I first found DailyKos through a link from someone on the Kerry-Edwards forums back in 2004. (Who still remembers that?) Lurked for a while before finally signing up here as well. (Otherwise I could've definitely gotten one of the first 20,000 user IDs.)
Well, the results of the 2004 election hit me hard, and I just had to take a break from anything political online. As a result, I completely missed the infamous pie fight of 2005.
I didn't simply give up on politics, though. I still attended Bruin Democrats meetings at UCLA, though that was about the extent of my involvement, and that was mostly due to the friendships I had formed there. In fact, one of them was just mentioned in Glamour for political women who made the biggest impact on Twitter in 2012! She was Elizabeth Warren's New Media Director. :-)
I finally came back in August 2005 with this comment to see if anyone here could help debunk a right-wing talking point. Shortly after that, Hurricane Katrina hit, and this site proved to be an invaluable resource in compiling the latest information about the horrible aftermath. I have not left since then.
Then in 2006 when we were about to hit 100,000 users on DailyKos, I decided to see how many we had, and listed the newest 10 users. Did it again two days later, and included a link to the previous one. Suddenly, before I knew it, this became a thing I would do regularly. We're up to over 644,000 users now (yeah, many of them bots and spammers), but if you click on that link, you'll see a link to my previous update, which includes a link to the one prior to that, etc. You can actually follow those links all the way back to that very first one in 2006!
But the main reason you've seen me here is probably from reading a transcript I've done of a segment from Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert or Bill Maher. When I first started doing them, I didn't type up the transcripts. But over time, people had mentioned various issues, like living overseas or having some computer issue where they could not access the video, to those who were deaf. As a result, I started including the transcripts as well.
But why do this? As I explained in my second one:
These videos, I think, are crucial in reaching out into the larger audience of Americans that don't watch Jon or Stephen, because they so brilliantly and effectively expose right-wing talking points for what they are. Send 'em to your friends and family who don't watch the shows. Make people understand what's really going on, because that's the only way we're going to win this thing.More below the fold.
I fervently believe comedy is an effective way to get through to people who may have otherwise been exposed and brainwashed to right-wing talking points. And like Al Gore noted in The Assault on Reason, back in medieval times, the court jester was the only one who could speak the truth about the king. Throughout human history, we've relied on our satirists to be truth-tellers about those in power. This was especially true during the Bush years, but still holds even now, and especially with these fringe Tea Partiers.
And when the material Jon and Stephen (and Bill) do reach a wider audience, their words can and do have an impact. I'd like to think that this clip of Lewis Black ripping into Glenn Beck for "Nazi Tourette's" had something to do with helping his decline and eventual removal from Fox News. The clip itself on the Daily Show website has over 1.3 million views, and for 2010, that was pretty impressive. It remains the 6th most watched Daily Show clip in the show's history!
And then remember in December 2010, when the Senate GOP was blocking the 9/11 first responders bill? Jon Stewart ripped into them, and then brought four 9/11 first responders on the show to talk about what the Senate GOP was doing! Everybody basically acknowledges that Jon Stewart's role in that was a key reason the GOP relented and stopped filibustering the Zadroga bill, finally allowing it to pass.
We've also had the Rally to Restore Sanity, and then the year-long drama of Stephen Colbert getting his own super PAC, and actually paying for attack ads in the South Carolina GOP primary, that enlightened millions of Americans to how super PACs and campaign finance laws work. There have been a couple days where Fox News has taken to attacking Jon Stewart on every single show they have in the lineup. Don't tell me they would do that if they didn't fear the power Jon has in exposing them for even their brainwashed viewers to see. And once the veil of misinformation falls off, it stays off.
So with that, I'll try to keep on doing what I do, though the next couple months will be rough due to work on my dissertation. I may end up with only partial transcripts or just the videos themselves, but I'll keep on directing your attention to the best clips that deserve a wider audience because they can actually make an impact in this country if all 300 million Americans could see the clip.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to be gifted a subscription by a member of this community who's no longer here (seems he was banned; I have no idea why). At the time, I had been using my old computer from 2003, so it was a huge timesaver not having to wait for any of the ads to load, and which sometimes caused my browser to freeze. That's what happens when you only have 512MB of RAM. (Some of you tech guys probably just fainted from reading that. I finally got a new computer after every file on my C: drive vanished suddenly.)
I've been able to find my little niche here on DailyKos, and have made quite a few friendships as a result. It's great meeting them in person at Netroots Nation. I've been to all but two of them, and should make it next year to San Jose! I've explained to my friends who haven't been here that DailyKos is like the clearinghouse of progressive politics. Whatever issue you care about, there's an audience for that, and with plenty of good information to learn from. So if I get into arguments on other sites with a right-winger (or even worse, a self-righteous Ron Paul fan), and I want the facts on a particular topic, I know someone here has the answers. :-)
If you want to help out our community even more, click here to buy a gift subscription for someone. Or get one for yourself. Or just donate to the site itself to help keep it running smoothly, as ad revenue here is declining, and it actually costs money to run a popular website.