But you can't really have one side of that (trying to appeal to a broad swath of people on what we all believe in) without the other (avoiding firebrand rhetoric that would alienate significant portions of those people).
I don't think that an honest enunciation of progressive ideals is akin to "firebrand rhetoric" thta would alienate the silent majority. Quite the opposite.
Obama's rhetoric is important and I value it. Dont get me wrong. I just dont think he uses his votes as effectively as he uses his words.
That's not really a rebuttal, though. The truth is that Obama isn't using his bully pulpit for forward action. He is basically timid.
Thats not to say he isnt a great guy - and I praise him highly for his Purple Politics rhetoric, especially for using the prime spot at the DNC keynote to push for unity (as opposed to the GOPs convention which was purely divisive).
be craeful of your assumptions. Internet readership, like internet linkages, follow a "Zipf" distribution. That basically is a double-logarithmic curve. Here's a plot courtesy Jakob Nielsen on both linear axes and double-log axes:
as Wikipedia notes, the distribution follows a 1/f law in its simplest form:
The simplest case of Zipf's law is a "1/f function". Given a set of Zipfian distributed frequencies, sorted from most common to least common, the second most common frequency will occur 1/2 as often as the first. The third most common frequency will occur 1/3 as often as the first. The nth most common frequency will occur 1/n as often as the first. However, this cannot hold precisely true, because items must occur an integer number of times: there cannot be 2.5 occurrences of a word. Nevertheless, over fairly wide ranges, and to a fairly good approximation, many natural phenomena obey Zipf's Law.
Many phenomena follow this distribution, including the english language (the word "the" being the highest frequency). The fact that website traffic follows Zipf's law has been extensively well-documented.
so it is true that the highest websites have a ton of traffic, but the distribution falls so suddenly that I dont think you can assume that most traffic revolves around them. At the very least, the traffic in teh tail is equal to teh traffic in the head; and most of the traffic is in the second tier sites.
If you calculated traffic for the solid middle of sites (digby, drum, TAP, mydd, etc) youd rolly find that they easily exceed teh traffic of the top sites.
No one can honestly blame jerome for failing to disclose, but if we were dealing with honest opponents, well..
You shoudln't need 20 disclosures in your sig. Just a link saying "political disclosure - I work/volunteer for several campaigns" that links to a blog entry on your blog, which does details all 20 or whatever.
the bottom line is that reasonable standards of ethical behavior is not enough - we need to also short circuit the easy attack routes that are made. The point Linda made above is valid; not everyone knows to click on a profile. In fact, since the number of people who actually have something to disclose is still a very small minority, theres no reason to suspect that someone has a disclosure statement in their profile. By making it obvious and routine rather than a one-shot, we circumvent any problem.
hi anna :) nice to see yo too :) I lurk here daily :)
I think that volunteer work is sacrosanct. I mean - you could argue that volunteerism is the same as blogging your poinions - you are just expressing those opinions in a different way.
we prolly will get some asshats who think volunteering should be "disclosed". If that becomes a problem then we can expand the definition to "blogger who is paid for servoices, or who volunteers his servcices".
I agree with you in principle, but at the same time making the reader have to hunt for disclosure is basically free license for detractors to claim that disclosure never existed. Lies like "jerome never disclosed" become truth when repeated infinite number of times.
There has to be some accomodation for that reality. Why make it easier for the opponent?
I think that exclusion rules would go against the grain of the political process - every candidate has a right to interact and make their own case on the merits. The community, if it is broad enough, will not neccessarily reflect the partisan loyalties of one or two of the site admins or frontpagers. As Anna pointed out upthread, the Diaries are an independent entity.
Though we shoudl also be careful not to restrict teh ethics policies to scoop-only sites. We should lump Diaries in with comments and open threads (and of course, Zonkboards :) for the purposes of classification. Theres always a bias from outsiders towards the frontpagers but the front page is just the tip of the communal iceberg.
ditto, anna. Patr of what has me steamed about the whole jerome affair is that he routinely DID disclose, he disclosed and disclosed, and then disclosed some more. And after he was done disclosing, along comes someone who argues that he hasn't been disclosing. I find it somewhat analogous to the "muslims don't condemn terrorism" meme which also has plenty of counter-evidence that is simply ignored - or worse, nitpicked away.
Its an impossible standard to meet - especially since it is being applied only to bloggers to begin with.
Ultimately though political bloggers have to bend somewhat to the reality of a stacked playing field against them, just as we were resigned to the fact that Dean was getting systematically Gored. This means that we have to develop our own set of policies for disclosure, in the blogspherian transparent tradition, and then stick to them.
Maybe we don't need a formal panel to be convened, but we do need focused discussion on what disclosure should mean (the present discussion is more meta). Someone shoudl start a diary and seed it with some initial proposals for disclosure policies and then we can collaboratively iterate until we think it has gotten somewhere.
The alternative is to cede the field of political blogging to the Republican operatives like the Thune-ites, who won't disclose their affiliations and go on the offensive, while our own counter-blogger cadre like Jerome is silenced. That u8nilateral disarmament is what the outcome of Jerome's action of withdrawal from blogging leads to. Note that I blame Jerome - but we need to recognize that Jerome's action was a symptom resulting from a deeper malady that needs fixing. Once we fix it, Jerome and others like him will have the cover they need to return.
Heres a very rough idea of what a disclosur epolicy might look like (but I really think that someone more qualified than myself should start a new diary on this specific topic) :
any blogger receiving payment for services from a political campaign or political organization, must draft a blog post that outlines the nature of the affiliation (no actual fee amounts need be disclosed- Jerome's disclosure statement is the model I have in mind)
blogger has permanent link on front page of blog that reads "Financial disclosure" which never scrolls off the page. link shoudl be above blog ads or blogrolls.
blogger puts link to disclosure page in signature blocks on sites like Kos/mydd and other political forums
blogger should refrain from making posts about political opponents to their clients, on all forums and blogs except for those that are hosted or paid for by the campaign they work for, for duration of the campaign only. This does not apply to bloggers affiliated with organizations or PACS.
blogger should NOT refrain from making posts about their clients on political forums and blogs. in fact that is arguably the bloggers' responsibility!