Sunday, February 15, 2009


This mailbag is not in transcript form. We're responding to a series of e-mails and focusing mainly on the negative ones.


First up, how stupid do you think we are? Ava and C.I. know the story of Ann Dunham better than any living American and that's because they began researching it and speaking to various people who knew Ann in 2007. So when ____ e-mails and wants to know more about Ann and waxes on about how much he enjoys this site and blah, blah, blah. We have no idea why you really wrote. We know you've churned out nothing but Barack Propaganda for over a year now. We also know one of your stories featured flat-out lies. Ava and C.I. do not reply to e-mails to Third and the feature you note (the only in depth article on Ann to date) was like pulling teeth for the rest of us to get information to include. They are very protective of Ann's reputation. That does not mean, however, that they'd turn their research over to a propagandist like yourself. Don't write us again. The fact that you deliberately misrepresented yourself in your e-mail tells us all we need to know.

You'll note there's no link to the Ann article. That was part of the agreement we made with Ava and C.I. to get access to the details that went into that article. Each Monday, Mike does a summary of the articles that go up here on Sunday. Under the same agreement, Mike could not hype or promote the article which left him with nothing to say as his own readers pointed out to him wondering why such a great article didn't result in many words from Mike.

We don't promote that article. That was part of the agreement. And if we had to agree to that with Ava and C.I. you can be sure they'll never share a damn thing with a liar like you.

An angry, alleged reader e-mails to explain why he stopped reading (we never heard from him when he allegedly was reading, Jess keeps copies of all e-mails): "You promoted the racist talking point that the foreclosures were the fault of Black people." We did?

There's no link to back up his claim. Jim wonders, "Did we make an agreement with him like we did with Ava and C.I. not to link to this mythical article?"

What we do know is it would be hard for us to write something we don't believe. And what we do know is that Ava and C.I. called out that talking point ("TV: Disturbing Behavior") when Saturday Night Live pimped it:

Seth showed just how awful he and Barack's real supporters are. They're centrists, they're not leftists. That's Barack's core support. Seth proved it with his little 'joke' about the economy which included him editorializing on where the blame went for the financial crisis. If you missed it, try to guess who was blamed first by Neo-Lib Seth? The banks? No. The home owners taking out loans -- loans, Seth explained, they couldn't afford.

Again, whatever you read or allegedly read, you didn't read it here. And, also worth noting, all of SNL's 'left' viewers who post the skits at their blogs week in and week out somehow 'missed' calling Seth out.

Another alleged reader e-mailed to tell us how "disgusting you are for not supporting PUMA." We're not PUMA. We have been kind to PUMAs. We will call them out if we feel the need. With the exception of responding to an attack on Stan, we're not aware of anything other than individual remarks made in transcript pieces here. Those remarks were not made by Third (which is Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.). We didn't have a problem with those remarks but we didn't make them. PUMA is seen as racist by some and the reason is because some PUMAs are racists. So are some Barack supporters. (And we're referring to Whites in that last statement. Like Seth of SNL -- who is damn lucky Ava and C.I. are so sick of him and Tina that they've refrained from writing up an article they have pages and pages of notes on already.) Some aren't. C.I., in a piece at The Common Ills, called out the use of "illegal immigrants" by a lead PUMA and we all support that calling out. That is right-wing wording. "Undocumented worker."

We've been far more supportive of PUMA than any of them ever bothered to be of us. We defended them -- Ava and C.I. especially defended them. On our end, the summer of 2008 was non-stop e-mails requesting links and on their end? They've never linked to us. We know them. We're familiar with them. We aren't them but we have defended them when we felt they were unfairly attacked and until awhile back, when Jim decreed "no more" to these beggars who want links but never even acknowledge Third's existence, we were happy to include a link or two to them.

PUMA's attitude kills the movement. That's the reality.

The Confluence is killing itself. Riverdaughter was at Lambert's site* arguing that he wasn't doing enough to help PUMA grow and this and that. We saw that because PUMAs (with sites) e-mailed it and asked us to highlight it. Not interested. Not interested in linking to Lambert because he took down the blogroll months ago and even though he admitted that at the start of last month, he never brought it back. And Corrente wants to whine about the purging of names from blogrolls when they purged their entire one. (*Lambert's site because the bulk of the Correntes left and do not appear to be coming back.)

The Confluence engages with a site that we do not. It is a racist site and the fact that they link to it (including in posts) and that they leave comments there goes to their image problems. (This would be the site that trashed Stan and called him a racist for supporting affirmative action.)

PUMA is on their own. We're tired of seeing Ava and C.I. ripped off by one PUMA site. It really is amazing how that site always shows up on Monday with the exact same points Ava and C.I. made and with no link to Ava and C.I. or any acknowledgement that they were the ones who made that point. It's especially obvious when Ava and C.I. are reaching back a month or more to tie a past event into something current. Strangely, ___ just happens to have that same thought.

PUMA made themselves a joke by offering a circle-jerk. Go read Darryn! Go read Heidi-Li! Go read . . .

Riverdaughter wants to argue with Lambert about whether or not Corrente did enough for PUMA and yet the reality she will not face is PUMA didn't do a damn thing for anyone outside their blog-around.

If Riverdaughter wants to build PUMA into something, she's going to have to start examining her own actions. That's not to let Lambert off but that is to note that she's very happy to link to people who don't link to her but she does nothing (as one blogger e-mailed to point out to us -- and we replied we already knew that) to help anyone else.

Years ago, Ron Byrnaert (now of Raw Story) wrote extensively about the left's refusal to help each other out with links. This was long before the so-called Blog Roll Amnesty Day (in fact, some of the thugs who dropped blogs on that original day had long been called out by Ron). He pointed out that the right-wing links to each other and increases their audience that way. But, and remember, this was before The Daily Toilet Scrubber and others began purging their blog rolls, on the left there's no support.

When a blogger e-mailed us in December about The Confluence ignoring her site, we decided we weren't going to help build up a new blog snob.

2008 saw the culmination of what C.I. warned of in 2004: That in cutting off the heads of Cokie Roberts and others, The Daily Toilet Scrubber really wasn't attempting to end spin, it was attempting to set itself up as the new gas bag.

We remembered that, wrote back to the blogger that we were sorry about her experience, noted our own issues with PUMA and told her we wouldn't link to The Confluence again and have not. We've been at this for a long time. We've had The Nation offer us a link if we'd only tone it down, for example. (We would never tone it down nor take direction from outsiders.) We've been ignored for speaking our truths and shut out. It didn't matter, we still found an audience and we're happy with the size of it.

We got no real help from outside the TCI community. And Ava and C.I. built up our readership. Their TV commentaries became our calling card. They were such a calling card that a website decided to rip us off by reposting -- in full -- an Ava and C.I. commentary.

Were we supposed to be flattered?

This website that begs for money and has money felt it could take a commentary (a great one) that Ava and C.I. labored over and, without any permission, repost it -- in full.

They never even e-mailed to say that they had. Or to thank us for 'allowing' them to do so.

We only found out when angry readers started asking us why we'd let a Soros funded site post our stuff and how much money did we get paid for it?

We didn't get any money. We certainly didn't give our permission.

And let's repeat: It was reposted in full.

This wasn't, "Here's an excerpt." This wasn't, "Here's the opening." No, they reposted it in full, over fifty paragraphs. (The commentary was 2007's "TV: Friendly faces aren't who we meet.") And all we got for it was accusations that we were now on the Soros payroll. (We would never take blood money.) We tried to be nice and, until now, have always just noted the problems that theft caused when responding to e-mails but that's the reality.

And you have to wonder why someone making a dime (and more than that) on their website thinks they can steal someone else's work and use it at their for-profit website?

So we know all about being ripped off and we know all about sites that refuse to link but want links.

The Confluence, fairly or not, is seen as a restricted club and if Riverdaughter's attempting to increase her following, she'll have to address that. It has nothing to do with Lambert. (Which isn't letting him off on other issues but when you're accusing him of not being supportive or supportive enough for PUMA, you better not have ignored those people who did try to support you.)

Another e-mailer whines we don't link to No Quarter.

No, we don't. Not anymore.

Isaiah has done comics for The Common Ills since 2005. Though we all know Isaiah and though C.I. is part of The Third Estate Sunday Review, we always get permission (even though he's given us standing permission) before we use one of his comics that appears at The Common Ills. No Quarter didn't feel the need to do that. Not only did they not feel the need to do that, they refused to link The Common Ills.

They stole Isaiah's comic and did not link to The Common Ills.

That's before you get into whatever con Susan UnPC was trying to run on Ruth in e-mails. We have no interest in them at all.

You grab our stuff, you need to have permission. You don't? Well you better at least have credited us and linked to us. Isaiah's comics are his property. And he will tell you that anyone who borrows or steals them damn well better link to The Common Ills. He plans to stop drawing them as soon as C.I. closes shop at The Common Ills. His entire reason for doing the comics in the first place was, "To give TCI a visual presence." He does not take kindly to rip-off stunts like the one that site pulled. He waited until after the election to make his feelings fully known on the subject. But we know how he feels and we're not linking to them.

A lot of rip-offs take place online. Trina's been ripped off recently and that's one of the reasons she wanted to participate in a roundtable Friday -- she was still too angry about that to do her usual blog post. The same site ripped off Stan Friday. Lot of rip-offs. Lot of people who can't think of ways to get readers on their own so they decide to copy what other people are doing. Consider them the online equivalent of the Fox TV network.

Betty's been very vocal about having had it with non-community sites. For four years, she did an online, comic novel. With very little support from outside the community. She would have people e-mail her and beg for a link. She'd find a way to work them into a chapter and she'd e-mail them to let them know. They'd reply they'd loved to link back to her but they didn't link to humor sites. Betty ceased the online comic novel before 2008 drew to a close and her site is now a blog. She's seen new excuses in the "please link to me and I'll link to you" e-mail crowd. She's sick of it.

Riverdaughter went to Corrente and basically insisted, "Why don't you support us! Why won't you help us!" And that had a huge number of people laughing because The Confluence always wants to dialogue with their enemies and never wants to help their friends. That's reality. It's why, when The Confluence was called racists, Riverdaughter sucked up to the site that did it, sucked up to the woman who delinked from her and noted she would keep the link to the woman's site up. As the ticked off female blogger wrote us, "I link to The Confluence over and over and get nothing back but someone calls her a racist and she kisses their ass."

Exactly. So Riverdaughter wants to know how to improve PUMA online: Try linking outside the circle jerk.

To the many, many who wrote regarding Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Three hours worth watching" last week:

(A) Yes, they did know what was going to happen Monday night and they were clueing you in while attempting not to be spoilers.

(B) They did not call out Heroes before because they honestly don't watch it unless they're writing about it. The week leading up to that piece being written, they were speaking to students about the shows on Monday night to get a sense of what the feelings were -- watching the lineup on a TV in a student union had revealed the audience had major issues with Heroes. They then worked backwards to figure out what had happened in season two that everyone was referencing? Had they been viewers of the show, they would have called out the treatment of women and the sidelining of actresses a long, long time ago.

(C) Those crediting them with 'saying what needed to be said,' are told that the treatment of women is not a point they discovered, it was brought to them by college students and college students deserve the credit for that. They thought they were clear on that in their commentary but when we told them about the e-mails they asked that we make sure credit goes where it's due. College students raised the issue. When the issue was raised, Ava and C.I. were having to travel backwards to get the details.

Returning to the negative e-mails, Senator Roland Burris. We did not "endorse" Roland Burris. We said, "Seat the Senator." That is the law. We endorsed no one to be the appointed senator of Illinois or New York. Recent press spins have Burris painted as 'crooked' and five of you e-mailed Saturday to insist that ha-ha, we were wrong!

No. We weren't. Should Roland Burris turn out to be crooked, we weren't wrong. We did not champion him for an appointment. He was appointed. Once he was appointed, we called for the law to be followed and called out the racism going on.

Burris filed an affidavit earlier this month that the press is spinning as "Burris asked to donate to Blagojevich!" And? He said no. Three times. Over the span of many months.

The spin has Harry Reid jumping for joy but it's nothing big and it's nothing that he can legally be removed from office for (or should be). Had Burris said, "Yes, I will donate money to your campaign," some might have basis for arguing that Burris was attempting to buy the office (and did buy it since he ended up appointed); however, he did not say yes. He said no. (And that may have been because he didn't have a great deal of money or may it have been because he found it unethical. We don't know. We do know that he turned the request down repeatedly.)

Harry Reid needs to lose his hatred of Black people real damn quick. He's honestly starting to remind us of Brian (Family Guy) and how Brian barks like crazy whenever he sees a Black person -- excepting only Cleveland. Maybe Cleveland's bi-racial?

We said "Seat Burris" and we stand by that. We will stand by it if something emerges that warrants Burris being dismissed from the Senate. It was the right thing to do. In the latest attempt by the press to create a scandal, nothing has emerged that makes us think Burris would or should be removed from the Senate. We do find it strange that the press are yet again glomming on Burris when you consider how Blagojevich's remarks obviously about Michelle Obama's pay-for-play job after Barack goes into the US Senate has never fascinated them.

Lastly, Jim wants it noted that we are not interested in, we are not interested in helping them, we are not interested in hearing from them, and we are not interested in sharing with them our illustrations. Everything we post at any of the Flickr accounts leads to repeated e-mails from them and we're honestly sick of them flooding our inbox.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }