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I sent a private email to a former IPDI staffer, directed at Carol Darr, that was undoubtedly angry. Darr reacted angrily to the email, and forwarded it in a bizarre letter to the Chairman of the FEC.

This morning, I have sent the following email in response to the FEC and Ms. Darr:

Dear Chairman Thomas:

I regret that the Institute for Politics and Democracy on the Internet has chosen to make a public fight out of a personal email to a former IPDI staffer.  It is ironic, to say the least, that the IPDI initially used its freedom of speech to submit a comment to the FEC recommending that it place new legal restrictions upon bloggers' ability to fundraise on behalf of others, and now is complaining loudly that I privately expressed an interest in using my freedom of speech to affect the IPDI's ability to fundraise for itself.

This is a distraction from the important issues at stake, and I trust that the FEC will base its decisions on the thoughtful submissions of all 800+ parties which have provided comments, and that as in the blogosphere, the better argument will win the day. I look forward to testifying before you later this month, and confirming why we believe our approach is most consistent with First Amendment values and the law.

Sincerely,
Markos Moulitsas

For the record, I didn't even know IPDI's annual conference was a big fundraising event. But still, the anger she has displayed at the perceived efforts to squelch her free speech is the same anger I feel at her overt and active efforts to squelch mine.

Like I wrote, I do love the irony that Darr is using her freedom of speech to deny my ability to do fundraising on behalf of others, and complains that I'm planning to use my own freedom of speech to deny her ability to fundraise on behalf of herself.

Update: Oops. Sorry for not providing context. If you want to understand the root of this disagreement, start with this post, then read this one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:44 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Unbelievablly Ironic. (none)
    Nice retort, and good work.
  •  Keep fighting (none)
    Keep fighting, Kos (and everybody else).

    Without the blogosphere, campaigns like mine would have been nowhere, and future political endeavors  by everyday, regular citizens will be shattered.

  •  Weird (none)
    You have every right to do what you 'threatened' to do. Maybe she didn't like the F-bomb?
  •  Note Doesn't Relect Well (3.93)
    Irony abounds, but the note Markos wrote to Matthew was unprofessional.
    •  Agreed. (4.00)
      Very unprofessional.

      "We've all read Canterbury Tales, haven't we?" - Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)

      by thirdparty on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 08:54:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, of course (none)
      I wasn't trying to be professional, obviously. This isn't a professional disagreement, it's a very personal one.

      As for Darr "telling on me" to the FEC? Also unprofessional. Why wwould she do that? Because the disagreement, once again, isn't professional. It's personal.

      •  Which raises the question (none)
        Why is a Clinton appointee gunning after blogs? And why such animosity?
      •  but (3.75)
        What exactly did you intend the email to accomplish?  Made public or not, I don't see how it makes either you or the community any more credible or effective on this issue. Quite the opposite actually.

        "We've all read Canterbury Tales, haven't we?" - Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)

        by thirdparty on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:15:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  what is this, the Sopranos? (3.00)
        no wonder you have enemies.

        live and learn.

        •  Huh? (none)
          You DO know she submitted her comments BEFORE the e-mail right?

          She was our enemy long before.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:45:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No goddamnit (4.00)
            She's not your ENEMY, she's your OPPONENT.  Kos can disagree with her and not send her a personal email accusing her of "fucking everything up" and promising a boycott of her conference.  Bloggers aren't going to be taken seriously if we engage in this type of shit.

            Help Paul Hackett win the first race of the 2005-2006 cycle

            by lorax on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:13:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do You Honestly Think (none)
              That political rivals in the same party don't speak to each other in Anglo-Saxon?

              I've heard lawyers get really mad at each other in the course of their work and start talking like characters from a David Mamet play.

              As to "opponent" versus "enemy," I think I'll take the word of the people actually involved in the dispute.  Sometimes people on the same side of most issues can end up being the bitterest of enemies, and do all sorts of things to spite each other.

              "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

              by JJB on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:26:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not in a Semi-Public Medium Like E-mail (none)
                I've always heard that you shouldn't write anything in an e-mail that you wouldn't write in a postcard.

                Political rivals in the same party use "Anglo-Saxon" all the time. Smart ones do so only verbally and in private. Intemperate written notes have an odd habit of being released to the public...and e-mail makes that process very, very easy.

                •  among lawyers, it's (4.00)
                  "Don't put anything in an email that you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the Wall Street Journal."

                  "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

                  by Adam B on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  True (none)
                  Although I do know of one lawyer who sent opposing counsel a case of very expensive champagne after winning a big victory in Delaware Chancery Court with a note saying, approximately, "We couldn't have done it without you!"  Said opposing counsel had offered a settlement a few hours before the judge rendered his decision, and when it was refused, said something like "okay stupid, you'll be lucky to find any clients after the judge cuts your nuts off!"

                  "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

                  by JJB on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 06:13:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  personal or not... (3.78)
        the comments one makes when in the public eye, and you are in the public eye Markos, will become fodder against you. Granted, it was a personal e-mail, but would you not make public a perceived threat e-mailed to you from someone on the the other side of the fence if it suited your ends?

        She's taking your own words to undermine your credibility. And in the eyes of many, including the FEC I'm sure, what credibility do you have to begin with?

        Darr "telling on" you may very well be unprofessional and the act of a whiney tattle-tale, but none the less, it makes you look like a shit head to the FEC.

        Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

        by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:20:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sheeesh (none)
          Yes I'm sure that will be the deciding factor.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:46:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sheesh (4.00)
            When considering the topic is whether or not to limit the political speech rights of bloggers, do you think 800 examples of constructive discourse or 800 f-bomb tantrums are more likely get us canned?

            Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

            by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:05:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  FEC (none)
              isn't going to enact rules and regulations based on feisty e-mail exchange between two commenters.
              •  when it becomes... (none)
                part of the record and changes the tone of the discourse, which it has in this case thanks to her attaching the e-mail to her letter, do you think it will have no effect on opinions? I thought the idea was protecting political speech. Do you think when they view all comment on this topic and find nothing but profanity and whining, they will find any political speech worth protecting?

                Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

                by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:30:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What Kos (none)
                  send to Ms. Darr wasn't exactly political speech, it was personal communication.  
                  •  yes... (none)
                    a personal communication on the topic that has been dragged into the center of the political debate between the two. The one wouldn't have existed without the other. And the implied threat in the message goes beyond political discourse and makes it personal. And it was Markos who took it there.

                    Actually, rethinking this whole topic a bit, maybe this isn't a bad thing at all. I'm of the opinion that political blogging is speech that should not be restricted. But when bloggers get angry and uppity and lower the discourse to threats and such, it removes it from the realm of political speech. Therefore, there really is no debate on whether to restrict it or not. It's no longer political, just a bunch of name calling and trash talking.

                    So that's the solution. Don't bother annoying the FEC with defenses of blogging as fair political speech. Just tell them it's a bunch of kids yelling at each other, nothing to be concerned with. Better yet, tell them it's just a fad.

                    Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

                    by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:51:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Excuse Me (none)
                      but I have serious doubts that you understand the issues that are at play here. FEC is involved because of BCRA, ie. money in politics and such. Freedom of speech isn't their primary concern but it could be a casualty of stringent regulations, meaning there is only so much FEC can regulate. This is what it is about. First Amendment issues are for courts to decide and the courts WILL decide this if FEC were to reach their conclusions based on an email one Markos Moulitsas send to someone called Caroline Darr.

                         

                      •  forgive me... (none)
                        I was under the assumption that the speech in question must be defined as political speech before the purveyors of said speech could have their campaign contribution rights restricted.

                        Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

                        by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 12:29:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Leaders lack freedom (3.91)
        Kos,

        No to lecture you, the work you've done in building this community is fantastic, but you are facing a problem that happens to a lot of people when what they've built grows so quickly.

        Your role has changed.  You are not longer a merely an independent voice, but you are the head of an important organization, a resource for taking this country back from the ones who are doing so well at stealing it for a select few.

        As a leader, your ability to have personal disputes is contrained.  There is no professional or personal, particularly in emails.  Any email you send is part of the public record, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.

        Every single thing you write is a press release.

        It sucks, because nobody wants to lose the freedom to express themselves as freely as they like, and the ones who got the letter deserve a few F-bombs dropped on them, its true.

        But as a leader, you have to realize it doesn't help our cause, even if its personally gratifying.  And right now, the cause of our country is more important than that kind of gratification.

        Anyway, just my thoughts, not sure they're worth the paper they won't be printed on.

        Again, thanks for building this community and being a leader.  Keep it up.

        A Republic, if you can keep it.

        by Fides on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:29:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Worry too much (2.87)
          Doues this sound familiar?

          "Go Fuck Yourself."

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ratings abuse? (none)
            Hey ROGNM, Armando has earned more than his share of troll ratings, but I think you're off-base here. I think he's referencing Cheney's comment to Sen. Leahy last year to illustrate that lots of important people use unprofessional language.

            That said, I'd like to associate myself with Fides comment. Everything Markos commits to paper/blog should be considered public. Anything he doesn't want published he can not write down anymore because it will resurface in the most inconvenient places.

            The Media Is Dead. Long Live NewsCorpse.com

            by KingOneEye on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:12:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Huh?? (none)
            People are actually giving 1s for Armando referencing Dick Cheney as a person of responsibility in a response to this post. What the fuck??
            •  Because They Don't Understand (4.00)
              That he's quoting Cheney.  Can't say I blame them, Armando should have included Cheney's name there in addition to the quote marks.  Even with them, it reads as if Armando was saying it himself rather than quoting the loathsome Veep.

              "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

              by JJB on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:31:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  IOKIYAR (none)
            Sadly, it's true, Cheney got away with it.  Cheney got away with a gaffe because he's already won and is winning.

            On balance, though, I don't think it helped him with anyone other than those who were devotees anyway, and we all know that those folks would love anything Cheney or their dear leader did.  (Reminds me of the Triumph the insult comic dog response to his own question, "If Bush had taken a poop on stage, you just would have said 'He looked really comfortable up there.'")

            We aren't in that position.  We're out of power, and not respected in the media, and they are all to willing to jump on anything bad that happens.  We also have an opposition that is ruthless at using stuff like this to their advantage.

            We shouldn't censor everything we say, and we should drop F-bombs now and again, at least some of us; we need a broad variety of communication strategies to communicate to a broad audience.  I think the Rude Pundit is fantastic, but Kos has a different place than that - he's more than a pundit, he a leader of a movement that ultimately needs mainstream support if it is to succeed.

            It's not that we can't be strident in support of our ideas, we need to be, we have to be.  We've been too wimpy for too long, and we've been too good at seeing it from the other guys perspective but damn poor at communicating our own.  That's no good.  But at the same time, this kind of thing makes it too easy to cloud the message, and that's not good either.

            The spotlight is on Kos, and that's great, I think he uses it well.  But, my advice would be to stay away from this kind of 'personal' communcation - it won't stay personal, and it won't help the causes that are important to everyone here.

            A Republic, if you can keep it.

            by Fides on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:04:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Big Difference (none)
            Cheney was communicating orally; Kos wasn't.

            Yes the microphones were on, which is always a danger with oral communication, as Nixon discovered.  But neither of the two Dicsk -- two of the most foul-mouthed politicians imaginable -- to my knowledge ever committed f-bombs to writing.

            •  Right on! (none)
              Those "You'll never work in this town again" rants already sound petulant and childish when just SAID. They get even worse when written down...

              What he said was actually nothing out of bounds:

              Kos has earned the right to say he will not recommend a bogus netroot conference. After all, he is one of the main netroots supporters with his site. And Carol Darr obviously doesn't know what the F she is talking about. How could he recommend something about netroots done by her ? THAT would have been unprofessional.

              A more thought out letter would communicate the same message in a more positive way for kos.

              Time for kos to put down the hockey stick and start playing chess: Always think 2 moves ahead...

              Dean speaks out the truth. I like it
              Iraq is based on a 'pack of lies.' Telling the truth looks like the only remedy to it.

              by lawnorder on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:23:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  hell yeah! (none)
        Because the disagreement, once again, isn't professional. It's personal.

        It's fucking RIDICULOUS for her to moan about how her rights are being threatened, because you want to put some legitimate economic pressure on her.  

        Why in the world does she imagine that she should be immune from that?   What fairy-castle fucking world does she live in, where she gets to trash other people's Constitutional rights and their livelihoods, but is somehow guaranteed her cozy perch?  Fundraising? ...Fuck you, earn it!

        My god, what a craven fool.

      •  If you say so, (none)
        I guess it was unprofessional but I don't see how.  Because the word "fuck" was used?  In my professional life I have heard that word used by executives and corporate lawyers I have heard that word used with both friend and foe alike (including one unfortunate incident when I was told I "really fucked up".)

        Maybe it is the perceived threats to economic interests that are unprofessional?  Not a chance. If an industry group which relied on a business for some forms of support did something against the interests of that business I think the first thing the business would do would be to contact the industry group and remind them of the repurcussions.  (While I believe that Kos and the other bloggers are fighting the proposed regulations for the "right reasons" lets face facts, the regs would add serious costs or shut down their economic interests.)

        The comments may have been something that Darr was not used to in her environment, but in my eyes they were not "unprofessional".  What is unprofessional is crying like a little child to the teacher when someone calls you a name.

        •  I use the word (none)
          like I drink water.  But I would never put it in writing to someone I don't know well and/or don't trust.  It's not "professional," in the sense that it's not how educated individuals discuss matters of a professional nature, even when it's not for public consumption.  I don't know the full story, but Kos's first note to her just sounded immature.

          "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

          by Passing Shot on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:11:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suppose, in hindsight (none)
            Kos should have chosen a different phrasing because Darr is an untrustworthy individual.  I was so offended by her lack of professionalism that any minor breach on his part may have been missed.

            I would (if only for my own purposes) disagree with your assessment that "it's not how educated individuals discuss matters of a professional nature".  I am educated (and even if I weren't, I worked with and for educated people) and this is the kind of language that is at times used.  Have you read (or heard of) "On Bullshit"?  Regards.

      •  Whatever (none)
        It seems fine to me.

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:43:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the point is... (4.00)
        there is no distinction between "personal" and "professional" when you're in the public eye (which you clearly are), to say nothing of the fact that everything and anything said in print these days, electronically or otherwise, stands a very good chance of becoming public... on top of that, this is precisely what we complain about with ann, hannity, o'reilly, rush, and the other spewers of vitriol... i think the secret for a communication like that is to emulate wolcott - tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip...
      •  not professional (none)
        what are you talking about kos!

        of course it was professional.  They make a living... you make a living...

        you think you can influence attendence?

        They think so too!

        don't get crushed dude.... some of this stuff is reality and you'll have to fit with it or be crushed.

        it's fine to fight, but dkos is well known and well  feared too... OF COURSE people are going to take your emails seriously... you know this.  You want them to.  Certainly you didn't intend to just be taken as a crank, did you?

      •  Agency mix up (none)
        Sounds like they're confusing the FEC and the FCC.

        :)

    •  hate to agree... (3.76)
      but i do.

      Markos' response was fine, even-handed and professional. But what the hell was with that angry first letter? Do you honestly expect her not to be a little pissed? It was completely unprofessional and well below Markos' abilities and standards. I'd expect a threat e-mail from Markos to actually educate me on some important point I'd missed, or some vagary or nuance I'd overlooked. That e-mail sounded like nothing more than the threatening rant of your typical GooPer.

      And beyond that, did you not expect a backlash? Did you think the e-mail would just disappear? We live in the information age people. You can't just throw out random threats and not expect them to come back and bite you in the ass later. There is always a record. Always.

      Unlike the comments Dean is taking heat for in the press and from weak-kneed Dems, I think Markos e-mail was ill-conceived and will do more to damage his identity and credibility than it will to help it. Pray it doesn't do any damage to the issue.

      Whatever is wrong, it is never as bad as being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Unless of course, you were just poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

      by propagandism on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:13:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One sample doesn't define kos (none)
        I agree the e-mail was over the top and childish. But it seems her reply, basically a yell to daddy, was on the same tone.

        Kos has a history on the net, of thoughtful posts, one angry e-mail won't devalue all that. At least it won't for me.

        But your other points are ont the money: Of course that would be made public... Sadly in this age of soundbytes that's the way the game is played.

        Hopefully kos will think twice before he sends a similar mail next time. He's one of the good guys and that e-mail doesn't do him justice.

        Dean speaks out the truth. I like it
        Iraq is based on a 'pack of lies.' Telling the truth looks like the only remedy to it.

        by lawnorder on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 06:11:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was the F Bomb (none)

      I probably wouldn't have dropped the F-Bomb.

      Chances are she would have responded the same way, but remove the F-Bomb and that first note is fine.

      I will say the boycott idea would have come off better if Kos had just posted "Boycott" and called on all Blogs/Bloggers to do the same, advertise the boycott, etc.  

      Oh well.  That Carol Darr is definately a major league asshole.

      Bush will be impeached.

      by jgkojak on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:27:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eh (none)
        Why not?

        The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

        by Armando on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:43:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It gives a sense of "unprofessionalism" (none)

          You have Kossacks saying that note is unprofessional--

          I understand it was personal, between people who know each other and clearly are comfortable with each other, but...

          The way the right twists things AND given the seriousness of this issue it probably would have been wiser to take the high road.  

          Without that F Bomb the only response to Darr's letter is "Huh?"

          With the F Bomb those with delicate sensibilities (think they're not around- witness the Pie debate) have something "offensive" to hang their hat on.

          Perception is reality in George W Orwell's Amerika.

          Bush will be impeached.

          by jgkojak on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:36:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Unprofessional (3.57)
      is putting it nicely.  The note is childish and petulant.  "Freedom of speech" certainly protects your right to say whatever you want, but it doesn't make you any less of an asshole for doing it completely inappropriately.  

      These have not been proud times for DailyKos.  If the netroots are ever going to make a real difference, some of its leaders are going to have to grow up soon.

    •  Don't Bring that Weak Shit Here. (none)
      Kos put a verbal cap in this Darr's azz.  Good.  That's what you do with enemies.

      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:56:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lame (none)
        fucking enemies... they're ever'where!

        jesus.

        that's why we're blowing up Iraq... what a dumbass thing to say.

        I don't get this shit... but I mean specifically... I never got this vibe from you before... was I just not reading closely... now it's several times the tough guy act.

        Fucking 'ell it's a fellow citizen speaking to the FEC... you don't threaten them, you just out argue them.

        What a load of bullshit.

        Hey Cheez, you might be the next enemy --- you know it gets thick in the middle of a bloodfest.

  •  She may not agree with ... (4.00)
    what we say, but she will defend to her death her right to get someone else to stop us saying it.

    Somehow that doesn't sound like how that old saw should go. But then, that old saying is much more liberal in meaning than most people think. It's the ACLU approach, in which freedom of speech trumps political advantage, which is why the madministration and its 'base' castigate the ACLU and Amnesty International, just to name two organizations.

    Ed

  •  You know what? (4.00)
    If Carol Darr feels like her organization's economic well-being is being threatened, that may not necessarily be a bad thing. I've got a war mentality when it comes to my fundamental rights.
  •  boycotts (none)
    are so republican anyway- what in the world can the skank be complaining about?
  •  CAROL DARR's TOP TEN FEARS OF BLOGS (4.00)

    CAROL DARR's TOP TEN FEARS OF BLOGS
    1.  Corporations and the wealthy will be further shut out of the political process
    2.  Only knowledgable editors with years of training and experience are qualified to comment on the complexity of government...you know, like, whether or not we should go to war.
    3.  Bloggers tend to be reactionary when challenged and write over the top and emotional responses
    4.  Tried to start her own blog, but "Carol's S&M Secrets" pretty much bombed- too many Freepers were posting
    5.  Only doesn't like blogs whose names she can't pronounce properly
    6.  Our timely reporting and analysis of important events confuses and frightens her.  She may be a cro-magnon woman discovered in a block of ice and thawed out and she doesn't know much of the modern world, but she does know this:  that unrestricted fundraising by blogs creates a loophole through which citizens can unfairly impact the political process.
    7.  The only people who should have all the information in a democracy are politicians and the mainstream press.
    8.  She longs for a return to the days of the BBS.  She especially misses the Mugging feature.
    9.  9600BAUD modem too slow to handle SCOOP software
    10.  She can't read

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:04:51 AM PDT

  •  It's Like 5th Grade Again (none)
    Wah!  He used the f-word, Mrs. FEC!  WAAAAHHHHH...  I'm telling!
    •  In the end, I believe that THIS is why... (none)
      ...She felt entitled to get on her high horse.  

      Fuck her, and that horse, which she rode in on.  Or something like that.

      Her lace-hanky sensibilites are not a sufficient reason to piss on the Constitution.  

  •  They Squeal Like Stuck Pigs... (none)
    ...when the tables are turned.

    Fuck Carol Darr. Boycott IPDI at all times.

  •  How did they fuck up in their comments? (none)
    (as per Markos original letter)
    context would be interesting
  •  Mommy, mommy!! Markos hit me... (none)
    ...where it counts.

    Well, at least we know we're not dealing with adults here. This Carol Darr is an academic? Really?

    I will say, however, that your first letter was a bit "tart" to say the least. I have no problems with the ideas expressed, but your response to Darr's e-mail was inifinitely better.

    I would probably stick to the well-reasoned variety in the future, Markos, and leave the petulant whining to Ms. Darr.

    "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:33:46 AM PDT

  •  Let me get this straight (none)
    Darr wants the federal government to restrict the political speech of Daily Kos and every other blog(ger), and that's just fine. When a blogger sends an e-mail saying that he's pissed off by her proposal (imagine that!) and that he'll do what he can to get netroots people to boycott IDPI's convention, that's a "threat" that Darr seems to think someone ought to do something about. What a maroon.

    Send Dubya back to the ranch! BeatBushBlog

    by Frederick on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 09:39:38 AM PDT

  •  If there are any grownups at the FEC . . . (none)
    then they will have no difficulty in determining that this woman is a lunatic.  Sure, the original message is blunt.  It is also perfectly within the normal range of blunt email communication, and conveys a perfectly reasonable message between politically-active citizens.  And as for the suggestion of a 'threat,' no one encourages donors to support an institution that they see to be acting against their and their own communities' vital interests.  Warning the less-informed of such an institution's agenda, and suggesting that funds would be better spent elsewhere, is what activists and their organizations properly do in situations like this.

    I wanted to join in the applause for the grace of your response -- I'm only sorry that you've had to spend any more of your time on Darr's nonsense.

  •  It's the F-word, folks (none)
    Using the F-word always has at its root some kind of verbal aggression, the desire to harm. When you say "those fucking Republicans" it's implied that were one of them in front of you, you would like to reach out and slap them or spit on them.

    How is this aggression different from military aggression? It's not - it's a matter of degree. I want to be better than that. Until I remove the attitude of aggression from my mind, it will cloud my judgment, dehumanize my enemy, and make me no better than Dick Cheney.

  •  One thing.. (4.00)
    Did Markos consent to his email being made public?

    As far as I know, it is illegal to make private communication public without consent.

    •  I don't think so (none)
      If you email it, you might as well have yelled it from the mountaintops.
      •  I'm not sure. (none)
        Are you saying email is not private communication? I thought it was considered as such. Or am I misunderstanding you?
        •  Hm. (none)
          I did some googling, and it seems that it is legal to disclose emails, if you are the recipient.

          Ok, that takes care of that one.. I'll stop talking to myself now.

        •  no protection nada (none)
          this wasn't even an intercept.

          Kos letter wasn't a threat, and it was sent after their comments.

          But that is all beside the point. And the point is that she is in business and so is Kos. Kos uses his free speech, She can use hers also, to advertise her product, the conference, a blog... ...market decides. ... Dog eat dog.

          ... If nobody comes, the Donald will fire you for poor marketing. The idea that, lets say, the Donald would write his congressman etc, if nobody showed up to buy something, because someone badmouthed him....is ridiculous.  

          Her letter really is an effort to discredit Kos BEFORE he comments. That is, to me, a more serious ethical issue, if not a legal one. Kos did the right thing by publishing this letter, however embarassing it might be to him.

          She will have to cope with consequences, much more now than before she wrote the letter. This is like first she shot herself in the foot, then put her foot in her mouth, then she put her head up her ass. Good luck, from that position, with the writing of your brochure for that all-important conference, ma'am.  

          When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

          by seesdifferent on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:16:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever Its Legal Status (none)
          ...one should never count on an e-mail staying private. That's just a rule of life in the information age. And that's even more true for those of us on the left.

          Want a really private conversation? Meet in person, outside, in an open space.

    •  Honestly (none)
      I assume every email I write will be made public. I don't care if people see I used the word "fucked". Like I've said before, if I was a Republican, they'd nominate me to be United States ambassador to the UN. But I'm not a Republican.

      I don't have a problem with her publishing the letter. Or slapping it up on her organization's site.

      What's bizarre is her running to the FEC. She expects them to protect reporters from unruly bloggers, and now she expects them to -- what -- give me a slap on the wrist? She has no clue what the FEC is all about. Her original comments, and this letter to them, proves that.

      •  For what it's worth, (none)
        it wasn't just the use of the f word that I found off-putting.  The entire tone sounds as threatening as if you said you were sending out a hit or something.  I know that isn't what you meant, but it's how it came across, at least to me.  

        I think she sent it to the FEC because (a) she's mad at you; (b) she wants you to look bad to others; and (c) she has now ensured you won't send her or her colleagues another email like that.

      •  also honestly (none)
        I think you have to be more thoughtful about how you're going to be perceived, Markos. Regardless of if she acted unprofessionally or not by 'telling on you', your not-so-carefully selected words in that email are now out there. As you're now, for better and for worse, a public figure you have to calculate with your opponents playing dirty and how that will affect you.

        I'm saying this not to bash you, but out of concern for you. I want to see you prosper and I'd hate to see you waist your potential.

        Your letter to SEC in this diary is a better aproach.

        Restore Democracy!

        by high5 on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 05:28:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Professional/unprofessional (none)
    Back in my corporate days I learned that whenever a manager or peer used these empty words it was a blatent attempt to invoke shame, and not to convey any information.

    In effect they were saying, "Bad boy!" because the target of the comment (me many times) was not willing to do what they wanted.

    I will grant that remaining calm under fire usually accomplishes much more than getting very angry, but I think Markos is well within those bounds with his response.

  •  What is Darr's deal? (none)
    Her bio at IPDI says she is an associate research professor  at George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and that she was a top lawyer at Commerce during Clinton-Gore and had a role in an agency concerned w/telecommunications. OK.

    But this sorta stands out, making me think that (though a solid Democrat), she's more on the side of the bigger-money, status-quo folks:

    In the 1992 election, Darr served as General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee.

    Late to the topic here (the above may be obvious; I haven't been following the topic closely), but I suppose that history explains a lot about Darr's defensive stance. As does her position as a govt/politics person at GWU deep inside the beltway...

    Reality - Humanity - Sustainability

    by Em on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:36:00 AM PDT

    •  I think the tone of Markos' email (none)
      explains just as much about her defensive position.  The way the email was written, it sounds like a Mafia threat.  (Although I think her letter to the FEC was a childish way to address that).  

      I think the outcome would have been different if Kos' email was more "artfully" worded, explaining why he disagreed with their comments and saying that he regrets, due to the ill-thought out position Darr and Co. took with the FEC, that he and the multitude of other bloggers who share his views will not be able to participate in their future fundraising efforts.  Same message, but served with sugar, not vinegar (or a machine gun).

      My two cents.

  •  Shorter Darr: Mommy, Kos is picking on me! (none)
    What a crybaby. If I were on the receiving end of this it would quite diminish my respect for her. You shouldn't have lowered yourself to reply, in my opinion.

    Go Lieberman! Please. Anywhere, just go.

    by AWhitneyBrown on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 10:38:40 AM PDT

  •  Zablud is a Republican (none)
    The recipient of Kos' e-mail is Matthew Zablud.

    And who is Matthew Zablud?

    According the Institute:

    Matthew Zablud's most recent work was:

    "... coordinating early voting and election day legal teams in Miami-Dade County for the Florida Republican Party in 2004 and working on the e-Campaign at the national headquarters of the Bush-Cheney'04 Presidential Campaign."

    'Nuff Said?

  •  why Carol Darr's action was unprofessional (4.00)
    Carol Darr acted unprofessionally, and I suspect that this is not the first time.

    Look at her work at IPDI.  She does not seek to understand the internet and politics, she seeks to create theories about it and match evidence to those theories, which is why the concept of online video and bought lists freaks her out so much.  It's ridiculous on the face of it, there's no conclusive evidence to suggest the internet partisanizes our country or keeps people from expressing a diverse set of views, and yet, she just thinks it will happen without government oversite.  That's not professional, it's the religion of regulation.  And she'll obviously smear people who disagree, as she has done with Kos.

    The essence of professionalism is to create replicable systems of governance over one's behavior that are governed by a clear set of principles agreed upon by a respected body.  Carol Darr's principles are those of a social club, which is why she's now whining that Kos is threatening her institute's livelihood.  She's writing to the FEC because she knows them personally, having lived in the regulatory world all her life, and hoping that they will see the threat to their careers as well by the entrance of such impolite folks as Kos.

    This is ridiculous, and Kos is right to try to end her conference.  Academics who use their pretense of expertise to pronounce upon subjects they know little about are committing a professional sin.  It's an abuse of the public trust, it's a slap at any institution of higher learning that cares about the notion of expertise, and it's a reactionary ideology under the guise of liberalism.  Trying to delegitimize her conference is a good thing, because Kos is standing up for those who are genuine professionals trying to understand the internet and politics.  Her conference gives a credentialled forum to people who share her social prejudices, and that's a problem.  Diversity of viewpoints does not mean tolerance of bullshit artists.

  •  Howard Dean parallel (none)
    If I were the Democratic establishment and this were Howard Dean who wrote that letter, then I'd say the following:

    "If Markos felt that he had to say what he said, then he was perfectly justified to do so, in exactly the way he did, in private correspondence.  The issues he addressed, again, in private correspondence, pertained directly to protecting Freedom of Speech on the internet, of which Markos is a passionate supporter.  Ms. Carr, on the other hand, was focused on limiting such freedoms."

    Notice that I didn't say,

    "Well, golly... I wouldn't have said that.  And what Markos says doesn't really reflect the majority of Kossacks, and I'm sure Ms. Carr truly does have only the best interests of America in mind, and she shouldn't be exposed to such vulgar threats from well-known and highly respected, yet in this case wrong, members of the internet community."

    Fuck that.  That's a load of wishy-washy, flip-flopping, fake-purple-hearted crap.  The wrong answer is to focus on the f-bomb, or what Markos supposedly did wrong.  The proper answer, which the Republicans executed with Dick Cheney, is to a) defend or deflect blame for the statement and b) focus on why the other side is wrong.  And Ms. Carr is definitely wrong.

  •  E-Mail (none)
    I can speak from experience when I say "never send an e-mail while angry" and "never send an e-mail in a hurry".

    Kos' e-mail was a big mistake and nothing can be said in its defense -- let's leave it at that.  I've made the same type of mistake when sending a scathing message to someone in reply.  Except it was to the wrong person! Oops.

    Word of advise to Kos: admit a mistake and move on -- don't defend it in any way.  It's what politicians are told: rather than explain a mistake simply admit it and move on.  The opposition cannot say anything without looking like they are taking advantage.  Everyone sympathizes with someone who makes a mistake, admits it, takes responsibility, and moves on with their work.

  •  IPDI Conference (4.00)
    Wow.  Darr is featuring Markos email on their home page, charactering it as a "threat." Very strange.  

    Two years ago, Markos was on a panel debating Zach Exley (along with Cluetrain manifesto author, David Weinberg) -- which was pretty cool (albeit put into a small room). There were also lots of panels with Dean people, etc.

    Last year, lots of panels about blogs but no Markos, no anybody from our side (except for Zach of Civic Space in a small conference) and major panels featuring hindrocket as well as plenary session featuring the head of the FEC and Glenn Reynolds.  Jerome was in the audience watching.  See the schedule

    We need to support Markos here and not get hung up whether he was professional or not.  This conference shapes the perceptions of netroots with all of DC.  Her letter to FEC is very aggressive and -- especially given the context of below the surface hostility to what the Daily Kos is about evident in how they run the conference.

    IPDI's fundraising comes from GetActive, Convio and others who sponsor the conference (and dominate its content).  They are resistant to the idea of open source, civic space, and blogs being centers of activism (hence their comments).

    Markos -- the best revenge is to create an alternative conference and get you, Jerome, Duncan Black and others there instead of at IPDI.  

    I'm personally would love to go to a real netroots conference in DC.

  •  Is this what they call a circular argument? (none)

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 11:44:15 AM PDT

  •  simple KOS! (none)
    you have power now.

    right?  got it?

    when you write "angry letters" people feel the impact of the threat.

    is this hard to understand?

    "what, little old me?"

    seriously.  put some thought into it... or just be a proprieter.

    sort out your leadership role, one way or the other.

  •  this is an issue..... (none)
    .....which is quite important to me.  although ms. darr may be specifically legally wrong (read:  without jurisdiction over this matter)  her thoughts are not without validation.

    do i believe she is wrong in her thoughts?  yes.  she has every right in her oppinions and this is NOT A POLICY PAPER, though i must disagree on some points.  do i believe it is within her jursdiction at IPDI to discuss such matters?  probably not.  it is not her mission to, in an official capacity, trumpet a personal position that has nothing to do with the charter of the organization she speaks for.

    having said all of that, i think it would be wise of us in the blogosphere to understand that when bloggers are allowed to trumpet for candidates the entire medium suffers.  because the MSM does it does not make it right.  one of the reasons that the political blogosphere has blossomed is because of just that:  the open and disgraceful shilling for candidates by mainstream news media.

    my own belief is that we are not holding mainstream media to the standard of objectivity and non-partisanship that we should, and, additionally, i believe that it should be fine for the blogosphere to accept that high standard.

    the issue, to me, is not that the blogosphere will be cheated, it's that the mainstream media will continue to get it's heretofore uncontested free pass as pertains to partisanship.

    the blogosphere would not be worried about these restrictions if not for the naked partisanship of several "regular" news organizations.

    if bloggers must abide, then rupert murdoch should, too.  and in a totally honest manner.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ---Benjamin Franklin

    by djesno on Sat Jun 11, 2005 at 04:14:52 AM PDT

  •  Mischaracterization by Kos (none)
    I want to correct a mis-impression left by Markos Moulitsas regarding the "private" nature of his communication with the former staff member of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet (who asked that his name not be used, to the extent possible).  

    First, I obtained the prior permission from the staff member to make Mr. Moulitsas' email public.  

    Secondly, when the staff member, who does not know Mr. Moulitsas, complained about the vulgarity of the email, Mr. Moulitsas followed up with a second email that stated:

    "As for the email, it was intended for Carol, not you.  And the contents still stand.  You can pass them on to her if you like, or I'll track her down some other way."

    Given (1) that Mr. Moulitsas explicitly stated that he intended the original email to go to me; (2) that he does not now have, nor has he ever had, any personal relationship whatsoever with the staff member; and (3) that he gave no indication that he intended the email as a private communication, his characterization of the communication as "personal email to a former IPDI staffer" is at odds with the facts.

    I regret that Mr. Moulitsas portrays as a personal fight what is, in fact, a serious discussion of a substantive policy issue, one that will have far-reaching implications, and one about which reasonable people differ.  I urge his readers to read for themselves the comments that I and others have filed with the FEC, and to up their own minds about the issue.  My comments can be found at www.ipdi.org.  

    Carol Darr
    Director
    Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet

    •  I still don't get (none)
      why you sent the email to the FEC.  Could you have, like your former staffer, contacted Markos Moulitsas directly and explained that you did not appreciate the content or the tenor of his message?  I could even understand you posting something on your website (or otherwise publicizing the matter) under the general heading "See the kind of people who are opposing us".  

      To directly contact the FEC about it, seems to me, demonstrates a failure on your part to understand the FEC's role in the process.  If the commissioners were to let Markos' comments to you effect their considerations, I would say that they were derelict in their duties.  (Of course, for many of them, such dereliction would be par for the course.)

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