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Thursday, January 19, 2006

FDL Late Nite: Workin' the Refs

Pretty amazing day today with much muscle flexing on the left. I think the push last night for Murtha to give the SOTU address last night forced the hands of the Democrats who tried to pre-empt the move by putting Kaine out there so quickly, but many people are still speaking out in favor of the idea. Here's hoping the Democrats hear that, too, and make some kind of move to show that the party is prepared to circle the wagons around Murtha in the face of GOP swift boating.

I'd also like to thank Amazon for keeping the one star ratings on Kate O'Beirne's book as long as they did (and I like to think it was some self-respecting woman at Amazon who was responsible for holding out against extreme publisher/right wing pressure for so long, and if so, hon, you are my hero). It was long enough, however, to put the book in the shitter where it belongs and as we promised, the bitch is dead meat.

I do have one question, though. Tlaloc did an analysis of the comments that were deleted (which were emailed to me, no link) and found that 64.9% of all reviewers who posted a 5 only ever reviewed Kate's book, while 65.5% of all reviewers who posted a 1 only ever reviewed Kate'’s book. He concludes: "Looks like both sides are equally guilty of trying to game the reviews on Amazon which makes the conservative protests about how unfair that is a big old batch of hypocrisy." Why weren't those 5-star ratings deleted as well, if Amazon really wants to be fair?

And Deborah Howell -- well, what can you say. New York Times public editor Byron Calame does not feel the need to wipe out all the comments on his reader forum, but then again he does a good job -- one that entails working on behalf of the readers and not being afraid to criticize the Times' staff when need be, rather than acting as an apologist and a conduit for disinformation. The WaPo can blame their readership from here to Christmas and it won't change the fact that Deborah Howell just plain sucks at what she does.

Matt Stoller has a good article up on the upcoming battle to unseat Lieberman which will, to my mind, be the true test of the internet community's ability to hang together and force real change within the Democratic party. There are a lot of risks involved -- the firepower that may line up against us, as Matt says, could be formidable -- but after Kos called fatwah on Holy Joe last year the "unseat Lieberman" impulse took on a life of its own. It looks like Lamont may have exercised some rather good judgment in chosing his campaign staff according to Matt, so I'd really like to hear your thoughts on his post.

We'll keep trying to figure this out together, one night at a time.