Throwing words away one syllable at a time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Season for Walking Away

It's been a hell of a week for liberal war-hating women in the media.

First, Rosie walked away after a blowout on The View. I don't watch TV, and certainly am not at home to watch this during the day. So when I pulled up the show on YouTube I was pretty shocked.

Joy took after Bush. Finally. But then everything broke down between Rosie and Hasselbeck. I wondered why they didn't just call the show Catfight.

I looked up Rosie's blog after that. I wanted to see what she was about, and I was surprised. I think she's very authentic. She hates the war. She supports her causes. She get love mail and hate mail and posts both, answering both.

Her hate mail really resonated with me... given that I get a nasty now and then on the McIntosh blog. I think someone last week told me I was full of B.S. And then, of course, I was amused by the person who put a toot, toot under the post about 10K hits. I'm hardly tooting my own horn. In the scheme of the Internet, 10K hits ain't nothing. Relative to tiny McIntosh though, it is.

So, Rosie walked away from the View. One less brave voice of reason calling out what people don't want to hear. Or so, one might think. But when you look at her blog, she's still out there. I sent in a question today to her video blog and at 5 p.m. when the questions hadn't been on all day, she had more than 10,000 questions.

See what I mean? Ten thousand hits on the Mirror really isn't horn tooting.

Then, I saw in the headlines that Cindy Sheehan is walking away, too.

I read an editorial by Mike Spinney on about the real reason why Sheehan is walking away is not that her cause wasn't just, it was that the people she was standing up to support didn't back her up.

We expect politicians to cave, but when apathy creeps so deeply into our fabric, when the likes of Hasselbeck compare a war to a football game like a Republican cheerleader... Like I said, tough week.

Then, I got an e-mail from the Indigo Girls MySpace blog pointing me in the direction of their new video channel on YouTube.

I'm a huge Indigo Girls fan - have been for more than 20 years. I try to see them every time they come with a reasonable distance of Gainesville.

They've never supported Bush. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise after their single with Pink "Dear Mr. President" that they've got a video making some strong political statements. This one is to "Last Tears" all dressed up like, well,
Barbara Bush, or maybe Laura. That in itself is a hell of a statement. I heard Emily Sailers in an interview once talk about how she hated wearing dresses as a kid.

I always saw this ballad as a love song, or a post-break-up walking away song. In the context of this video, though, Rosie, or Sheehan could be singing this.

I'm not sure what to make of this season of walking away. Like Spinney, I'm worried for the idealists of the world. I wonder what's next. Our country needs people who aren't afraid to shake up the decision-makers... the deciders.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Barack Obama's campaign's stand on new media, blogs, threatens free speech

Below is my correspondence with the Barack Obama campaign from my account. I saw a story on CNN about how Obama took over Joe Anthony's Obama MySpace page. Initially, it was a move so that the candidate could control the information posted. As CNN reported it, the two parties couldn't agree on compensating Anthony for his work and the campaign officially took over the site.

I've got some GRAVE concerns about this move and Freedom of Speech.


----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: CHER Cher
Date: May 3, 2007 9:42 AM

You know, I actually considered voting for Obama.

But I saw the story on CNN about how this campaign bogarted the time, effort and work of Joe Anthony.

Frankly, I have GRAVE doubts about anyone running for high office who treats freedom of information (and speech) so callously. That scares me, actually.

I saw in that story that he lost Anthony's vote. Well, you can tell Barack Obama he lost my vote, too.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Barack Obama
Date: May 9, 2007 5:04 PM

Thanks for writing us with your concern about the confusion over our official Myspace profile. Simply put, there has been a lot bouncing around throughout the internet on this one. Nonetheless, we think Joe Anthony did a great job in organizing on MySpace and worked with him toward the profile becoming official. Unfortunately, after working together for the last two months, we did not achieve an agreement on how to move forward together and therefore started our new official profile with the official url being Joe worked hard to build the community and is running his own unique profile. We hope our official MySpace community can work together with Joe as well as the rest of the unofficial Myspace communities in the days ahead.

Lindsay @ Obama HQ

From: CHER to the Obama Campaign
Date: May 9, 2007

Thanks for the reply.

But I got my information from the mainstream media and a reputable news organization -- CNN -- not what was "bouncing around the Internet." I'm a Journalism grad student who studies online media, specifically blogs and citizen news movements. And given my area of study, this move by Obama and his campaign concerns me.

But it doesn't take someone incredibly informed to see Obama stepped on First Amendment Rights here. He didn't tread close to it. He stomped on the First Amendment with this move.

By taking over Joe Anthony's blog, Obama took over another person's freedom of speech so he could control the content. It would be one thing if Obama's campaign agreed to compensate Anthony for his work. If you think Joe Anthony did just a great job, how come you weren't willing to pay him for it?

Further, there are a number of legal issues that will have to be resolved in the future dealing with blogs and free speech. Were you aware a blogger in California spent more than 200 days in jail because he would not turn over his reporting (a video)? There's a building controversy over who should have protections from a shield law... should bloggers be included in that?

When I look at those issues and the high-handed act here by Obama, I have some very grave concerns about voting for the man and what kind of policy he would promote in a situation like the shield law I mentioned above. If stepping in, taking over, and controlling information by calling it "official" is Obama's way of managing new media and the press, that's just freaking scary.


AP story: Obama takes MySpace page from backer

Obama MySpace page:

Joe Anthony's MySpace page: