LGF Vs. Daily Kos

July 23, 2007

As one of the few netizens out there that has posting privileges* on both of these popular and opposing websites, I sometimes feel the need to document my adventures in the political battlefield that exists out there, so here I go…

Tonight’s topic is this LGF thread:  KILLITARY: Lefties Dropping the Fiction of ‘Supporting the Troops’

Now, I should come right out and say that I post a lot more frequently on LGF than I do on Kos, and I’ve never considered it a duty of mine to “defend” Kos (even though I’m a left-leaning netizen), but sometimes I feel compelled to point out things that most of the LGFers don’t.  Both these sites have a history of taking shots at one another, and often times I feel like the only one out there caught in the middle.  When I see a post like this that attempts to smear Daily Kos or the “left” based on the flawed logic and bias of one diarist, sometimes I can’t help myself.  In this case, the diary in question was deleted by the powers that be at DK, and the accusation is being made by Charles (LGF’s webmaster) is that the motivation for it (the deletion) lies in some need in the Kossack hive mind to not let the proverbial mask slip (that the “left” really does hate the military).

The fact that the LGFers seem to be ignorant of is that anyone can post a diary on Kos.   All one has to do is register (always open) and wait a week before you can post whatever wild rant of a diary that you chose.  There are plenty of diarists out there that cross-post entries from their own blogs, simply because they know that Kos gets a considerable amount of traffic (a practice that I have abandoned, if you’re curious).  In a way, a Kos diary isn’t much different than a post left in the comment section of any blog, in that “cherry-picking” in order to make an argument that it is representative of the whole is really nothing more than a cheap shot.

What’s interesting is the fact that, in the LGFers minds, DK is in a no-win situation here.  If the diary were left to stand, the accusation would be that it reflects the opinion of it’s readership.  If the post is deleted (as this one was), the aforementioned accusation of attempts to hide their true feelings is made.  What I had to point out was the likely reality:  the Kossacks were as offended by the diary as the LGFers were, and deleted it simply because they didn’t want their site associated with this entry.  This point was backed up by the fact that the lost comments revealed the diarist receiving quite a bit of flak before the thread got yanked (something that, of course, I had to dig up).

I’ve been hanging out on LGF for over a year, so I’m very familiar with the protocols of the site.  For example, I know that Charles will delete comments that call for internment or mass deportation of US Muslims.   I’ve seen them get deleted.  What I have yet to see, however, is a post on Kos that highlights one of these comments and declares it a “mask-slipping” moment that is representative of LGF or the “right” in general (Charles resists the label of a “righty” website, even though you’d be hard-pressed to find a single post critical of that side of the political spectrum).   Visions of glass houses and rock wielders just dance in one’s head, don’t they? 

A closing thought… 

I’ll admit, there’s something that I find fascinating about the effect and influence that blogs can have on shaping politics and opinion.  It’s amazing that technology allows any single person to broadcast his or her thoughts to the entire word. It’s a dynamic that didn’t exist as recently as 10 years ago. Today, however, you’d have to be living in a cave to deny the power that blogs (and the internet in general) has when it comes to perception and debate on policy and current events. 

I have my own internal debates on whether this is a good or a bad thing.  On the one hand, over reliance on blogs as one’s main source of news and opinion can be hazardous, especially if you decide to base your opinion entirely on news delivered by those who adhere to no journalistic standards.  On the other, blogs provide a valuable check on the corporate media that is driven to deliver news based on ratings instead of what is actually important.  My current opinion is that one should find a balance responsibly and objectively, and be mindful of all these factors when determining your worldview. 

*I know I’m taking a shot at Charles and LGF with this post, so I’d just like to say that I acknowledge and respect the fact that the site tolerates dissenting voices such as my own.  There are plenty of sites – right and left – that don’t.  My goal in participating in both sites’ discussions mirrors that of my own blog, which is to bridge this gap between the two sides in the spirit of intellectual honesty and enlightenment.  I feel that an America that is less divided is a stronger America.

Update:  This story actually has created a bit of a buzz and even made the USA Today blog, where the author of the deleted post explains that he deleted it himself:

But Mitchell says he then pulled the posting from both blogs after readers, liberals and conservatives alike, “ripped it to shreds.” He says no one from Daily Kos asked him to remove the posting.

OK.  No “mask slipping” incident here.  In fact, one would think that the LGFers would congratulate the Kossacks for shooing him away. 

I won’t hold my breath.


  1. I agree. Although I do have to say I’ve found some trouble locating moderate blogs to read.

  2. Blogs 4 Brownback is pretty moderate.

    Consider putting us in your blog roll and voting for us in the blogger’s choice awards.

    Just kidding. 😉

  3. Hey mate,

    I just had one of my first visits to LGF. The whole Daily Kos thing was linked to from Balloon Juice, one of my favourite moderate sites.

    As an Australian, I’m not really obliged to support your troops. When looking through the vast, vast LGF comment thread, though, yours were the only comments that somewhat resembled my own opinion.

    You are a braver man than I, sir. You provide a valuable service to all with your objections, no matter how lost they may get within the echo chamber.

    Keep it up.

  4. Hey Chen,

    Glad to see you follow up on that kerfuffle. I only jumped in because Charles has made it a habit of seeking out obnoxious comments and diares at DailyKos, and then presenting them in a way that makes it seem like Markos wrote/supports them.

    Thinking about it today though, it occurs to me that LGF may be doing Kos a huge favor by pointing those out and making it easier for Kos to remove/moderate them. Sorta the same logic that digital virus-writers use to justify their destructiveness – it ends up making the web safer in the end because it generates anti-virus programs. And it seems to be working since Kos is making it clear that he wants the invective toned down.

  5. I dunno about that. This has been going on for as long as I’ve been on LGF. In some level it seems kinda silly and pointless, while on another it is dishonest and serves to further divide the nation. This isn’t merely a shot at Kos, it is aimed at the “left” in general. Charles likes to use the terminology “the left’s premier website” (or some variation) to describe Kos and I think these little cherry-picks are intended to paint with a broader brush. I mean, just look at the title “Lefties Dropping the Fiction…”

    I think you may find my profile on Killgore interesting. The LGF vs. Kos thing is nothing new, and I don’t think it’s really done anything to “tone down” Kos. Kos is just an easy punching bag for them to use to validate their opinions (the “left” hates the troops, hates America, is anti-Semitic, whatver ) because of the diverse nature of it’s participants.

  6. Thanks,

    Even some of the LGF commenters noted that DK is trying to go mainstream, so toning it down is probably in the future anyway. I think Hillary’s media manager is on O’Reilly tonight to address her presence at YK. I hope s/he points out Charles’ dishonesty in presenting certain posts as ‘representing’ DK. Not holding my breath either.

  7. “I know I’m taking a shot at Charles and LGF with this post, so I’d just like to say that I acknowledge and respect the fact that the site tolerates dissenting voices such as my own.”

    I think you can only consider yourself lucky to have been tolerated so far. Every other voice of dissent I’ve witnessed has been brutally cracked down on, either by Charles who actively deletes accounts of anyone who clearly disagrees with him, or in the comment sections with tons of name-calling, flaming, and ad-hominem arguments, that you yourself have witnessed.

    If I could post a few remarks there I’d get banned in less than an hour.

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