(Update from John below)
For those who have not yet read Dana Houle’s post about Jane Hamsher’s duplicity, you should do so. The article speaks for itself. For my part, the revelation is unsurprising. Also unsurprising? That her acolytes rush to defend her, usually with some version of the “Obama sucks” song.
I suspect, however, that while their cognitive dissonance won’t permit them to draw the obvious conclusion — that Hamsher has played them like a fiddle, spouting her special brand of Obama Derangement in order to loosen their wallets — it is still necessary to draw attention to her chicanery in the hopes that the media will stop treating Hamsher like she is some Progressive darling when she so plainly is nothing of the sort. (And when she selectively edits her appearances on the MSM in order to make herself seem more politically savvy than she is.)
I’m sure I need not remind you of Jane’s purported loathing for people who attack Democrats from the outside. You know… veal pen and all that. So what does one call heading up a company that sells ads for Republicans? Elephant Pen, perhaps?
What does one call a person who heads up a company that sells ads for Republican and who simultaneously systematically attacks Democrats (Obama, Reid, etc.), while seemingly doing NOTHING ELSE?
Ratfucker. That’s what.
In fact, Matt Osborne of Osborne Ink and Crooks and Liars wrote about Hamsher’s ratfuckery months ago — “Nixon Had A Word for People Like Jane Hamsher” — and drew this response from Kevin Gosztola: “Jane Hamsher is No “Ratfucker” (And She Shouldn’t Be Required to Show Progressive Credentials Either) – with Updates.” Even Gosztola, however, had to recognize a bit of double-dealing:
[Osborne] goes after Hamsher for using a web ad company that took money from BP. Fair enough, but this seemed to be something that happened because BP purchased ads as part of their greenwashing campaign. BP effectively tried to intimidate ThinkProgress, Crooks and Liars, AmericaBlog, Eschaton and other liberal blogs relying on ad revenue from Common Sense Media. It threatened to pull ads if they were found to be appearing near posts that were “offensive” or critical of BP. Pulling the ad, of course, would mean loss of ad revenue, which is often the life’s blood for blogs. Those familiar with Firedoglake know they had a BP Oil Disaster campaign that was funded by donations. It is likely that they took a minimal amount of money if any.
Needless to say, Osborne clearly woke the beast. At Netroots Nation this past weekend, Osborne was offered a paid writing gig in “the movement,” (his words) but was informed that he “would need to “dial back” his criticism of Hamsher.
Or read his twitter stream from June 17.
You tell me: What exactly is progressive about this woman? That she is tolerant of other views in her blog space? That she takes a hard-line against the use of racist dogwhistles? That she would never employ blackface to make a point? That she takes a hard stance against using the term “nigger” to describe Democrats and ensures that her moderators and diarists do as well?
Oh right, she does the exact opposite of those things.
So, the answer is nothing. There is nothing progressive or righteous about Jane Hamsher, as far as I can tell. She’s fleecing her readers and taking advantage of the Progressive movement in the same way that Arianna Huffington did.
So now can we require her to show her progressive credentials?
Well what if I were to tell you that she has been instrumental in rolling out a Primary Obama bus billboard that will be covering — wait for it — only black neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.
The “Primary Obama” campaign over at www.epicstep.com was successful and the bus ads are finally placed. Because it took the company so long to place the ads they decided to give us six ads instead of one. Perhaps they are sympathetic to the cause?
I had to reformat it to fit on a bus instead of a billboard but the message is the same.
Heavy Downtown coverage from 16th Street NW eastward into portions of Northeast DC coverage including Capitol Hill, Chinatown, Metro Center, Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, Mt Vernon-convention center neighborhood, McPherson Sq, NoMa, Thomas Circle, Logan Circle, Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Shaw, U Street Corridor, Cardozo.1
I grew up and have lived in DC for years. I have one question for Jane Hamsher:
Why no coverage in Dupont Circle? Georgetown? Cleveland Park? Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring? You know — where the white folks are?
Could this be the reason?
Much better would be to go on the offensive, IMO. I.e., exploit this dustup [sic] (with West’s blessings, of course), to take things to a higher level. Specifically, West, with the NPA’s backing, could undertake an education program, with the initial target the US black community, of teaching them about, say, Obama’s Top 10 betrayals, and Obama’s Top 5 betrayals of Afro-Americans.
Nah, couldn’t be.
Jane would never do that.
1 For your Google-fu since I’m not going to link to FDL, use these search strings to find the relevant posts: (1) “Jane Hamsher is No “Ratfucker” (And She Shouldn’t Be Required to Show Progressive Credentials Either) – with Updates” and (2) “Primary Obama Bus Ads go live in Washington D.C.!!!”
*** Update ***
This is John speaking. Personally, I am profoundly uncomfortable asserting that Jane is part of some racist campaign because of what some idiot diarist at FDL has done. I know that we (ABL and I) have disagreements about who is responsible for what over there, with ABL feeling that because they moderate some comments and diaries, they therefore own the rest of them. I disagree with that. All I see is some idiot named Figaro promoting this idiocy and then thanking the community, but I have seen nothing from Jane anywhere that would indicated she was involved, much less knew anything about this silliness.
If there is any evidence that Jane is responsible for the bus ads in any way, I would love to see it. But I can’t in good conscience ignore a post calling Jane out for racist behavior when there is no real evidence she was involved. There’s a simple reason for this- I’ve been called a bigot, misogynist, and a homophobe for no reason whatsoever, and thought they were vicious unfounded smears. It bothered me, so I won’t allow that to happen here.
And before the haters pile on ABL- I like her, and will have her back when I think she is right. I just think this one is a little thinly sourced, so I am making a rare editorial decision. If it turns out Jane was involved, show me the proof and I will have your back.
And for those of you following this shitshow, I originally took this post down, then agreed that that was the wrong way to handle things. I’ll leave it up (nothing disappears on the internet anyway) and just note that I think it is factually incorrect and lacking evidence.