I first started to blog in 2002. Since my main purpose in putting finger to keyboard was to provide advice for people interested in self defense issues, I quickly came to the realization that accepting advertising might just bring my integrity into question. If I endorsed a product or training course that also had an ad on my blog, why wouldn’t someone simply assume that I was more interested in the health of my bank account than the health of my students?
This really hasn’t been an issue, though. I have never enjoyed enough traffic where ad revenue would be significant. Still, a few people have made offers over the years for me to join various ad networks. My policy has always been to either politely decline, or simply ignore the offer.
I heard of an interesting inversion of this situation over at The Volokh Conspiracy. It seems that the authors of some Liberal blogs are becoming furious with elements of the Democratic Party. The complaint is that the Dems demand free publicity from the blogs, while avoiding any sort of quid pro quo by paying for an ad.
It seems obvious to me why the Democrats do this.
First off, most Liberal blogs can be said to be hopelessly partisan, if not outright savage, in their treatment of Conservatives. The people who leave comments are just like the authors in their political views, and are usually even more angry. You aren’t going to find too many people on the fence in such an echo chamber
So why should the Dems bother to pay in order to present their side? Everyone involved in the Liberal blogs, from the authors of the posts to the readers who visit every day, are already fellow travelers. It would be a waste of money.
The second reason is due to the view that Beltway insiders have of blogs. They consider them strictly amateur hour, good only to motivate the base every so often in order to give a patina of grass roots legitimacy to certain issues. Get the bloggers to bloviate about something, and the result is a few hundred (or a few thousand) Emails.
That might be enough to put pressure on someone to change their vote, but it really doesn’t bring anything substantial to the table. For that you need lobbyists, and they demand to be paid.
A third reason why the Democratic Party might not be interested could be because they figure they are already giving the bloggers something. By allowing the blogs to be part of their political strategy, to include them in the process, they are granting them legitimacy. The result is more readers for the blogs who play ball with the Dems, since the readers are looking for the inside scoop.
So both sides are talking past each other. The bloggers think they should have some kind of financial reward for publicizing the Liberal agenda, and the Democrats think the blogs are being rewarded already when they are allowed to participate in the process.
So where does integrity come into all this?
The answer is that it doesn’t. Both the professional Democratic political machine and the Liberal bloggers have thrown that out of the window.
(Cross posted over at Hell in a Handbasket. And a hat tip to Glenn, who I see has also posted about this.)
35 thoughts on “A Question of Integrity”
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that an adult participates in the political process as part of ones responsibilities as a citizen.
Isn’t a blog an amateur medium (in the original sense of the word amateur?) The entire power of blogs arises from their egalitarian nature which in turn arises from their authors amateur status. If you blog for money, you’re not a blogger, your an editorial writer.
I’m always struck by the complete narcissism of these people (leftists)-its always about me.
You cannot hope, to bribe or twist,
thank God, the British journalist.
But, seeing what the man will do
unbribed, there’s no occasion to.
Humbert Wolfe, The Uncelestial City
Applies just as well to MSM-whores who give it away.
The lefty bloggers are seen as useful idiots by the Democratic party. They have yet to see themselves as idiots.
“First off, most Liberal blogs can be said to be hopelessly partisan, if not outright savage, in their treatment of Conservatives”
As someone who reads both liberal and conservative blogs, I find the level of vitriol higher on the right. There is no left-wing analogue to the eliminationist rhetoric found, for example, on LGF or Powerline. I’m liberal myself, so you can discount my opinion to that extent, but this is a good faith observation.
To summarize, liberals tend to think the opposition is stupid. Conservative tend to think the same, but also accuse liberals of being unpatriotic traitors who, in some instances, should be forcibly eliminated.
Also, if you read the article, what lefty bloggers are complaining about is the absence of a left analogue to the WWW – the wingnut welfare network, as it is known in the left blogging world. The right is not well represented online, but does have a massive and well funded institutional infrastructure that the left is only now beginning to build. Personally I think funding is bad for blogging and encourages groupthink. So, I’m not too concerned with the whining.
“To summarize, liberals tend to think the opposition is stupid. Conservative tend to think the same, but also accuse liberals of being unpatriotic traitors who, in some instances, should be forcibly eliminated.”
I remember reading comment after comment on the Lefty blogs about how President Bush was a fascist, a traitor, was wiping his backside with the Constitution. And let us not go into all the comments that called for his and Karl Rove’s violent and painful death, or the signs and puppets that appeared at all those rallies and protests the Left organized that were very graphic about it.
So far as violence on the right, I can’t say that I’ve noticed much by the way of calls for violence at Conservative blogs. (You can look around here, for example.) But, even if what you said was true, I fail to see too much difference. Besides the fact that calling for the violent elimination of a duly elected POTUS is, in fact, traitorous.
“The right is not well represented online, but does have a massive and well funded institutional infrastructure that the left is only now beginning to build. Personally I think funding is bad for blogging and encourages groupthink.”
You mean like George Soros, the guy who poured all that money into defeating President Bush in the 2004 elections? The guy who was subsidizing many Lefty blogs at one time, as long as they all marched in lockstep and blogged about how terrible our President was? (And might still be funding blogs, for all I know.)
Is that the kind of “massive and well funded institutional infrastructure” that you are referring to? Something like the Huffington Post, maybe?
I do agree that such activity leads to groupthink.
I find the level of vitriol higher on the right. There is no left-wing analogue to the eliminationist rhetoric found, for example, on LGF or Powerline.
Please show me one example of vitriol or “eliminationist rhetoric” on Powerline. It’s one of the most civil sites on the entire web.
Sean, that was a laughably stupid comment. There’s Markos “screw them” Moulitsas, celebrations at DU and I think Kos when Tony Snow died, all the leftists who cheered Iraq’s “minutemen” and wished for “a million Mogadishus”, besides the Bush assassination fantasies noted above.
Your claim of “eliminationist rhetoric” on Powerline proves you’re a shameless liar. Go away and don’t talk about politics any more. You contribute nothing worthwhile to the topic.
Is that the kind of “massive and well funded institutional infrastructure” that you are referring to?
Maybe he was talking about infamous right wing networks like JournoList or Townhouse, or the way right wing journalists George Stephanopolous and James Carville have daily conference calls with further right wing White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
It is not just lefty blogs. Some ‘libertarian’ blogs are imploding and behaving just childishly as leftist blogs.
Exhibit A : DailyPundit.
Bill Quick was a libertarian until April 7, 2009. However, after that day, he became a flaming lefty, employing all of tactics of the lefty blogs (call anyone who disagrees with you a racist, just profanity with no decorum, not answer direct questions, and construct the flimsiest of strawmen through which to call others, you guessed it, racists.
Read this chain (on the topic of whether Hispanics would become a GOP voting block or not) to see him become abusive towards several polite conservative readers.
When a blogger abuses his own long-time readers, he jumps the shark.
So while lefty blogs are always more abusive and intolerant than right-wing ones, a right wing blogger like Bill Quick and his acolytes becoming abusive is a leading indicator of a leftward lurch.
The reason there are more left-wing blogs than pro-US ones, is because conservatives have jobs, families, and friends that consume their time. Leftists have none of these things.
For leftists, their ideology is a religion substitute. For pro-US people, it is just a hobby.
Let there be no doubt that if leftists could send all conservatives and devout Christians to the gas chambers, they would. Almost all genocides were conducted by left-wing regimes (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Il-Sung). Yes, Hitler was left-wing.
Righties could do this today (given the greater weaponry, military experience, and wealth of conservatives), but they are too benevolent and respectful of all human life to do this.
On the left, failing to subscribe to their religious doctrine = virtiol.
Any dissent from leftist religious doctrine = extremism, eliminationist rhetoric, etc.
Frankly, if conservatives reciprocated the same committment and vicious ruthlessness as the left, the left would not even exist.
“Let there be no doubt that if leftists could send all conservatives and devout Christians to the gas chambers, they would. Almost all genocides were conducted by left-wing regimes (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Kim Il-Sung). Yes, Hitler was left-wing. ”
Also note that whenever I say this to a leftist, they deny the part about Hitler being left-wing, but not the part about wanting to exterminate right-of-center people.
Remember that article by some environut how Britain’s population (and, by extension, that of other Western nations) should be halved in order to preserve the environment? That is just another exercise of leftist trying to rationalize/justify the ‘greater good’ that would come of killing all right-of-center people.
How long before some lefty shoots up a school, and then justifies the massacre as a necessary culling of children before they reach reproductive age? We all know that many leftists will justify the culling of other people’s children at the altar of leftism/environmentalism.
This is a dangerous slippery slope we are all on.
Whatever you do, don’t let them take your guns. Think about why Switzerland was never invaded by Axis powers despite being surrounded by Hitler, Mussolini, and Vichy France.
Chicagoboyz readers will, of course, be interested in lefty blogger Brad DeLong’s post decrying that notorious wingnut welfare network (WWW???) bastion, the Washington Post, in an entirely non-vitriolic manner.
There can be no groupthink where there is no think. Emotion, regardless how strong, is a different thing altogether. It is, in fact, the anti-think.
Yes. Cites please, Seanf.
Brad Delong once went on a rant on why all Republicans are racists. The Futurist dismantled him in a debate pretty quickly, over here. Actually, since DeLong fled after the first blow, it was a very short battle.
Wow, some of these comments do a better job illustrating what I was talking about than I could.
Anyway, some of you asked for examples. I could write up a list but Glennzilla already has a post on this that is better than anything I could write. It’s an oldie but a goodie – please actually read his article, click on his links, and then read the LGF/Powerline/Goldstein etc. material.
Also, watch Glenn Beck sometime. Now that is one angry man.
Finally, a good resource for monitoring eliminationist discourse is Dave Neiwert (http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/). Right now his first post has some interesting information about Richard Poplanski, the Pittsburgh shooter.
“Wow, some of these comments do a better job illustrating what I was talking about than I could.”
Perhaps you would be so kind to indicate where any of the comments above call for you to be “forcibly eliminated”.
That IS what you said Conservatives do, right? “Conservative tend to think the same, but also accuse liberals of being unpatriotic traitors who, in some instances, should be forcibly eliminated.”
I see a lot of claims that people on the Left are violent, but I don’t see anyone calling for violence here. I also don’t see anyone urging me to delete your comments and block you from the blog, which is the most gentle interpretation of your phrase “forcibly eliminated”. The closest was Bgates, who said you shouldn’t speak about politics any more. Don’t see any force there.
You are right that I accused Liberals of being unpatriotic traitors, but only those who called for the violent murder of our President. If such talk is not traitorous or unpatriotic, I don’t know what else could possibly fit the bill.
Personally, Seanf, I think you are indulging in a bit of projection.
First of all, ChicagoBoyz and the rest of you, are already ceding the battle before it begins.
Why do you refer to leftists/Marxists as ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’?
They are neither liberal nor progressive, as per the dictionary definition of those terms. They are rigid, intolerant, illiberal, and wedded to ideologies that have failed 100% of the time they were implemented.
By letting them get a positive word assigned to them, you are effectively giving them the higher ground. Do you expect to win any battle when the other side demands to be called the ‘good’ side and you the ‘bad’ side, and you comply with their wish?
Even calling them ‘liberals’ means that the right does not know how to combat them.
“Personally, Seanf, I think you are indulging in a bit of projection. ”
EVERYTHING that leftards do is projection.
From their unfounded accusations of racism towards the right (despite the fact that the left has always been more racist than the right), to their accusation of war-mongering/Hitlerism, to the actions of SeanF here, EVERYTHING ABOUT THE LEFT IS PROJECTION.
James, i respect your goal. Your interest in integrity begins by assuming we are likely to be tempted and that objectivity is a desirable goal. I suspect such a basic understanding of human nature is important as we try to be honest with ourselves. A refusal to recognize the importance to us of our own self-intereset seems to be pretty common in certain professions (say politics). The tendency to think the best of our motives and the worst of others is built in to us – but you, in your self consciousness, try to restrain that. This seems less true of those on the great ideological divide. We can see it in the comments.
Most of us project our doubts and fears on others. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately if we want to think in pro-active terms), projection is revealing – a hint at what in a similar situation we might do. I suspect Bush would never even think in terms of re-education camps; that others suspected he would is revealing. The emphasis in Seanf’s links on the right-wing motives of one crazed murderer comes, I suspect, of an attempt to dominate the narrative of the last couple of weeks, one which would include the crazed murderer of four in Oakland. Crazed murderers seem to me to be crazed murderers. At some times, they quote from the Old Testament, at others from political tracts. That should not discredit the Old Testament. We can’t develop a society so soft that a crazed murderers musings will not find something to impel them. That’s what they do – develop crazed reasons for crazed murders.
Seanf’s links are to links that may be old but many find those who merely disagree with them offensive. For instance, they seem to think the evil lies in listing a Times’ reporter’s house when the Times reporter has listed others’ houses. The argument seems to be that Malkin’s positions are vile, so, vile treatment of her is appropriate. (She seems to me to be given to hyperbole but the responses to her – like those to various other ethnic minorities and women in general – indicates that some serious self-examination on the left would be a good idea. Racism and sexism appear so quickly we suspect they are gut reactions of the left.)
The series of crazed murderers indicates a variety of things. Perhaps the main one is that our strong belief in individualism and personal rights (policies most of us would defend) may have led to lax restraints on the clearly mentally ill. Of course, stronger restraints might be misused. But we see in the reactions Seanf cites a differing treatments of their “reasoning” – the level of sympathy depends less upon circumstances and more upon pre-existing ideologies. This is likely to make us less rather than more willing to extend the controls on the mentally ill we saw a few decades ago.
This article talks about an informal search for the use of profanity on leftist versus non-leftist blogs. He found that leftist blogs have as much as 12 times as much profanity as non-leftist blogs. We can use profanity as a pretty accurate proxy for vitriol.
It has been noted for over a century that non-leftist tend to view leftist as foolish and childish utopians whereas a leftist tend to view non-leftist as simply evil. Leftist are so convinced that their own viewpoints arise from clearly evident logic that the only reason they can conceive of for anyone disagreeing with them is because they act out of pure evil.
Mainstream leftist politicians routinely accuse their non-leftist opponents of being racist and wanting to force pain and suffering on everyone. It is common for Democrats to accuse Republicans or libertarians of wanting to deny people food, clothing shelter and medical care. Its common to accuse those who support merit based selection of being racist, sexist, abilist, x-ist etc. Indeed, leftist seem genuinely surprised when non-leftist take offense to these casual slanders.
Conversely, leftist react with rage if anyone suggest that they themselves are not pure as the driven snow. This is why they believe that non-leftist are so much more vitriolic than themselves. They’re simply not used to having their own morality questioned because the political debates are usually framed as overly idealistic leftist versus the world-weary pragmatism of non-leftist. There is seldom suggestion that leftist choose certain solutions because those solutions benefit leftists as individually and collectively. When someone does suggest that leftists are not the altruist they imagine themselves i.e. if someone suggest that leftists are as self interested as leftists claim non-leftists are, they interpret that as a brutal verbal attack outside the bounds of polite conversation.
In short, history has allowed leftists to view themselves as a kind of priesthood whose motives can never be questioned. You argue about the wisdom of their ideas but you can never argue whether leftists are behaving selfishly. That is beyond the pale. Leftist however, can accuse everyone else of the worst possible crimes without any recrimination.
An example that proves Shannon’s point: look at Barney Frank’s reaction to criticism or even, it would seem, questions that don’t imply he is selfless. I suspect the reason those on the right resign so quickly when their wrongdoing is uncovered is that they begin with a position of greater self-examination; witness James’s self-analysis that leads to this blog post. On the other hand, those on the left seem quite cheerfully ready to bluster it out. They (and their supporters) have so seldom taken part in self-examination and literally can’t imagine why taking money, gaining power, enabling a significant other to a position in which they can exercise power, take money, etc. is likely to impinge on their “good intentions.” That lack of imagination may reflect moral or intellectual stupidity; it certainly doesn’t indicate maturity. I’m never sure if these come from a kind of cynicism (everyone does it because my friends do) or from just a remarkable lack of imagination (of course, I voted for that program, it was good in itself; in no way was I influenced by the milliions that went to my library or my spouse, to the fact my name would be on the building or the school).
Three related points:
— James’ statement was “most Liberal blogs can be said to be hopelessly partisan, if not outright savage, in their treatment of Conservatives.” My point was not that this was untrue, but that it was also, and in fact MORE true of conservative blogs.
— And I stand by my previous statement. I do recognize though, that this (which part of the political spectrum engages in more vitriol) is a judgment call and is very likely to be determined by ones political outlook. Part of this may be projection, sure. Another, equally important, is cognitive bias. We tend to screen out statements that don’t accord with our worldview and enhance the importance of those that do; this influences our perception of any factual statement.
Let me give you an example. Ginny says: “I suspect the reason those on the right resign so quickly when their wrongdoing is uncovered is that they begin with a position of greater self-examination.” If you’re conservative, you’re likely to agree. If you’re liberal, you’re shaking your head wondering how she could possibly state something like that, given – David Vitter? Ted Stevens? Larry Craig? Duke Cunningham? the list goes on…but it’s not just likely to spring to mind if you’re a conservative. of course liberals are equally susceptible to this.
— So my real beef is not with a disagreement on which blogs have more vitriol. Reasonable people will disagree, for the reasons listed above. My beef is pointing out a recognizably human flaw as a failing of only one side. I very often see comments like “Leftists are X.” Yes, well, so are conservatives. And vice versa. When it comes to character or innate flaws like a lack of patriotism, honesty or intelligence, political orientation has very little predictive value.
Randy Cunningham,Larry Craig? Politics attracts unsavory opportunists who don’t believe what they purport to. A good reason to vote “conservative” is that if they are corrupt,the media will certainly report it.When Dems are corrupt,if the matter is even mentioned, they are careful to not mention the miscreant’s affiliation.
I think leftists like to mind other people’s business because they don’t have a lives of their own. Hey guys-get a life.You’ll feel better.
I’m not quite sure why visiting a prostitute is something a senator should resign over. Certainly, it isn’t like having a hundred thousand dollars in your freezer. Ted Stevens wasn’t much into transparency; still, let’s acknowledge that he might not have resigned because he knew he was innocent. DeLay did resign. You notice he hasn’t been found guilty yet. I’m not going to argue that conservatives are paragons of virtue. They are not. And I suspect politics may attract some unsavory characters (and more to the point, encourage the unsavory part that is in all of us). Nonetheless, the blithe responses by Frank and Dodd and Rangel are irritating. I’m sure unfair prosecution has been aimed at Democrats. It has certainly been aimed at Republicans. And maybe all of us need some prodding to reach self-consciousness. Perhaps the phenomenon that I described is for the reasons Reminbi posits: the press prods some politicians into self-consciousness and helps others blink at such truths.
Speaking of someone who blinks – often: has there ever been a man as uncomfortable in his own skin as Biden? I have sympathy: anyone who likes to tell good anecdotes that illustrate their opinions exaggerates, tells stories in which their words have bite or wisdom or simple strength they probably didn’t at that historical moment. That this is a problematic trait in someone in the very immediate line to the presidency is a bit disturbing.
“James’ statement was “most Liberal blogs can be said to be hopelessly partisan, if not outright savage, in their treatment of Conservatives.” My point was not that this was untrue, but that it was also, and in fact MORE true of conservative blogs.”
“And I stand by my previous statement. I do recognize though, that this (which part of the political spectrum engages in more vitriol) is a judgment call and is very likely to be determined by ones political outlook. Part of this may be projection, sure. Another, equally important, is cognitive bias. We tend to screen out statements that don’t accord with our worldview and enhance the importance of those that do; this influences our perception of any factual statement.”
“So my real beef is not with a disagreement on which blogs have more vitriol. Reasonable people will disagree, for the reasons listed above. My beef is pointing out a recognizably human flaw as a failing of only one side.”
Time after time, protesters during the Bush administration would parade through the streets with an effigy of the President hanging from a noose. The highlight for many attending the protest would be when the effigy was burned. And let us not forget the Halloween decoration one man put up outside of his house, showing Sarah Palin hanging from the neck. The fact that she was campaigning for the job of Vice President, and had yet to be elected to national office, didn’t mean that she was off limits.
But the violence the Left indulged in wasn’t all play acting. Military recruiters found the tires of their cars slashed if they dared to participate in college career days. The offices of Conservative politicians were vandalized. Someone even tossed firebombs at a house that dared to display a sign showing support for John McCain.
If both sides are guilty, then please point out the effigies of President Obama that have been burned at the Tea Protests that occur all over the country. Show me where people who work for ACORN have had the tires on their car slashed. How many effigies of Joe Biden were hanged as part of a Halloween display?
The answer is, of course, that virtually all of these outrageous acts are committed by people who identify with the Left. Not only that but, as long as they simply call for acts of disgusting violence, they do not suffer any adverse reaction. In fact, they are lauded as being brave! Heroes to people who see nothing wrong with visualizing the most terrible acts of carnage, as long as only Conservatives die.
But, getting back to the blogs, rhetoric comes before action. How many Conservative blogs allow violent rhetoric and comments to remain on their site without deleting the offending remarks, and banning those who would type out such vile filth? I think you would have to search long and hard to find a significant number.
But so far as calls for violence from the Left is concerned, simply go to The Daily Kos and pick ten posts at random.
Seanf finishes his last comment with the line…
“When it comes to character or innate flaws like a lack of patriotism, honesty or intelligence, political orientation has very little predictive value.”
I think recent history resoundingly proves that statement to be false.
Let me add one more example :
On a lefty blog, anything negative about the Right goes : “Bush is Hitler”, “Bush tortures and eats babies”, “Bush wanted to exterminate Black people in New Orleans”. It will be applauded.
However, on the right-wing blogs, if a commenter says anything offensive about a leftist (let alone an elected leader), the blog will usually ban the comment.
Try saying “Liberals are Faggots” on right-wing blogs. The right-wing blogs will delete the comment and ban the commenter. That shows the vastly higher human decency, decorum, and manners of the right.
Liberals are gay fish.
On April 11th, 2009 at 6:53 pm Toads Said:
>Try saying “Liberals are Faggots” on right-wing blogs. The right-wing blogs will delete the
>comment and ban the commenter. That shows the vastly higher human decency, decorum, and
> manners of the right.
Yet just two days earlier, on April 9th, 2009 at 9:57 pm, the same Toads claimed:
> Let there be no doubt that if leftists could send all conservatives and devout Christians to
> the gas chambers, they would.
Perhaps Todas believes that using a slang word for homosexual is more “vitrolic” then specifically accusing someone of wishing for mass murder or genocide. But I still have to wonder why the cognitive dissonance hasn’t caused his head to explode.
I like the way you all discuss the issues by calling all of us liberals names.
Just another leftard
Leftards actually do wish to exterminate Republicans and devout Christians. They say it all the time.
Republicans have no such genocidal desires (given that we actually do have the weaponry, military veterans, and wealth to act on them).
Tom left a comment….
“I like the way you all discuss the issues by calling all of us liberals names.”
According to Dr. Clouthier, what you are doing is called projection.
“I bring this all up because commenters at my Houston Chronicle blog–basically a bunch of liberal trolls with nothing better to do than spew stupid–are kvetching about the upcoming Tea Party Protests. People (of all political stripes, by the way) peacefully protesting are called racist, radical, hate-filled, etc. You know the drill.”
Tom, I have yet to see anything here that even approaches the level of bile that is constantly on display in the comments left up at The Daily Kos, or The Huffington Post. All we do is point out that those on the Left are empty headed, immature, and selfish. We don’t even use profanity!
Again, if you say that ‘McCain is Hitler’ or ‘Bush wants to exterminate black people’ on a lefty blog, you will be applauded (even though Hitler was left-wing, as explained earlier).
If you say ‘Liberals are Faggots’ on a right-wing blog (let alone smear an elected official by name), the right-wing blog itself will ban you.
Of course, no leftist will admit this hypocrisy. Projection and hypocrisy are the lifeblood of the left. That is why loony leftism couldn’t really sustain itself in the era before Internet anonymity.
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