Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: The Battle of Lysistrata .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Battle of Lysistrata

I’ve been a political junkie as long as I can remember, and one of the first websites I discovered on the internet that fed my political addiction was Wonkette. When I started my blog many moons ago, it was one of the first links in my sidebar. It’s still one of my regular click-through sites when I can find time to just browse.

Wonkette has been through many changes, growing from a one-woman show into an integral part of the Gawker universe. Editors and writers have come and gone, and come back again. But never before has Wonkette experienced a reader/commenter mutiny like they did this week.

The drama began with the rehiring on Ken Layne as the editor-in-chief. Ken was the “West Coast Bureau Chief” when I started reading the site, and then he left, I presume to go freelance. Upon his return, he promptly fired one of the readers’ favorite writer, along with an intern and staff photographer, apparently because they didn’t “fit” with Layne’s vision of the site’s future. The writer, Megan Carpentier, had a huge following, and her loyal minions promptly organized a boycott of the site.

Wonkette commenters, or “Wonketteers”, are an eclectic bunch. There are gays and straights, college students and professors, patriots and expatriates, liberals and conservatives. The one thing they all have in common is the ability to see the ridiculousness of the political mindset in our nation’s capital and beyond.

And now they’re irate. Megan Carpentier is a smart, funny, and knowledgeable writer. She has worked as a lobbyist on Capital Hill, and used her inside knowledge to explain the sausage-and-lawmaking process in a witty and sarcastic, yet understandable, manner. She also was not afraid to offend sensibilities. Apparently, these are the traits that don't fit into the Gawker mold. By canning her, however, Wonkette has driven its more intelligent constituents away from the site.

The Wonketteers are currently congregating at a blogspot site called Homofascist’s Army (homofascist was a fixture commenter on Wonkette, and became the defacto leader of the insurrection). Meanwhile, Wonkette’s page hits have dropped by a third, and its comment boards have dropped in participation by half.

I for one will be visiting HF’s site to get my fix of witty political repartee, and encourage everyone else to do the same. Eventually, the Wonketteers will either migrate back to Wonkette or find a new site. In the meantime, HFA will be the place to be. See you there!
Update: Megan, along with several ex-Wonk commenters have migrated over to The Cynics' Party. It's a little more highbrow, a little less silly, and very entertaining. Check it out!

1 Comments:

  • Speaking of local blogs and campaign ethics concerns. Please post this:

    I just listened to an interview of the TXHD27 challenger. More candidates need to do this. It did generate many additional questions for me regarding his ethics admissions to the Texas Bar Association though.

    In a Fortbendnow piece on ethics in politics
    (http://www.fortbendnow.com/news/3696) Reynolds responded seeming to blame an associate in his law firm. This seems to
    contradict his podcast information and opens up
    numerous other questions like, by making the admissions
    of record to the bar association isn't he providing
    false testimony? Or is it one truth for the media
    during the campaign and one to settle this series (4
    bar complaints and 2 sanctions) prior to his run for
    office? Remember he has only been practicing law for 7
    years and has two concurrent sanctions through 2009. So who did he lie to (media or the bar assoc.)?

    This sounds like typical pol. spin out of his camp. He
    also claims to be involved with several fbc grassroots
    groups that he has nothing to do with (Coalition
    Against Blue Ridge Landfill Expansion, Single-Member
    School Districts and StopGPTolls -- he isn't involved
    with any of these groups or their boards. You can
    easily confirm this). Additionally, Dora has met with 2
    of these groups and supports their efforts actively
    and is very much involved with the CABLFE (landfill
    fight). This leads me to many further questions
    regarding this mans real motives and character for running.

    See his post from FBN:

    115 Ron Reynolds - Jan 23, 03:20 AM
    I’m not one that normally responds to gossip and mess
    that personally affects me. I’m a big boy and can
    handle negative attacks by the opposition. I’m
    reminded of a powerful quote by Dr. Martin Luther
    King, Jr. “the ultimate measure of a man is not where
    he stands at moments of comfort and conveyance, but
    where he stands at times of challenge and
    controversy”. However, I will not sit on the sideline
    while people that I respect are attacked because they
    are defending me. So let’s set the record straight.

    I was sanctioned by the State Bar for matters that
    took place years ago while I was helping take care of
    a very ill parent that couldn’t take care of
    themselves at the time. In my absence I placed client
    responsibilities on to an associate and several
    matters fell through the cracks. Even though I didn’t
    directly mishandle the matters I was responsible
    because I was the attorney of record. The client’s
    filed grievances and I accepted responsibility for the
    mistakes and voluntarily agreed to a probated
    suspension. I admit that I made a mistake and learned
    a valuable lesson from that experience. I learned that
    no matter what kind of crisis that may be happening in
    my life, I’m still responsible for adequately
    supervising my staff to ensure that client matters are
    properly handled. I’m not the type of person to make
    excuses for my mistakes or blame someone else. I take
    ownership for my shortcomings and try to learn from
    them and move on. As a Christian I know that “all have
    sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. I also
    know that people who live in glass houses should stop
    throwing rocks. Muckraker you of all people should not
    be so quick to judge!!!

    I’ve been blessed with a very successful career. I
    finished in the top 5 of my graduating class in
    college. I was among the youngest persons ever
    appointed as an Associate Municipal Judge for The City
    of Houston. I have served as President of the Houston
    Lawyers Association (again one of the youngest). I’m
    currently President of the Ft. Bend County NAACP. I
    serve as legal counsel for numerous non profits. I
    challenge you to find an attorney that has received
    the number of awards and recognition that I have for
    my civic involvement at the age of 35.

    So all this focus on my grievance with the State Bar
    is not reflective of my character nor my ability to
    lead. I was asked to run for State Rep. by several
    elected officials and community leaders that believe
    in me and have personally worked with me over the
    years. I’m endorsed by the highest ranking Democrats
    in Fort Bend County, Congressman Al Green, Senator
    Rodney Ellis, Commissioner Grady Prestage and
    Constable Ruben Davis, to name a few. Each of them
    knows about the matters with the state bar and fully
    supports me. I’m not going to let this negativity
    deter me from running a positive clean campaign. In
    the end, I believe people are sick and tired of the
    negative politics that seeks to divide. The focus
    should return to who is better suited to lead the
    fight for improving the education of our youth, making
    sure people have access to affordable healthcare and
    improving our economy.

    -------

    Apparently this was all timed for release:

    Questions I have following this media blitz by his
    spin crew:

    Why did he wait so long to try and clear this up?

    Why is the story different from one public source to
    the next?

    Why did he admit to these if he did not do them?

    Does it create additional ethics violations
    misinforming the TX bar?

    By Anonymous TXBlogger, at 12:00 PM  

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