Holding Kos Responsible

It wasn’t just ‘old media’ or ‘main stream media’ who ignored the John Edwards story or got it totally wrong. Unfortunately, it was also the left wing blogosphere who overwhelmingly let their readers down. Many sites didn’t cover the story until it burst like a dam on cable news. Only one site censored it, however.

I don’t know Markos Moulitsas Zúñiga, the founder of Daily Kos. I’m still banned over there for discussing the Edwards story and I get letters and tweets asking me if I’m unbanned yet. I wrote Kos days ago to see if he thought banning me was a good idea and I haven’t heard anything.

Up until now, I’ve assumed it wasn’t personal. Then tonight, I remembered that Kos himself actually had written about the Edwards story on DailyKos before I did.

Now I think I know why I’m still banned. It’s not just that I got the Edwards story right. More significantly, Markos got this story totally wrong. I mean, 100% totally wrong. And his wrongness set the tone over at Daily Kos for everyone who attacked me and who continue to attack me to this day. Look what the leader of Kos told his followers.

Seriously, I can’t believe this is even subject to debate, but for the crazies, no source is too disreputable if it validates their warped world view.

Daily Kos: Why won’t the “MSM” cover Edwards love child story????

You nailed it, Kos! It’s telling that Markos quoted Richard Blair from All Spin Zone in that post. However Richard has done something Kos still hasn’t; admitted he was wrong.

I’m sad about this, because I was and am a very firm believer in the issues on which John and Elizabeth Edwards have led, especially since his first run for the presidency in 2004. I’m further saddened because no doubt their voices will now become silent. They have more important things to attend to.

I’m disappointed – no, hopping damn mad – about this, because I’ve been a supporter since 2004. He’s received my very vocal support, as well as financial contributions. I

All Spin Zone

No such reality from Markos. While mainstream news outlets like The New York Times are doing a bit of hand wringing about the case, Markos published a new diary actually congratulating himself and the whole community for being so darn swell to Elizabeth Edwards. It’s stunning that the Kossacks are so happy their echo chamber got the story so wrong but boy are they happy.

No wonder the Edwardses chose the Daily Kos as the place to launch her homespun manipulative PR deception piece, which helped push the falsehood of the 2006 ‘no affair anymore’ date four times in three short paragraphs. She knew she’d have a receptive audience of Kossacks whose critical thinking skills have atrophied.

In the middle of the Kos groupthink hug, someone brought up unbanning me. That didn’t go over well.

Here’s the comment.

Stranahan is the worst kind of so-called journalist. He only wanted to be right, and to “break” the story. Markos has a great site here, inspiring thought-provoking, reality based discussions. The community banned Stranahan because he was an idiot opportunistic jerk. This site has made such a difference and serves as a community townhall, and we (the community) need to keep it humming.

When Markos brought up the Edwards scandal he wasn’t an idiot opportunistic jerk, right? Even though he mentioned the story first he wasn’t trying to “break” it, correct?

The commenter is right. I don’t belong in the Daily Kos community. I only wanted to be right. Guilty as charged. That’s exactly what I wanted. Now if only we can figure out what Daily Kos wants to be.

Andrew Young’s Criminal Record

cross posted at The Huffington Post

Andrew Aldridge Young is the former Edwards campaign worker and assistant who has claimed to be the father of John Edward’s mistress Rielle Hunter’s baby. Young has a wife and three children. Dallas attorney and John Edwards supporter Fred Baron recently confirmed that he financed Young, his family, and Hunter’s move to Santa Barbara, claiming to have financed the move and living expenses without the knowledge of Edwards. Young’s name does not appear on the Hunter baby’s birth certificate, which has kept open questions about whether Young is actually the father.

Now public records searches reveal a history of criminal charges and convictions that paint a potentially different picture of Young than that of a typical campaign worker. The records, published on the website WebOfDeception.com, appear to list over twenty different criminal offenses and a tax lien. The earliest offense listed is a traffic offense from 1983 but also include more recent charges including a August 2006 court disposition of July 2006 Possessing Beer On City Property offense and guilty pleas in 2007 for several DWI Level V offenses that occurred on September 12th, 2006. A Level V offense is the least serious DWI level under North Carolina state law.

In the middle of December 2007, Andrew Young made the following statement through his attorney.

“Andrew Young is the father of Ms. Hunter’s unborn child,” declared his Washington, D.C.-based attorney. “Sen. Edwards knew nothing about the relationship between these former co-workers, which began when they worked together in 2006.”

“As a private citizen who no longer works for the campaign, Mr. Young asks that the media respect his privacy while he works to make amends with his family.”

National Enquirer

I spoke to Joseph Culligan,the author of several books on investigation techniques including When In Doubt, Check Him Out : A Woman’s Survival Guide for the 90’s and webmaster of WebOfDeception. Culligan said that all the information was gained though public records searches.

I was able to confirm much of the information on WebOfDeception through a public records search using the service PeopleFinders.com.

(Note: Culligan’s site did not work properly in Firefox on my Windows XP machine but showed up fine in Internet Explorer.)

Massive Fail: How The Kos Community Got Edwards Wrong

A few notes on the events that lead to my being banned from Daily Kos. A lot of people have said in comments that I was banned because there ‘wasn’t a shred of evidence!’ and many are still saying that.

That’s not the case – there was evidence. The reason I was right and they were wrong is that they choose to ignore that evidence and I didn’t. And I mean ‘ignore’ quite literally – they made a decision to not even look at the evidence based solely on it’s source.

Here’s a direct quote from Kos commenter on my first diary that discussed this..

“The enquirer has NEVER broken a legitimate “real” news story in their existence.”

That statement was repeated about the National Enquirer and Fox News countless times; that they were never right. And people meant it. They argued that nothing the NE or Fox said was true, ever.

Obviously and I mean OBVIOUSLY if you think about the statement about the NE ‘never having broken a legitimate news story’ or Fox News ‘never being right ‘, they aren’t correct. Never right? Never ever? NEVER ever?

Here’s what is true — it’s smart to read both the NE and Fox with a skeptical eye. That’s what I did; I looked at their statements carefully and tried to think through the logical conclusions of their claims. That process wasn’t a snap judgment. I spent hours talking to my wife and friends about story, trying to reason out what I thought. I urged people to look into it for themselves.

Here’s how I responded in comments.

Just because the Enquirer says somethings doesn’t make it untrue. Which part of what they said have you looked into for yourself and decided wasn’t true?

Nobody answered that.

For anyone claiming I was banned because I kept writing diaries; the calls for my banning started on diary number one. The next two diaries were attempts to address things that had been brought up in the first diary, which had grown to an unmanagable 600+ comments. The fourth diary was an attempt to explain why any reporter would know something was up with Edwards when he started ducking reporters, without making any reference to the NE or Fox.

I accused of browbeating people. Again, here are my words from comments.

Wait and see is fine.

Skeptical until more evidence is totally fine.

Another claim made about me is that I was impolite. Given the completely over the top way I was attacked on both a personal and professional level, this is insulting.

And I was attacked. Read the comments if you have any doubts. I was called an asshole and a prick and a douchebag and liar and a troll and a concern troll and if I wasn’t troll, I was sure ACTING like a troll. People said I fucked gorillas and dogs. I was compared to dictators and told my penis should fall off. I was accused of being a GOP operative. It was seriously suggested that I worked for Karl Rove or Walmart. My motivations, intelligence, honesty, fitness to write and future prospects were all questions.

If any of the people who struck out at me so harshly have admitted they were wrong, I missed it. Instead – incredibly – many of them have continued to argue that I got what I deserved…and why? Because I was a prick and an asshole and a troll.

Finally, after I was banned I was attacked for talking about being banned. I was called a ‘whiner’ because I didn’t just lay down and die after the banning. Apparently some people are so driven to want to shut down discussion that it’s frustrating to them that they can’t do it anywhere except DailyKos.

One final note – I did write Kos days ago. I haven’t heard anything. I’m still banned. Frontpagers who attacked me like BarbInMD and KangroX haven’t backed down to my knowledge because, ya know – I’m an asshole and I had no proof. Except for the proof that turned out to be correct in exactly the way I said it would.

I’ve Been Banned At DailyKos Because Of John Edwards

Cool picture from florian.b who also features this quote…

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

Please DIGG my new john Edwards piece right now

BREAKING UPDATE: I made a new name to comment on a thread someone started about me getting banned….I used my own name. 3 hours later, banned again!

Update. We’re getting a lot of traffic, so I should mention one thing – a few reports have said I was a longtime blogger at DailyKos but it’s more than that, really — if you visit my YouTube page you’ll see that DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas called one of my videos ‘the best YouTube parody’ of 2007. So this whole thing is really a pretty big turnaround.

Someone on Kos noticed I was banned and they discuss it. Short version – I had it coming! This completely get wrong what my posts were about, but it’s nice for them to be able to do that where I can’t comment. Any of you Kowards care for an actual discussion, I’m here.

Also, the Gawker wrote about my banishment and turned up the ultimate answer to the idea that I was banned for citing a tabloid — a 2005 diary someone wrote with Kos commenters praising the National Enquirer when they ran a story about George Bush. (A story that wasn’t sourced with first person accounts the way the Edwards hotel story was.) The Kos Community banned me because of the subject matter, period.

If you want the best roundup of posts, facts, and reporting about this story the gossip site Deceiver has gone above and beyond the pale in covering this.

About a week ago, I posted a piece on the Huffington Post called Say It Ain’t So, John. I didn’t think it would have much more impact than my usual posts…maybe a dozen comments or so, a couple of people linking to it. To my surprise, it became the most read blog the Huffington Post for a few days.

I cross posted on DailyKos, which is probably the best known and biggest progressive blog. I’ve been posting at Kos for a long time. As more news about Edwards has come out, I followed up with more posts which were also the subject of a large number of comments. All of them looked at the Edwards situation from my point of view; that is, a liberal who is concerned about the implications this story may have in November.

Now I’m banned. I can’t write about ANYTHING at Kos. Can’t comment, can’t post a non-Edwards piece. Nothing.

And I stand by my title – it’s largely John Edward’s fault that I’m banned. I’m now personally a small piece of fallout from the scandal. That’s because Edward’s defense is shoot the messenger, not answer the questions. The rabid response of the people on Kos is directly related to Edwards and his own response. That’s exactly why I’m saying this has the potential to hurt the Democratic brand.

So answer the effin’ questions already, John. For everyone’s sake.

I’m not sure if the DailyKos is going to take down my writing and make me a complete un-person there. Of course, real progressives are against censorship so Maryscott O’Connor’s blog MyLeftWing is my new community home. (Maryscott was the lead actress in my film Breathing Room about 13 years ago, by the way.)

Here are the pieces I wrote on Kos that caused the problems…if you look, I’m not writing about anything that isn’t being written about already.

Say It Ain’t So, DailyKos

Dissent, Disloyalty, And Disappointment

Irrefutable Proof Of The John Edwards Scandal

Erin Kotecki Vest also wrote this piece about me getting banned. Editors from Kos contacted her. I haven’t heard a thing.