That paragon protector of civil liberties, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) is at it again. This time she's filed an amendment to a federal media shield law saying that only "real reporters" should be protected. How does she define a "real reporter"? TechDirt.com has the answer.
But onto the "who's really a journalist" argument. Some elected officials feel the language in the bill isn't specific enough. One in particular, Dianne Feinstein, repeated the stupid but inevitable phrase that always accompanies discussions related to shield laws:
Feinstein suggested that the definition comprise only journalists who make salaries, saying it should be applied just to "real reporters."
This is nothing new for Feinstein, who's (along with Sen. Dick Durbin) previously made the argument that acts of journalism can only be performed by major news agencies, cutting everyone else out of the protective loop. This is a protective move based partially on ignorance and partially on the reality that major news networks are easier to control, seeing as most aren't willing to give up access to the Beltway by pissing off its residents.
Sadly, this sort of reactionary ignorance isn't limited solely to government representatives. This same sort of statement has been made by published authors to demean the self-published and by old school journalists to demean bloggers, serial Tweeters and pretty much everyone not associated with a sinking masthead. Whenever someone assumes they're capable of determining who is or isn't a real whatever, they're usually speaking from a position of privilege, one that can only be maintained as long as the status remains quo.
In Dianne's world, only the beautiful people get constitutional protections.
David, here are some links to some of my comments and my diary on BMG that makes the same arguments you are now making regarding the SJC's interpretation of Article 44. When I made these points last year, I was frustrated that you (and christopher) simply dismissed them by citing Article 44, without considering my contention that Article 44 has been interpreted wrongly and we should ignore that interpretation. It's not too late to add a link now, since it was on BMG and you own it anyway now.
Article 44 makes a reasonable distinction between income derived from property being able to be taxed higher than income not derived from property that I think is itself a graduated tax in spirit, not on people with higher income but on people with higher amassed wealth. The question is if the person's income is due to their property, then tax it higher. Thus the Harvard professor in the Raymond SJC case might just be deriving their salary due to their owning a contract such as tenure that is tied to the property known as Harvard University, but another teacher earning the same amount but without a contract granting them a share of a limited resource like a land-grant University's reputation and campus and property is earning it purely on their teaching ability, so should be taxed less. The idea is to compensate for the tendency for the rich to get richer while the poor get poorer. The rich, obviously, are those with property, and when they use their property to earn their income, they have an advantage over people with out that property, so tax them more. One could even say that income derived from a college degree should be taxed higher than someone earning the same salary but without a college degree. Though of course you can't just buy a degree (supposedly).
Yesterday the Boston Herald called to ask my take on Andrew Breitbart's passing. If you have not yet read the article, here is my take.
"His lasting legacy is the empowerment of an army of conservative citizen journalists who will expose corruption and hold the ruling class accountable," said Rob Eno of the conservative blog Red Mass Group. "Every conservative blogger with a video camera is Andrew Breitbart."
That is indeed his lasting legacy. In the few short hours I spent with Andrew in October, that was his passion. Igniting a wildfire of citizen journalists who take on the establishment. In that respects he, and the Occupiers were alike, coming from two separate directions.
If you want to honor Andrew, start a blog focused on your community like Shawn Ashe does in Dracut, or David Heidke has in Brockton. Hold your local elected officials accountable.
Andrew may be gone, but the fight continues.
I publish a conservative blog that holds the ruling class in Massachusetts accountable. I am Andrew Breitbart.
The New York Times yesterday reported that a company from Nevada, Righthaven LLC, has entered into an arrangement with Media News Group (the owner of the Lowell Sun and many other newspapers) whereby Righthaven scours the internet for people using copyrighted articles and photographs from Media News Group papers and, when they find such an instance, they get an assignment of certain rights from Media News Group and then immediately file suit against the blogger. A suit against a 20 year old young man with a severe disability who lives with his mother in North Carolina who had used a photo that had originally appeared in the Denver Post (a Media News Group paper) brought this practice into the national spotlight.
I'm not surprised by this episode; I'm just surprised it didn't occur sooner. I don't know if Righthaven's tactics will survive judicial scrutiny if put to the test but it will have a chilling effect on blogging. If anything, this situation underscores the importance of blogs/bloggers developing original content for themselves & the audience they cultivate. What say you, O denizens of Red Mass Group?
It seems the old media gatekeepers don't like us bloggers too much. Here's what they think of us.
Anchors Kyra Phillips and John Roberts discussed the "mixed blessing of the internet," and agreed that there should be a crackdown on anonymous bloggers who disparage others on the internet.
"There are so many great things that the internet does and has to offer, but at the same time, Kyra, as you know, there is this dark side," Roberts said. "Imagine what would have happened if we hadn't taken a look at what happened with Shirley Sherrod and plumbed the depths further and found out that what had been posted on the internet was not in fact reflective of what she said."
Is CNN right? Does our speech need to be regulated?
Patrick Ruffini of The Next Right took time today (1-15-09) to mention Red Mass Group (RMG) in one of his his recent posts. While the thrust of the story dealt with the political use of internet technology (& the recent hacker troubles suffered by Soapblox), Ruffini's thesis on the necessity of conservative blogs improving their respective games is a salient one - especially as it applies to RMG.
Can this website improve its game? I think it can. With the apparent demise of PolitickerMA.com (& its parent company), a void has been created. So might an opportunity. Might I suggest to the RMG powers-that-be to consider embracing a for-profit business model wherein RMG hires a handful of people to cover the kind of political/cultural/business news rarely touched by today's mass media in Massachusetts? The salaries might be covered through grants from conservative organizations & advertisement from sympathetic businesses (which don't have to be Massachusetts-based). Funding such as this could be obtained through a sales rep (& possible part of the RMG staff). Hundreds - if not thousands - of potential conservative/Republican eyeballs from the state's 351 cities & towns trafficking through RMG would be the "foundation" audience utilized to attract a national audience. The key attractiveness of RMG to said national audience (& larger advertisers) would be its ability to generate news (both "hard" & "soft") of a conservative bent from this bluest of Blue States.
The current media paradigm lacks a proactive conservative/Republican perspective. Yes, the Boston Herald isn't the Globe but it's a tabloid that revels in sensationalism & has long ago lost interest in talking about - if not advocating for - policy matters of a non-liberal bent. Talk Radio is fine as it goes but more often than not it devolves into a reactionary medium whose entertainment value (to attract & sustain advertisers) is more important than its educational or advocacy value. There's a void in the market right now for a media outlet which represents a conservative/Republican point of view, reports on how that point of view exists in the politics/culture/business of Massachusetts, & acts as one of a few institutional change agents (a revitalized GOP would be another) for the Bay State. RMG could fill that void if it wants to do so. Should it?
First off, a belated Happy New Year to you all. I've been working on new initiatives at work and haven't had as much time to blog, that's why I've been sort of MIA lately. Thanks to DD4RP, SSR, Garrett, and the rest of you all for picking up the slack. It's good to see the Tribe flourishing.
One of the things I'd like to challenge us all to do this year is blog hyper-local. That doesn't mean just location. It means blog what you know. The Angelic One has challenged us to pay more attention to popular culture. If you see lots of movies review them here. Tell us from a conservative's point of view why it was good or bad (remember put spoilers after the jump and alert readers to same).
If you are an elected official at every level blog what you are going through in your municipality. dweir used to do so with regularity. Are you running for local office? If so let us know how it's going and how we can help.
Are you a policy wonk on a certain topic? Do you know a lot about say wind power. Let us know, point us to articles.
Do you read other blogs incessantly. Is there something someone else has written that we should know about? Put together a quick hits list of new blog posts once a week.
Are you a voracious reader? Fiction, non-fiction, or heck even comic books graphic novels. Review what you've read. We've all written book reports before. Write a review.
I promise to be more active in the next coming weeks with more original thoughts and less here's an article here's what I think about it.
It's time to move to the next level. This blog is you, this blog isn't me, this blog isn't DD4RP, this blog isn't any one individual the power of this blog is the community it has created. Let's keep it going and 2009 looks to be even better than 2008 for Red Mass Group.
Former State Representative candidate and Air Force fighter pilot, Colonel Cliff Krieger, USAF (Ret) has joined the blogosphere according to the Lowell Sun. Cliff will provide a much needed counterpoint in Lowell to Left In Lowell a well written albeit leftist blog.
THE CITY'S "progressive" (aka liberal) bloggers should watch their backs. There's a new voice from the right side of the aisle in the Lowell blogosphere.
Cliff Krieger, the retired Air Force officer and Lowell Republican City Committee member who unsuccessfully challenged state Rep. David Nangle in 2002 and 2004, posts his conservative views on the day's issues online at http://right-side-of-lowell.bl...
Krieger said the blog was originally intended to be a back-and-forth between himself and former WCAP host George Anthes, who is now hosting a daily show on Lowell cable. Now, Krieger is out on his own and enjoying it.
He said that although he never felt unwelcome to comment on other local blogs, there was a need for a conservative voice among the city's political bloggers, which include the aptly named Left in Lowell and the more centrist Democrats of richardhowe.com.
"I hope to open up the discussion. I would like to get more people talking about the issues of the day, and not just political issues, but also cultural ones," Krieger wrote in an e-mail to The Column.
Cliff is a very effective writer and was a regular guest on George Anthe's nightly show on WCAP as well as being a prolific letter writer to the Lowell Sun. Welcome to the blogosphere Cliff. You can visit Cliff's blog here. We'll get it added to the blogroll soon.
You earned the beating you took yesterday. You earned every bit of it. It is your fault. Democrats may or may not have deserved to win, but you deserved to lose.
The rebuilding and renewal of the Right will start soon. This will be very important. The Right and the Republican Party are at an inflection point, and there are many directions things can go. The destiny of the Right and the Republican Party will be determined in large part by the decisions you make in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Some of you will say "we have learned our lesson", and then try to pass off cosmetic changes as Reform. You are the problem.
Some of you will say "Republicans need to fight/hold Democrats accountable", as if it is sufficient to be against Democrats. The pendulum may eventually swing back to you, but you won't know what to do with it.
Some of you will say "Republicans need to carry our message to the American people", as if the problem is that Republicans haven't been saying "tax cuts and limited government" loudly enough. The problem is not the inability to communicate; the problem is that you have no idea how to actually deliver on those ideas.
Others will say "Republicans need to be more principled", as if the problem is a mere lack of personal courage and principle by Republicans. Even the best people can't limit government if there is not an effective strategy for implementation - for getting "from here to there". You don't need better people. You need a better strategy.
The problem is not Republican politicians, although many Republicans politicians are a problem. The problem is not with the basic ideals of limited government and personal freedom, either. The problem is a movement that plays small-ball and cedes responsibility for infrastructure to business interests, leadership that rewards those who make friends rather than waves, an entrenched Party and Movement support system that mostly supports itself, an echo chamber that has rotted our intellect, a grassroots that is ill-equipped to shape the Republican Party, and a Republican Party that has replaced strategy with tactics, substance with marketing.
These problems can be fixed, but the fix is not cosmetic. The rot is deep. We do not need reformation of the Republican Party; we need transformation of the Republican Party. That is going to require fresh blood, new ideas, new infrastructure...and perhaps more than a little time in the wilderness.
You have earned the time you will spend wandering in the wildnerness. The land on the other side is not a promised land. It will have to be earned, too.
Some folks around here complain about folks like me--a liberal--soiling RMG with our comments. Never mind the fact that we--CSI, Yellow Cake?, Pablo, Laurel and all--came over here after scores of RMG posters began posting at BMG.
I understand that sites like RMG and BMG are really microcosms of a ideological spectrum representing their respective political parties. Lately though RMG has taken on a tone that represents the worst aspects of the conservative wing of this country. While center right people like Gov. Weld or General Powell endorse Barack Obama posters here have turned up the disturbing rhetoric, exposing the ugliest side of American politics.
As I write this post, a front page post on RMG is headlined, "Obama 'Gestapo' silences dissenting opinion AGAIN". Really...are Obama staff people executing protesters or are they storming TV stations and breaking things. No, they just didn't like an interviewer's questions (an interviewer who is married to a Republican media consultant). Campaigns on both sides do this all the time. Look at how Palin is being "managed" by the McCain campaing, yet no "Gestapo" comparisons.
And it just gets worse. Within the last week there have been TWO posting, one by Rick Barton and the other by vote3rdparty spewing the same stupid lie that a) the current Kenyan Prime Minister is actively engaged in genocide (ok, I'll grant you both sides in the Kenyan election last winter engaged in violence--but nothing remotely compared to genocide) and b) that this guy is closely tied to Obama and Muslim terrorists and is Obama's cousin (because Obama's dad and this guy come from the same tribe. Which is like saying Palin and Lady Diana are cousins because someone contends they are related by about 9 "removes".)
And of course we have the front page silliness that Obama was somehow born in Kenya--a fact somehow missed by the RNC, the McCain campaign and the Clinton campaign, but not missed by some crazy-assed 9/11 conspiracy freak--while a post about the former Republican Governor of this state endorsing Obama gets only 5 comments and no front page.
And I can't count all the "socialists", "terrorist", Bill Ayers and a ton more of manurepostings that this site has generated lately. As the Jacks's and the Rick's post their conspiracies, I notice that the moderate...but nonetheless conserative... people people herehave been posting less and less.
I really prefer to hang out at RMG and debate big policy differences, instead of nuances with people I share the same general outlook with. But lately there is no challenge at BMG...it's more of a place to go to humor myself and laugh at the absurdity of fringe people we have in our society.
Well that is one way to get rid of the liberals around here. Keep on this path of letting the fringe take over and there will be no sense for a liberal to post. The intellectual challenge of debate will no longer exist. I'm not suggesting censorship or banning, but there are plenty of level-headed conservatives around here that are sitting on the sidelines watching as these whackos embarrass and tarnish the image of conservativism. You have two basic choices: let them do it, or call them out on it. It's your party and this is your site that represents Massachusetts conservatives. It's your reputation.
Don't know if you've noticed lately but your supposedly conservative blog is being over run by an army of left wing assholes. Time to change the name to Blue Mass group II, Patrick?
We all know that you're mr Libertarian free speech,etc but this is getting ridiculous.
Assholes like this "Red Ass Monkey assclown" are making a mockery of your site.
The "regulars" like Geo999, Vote 3rd, knight, Strawberry et al, that I , for one,enjoy reading are getting really tired of the left wing horseshit sprayed here in the name of "free speech".
I don't think anyone ( like the BMG censors)is asking for account termination of invading liberal assclowns, rather an editing of their bullshit posts.
Just delete them as required.
I have not posted or read this site for a week or so because I got tired of seeing the angry lesbian laurel's shit all over your site or ascclown Monkey's psychobabble splattered all over here.
Seriously, either rename your site Blue mass II or do a better job of reigning in the left wing nut bags.
Hey, this is your site. Do what you want. I for one, won't be visiting or commenting in the midst of BMG assclown bullshit posts. I can get all of that I want to read by just going to their communist website.
"I want (conservatives) to hurt as much as we did (in 2004). I want their spirits crushed, their backs broken. . . . We do that by making sure a record number of Americans reject conservative ideology, leaving it utterly discredited. The day after the election, I want to see an electoral battlefield littered with defeated Republicans, their ranks demoralized, their treasury in heavy debt, and no real leadership to take the helm."
- Liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas of the DailyKos
Whenever Obama or one of his surrogates begin bleating that the "republicans are being mean spirited", or that "conservatives are racists", or that " republicans are hate mongers". Just keep in mind Mr. Moulitsas, the face and the darling of the democratic party. David Duke, George Wallace, and George Lincoln Rockwell couldn't hold a candle to this guy!
And then we have the fine upstanding folks from ACORN. Real nice bunch of folks, just out doing their patriotic duty. Real God and country folks.
Patriot Games Radio to Cover Democratic and Republican Political Conventions
By Patriot Games Media. Stephanie M. Davis
Dated: Aug 19, 2008
Patriot Games Radio, a Boston-based Internet Radio program announces plans to cover the upcoming Democratic and Republican national political conventions. Coverage for both conventions will air live from Jamaica Plain's renown Doyle's Cafe. on air from 8-10 PM Monday through Thursday (8/25-8/28) The RNC will take place 9/1 - 9/4.
Patriot Games Radio is a Boston-based public affairs program airing live on the BlogTalkRadio network. The host, Stephanie M. Davis (a.k.a. Boston Patriot), interviews civic, political, and business thought leaders throughout the state and country. Past guests include Ambassador John Bolton, Frances Rice, Grover Norquist, George Mitrovitch, Barbara Anderson, and Jeff Beatty. The show's New Media format (http://blogtalkradio.com/patriotgames) includes a blog, a chat room, live phone call-in lines, and an archived Podcast of each segment. In keeping with its Citizen Journalism roots,
The show will be broadcast live from historic Doyle's Cafe, in the heart of Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. In keeping with its Main Street Media mission, the show has joined forces with a national network of credentialed bloggers, vloggers, and radio hosts to provide up to date coverage of convention developments.
BlogTalkRadio has been featured on ABC News, The Washington Post, Portfolio, Talkers Magazine, and The Street.Com. In July, BlogTalkRadio announced a $4.2 million dollar capital infusion from the Kraft Group, owner of the New England Patriots. The citizen broadcasting network can be found at http://blogtalkradio.com.
The Village Voice published an interesting, albeit satirical, detailed article on the right-wing blogosphere
http://www.villagevoice.com/ne... Among the bloggers on their blacklist was Massachusetts' own Ace of Spades! Congratulations!
If you notice any more Massachusetts bloggers in the article, please post a comment.
May RedMassGroup join the blacklist in the near future!