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As you may know, we've exposed the far-left Daily Kos web site as being a hate enterprise and have questioned why the Democratic presidential candidates are speaking at its convention, thereby putting a stamp of approval on hate.

-Bill O'Reilly on 7/29/07

To my Friends of the DailyKos Community,

This is what we are up against - pure manipulation of the truth for a calculated political agenda. The fact of the matter is that you can find anything you want on DailyKos to defend a particular position, but characterizing this as a "hate" website is flat wrong. And it clearly is an attack on open and free political conversation.  As I mentioned yesterday, I or anyone else could just as easily go over to somebody else's blog and post something offensive and then blame the blog's owner for the content. This attack on those of us who support uncensored internet blogging is wrong and disingenuous. Of course Fox can find something to justify describing us however they like by cruising the comments and then finding one that stands out as particularly objectionable to paint all of us with. By that same rationale, I'm sure I could spend about 1 minute and find a Pro-O'Reilly, Pro-Bush blog that has some unpleasant things to say about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama... does that mean that I should grandstand against the First Amendment too? Of course not.  In fact there are many blogs who have personally attacked me with gross lies and distortions but those lies are obvious to the voters who participate in our election.

One of the things that makes the DailyKos, and blogging in general so critically important is that it truly is a beacon of democracy and a manifestation of the First Amendment. While the Right and their defenders in the mass media might not like the First Amendment, when they attack it, we must stand up and call them on it. We might not always like what people say, but Free Speech is essential to the functionality of our Democracy.

We must stand and defend the First Amendment no matter what the cost. In my 24 year Navy career, I fought for the Right to Free Speech and I will not fold now simply because Fox News wants to attack this and every blog across the web.

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Mr. O'Reilly,

Since I announced my challenge to debate you yesterday, I've received quite a bit of support from the DailyKos Community, from the blogging community at large and from hundreds of voters in my community here in Western New York. As you can see, my post quickly became the most recommended diary on DailyKos during a 12 hour period, and I will continue to challenge you and your program for comparing us to Nazis and members of the KKK.

Fox News continues to attack the DailyKos website as well as the YearlyKos Convention as a bastion of Nazism, yet you are seeking to silence the voices of the masses. I wonder if Adolf Hitler would have been in favor of blogging? Probably not, especially if he did not control the content as you seem to want to do.  

Once again, I openly challenge you, Bill O'Reilly to debate me on The O'Reilly Factor at a time of your choosing. The viewers of your program deserve to hear both sides of the story rather than just your vicious diatribes against people powered politics, and I implore you to rise up to the challenge. Show the world and the blogging community your journalistic integrity by having me on a live segment of your show so there can be no editing or alterations to the content.

As a member of the DailyKos community, I draw great exception to your slanderous and antagonistic accusations. You have played along the classic Fox News line by picking the worst example from this site and using it to paint the entire community as hateful.

When it became clear that attacking the YearlyKos convention was added to the talking points of most Fox News programs, I was not shocked to see you working off Roger Ailes playbook, as you've spent a career rubberstamping his and Rupert Murdoch's every demand.

Take the challenge Bill. If you visit my website at http://www.massaforcongress.com/ and click on the "Ask Eric Anything" button, you can get in touch with me to set up an interview. If you want to challenge DailyKos/YearlyKos, then talk to a regular blogger and speaker at the event.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Eric Massa
Commander US Navy (ret.)
Candidate US Congress NY-29

P.S. For all attending YearlyKos, I hope you can join me on Friday 8/3 at 10:30am where I will be speaking at the Future Leaders panel and followed by a hospitality room on that same Friday from 1-5pm at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Meeting Suite 2 on the third floor about 100 feet to the left of the Convention Center. I hope we can discuss my interview on Bill O'Reilly.

Originally posted to Eric Massa on Mon Jul 30, 2007 at 09:03 AM PDT.

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