While I am glad to see no one on this site has brought themselves down to the illustrious Bill O'Reilly's level, nonetheless there has been a virtually constant stream of diaries concerning Bill's attack on Daily Kos.
It is significant to note that in his attack, O'Reilly is not simply attacking this website, but the larger community which ultimately IS this website. And it is not unreasonable that people would be angered by such an attack, and respond to it defensively and offensively.
But here's the thing.
Feeding a guy like O'Reilly is just bad strategy. Every time one of the front pagers posts another "new" "startling" hypocrisy by O'Reilly, we are simply feeding the beast.
I guarantee O'Reilly is sitting in his office right now, looking at the front page and grinning wildly, while he rubs his hands together in mock tribute to some cartoon villain from his childhood. He's looking at the numerous diaries with glee, for we are providing him with more and more content for his own uses.
Do you think O'Reilly is going to shoot straight with his audience? Or will he cherry pick through the diaries and comments to make our defense look as mean, evil, and hypocritical as he truly is?
Yes, yes, I hear some of you out there arguing that you don't care how O'Reilly's audience views us, since they'll never get an unprejudiced look at us anyway. If that is so, then who are we writing all of these diaries for? Each other? Why? To prove we're not like O'Reilly says we are?
I just don't think all of this is really necessary, and therefore I ask my fellow Kossacks to have patience, to remember the playground (the place O'Reilly learned his techniques from), and remember we ALL outgrew O'Reilly a long, long time ago.
IMHO, what kos should have done was put out a simple press release stating his objection to O'Reilly's characterization of the site, and add a link to the FAQ, which has some really cool rules that, unlike most rules, make O'Reilly's lies appear even more ridiculous.
For instance, from the FAQ:
Diaries which engage in wild speculation without any proof are strongly discouraged. Repeatedly posting diaries consisting largely or entirely of wild speculation is an abuse of site policy. Bear in mind that that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
. . .
Diarists are strongly encouraged to back up all assertions with facts (and preferably links to supporting materials) whenever possible. Use reputable sources whenever possible. If you can't find a reputable source that supports your position, then perhaps reconsider writing your diary.
. . .
Deliberately inflammatory titles, or titles which contain attacks, are prohibited. Also, while this site doesn't prohibit profanity, please think very carefully before using any curse words in a diary title.
It is not even necessary to point out the standard "no hate speech" rules you'll find on this site, and most other user-contribution sites, as these particular rules I've quoted above spell out, in very plain language, what truly lies at the heart and soul of this community.
Continue to feed O'Reilly, if you feel you must. I understand the very human need to refute in the strongest possible terms his lies and attempted character assassination of every person who belongs to this site. It is difficult not to react in kind to hatred.
I think this community can hold itself to a higher standard than one of pure reaction, even if we color it to ourselves as pure refutation. There are many excellent, cogent diaries on this subject, and I do not intend to detract from any of them. But I believe in reacting as we have, we merely feed the beast that is Bill O'Reilly.