an effective child advocate. In my 20s and 30s, I used to say, "I do not have an attitude problem. I am an attitude problem."

The older I get the harder it is for me to put up with the idea that other people ought to get to mistreat women and kids in the name of religion. I hold this grudge against Santeria and every fundamentalist cult from the Taliban to the Southern Baptist Convention, not excepting the Muslim "faith" that encourages honor killings and female genital mutilation any more than I do the Asiatic-Indian "faiths" that practice suttee; arranged marriages are bad enough when they're arranged between similarly-aged, never-met-before 'spouses,' but when "spiritual sealing" is just another excuse for child rape, my anger-management training fails. Cults are a symptom; the problem is greed and power-hunger, and the causes are stupid humans (largely, note, stupid older male humans with the power to brainwash other humans into blind obedience, cf. Dobson et al.).

We can admit that we're killers ... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill today! ~ Captain James T. Kirk, Stardate 3193.0

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

ahhhh, ain't technology grand

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

I think that was meant to be ironic. Then again, if it has to be explained...

hobson's picture
Submitted by hobson on

I think there should be a point where one realizes he/she has made his/her point and that those who don't agree are not going to be convinced.

Maybe then, we could agree to disagree and still be a member of the Corrente community. I do find disturbing the imputing of motives to other peoples' posts and what seems to result in attacks rather than rebuttals. I guess there's a fine line between telling someone you think they are full of shit and making them feel they ought to go somewhere else.

I thought that was part of the point of Corrente; it was becoming a refuge for people who got forced off of the A-list blogs for wrong thinking.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... of the Corrente community (not that we don't reserve the whim/right to, but we use that whim/right verrrrry rarely).

The point of Corrente is truth and good writing, AFAIK. Plus progressive values. And zucchini.

Generalizing about groups of people is often on shaky ground on both points, especially when the shoe doesn't fit, as in trying to paint Glenn Greenwald as part of a misogynist Gay Mafia.