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February 08, 2007

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I've been so busy with other things (family, work, church, etc.) that I haven't had much time to comment on your excellent coverage of the Libby trial, but I can't resist stealing a few minutes to make this comment:

How does one take seriously this statement by Mr. Cox:
The media has been reporting on our newly announced plans for the MBA in the areas of education, legal and ethical advisory services, credentialing and so on. Some of it has been utter nonsense. In particular, the media has described our new initiatives as attempts to "professionalize" blogging and to create an "elite-tier" of bloggers.

Plans for "education, legal and ethical advisory services, credentialing" are the very definition of attempting to create a profession. Mr. Cox is either desperately ignorant or insidiously disingenuous. That statement is as inane as saying that just because we're drawing up plans for attacking military installations, bombing infrastructure, and invading some random country (oh, I don't maybe one that starts with I and has four letters), doesn't mean we're planning for war.

BRAVO!!! There's NO way that I would want any blog that I read regularly to be co-opted just as the corporate media has been co-opted by this administration. Independent voices are essential since the compromise and collapse of the Fourth Estate.

And ultimately, Marcy and Jane and their fellow bloggers united under FireDogLake are citizens, uncompensated for their perspective on a trial of interest to all other citizens of the United States. Co-opting citizens is revoltingly undemocratic.

cox sounds to me like just another hustler

trying to grab a piece of the action

or should i say rustler

trying to steal someone else's herd.

(no offense intended and i hope none taken :) )

or maybe "claim jumper" is the right historical metaphor. american metaphor.

EW, your point here is so fundamental that it ought to be blindingly obvious -- the whole emergence of the blogosphere is due in no small part to the oligopolistic behavior of major media organizations in the United States, with the Echo Chamber effect it engenders.

I for one am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute modestly to the efforts of a variety of progressive bloggers, as we draw strength from the diversity of our views and our willingness to challenge each other.

It was great to see that tight politicsTV shot of Jane, Arianna and Swopa together, reflecting both diversity and the willingness to pool resources.

Worrying about the MSM's view of the blogosphere's credibility is mad -- the MSM are only attacking the blogosphere's credibility because the MSM's credibility has been damaged by so many self-inflicted wounds -- and even the indirect light shed on the MSM by Patrick Fitzgerald can only accelerate the MSM's downhill slide. It is the MSM that should be worried about getting its house in order.

You tell 'em, EW! If I might indirectly address Mr. Cox and MBA using a somewhat altered version of a line that Arlo Guthrie once famously uttered, "You got a lotta damn gall, askin' us to join your fancy club, seein' as how you don't have a clue what us bloggers are doin'!" A lot of damned gall, indeed. Cox and MBA clearly 'don't get it' if they think that you and Jane and Christy and SWOPA and all of the rest of the people in the net roots are gonna jump at the chance to join their fancy, schmancy little club and carry official membership cards and sport the merit badges that they dole out for their puffed-up, presumptive, reputabilty! It's far more likely that MBA will be gobbled up by the traditional media (which they apparently emulate greatly), than that they could offer any compelling reason for you all to suddenly transform yourselves into something you've assiduously avoided.

Nice post Marcy. I hope Mr Cox is able to take is constructively rather than as an affront.

Pseudonymously Yours,

Neil

Neil,

I hope so too. His intent on much of his other issues seems reasonable, even if it is belied by his own reporting.

But let me check. Are you that same Neil who commments over at FDL? How do I know it's you? How can I trust you...

;-p

Dear Marcy,
You are doing sterling work over at FDL and it is greatly appreciated by everyone. Mr. Cox and the MBA only want to control what is put out on blogs, censorship has no place in this community - organisations are only created to make "rules" that deny bloggers their freedom. Over at FDL, you, Jane, Swapo, Pach and the rest of the crew show what can be achieved by independant bloggers working together and outperforming the MSM.

If you need to join a club then the best way is to form your own - then you can make up your own EW rules!

You go Marci.

Any organization that would credential Clarice Feldman to cover the Libby trial has no credibility --- and neither Next Hurrah or FDL should allow their credibility to be compromised by joining Cox's big old vanity project.....

My initial reaction on reading the excerpts you quoted was that Cox was offering bloggers the high privilege of being treated as reporters (only without, y'know, getting paid and stuff.) After clicking through and reading the whole context of his statements, I'd revise that to say he's just a self-aggrandizing twit, and he urges all bloggers to get their credentials through his organization instead of on their own, so that they can have a random slice of the court schedule, rather than a thorough presence, which would be better, um, for him. Or even if they have obtained their own credentials, they should join his "feed" because that would be better, um, for him.

I would agree that there's an advantage to have an organization (or even better, multiple organizations) that helps obtain credentials for bloggers who can't obtain them on their own or through partnerships. But I've been through the politics of small organizations enough times to recognize the pattern of "well, sure, lots of people could do this, but I'm doing it, so everyone should just join me."

(Furthermore, his upcoming travel plans for speaking at the Heritage Foundation and the Conservative Political Action Conference, his MBA from the University of Chicago, and his claim to have achieved some sort of blogger notoriety through a fight with the New York Times do not fill me with confidence about the "nonpartisan" nature of his organization.)

p luk

Honestly, Clarice is more expert on this story than many of the bloggers he has coming in, particularly from the right. I don't agree with what she says (and hell--she called me a temperance harpy, all because I corrected her misunderstanding of key dates!!). But I think she has at least earned a place in the court room (if that's who the righty blogosphere wants to inevst their own credibility in), which ought to be recognized. I'd prefer Maguire and hope he ends up in the courtroom. But I do think Clarice deserves the pass.

Credentialling is a dangerous thing. Perhaps he just "want's a piece of the action now", but more likely it's ultimately about control. Once they are able to form a corp of credintialled bloggers, they create uncreditialled bloogers - next thing you know they'll be positioning to make sure that credential is used coersively. At they very least they'll try consistently to devalue voices that don't pay hommage. Keep the first brick out of the wall. Never submit to any "credentualling" clubs.

"Self-aggrandizing twit" sounds about right. The blogs covered this story because the Big Media could not or would not or was just too lazy. That's the truth. Now they want to piggyback on and co-opt the work of bloggers such as you, no doubt with the ultimate aim of sanitizing the story.

Forget it. You're doing great.

Marcy, in this day and age being anonymous is tough and requires extreme effort and dedication. I've used the same psuedonym for a number of years and in various places. I'm certain the NSA knows who I am, where I live, what I do, how long I sleep on off days, etc., etc. Anyone who really wants to know who I am could find out with little trouble.

I am awed by your level of knowledge and dedication to the Libby trial/Plame leak et al. The only thing I can say is you are another one of my heroes. Keep on.

Right. fucking. on. Marcy!
That was beautifully put.Especially the psuedonimity part.
And, you're exactly on point in every part of that gorgeous smackdown

nicely done, Marcy

EW, Fabulous letter! Thanks for sharing a bit of what's going on behind the curtain.

Lets see them cough up the big bucks and let the ladies name the terms.

1st TV executive: "The newspapers are saying that television programming is horrible and irrelevant!"

2nd TV executive: "What will we do?"

3rd TV executive: "Let's make a sit-com about it!"

1st TV executive: "It should be about a divorced newspaper journalist...with a cute, precocious adolescent kid..."

2nd & 3rd executives: "Oh, yes! Certainly..."

this stuff writes itself.

Love you EW.

Your dedication, commitment and hard work are changing the world.

MBA does not in fact credential "blogs." It credentials "bloggers" as individual authors. I declined to take part right away based on their policy about pseudonyms. And having taken part in trial coverage, and been a bit player in the coverage team, I just want to jump in with my assent to Marcy's characterization of the dedication and expertise of the FDL/HuffPo/DKos "posse."

Sorry I didn't mention you in the list of expertise, Pach--I wasn't sure how much I'm supposed to say and I forget which title is correct!!

So I left it off. "Bad blogger!! Back into the wasteheap with you, you dumb cow!"

Thank you especially for your comments about pseudonymity vs. anonymity. During my run on a game show last fall, I pretty much revealed my identity through my own blog as well as dKos and Eschaton, at the very least significantly compromising my anonymity. However, I wasn't so concerned about it, and I have suffered no ill effects therefrom. Nevertheless, I totally support those who wish to shield their identity from the blogosphere and beyond, for whatever reason.

Besides, what I was really trying to articulate during that whole hullaballoo last fall was precisely what you said about pseudonymity. Thank you, EW, for stating it far better than I ever could.

Emptywheel - if 'elite' means held in the highest regard by your fellow bloggers based on the merit of your work then you are elite.

The MBA seems to be trying to gain credibility and market share by using the oldest of old media tactics - credentials and puffery. The Next Hurrah, FDL, The Left Coaster, and Needlenose are new beasts - akin to 'blink tanks' - places where ideas and reporting comes from the online world. MBA seems to exist to get bloggers to provide free or nearly free content to big media while it's organizers take a slice off the loaf. You are smart to say 'No thanks'.

Huzzah!

Reason, passion, hitting the nail on the head. Anything i missed? (Don't worry Pach, you already know how she feels.)

Oh, please, EW: you know I prefer to be in the background. That wasn't my point.

You guys rock.

At the heart of this? The difference between the two definitions of credentials. As MTW said, there's a group of people with credibility to report on this case.

Some people might think that they're credentialled just because they have a card in a plastic tag. Not on this case. You're credentialled because you have an archive of work.

This isn't a tournament where someone can arrive late and buy-in with a bundle of hundred-dollar bills.

The US did not have domestic political parties when it was forming. The very talented were self-selected based on the power of their thoughts and arguments and not based on political connections. How else to explain the large concentration of amazing thinkers in one place in colonial times to help design our government?

The same dynamic holds true of the bloggers of TheNextHurrah, Firedoglake and DailyKos. The top bloggers are not named top bloggers by committee; top bloggers announce themselves by their consistently high level output, and fellow bloggers take note.

Credentialling may compete as a quick way to judge expertise (or favor), but I for one prefer the current method above.

Nicely worded response, emptywheel.

Rock on Marcy. Great post, amazing reportage. I've been wondering about the role of this "MBA" in the Libby trial recently, and your post really puts it into perspective.

Honestly, Clarice is more expert on this story than many of the bloggers he has coming in, particularly from the right.

You gotta be defining "expertise" as a function of volume rather than quality, because while Clarice certainly has a lot to say about the Libby case, she's so completely off-base so frequently that were you to assume everything she says is wrong, you'd be closer to the truth than assuming she knew what she was talking about.

(I mean, she claims to be a lawyer, yet she announced that jury selection would have to START OVER on Monday when it wasn't completed during the first week. That would be a dumb thing for a non-lawyer to assume---for someone who claims to be a lawyer to say it...well....)

I tried to be part of the MBA a year ago. They had a meeting in Nashville.

Turned out they were nearly all right-wing morons, absolutely worshipped the ground Glenn Reynolds walked on.

I left. Joined the Online News Association. I have problems with the ONA, too -- they are more devoted to the interests of those who work at newspapers -- but at least they're not a right-wing front.

I count three broken chairs, well thrown. I suppose you gotta have one left to sit on.

This seems to be the tactic of the MSM these days -- "reach out" to bloggers and then tell them that they want your stuff -- free. WNBC-TV did this last week, thinking they'd get free content from bloggers in return for a few shrimp and a Diet Coke. They really don't have a freakin' clue.

(I mean, she claims to be a lawyer, yet she announced that jury selection would have to START OVER on Monday when it wasn't completed during the first week. That would be a dumb thing for a non-lawyer to assume---for someone who claims to be a lawyer to say it...well....)

start "over" vs. start "again"? seriously, that confused you?? Go read the NYT or something pre-chewed.

Can someone answer my really dumb question: what is a "consonant-level blog?" Both Google and the dictionaries aren't giving up the answer for me.

There are many examples of historical note that show the interference of agents of supposed kindred spirits that are actually there to obscure or hinder the flow
of or to impose outside controls on the flow of information. After the diligence displayed by Ms. EW and Ms. Hamsher and Ms. Huffington to accomplish access
to press credentials to continue their coverage of this trial it would be foolhardy to allow this progress to fall under the influence of the MBA. It seems to be a clear example of an attempt to steal the hard work and taint it with an unearned cachet of an organization that is not open about their aims.

EW, I like the herd metaphor. Sounds like they want to BRAND you. Don't they know you don't do cocktail wienies. Your team has worked so hard for the benefit of the people. I bet all of this work has also helped Fitz get through this tough week. If you do get stuck in a corral we would all still believe your work but you would wither away. No more running free. Not even any grazing, just that horrible tainted feed that they force feed. Thats what they want, to control the message. You should be disgusted and I love that you shared this with us. lolo

DrewVSea

Sorry, it's a new koufax category, "consonant" meaning everything but A-level blog: a b-level, c-level, d-level, and so on.

DrewVSea: Not a dumb question. An "A-level" anything is considered top-notch. In contrast, a "B-level" or "C-level" whatever, would be somewhat less so. The term "consonant-level" is wordplay on the fact that the letter A (a vowel) is followed alphabetically by several consonants.

Let's not kid ourselves. Mr. Cox means "censor" when he says "credential." Nor does he mistakenly substitute "anonymous" for "pseudonymous", because he intends to make his living kneecapping citizen journalism, independent research, and freedom of association.

And there is no toupee large enough to cover his bald spot.

Independence is a great and wonderful thing... and well-earned by constant achievements and original thought.

This Cox fellow is obviously trying to control the message by herding the messengers. Unfortunately for him, we are tired of rehashed talking points and subserviant media personalities.

We who read well and wisely have already chosen professional bloggers by voting with our feet and eyeballs. There is no need for some so-called credentialing committee to vet (bless and annoint) a handful of select bloggers who'll kowtow for access. Isn't that what is also on trial here? How many "journalists" sold out just to be allowed to ask questions or fly in the media plane or drink cocktails with the people in power?

Does this world need more preening parrots?

I've held a press pass as a columnist for a professional graphics tradezine. I'd earned it for my writing and experience (industry veteran), not because of my politics or herdability or bribery & promises. I'd have been as offended as you at the thought of being bought and sold for the sake of access. Prostitution of the mind is even worse than the physical kind.

It doesn't matter what he and his organization are offering. The value of your independent mind and voice is too high.

I suppose that once he rounds up his "professionals" and admits them to his inner sanctum (with ID number on their spiffy new membership card and a coupon good for a cocktail at Signatures), his next step is selling the eyeballs of their readership. He is going to profit on your work somehow.

DrewVSea: "Can someone answer my really dumb question: what is a "consonant-level blog"?"

A is a vowel.

Also, quick grammar note, quotes around phrase go inside the sentence punctuation, and outside the sentence punctuation when the quote is a full sentence or otherwise part of the quote.
.

Marcy, Just got your book and can't put it down...wonderful, clear writing. And I want to thank you for live-blogging on FDL...t'was amazing to me that you could keep up with all those words flying. I contributed to your book, when Jane asked for help, so I feel so proud and hope some day you'll sign it. Are you going to Ykos in Chi? If so, I hope to meet you.

Hmm, that came out kind of half-assed and pompous. My typing sucks.

Anyway, since A is a vowel, "consonant-level" means B-Level or below.

And the grammar note should read: "... quotes around phrases go inside the sentence punctuation; quotes go outside the sentence punctuation when the punctuation is part of the quote, such as a period at the end of a full sentence."

dipper

Yes, I'll be at YK. So if I don't find you first, I'll sign it then.

And thanks for the support.

There has to be money involved somewhere. After you join "his club" that is when the dues will start. I don't think you need him or his club Marcy.

Two things came together for me today--the "credential" story from Marcy and the Edwards bloggers vs rightwing hatemonger story. Here's the difference, and why we are always playing catch-up. We think it's about content and substance, and always try to do well in that department. But the right understands it is all about marketing. Republicans are good at PR and marketing--that stuff they really understand, made easier because most of them really don't care about content and substance, just power and money. So they are so much better at marketing themselves and each other. Big Media is a business and they need a pliant government to let them acquire and keep the maximum amount of power and money, so itnis a naturally symbiotic relationship, but I do think their affinity for marketing/PR and our affinity for substance is a crucial difference. I would never want us to be as shallow and venal as they are, but it does mean we have to change the game and playing field, if we are not always to be playing catchup.

How can one take Robert Cox seriously as a blogger or the head of a blogging organization when he doesn't allow comments on his pronouncements blog entries?

EW, you rock and I'm proud even to be in the same hemisphere with you.

yo, emptywheel, uh, if I ever, uh, piss you off, or irritate you in any way, uh, you could just send a note or something, and I'll apologize or something

there's no reason for you to ever do something like this to me, is there ???

if there is ...

well, uh, I'd just like a little warning, okay ???

(wink)

excellent, principled, well-said. Short version:

"I got yer credentials swingin'..."

You guys DO have the best Plame coverage. Evar! Grateful, we are. The video wrap-ups are a great touch, too.

empywheel, marcy wheeler, you are one ungrateful fucking bitch. A self-absorbed egotistical bitch. What a scumbag you are. This is how you treat others who are being kind to you?

I sincerely hope this backfires and you find yourself alienated.

Also, you are one ugly woman. Clearly, a piece of white trash.

She may be, I don't know her.
But your post shows what an asshol eyou are Louise.

"Kind" to her? He's offering her nothing she can't get on her own. So how in the f**k is this dude being kind to her?

steve, so what if she can get it on her own? Does she need to be such a condescending bitch about it? How about a polite thanks but no thanks. fucking ingrate

Marcy (and the folks at FDL): I am absolutely nobody, but you have certainly earned my deepest respect. I find your coverage to be very entertaining and educational (Swopa is scary smart). Nevermind the trolls, you guys indeed rock. :) Keep it up, we need you (and even more of you) out there!

marcy,

We hear on planet earth would like to offer you something we call humility. In addtion, we'd like you to get your big fat fucking ego and check it.

Here's a dose of something earthlings call reality.

You are NOT as good as you think you are.

You HAVE NOT scooped anyone on this story.

You DO NOT own this story.

You are an egotistical asshole and from what I hear from the press corp not respected or liked because of your "I am smarter than you" attitude.

A compliment from Byron York is not something to brag about.

you are a terrible writer.

You are FUGLY

You are an ungrateful bitch.

What comes around goes around.


Emptywheel. Geez. You got the power. what is his made-up associaton again? The whole point of blogs, is YOU emptywheel. you don't even need to refute these geezbags. We know your aims and your reporting. Dont waste your time on these garbage bags. Thanks.

Russert is going to be on Imus this morning at 7:30ET

The thought of trying to create a bloggers credentials thing reminds me of Atrios' blogger ethics panels. Bloggers are harder to herd than journalists (and I'm married to one of the latter) and THEY'RE far harder to herd than cats.

The whole point of the blogosphere is to be free and independent -- and the beauty of it is that there are people like you, Marcy, who take the time to do the slogging research necessary to follow a case or a story -- you and PollyUSA and Jeff and lots of others -- and you have this wonderful forum, here and at FDL, where you can sift and contemplate the evidence and have an open dialogue that we all can listen to and participate in. Something the news doesn't have and hasn't had in a while, and is learning from.

(It also reminds me somewhat of a religion course I took in college -- the thread of which was first comes inspiration and free expression of faith, then come the gatekeepers who check credentials and make rules ... it happens over and over again. It's understandable, but this guy looks like he's making a business out of something that to this point has worked awfully well without him.)

But anyway, on a more substantive question, what was going on in the last minutes of the trial on Friday? Did Fitz find the Cheney-annotated op ed in a safe, rather than having it turned over in response to the subpoena of materials? I hope somebody today or this weekend is going to talk about this, because it just blew my mind. (If I got this all wrong, sorry, I'm working on a deadline project and have virtually no time to read right now).

But deep thanks go to you guys for all you do.

Milton Friedman was right about one thing- his opposition to occupational licensure. It kills creativity and undermines customer service. Marcy, thanks for NOT joining MBA.

This is one great response!!! Co-option is a law of politics, and will occur whenever progress is being made against the status quo.
Please continue to resist!!! NextHurrah and Firedog are the best sources of real information we have (along with a few other blogs I could mention, like Digby, and T'bogg).

On a personal note.

I think emptywheel looks wonderful. Sorta of like a high school yearbook/newspaper EIC (Editor in Chief), and that was a good time as I recall. (... and no plucking please...)

I see Clarice over on JOM (which I was introduced to here at the Next Hurrah), and I like her especially after she said something once about two people having different recollections of the same event they were at (a la Libby), and said that anyone who has been married and/or divorced knows what that is like. Ok, me too.

I don't know swopa though I have just seen his name in passing, but when he said at the end of his live non-transcript blog yesterday, that Anna Nicole had died and then he said something like ~that makes this seem so insignificant.~ That struck a bell. I don't look at Anna Nicole like men do, including my two brothers. What I see is a woman trying to make it with the talents she has in "that" world of men and being treated like a lollipop, and a real life discardable soap drama. Give her that old man's money. She earned it, and I don't think that Stern is the father of that baby, but now of course anyone that has ever had access to Anna will be jumping forward demanding a DNA test. My older brother (unmarried as of yet) will be upset about it, to be sure. I remember some pics that he had on the inside of his closet door. Little sisters know everything.

I don't know much about Jane, having just read her entry on Wikipedia this week, but I do hope that she beats the Odds.

"BEAT THE DRUM, JANE. BEAT THE DRUM!" (I run for life every chance I get. My mom has had one instance.)

Good points EW...be sure to ask them if they have ever heard of a writer named Samuel Langhorne Clemens haha

The trial was interesting to say the least! I sat in to listen a while, last week;-) thanks for keeping us informed.

Hey Louise, did you fergit to take Leopold's meds?

Geez Louise

I don't understand what this is all about. Could someone explain exactly what was offered or proposed that sparked this post? MBA Feed? What is that? Sorry but this post doesn't really clarify what the heck the author is responding to. I'm a bit confused. Then again, IMUnaware... so take that with a grain of salt.

Marcy,


But you, apparently, are treating this as a stunt, credentialing for credentialing's sake, with no eye toward the product you can deliver or the expertise you bring to the table.

It's not a stunt, its a proof of concept for the next O.J. trial.

Thanks for all the great reporting!

You are way too polite and indirect in this essay about why the SCLM/MSM is part of the problem. Just to be clear: When the gang of 500 are all buddy buddy on the cocktail circuit with the folks they are supposed to be covering (investigating), little details like systematic lying about the what the intelligence says, covering up the lies, smearing the truth tellers, and making illegal incompetent war. If the Washington Bureaus of the Washington Post, NY Times, ABC, NBC, CBS had done their jobs it would not matter what Fox and the Washingotn Times did and we would not be in this mess

Who the hell is this clown?? I've been reading blogs since 2001 and have been on the Internet since the late 1980s, but this is the first I've heard of him and his supposed organization. Is he some ex dotcom hustler, perchance?

Wow.

A seminal post, to be sure.

Many, many kudos.

Cox:
Since any serious-minded blogger can join the MBA and since MBA members can take advantage of any opportunity we create for our members, the reality is that the MBA is evening the playing field for all bloggers.

EW:
When I first read your letter, I wasn't clear on your stance. Once I got to this point in Cox's post, the jig was up. You and the FireDogs have a brand all your own built on relentless sweat-equity. The only way to build such a thing (HINT, MR COX) is with relentless sweat equity. Cox wants to cap that well of trust you have all worked so hard to build, and dole it out to his advantage. In my old life, the now bankrupt-company I worked for did this with impunity and called it "round tripping."

It was as shallow and evenutally destuctive then as it is now.

Just keep doing what you're doing. When the trolls have nothing to pick on but what is "hear on Earth," you know you done good.

-GFO

Posted by: dr.steveb@verizon.net | February 09, 2007 at 15:49

Who the hell is this clown?? ... Is he some ex dotcom hustler, perchance?

I do not know his background, but this is exactly what i thought when I finished reading his post.

-GFO

In three years of lurking at all the major blogs, I've never left so much as a single comment. This was a such a spot on explanation of why citizen driven media is so vital to the remnants of our democracy, I felt it was time to finally weigh in and say thank you. Thank you so much for your time, Marcy. It is appreciated.


Wow

Thanks, Christopher.

Bob Cox is in the Bob Cox business. Anything a blogger does, in such a high profile manner, that doesn't involve Bob Cox negatively impacts the Bob Cox business. Mr. Cox has clearly done a laudable thing or two on behalf of his bloggers. Yet his rigidity, this "my way or the highway" kind of thinking, appears to this reader diametrically opposed to the true spirit of the blogging.

Love what yer doing, Marcy. Keep up the good work!

AF

Way to go, Marcy. Terras Irradient!!!

Sorry Group but I can not take Cox seriously. Read how poorly he writes, this guy is the equivalent of a door-to-door salesman; he wants to create a job/role/business for himself. With this job he aims to corner a scrap of bloggos-phero power. The whole gig is an invention, although not a bad idea at ALL. Cox just isn't the right person to do it. Herewith an example of Cox's writing that I would characterize as plain old bad prose: "The woman who runs FDL has been in the hospital and so our efforts to sort that out was held up but I am going to DC tomorrow and hope to meet with her and try again to bring them into the MBA Feed." WHATEVER COX. That's just lame writing dude and now you want to be Mr. Credentio.....???

EmptW: What's up with that horrible post above? "Posted by: louise | February 09, 2007 at 00:16" The splendid yet pathetic thing about peeps like Louise's comment in the posts above -- it only works against them.... Which is kind of nice, actually. MARCY RULES AND ROCKS!!!!!

EW-as you can see, we're tripping out in non-concentric circles waiting for your next post.

Marcy, you must be on your way to the Plamehouse for mondays trial coverage. Enjoy your weekend and we will be awaiting your posts. Thank you so much for all that you do. These trolls are so rabid it is hysterical. They have their panties in a bunch over your success. Teeheehee hum....I wonder if louise is aka for lewis? Oh well it is so amazing that your lack of a post yesterday keeps us all coming back to this thread to see if you are peeking in at least. We await you, and it gives us all time to read the exhibits and all the goodies that this week has provided and of course your book. Thank you so much EW. lolo

Seeing this for the first time. I also wrote some criticisms of the Cox effort on my blog.

Also, I'm a tad concerned about the "trial tourist" moniker. Some of us want to participate and are not fulltime experts. Are we chopped liver?

Just wanted to add my support, Marcy. Way to lay it all out there.
Good work, all around.

Excellent letter Marcy. Love all your work. Is Mr Cox affiliated with media conglomerate Cox Broadcasting Corporation or similar?

Organized bloggers? Nyuck yuk yuk. Good luck with that, Cox. Independent thought, freewheeling, or even emptywheeling blogging is what fascinates me about the blogosphere. Now about that ethics panel...

It just occurred to me that 'Robert A. Cox' was, until he shut down the site on March 1, the proprietor of 'Olbermann Watch'.

Wow, he's the very definition of 'opportunistic, bandwagon-jumping tool'.

You retain power of the word by remaining independent. He wanted to get you onto the credentials and ratf*ck the effort. Either by steering and editing content or throwing the whole venture overboard.

What you should do is take direct quotes from key excerpts and craft brief stories on them with none of our editorial emotion added.

Then have someone reading online who works for a paper insert this info on the AP wire via their credentials and co-write the byline.

Mission Accomplished.

PS-Thanks for ignoring Leslie.

I'm a member of Cox's organization. I'm as independent as any other blogger; whatever constraints I operate under are my own. Regardless Cox's attitude toward the trial, the MBA bloggers who showed up were there because they most definitely were interested in it -- no one would be spending their own money to travel to D.C. otherwise -- and produced some excellent coverage: Rory O'Connor was good, as was Jeralyn, as were the various Crooks & Liars posters, as was Eric Brewer, who was writing on my blog. I couldn't go because I couldn't afford to but I did get to piggyback on the feed and write about my particular interest in the case, the way it reflects on the press, which was nice for me. I don't think any of us tailored anything we wrote for the occasion.

The organization isn't a threat to anyone. Cox may want to rule the world, but as Marcy and others have amply demonstrated, he can't. So far as I'm aware, his efforts to get people in didn't keep anyone else out. I got Eric into the White House press briefings long before the MBA existed, so it's possible I might have gotten him into the Libby trial on my own, but I wouldn't have tried because of the effort involved. I'm a 50th-tier blogger. I don't have the name recognition or clout of FDL or Kos or Arianna. If I can use MBA to get into places to which I wouldn't otherwise have access, good for me and good for Cox. If other people can get in on their own, as is obviously the case, good for them. I appreciated the opportunity to just say, "Yeah, Eric wants to go."

But whatever.

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