I think most regular readers of the Daily Kos may have detected a distinct change in the nature of the posts on the front page. President Gimmick was introduced, and the new meme to be pushed here appears to be that President Obama is a groveling beaten lump that still believes in unicorns.
Fair enough people have their opinions and the front page is as legitimate a place to express them as anywhere, however what if the opinions were hyperbolic not because of sound analytical thought, or for truly held personal beliefs, but for the reason of “driving traffic”? Would that be cynical? Would that be an example of what most of us find disgusting with the MSM that they would blow up non-existent stories or hype emotion for ratings, but in this case clicks? Is the netroots supposed to be better than that?
Follow me over the fold to see what I’m talking about.
Like this diarist I was disturbed by the front page article by BrooklynBadBoy Please, Markos...! I told him so in his post as did many others, however that is not at issue what is more disturbing to me is a comment in the above diary made by BrooklynBadBoy answering some criticism.
* [new] I drive a LOT of traffic Bob. (4+ / 0-)
We don't need to become Harper's, a great magazine with high end demographics, but nobody ever sees. Don't need to be Us either. But we can get beyond stuff that only appeals to high income white males over 50 from time to time.
I think i've been too conservative in broadening our audience of readers.
But ill take your critique under consideration. I respect your opinion.
Im trying to find the right voice,
but my editors tell me 'let it rip!
Yes, of course a website is in business to make money, I mean it’s not like we’re in this to improve our nation the world etc, hey everyone has to get paid, and I don’t begrudge BBB or Markos doing so either even when they decorated this site with every repulsive Republicans mug in the world during the last election season, but this was interesting.
* [new] Nope. (1+ / 0-)
As long as you click it, I get paid.
a spook who sits by the door
by brooklynbadboy on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:50:34 PM PST
[ Parent | Reply to This ]
So is it fair to ask if the editors of the Daily Kos have now decided to let her rip in order to drive clicks as opposed to drive and expound on sound policy in support of the Democratic Party? If there has been an editorial decision by the people who work on the masthead of this place to change into a click generator as opposed to a place to share and exchange ideas shouldn’t there be an announcement? So what do you think Kossacks? It’s Friday night maybe I’m being cynical, but the vibe I get here is attack the Presidents manhood = traffic = money am I wrong?
Update: From Susan Gardner of the front page...yeah you're wrong.
Several problems with your reasoning (3+ / 0-)
Most importantly, there is no monolithic entity known as "the front page." What interests or motivates one writer may not interest another at all. There are more than a dozen writers on the front page, all with their different interests and views.
Secondly, there is no requirement for any writer to write on any specific thing. Or take any particular point of view.
Thirdly, given how many people declared they were leaving over criticism of the president, I'd say you'd have to be a pretty moronic businessperson to assume you'd get more traffic from criticizing Obama.
We aim for high traffic based on allowing a platform upon which Democrats can post, analyze and organize for activism. We aim for high traffic based on the belief that ordinary passionate citizens want to discuss, debate and strategize about the news of the day.
Neither Markos nor I tell any writer what they can or cannot write about on the front page, or what line they should take. That's their decision. At the most, if a writer has shown an interest in something, I might pass along an article I find, but in all my time as executive editor, I've never told someone they have to write about something.
And yeah, I'm the one who tells writers to let 'er rip. Because I want good writing and I don't want good writers operating out of fear. And by the way, I'd recommend that for diarists as well. Let 'er rip. We're a strong, passionate partisan community. We can take it.
Ok so i'm wrong, wouldn't be the first time.
Another update from Susan, and I don't necessarily agree with everything she is saying here, but it is very worthy of being seen up top.
I want to add something else ... (3+ / 0-)
Now that I have y'all's ears. I understand how everyone is upset with what's being characterized as the bashing of Obama. Let me explain the several reasons I think this is happening.
In my view of the site, the FP writers basically set a big, long cafeteria table for discussion of current events, through a progressive/Democratic perspective. The community drives the interest. The diarists set up parallel tables for discussion. It's a banquet hall! We're feasting on news, analysis, strategizing and opinion! We get loud, angry, boisterous ... but in working through all the stages about a specific piece of news, I think we end up clarifying a lot for each other. It can sometimes look and feel painful, but I think it works.
To the people who complain we're bashing Democrats instead of Republicans: We have zero influence on Republicans. We have NO hope of changing anything there. However, laying out how to fight for a stand-alone middle-class tax cut and expressing frustration with our Democratic leaders over their tactics (or lack of them) has slightly more chance of influence. Not a lot, but slightly. Putting pressure on Democrats is the only viable option we have because Republicans are not in our realm. We are NOT their base; we are the Democratic base. And we need Democrats to get how frustrated we are.
I think right now we're going through a very tumultuous period of reassessment and disillusionment. The anger, I think, is a shedding of skin. We thought a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in Congress would get us what we wanted. It didn't. We're pissed. But once we see that, we can pick up other organizing tools at hand (seeking out primary challengers, using comment periods at federal agencies, concentrating on building our progressive media infrastructure, keeping track of Congressional committee meetings and when the best time is to pressure about legislative language, etc.). Practical activism is going to come out of this, but being angry at the behavior of our electeds right now is just a natural first part of the process of realizing WE are going to have to do more than just elect.
I'm hoping that the launch of DK4, which will have enormous capabilities for specialized group formation, will help us get into gear on effective activism.
Where I disagree is that more than setting the table the front page also sets the tone. When the President is refered to as a groveling lump that is the sort of non policy disrespect that gives license to the sort of acrimony that makes people leave. The people she refers to as we is not the Democratic base it is the Daily Kos/netroots base which does not accurately reflect the Democratic one.