Friday Night Lights Show Runner Objects To Mitt Romney Stealing From Show

Peter Berg, writer-director of  Friday Night Lights, sent a letter to Mitt Romney objecting to Romney using the phrase “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” from the television series, calling this stealing:

In a letter to the Romney campaign sent Friday and obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter, Berg calls the use of “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” an act of stealing. “Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series,” Berg writes in the letter. “The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and Friday Night Lights is in the character of Buddy Garrity — who turned his back on American car manufacturers selling imported cars from Japan.”

Previously if I were to have associated Mitt Romney with a television or movie character, I would have chosen either Gordon Gekko or Pinnochio. Buddy Garrity might also work.

Peter Berg is a supporter of Barack Obama, but Buzz Bissinger, who wrote the book which the television show was based upon, does support Mitt Romney.

In other celebrity endorsement news, in case you had any doubts that drugs are bad for the brain, Lindsay Lohan has endorsed Mitt Romney.

SciFi Weekend: Cancelled and Returning Shows; Seinfeld Reunion; Paparazzi and Emma Watson

It is that time of year when we start receiving news on which shows will or will not be returning. It is now official that Life on Mars has been canceled and production will stop after the seventeenth episode, leaving four left. As I didn’t expect the show to return in light of its poor ratings I actually saw the early announcement as good news. Knowing that the show will not be renewed allows them to properly wrap up the series.

The American version Life on Mars will actually run one more episode than the British version. A show of this nature actually works better as a limited run series with a definite beginning and end. Such series are rare on American television, probably guaranteeing failure for this show. If the show had continued for five years it would have either dealt with general police shows or the hints about the time travel aspect would have become increasingly contradictory and incomprehensible, reminiscent of the latter mythology episodes of The X-Files. Hopefully they can now write an ending which does justice to this idea.

Heroes will return for another season but will be reduced to eighteen to twenty episodes. They are also considering a definite end date and conclusion for the series like Lost and Battlestar Galactica.  Upcoming episodes will include Angela Petrelli’s  back story.


It is questionable if Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will return. The season finale was written to answer a number of questions and serve as a series  finale if it isn’t renewed. This week’s episode returned to the main characters along with wrapping up the Riley stories after recent episodes  seemed to be drifting. It also looks like they are returning to the storyline from the beginning of the series in which Cameron might be damaged. Summer Glau discussed the upcoming episodes:

For her part, Summer Glau, who plays the cyborg Cameron, added that the show will provide some kind of closure for her character as well.

“At the beginning of the second season the thing in Cameron’s life was that she was damaged,” Glau said, referring to the chip in Cameron’s head. “She had been damaged, and then that threw her off her game. And I think if my character was experiencing anything, it might have been insecurity about whether or not she was capable of doing her best at protecting John [Thomas Dekker] anymore. And I think she was really struggling with the insecurity of having a new girl in John’s life, Riley [Leven Rambin]. … And I think that that’s all going to come to a head toward the end of the back nine [episodes], and then in the finale something, there’s just a huge, huge change/resolution/change.”

Summer Glau will also be appearing as herself on Big Bang Theory tomorrow.


We already knew that Doctor Who is returning next year with a new show runner and a new Doctor played by Matt Smith. The Tardis is also to be redesigned when Stephen Moffat takes over the show. This will allow Moffat to establish his view of Doctor Who. Reportedly the design will be more high tech and desgned to look better in high defnition.

Lost moved in a new direction yet again with last week’s episode. Sawyer has become head of security for Dharma after the time jumping left him in the past, and he is living with Juliet. The episode ends with the return of Kate and others to the island, which is bound to create new complications.  Now that the story has moved back to Dharma we will learn more about Ben’s early days on a four episode arc involving young Ben.


Curb Your Enthusiasm will be returning to HBO and will include a multi-episode arc with the cast of Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards, playing themselves.  The show stars Larry David, creator of Seinfeld, who plays himself, with frequent references to his past work on Seinfeld.


Yesterday I noted the remarkable amount of interest on line in nude pictures of Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). The Week reports that interest in salacious pictures has become a serious problem for Watson since turning eighteen:

Emma Watson sometimes wishes she were still 17, says Louise Gannon in the London Daily Mail. The British actress has been playing Hermione in the wildly successful Harry Potter films since the age of 9. Despite all the fame and riches, she managed to stay grounded, studying hard and keeping her private life private. But when she turned 18 last April, the paparazzi in Britain were legally allowed to photograph her at will, and they pounced. “It was pretty tough turning 18,” she said. “I realized that overnight I’d become fair game.” Suddenly her every move was being chronicled by
photographers hoping to catch her in a compromising position. “I had a party in town and the pavements were just knee-deep with photographers trying to get a picture of me looking drunk, which wasn’t going to happen. I don’t actually like being drunk, particularly in public.” She has been taken aback by the level of intrusion, starting the very day she came of age. “The sickest part was when one photographer lay down on the floor to get a shot up my skirt. I woke up the next day and felt completely violated by it all. That’s not something I want in my life. I just kept thinking that if it had happened a day earlier, people would have sued their asses off.”

I don’t know what the law is in the U.K. but I would think there should be some limitations on a photographer’s ability to lie on the ground to invade her privacy in that manner.  Why bother with going to all that effort to harass Emma Watson? There are other young actresses like Lindsay Lohan who are willing to show off everything. (And yes, I’m aware that there are up-skirt pictures of Emma Watson available on line but I purposely excluded them in choosing the picture for this post. It is one thing to post pictures of people like Lohan who are seeking such publicity, but a different matter to post such pictures of others.)

Rejected Idea: “Sluts For Obama”

Lindsay Lohan’s father has attacked Obama as his campaign has rejected the idea of having Lindsay represent Obama. Fox News reports:

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, LiLo wanted to promote Obama but was turned away by his camp due to her wild ways. Now daddy Michael Lohan is biting back.

“For Barack Obama to condemn my daughter for past indiscretions when he admitted to the exact same himself is indicative of what kind of president he would be,” Michael Lohan told Pop Tarts via e-mail on Wednesday night.

“His visions of a positive future for this country should be representative of a positive future for people as well. It is looking beyond the difficult times and letting go of the past,” Michael said. “Obviously, Obama can do this for himself and not others, when in fact a good president should have hope for all.”

Obama has admitted to the exact same past indiscretions? He has admitted to some experimentation with drugs when younger, but this hardly approached Lindsay Lohan levels. Besides, I’ve never seen a picture of Obama out in public displaying a lack of underware.

Sluts for Obama? They are right for rejecting this offer. This is Barack Obama’s party now–not Bill Clinton’s or John Edwards’.

Matt Damon Smears Disney

Long time readers probably realize I’m a big Disney fan. That brainwashing comes from having taken more trips to Walt Disney World than I have time to count right now, and spending them in total Disney immersion at their resorts.  You cannot spend weeks at The Grand Floridian, Boardwalk, Yacht, and Beach Club without becoming a die hard Disney fan.

In talking about the choice of Sarah Palin, Matt Damon saysIt’s like a really bad Disney movie.” That is an unfair smear against Disney. Nothing this terrible happens in a Disney movie. Even Lindsay Lohan is good (and keeps her clothes on) when in a Disney movie.

Beyond this point, I agree with everything else Damon days about Palin:

“It’s like a really bad Disney movie. The hockey mom… and she’s president and facing down [Russian president] Vladimir Putin,” Damon said. “It’s absurd. It’s totally absurd and I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about it.”

Damon also suggested McCain’s selection of Palin wasn’t based on her political qualifications.

“I know she was the mayor of a really small town. She’s the Governor of Alaska for less than two years. I just don’t understand it. I think the pick was made for political purposes, but in terms of governance, it’s a disaster,” he added. “I need to know if she really thinks that dinosaurs were really here 4,000 years ago. I want to know that. Because she’s going to have the nuclear codes. I want to know that and I want to know if she tried to ban books. We can’t have that.”

John McCain’s Obsession with Paris Hilton

Is John McCain obsessed with Paris Hilton? McCain has once again dragged Paris into politics. First Read reports, “In its latest TV ad hitting Obama, the McCain campaign calls Obama the “biggest celebrity in the world” — and in the process shows clips of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.” Josh Marshall comments on McCain’s strategy:

I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. (See today’s new ad and this from yesterday.) Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded…

As I alluded to at the top of this post, it is the norm that obvious campaign tactics that are treated as obvious after a campaign is over are nonetheless treated by most reporters as ambiguous or unclear during a campaign. But in this case it would be nice if that were not the case. Because here we have a candidate, John McCain, who is running on a record of straight talk and honorable campaigning running a campaign made up mainly of charges reporters are now more or less acknowledging are lies. But there’s precious little drawing together of the contradiction. What’s more, as everyone will acknowledge after the campaign, the McCain campaign is now pushing the caricature of Obama as a uppity young black man whose presumptuousness is displayed not only in taking on airs above his station but also in a taste for young white women.

So please keep an eye out for references to Obama’s presumptuousness, arrogance, etc., from John King and other reporters. Let us know when you see them and send us in examples — in text or video. McCain gets to run the campaign he wants. Remember, he hired the operative who put together the Ford/Bimbo ad. But I want to keep tabs on which reporters are helping him retail the message.

Alex Koppelman comments further on the ad, which also includes some factual errors in other attacks on Obama–such factually incorrect attack ads being part of yet another trend from the McCain campaign.

McCain’s obsession with Paris Hilton began well before this latest campaign tactic. Back in 2007, when visiting Iraq while wearing a bullet proof vest and surrounded by troops, McCain claimed that conditions were so safe that “even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.” If it was safe enough for Paris to be dressed as above, how come McCain dressed like this:

While McCain keeps bringing up Paris Hilton, Obama has actually avoided connection to celebrities. Back in December, 2006 Lindsay Lohan appealed to Obama, along with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, for help in cleaning up her image.

All three declined to help Lohan, leading TMZ to accuse Obama of wimping out for taking a pass on that one.

Obama was also uncomfortable with the attention from Amber Lee Ettinger, who made the Obama Girl videos.

Obama expressed discomfort with the videos in an interview with AP:

Obama says his 6-year-old daughter Sasha has noticed news coverage of the video.

“Sasha asked Mommy about it,” Obama said Monday. “She said, ‘Daddy already has a wife’ or something like that.”

Sen. Obama, D-Ill., said he knows the video was meant to be lighthearted, but he wasn’t smiling when asked about it in an interview with The Associated Press.

“I guess it’s too much to ask, but you do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families,” Obama said.

“This is part of the process of politics that can be difficult, (that) is making sure that your kids and your wife and your family are insulated from both things like this and what I suspect will be at some point some negative campaigning,” Obama said.

Despite McCain’s claims, it appears that he, and not Obama, is the one who likes to bring up celebrities. (Personally I don’t mind an occasional reference to celebrities in politics, as a post such as this should be good for several hundred extra hits.)

Christina Aguilera Latest to Pose Pregnant and Nude

First Demi Moore posed nude while pregnant.

Then Britney Spear copied her. Little did we know how much else she would soon show in pictures.

And now Christina Aguilera has jointed in on the cover of Marie Claire.

I dread to think what will happen should Lindsay Lohan get pregnant.

Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars and Heroes isn’t pregnant, but she is a cover girl this month, which will be included later in today’s edition of SciFi Friday, along with her Heroes costar Hayden Panettiere, GQ’s Obsession of the Year.

Hot Political Videos and Book For 2008

After the last post which discussed Hustler, nude pictures of Britney Spears, and a Lindsay Lohan nipple slip, this would seem to be the appropriate time to look at the sexy music videos which are creating such a commotion this year. Even The Economist has noted this trend, writing

An actress recently starred in a saucy video called “I got a crush on Obama”. (Sample lyrics: “You can Barack me tonight” and “Universal health-care reform, it makes me warm”.) It is hard to envisage any other candidate inspiring anything similar. McCain me harder?


Of course there’s an Obama Girl web site, and it should come as no surprise that there has been a take off regarding Hillary Clinton, Hot4Hill


For those who would prefer to read a juicy novel instead of watching videos, The Economist reports that Kristin Gore’s new novel is “about life in the White House with a noble vice-president, a dissolute president and a ghastly first lady whose ‘paranoia was legendary’.

World Net Daily Attacks The Democratic Daily Over Violence and Porn–What Irony

The irony of this blog debate was just too much to ignore after a reader emailed the links. Last year, when Mel Gibson was in the news, I quoted Gibson saying about Frank Rich, “I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick… I want to kill his dog.” The Democratic Daily, where my criticism of Gibson was unwelcome from the start, used this as an excuse to shut down discussion of anti-Semitism and criticism of Holocaust denial. Their line was that I was promoting violence–ignoring the fact that this was a quote from Mel Gibson, the subject of my criticism. Less than a year later, The Democratic Daily is in the news, at least at World Net Daily, for advocating violence:

A Democratic Party blogger says he wants to shoot Rush Limbaugh and is calling for volunteers to assassinate rock star Ted Nugent, who champions the Second Amendment.

Hart Williams, a former writer for porn magazine Hustler and who now toils for the Democratic Daily, was waxing incoherent about a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Nugent, complaining that it was likely ghost-written.

“How we can remain ‘civil’ in the face of this is beyond my ken,” wrote Williams. “I will only reiterate what I’ve said WHEN they manage to inevitably push their litany of hatespeak into actual bloodletting, and full-blown civil war (for there is no other place that this hatred of American against American can go), well … I’ve got dibs on Rush, as soon as it’s legal and lawful to shoot him. Whoever wants Ted Nugent is welcome to him, but I would prefer that you would call it now, so as to conserve on ammunition. We will need to manage it prudently. But when the day comes that they have finally set brother against brother, and sister against sister in the name of their pocketbooks, I won’t approach exterminating them with anything approaching remorse. They’ve already told me what they think of me, of my friends and of my peers. Now, I’m returning the favor. Put that in your pipe and have the WSJ editorial staff show you how to smoke it, Nugent. Courage.”

The article by Ted Nugent which provoked such a violent reaction is here. Some may disagree with it, but writing this hardly makes one deserve the death penalty. The irony, that The Democratic Daily is fine with advocacy of violence as long as it doesn’t involve criticism of Mel Gibson, is just the start. They’ve launched attacks against me for posts including this cover of Harper’s Bazaar featuring pregnant and nude Britney Spears (with hands strategically placed to allow open sales of the magazine). More recently some of the writers there launched an attack for “misogeny” using a post mocking Lindsay Lohan in which a nipple is vaguely visible as their evidence. Of course, by their standards, most of the popular press would be also be guilty.

So, by the some-time standards of The Democratic Daily I’m a pornographer. In light of those attacks, it was amusing to learn that Hart Williams is a former writer for Hustler. Apparently these rather tame pictures of Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan are pornography and evidence of hating women, but Hustler is perfectly acceptable.

As I suspect readers have realized by now, Hart Williams is the same blogger who thinks he was being clever in claiming I wrote the exact opposite of what I wrote, and then refuting this straw man by drawing out astrological charts. Attacking straw men, along with ad hominem attacks, is quite common when they aren’t advocating out right shootings.

The Democratic Daily has milked this publicity with a number of follow up posts, including one bragging that they have also called for the killing of George Bush and pointing out this selection from a previous post:

Pragmatism can be a form of obfuscation, too. While one should not be principled to a fault, neither should one default on all one’s principles. Values DO matter, the GOP misuse of the term notwithstanding.

I’m very pragmatic about wanting to see Bush hung by the neck until dead — as we hung the defendants at Nuremberg, for many of the same crimes — at high noon on the Washington Mall.

While most liberal bloggers have a pretty low opinion of George Bush (regardless of whether they advocate hanging him by the neck until dead–personally I’d settle for life in prison) I imagine they must hate him even more than most of us. After all, before this controversy, they were also criticized from the right when conservative blogs mocked their belief that George Bush, and not al Qaeda, was responsible for the 9/11 attacks (and note who even added his words of “wisdom” to the comments when I reported on that).

Update: More conservative blogs have picked this story up, unfortunately presenting the advocacy of violence at The Democratic Daily as being representative of liberal thought. Even Sean Hannity quoted from the post on his show–probably being the closest I’ve ever come to agreeing with him.

There appear to be two defenses offered, neither of which holds up. Bloggers at The Democratic Daily argue that Ann Coulter and other conservative writers have advocated similar violence. Even if true, this does not justify others in advocating violence.

They also protest that they are only advocating shooting people when it is made legal, which shows a warped view of morality. Ethical people do not shoot others because to do so is felt to be wrong, and not simply because it is illegal.

Of course Pamela posts her usual attack on Liberal Values, again pretending to be the innocent victim despite all the smears originating from her blog. As usual, she attributes statements to me which I have not expressed, and comes up with yet another distorted account of events.

As always, I criticize the lunacy of both the extreme left and right, including the advocacy of violence and hatred which is seen at The Democratic Daily. This is a sad progression from the atmosphere there where only limited viewpoints may be expressed, and anyone who disagrees is evil and must be purged. The support of anti-Semitism which caused me to leave The Democratic Daily had nothing to do with accepting Mel Gibson’s apology, as she now claims, but was over Pamela’s defense of Gibson, her objection to my criticism of him, and her views on Holocaust denial. For Pamela to fall back on her long standing claims that my protest of the anti-Semitism, promotion of astrolgoy, and conspiracy theories at The Democratic Daily is based upon sexism is just plain pathetic. I criticize such views regardless of who they come from.

Update II: There’s much more on the attacks from The Democratic Daily discussed in the comments including further attacks coming after this post.

Poodle Balling and Blogging

This began as a brief discussion in the comments on another post, but which has shifted to some interesting discussion on blog traffic, stat counters, and RSS feeds with a few bloggers by email. It raised a number of points which I though should be elevated from the comments to a main post. This began when I was alerted of a slur elsewhere. While I haven’t verified this, the points raised remain of interest even if the attack didn’t actually occur.

The discussion began with reports of a claim being made that Liberal Values gets most of its hits by searches for “poodle balling.” If so, that would be the interpretation of someone who is ignorant of both math and how search engines work.

At the time of the first comment, 84 out of the last 4000 hits came from searches for “poodle balling.” Poodle balling is mentioned on the blog due to quoting from the episode of Will and Grace with Britney Spears. Britney plays a character who acts as if she is a right winger, but then confesses: “I’m not who you think I am. My real name is Peg. And I’m a hardcore lesbian. I’m into leather play, butch white girls, skunkin’, pullin’ the blinds, and poodle balling. Whatever you got, I’ll eat it, snort it, or ride it, baby.”

As a consequence of quoting this, about 2% of the hits involved searches for poodle balling. As this is a specific phrase, those looking for it generally put ‘poodle balling’ into the search engine exactly the same way. There are also thousands of searches based on specific political questions. These account for the vast majority of searches to the blog, but each individual search was only used once or twice, so these don’t rank as high as searches for ‘poodle balling’ or for other leading searches such as Paris Hilton and Heroes.

Incidentally, one of the top searches at the blog where this claim was allegedly made is for “Ann Coulter Nude.” Before anyone gets too excited, or repulsed, it is a picture of a monster without clothes. (Literally a monster, not Ann Coulter.)

This is one of the reasons I pay more attention to RSS subscribers than hits on the blog. Those who subscribe to the RSS feed are interested in the content of the blog. With search engine hits we get primarily people searching for meaningful comments, but there’s always a fair number of other searches. That is not to say that looking for discussion of Britney’s appearance on Will and Grace isn’t a decent reason to search for the blog. After all, there is a substantial amount here on non-political topics such as television, and Britney’s appearance on Will and Grace did have its political aspects.

It’s also interesting to look at search words ranked by visit length as opposed to visit number. As people looking for non-political topics generally visit briefly, the topics on this search are generally more serious ones. Current top searches include “growing libertarianism among the liberals” and individuals such as Ron Paul, Michael Bloomberg, and Rudy Giuliani. However “poodle balling” still leads this list, indicating that people searching for “poodle balling” wound up reading much more of the blog.

The portion above was already noted in the comments, but this raised more questions regarding RSS readers as opposed to stat counters and the strategy of using RSS readers. Some argued for only placing a portion of a blog post on the RSS feed, forcing readers to click through to the main post. In contrast, I have preferred to place the entire post on the feed. My feeling is that I would rather have 3000 people reading the entire post on in their RSS reader, as opposed to stopping at the end of a brief excerpt, and it doesn’t matter whether they click through and are seen by the stat counter. Of course those who hope to maximize ad revenue by increasing hits may have reason to limit what is on the RSS feed.

Another topic of debate was the value of page loads versus unique readers, and there was really no clear answer. On the one hand, fifteen separate people who come to read the blog might be more meaningful than one person checking the comments to a post fifteen times during the day. On the other hand, one person who follows the links and reads fifteen old posts is more meaningful than fifteen people who quickly come from a search engine but wind up not reading much on the blog. Even that is difficult to determine since, as I noted above, even many of the people searching for “poodle balling” wound up sticking around to read more of the blog.

It’s almost a running joke in the blogoshere that if you put up a picture of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan the hits will increase. We seemed to have figured out a little more as to why that sometimes happens and sometimes does not. The major variable appears to be how the picture comes up in search engines such as Google and MSN which allow searches for pictures. There are typically multiple copies of each photo on line, and some sites with the picture wind up coming up earlier and some several pages back, obviously determining whether this results in a flood of hits. Nobody involved in the discussion was clear on how this worked, but most likely it involves the usual web search karma which determines what winds up higher in a search.

The Tactics Of Smear and Hatred At The Democratic Daily

Earlier today I received email regarding the usual personal attacks coming from The Democratic Daily. My web access was limited to my Palm, but I but did manage to post this brief comment earlier before I could get to a real computer.

As my long time readers know, I have been subjected to personal attacks which actually started when I was a writer at The Democratic Daily. The latest dispute arose over their denial of the fact that we were attacked by al Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. Posting new evidence to the contrary earlier today apparently was the last straw. Lacking any rational arguments, they returned to the tactics they prefer–personal smears.

If this was just someone expressing their personal views I really wouldn’t care. Unfortunately a few conservative blogs quoted the statements at The Democratic Daily alleging they were representative of most Democrats and liberals. My response to this not surprisingly set off another round of attacks. As another blog reported:

The post I put up a few days back had little to do with the actual content of this minor loony-lib-on-regular-lib blogfight, but the former official Kerry blogger/Democratic Daily editor known as Pamela who’d been pushing a debunked and loony 9-11 Twoofer documentary was apparently frothing at a fellow lib’s blog (who was doing nothing more than pointing out what was happening in his post, and linking us in the process).

Ron at Liberal Values (a former blogger at Democratic Daily) was attacked by Pamela, who seems to have as much a problem resiting juvenile agitprop videos as she does remembering facts in her recent history. A few other moonbats trickle in and begin flinging stuff about astrology, the lack of leftist purity that Ron posseses and (of course) Twooferism, at which Ron rightfully balks.

I can’t say I sympathize with some of Ron’s politics, but I can certainly sympathize with the need to push back against the Twoofers and their ancillary legions of astrologers, Holocaust deniers, liars, huxters, frauds, film school dropouts and pizza delivery boys. Good luck – I’ve been barking up that tree for a while now.

Subsequently there was further evidence of the need to disassociate liberal thought from 9/11 denialism when Fred Thompson wrote an editorial tying in Harry Reid and bloggers to these beliefs. Thompson went from there to discredit the more established liberal views opposing the Iraq War.

Disagreements over their 9/11 denialism and belief in conspiracy theories wasn’t our first disagreement. Other ideas promoted at The Democratic Daily which I objected to while there included backing anti-evolution writings passed off as new age beliefs, conspiracy theories, astrology, and even belief in ghosts (which Todd also states he disagrees with, but I was in the minority at the time this came up at The Democratic Daily.) There was also conflict when I objected to Pamela’s use of “Michele Malkin” type tactics, such as posting personal information on a conservative blogger after he requested it not be posted out of fear of it endangering his job. To their mind set, personal attacks and other unethical conduct is perfectly acceptable as long as it is aimed at someone they disagree with.

Ultimately I left The Democratic Daily in response to the defense of Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism. Criticism of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial didn’t fit into their mind set at the time, and lock step agreement with their beliefs was expected.

Pamela and others at The Democratic Daily continued their attacks long after I left, and should I respond, or demonstrate the problems there which precipitated these disputes, they would play the victim. In their minds, they can attack me at will, but I am not allowed to respond. They have even escalated this strategy by claiming that any criticism of Pamela Leavey constitutes sexism simply because she is female. I have been just as harsh in condemning the beliefs she promotes when coming from people of either sex. Pamela is the only female blogger I am aware of who has expressed the belief she cannot be criticized or disagreed with because she is female, and then claim this is a feminist viewpoint.

The attackers at The Democratic Daily have had a tough time finding anything of substance to use against me, so as a sign of their desperation we not only see this perversion of feminism to make false attacks, but today Todd fabricates charges of “misogyny and sexism.” Todd’s evidence comes down to a post mocking Lindsay Lohan which included a photo in which one nipple is vaguely visible. By Todd’s logic, most of the mass media would be guilty of “misogyny and sexism,” not to mention the sites which have posted far more revealing photos of Lohan. Todd also resorts to misquotation and taking statements out of context to give them a different meaning, and even thinks he’s being clever for attacking me for having a mustache!

Todd also implies that the photo of Lindsay Lohan is how I build blog traffic and is a typical post here. A look at the site would reveal a completely different type of blog than Todd describes, but Todd has never been one to let facts get in the way of his rhetoric. Different people read different blogs for different reasons, but one niche I have concentrated on is debunking absurdities and hypocrisy regardless if coming from the left or right.

While hardly competing with Daily Kos, this strategy has worked well. After I left The Democratic Daily, readership there fell in half and readership here has moved well beyond theirs. Links, as well as readership, in the blogosphere are frequently directly proportional to age of the blog. Although my blog is significantly younger, Liberal Values has earned an authority of 473 from Technorati, with The Democratic Daily trailing at 348. As for Todd, his blog has an authority of 40.

With regular readers increasingly turning to RSS readers, I consider growth in subscribers to possibly be a more important measure than page loads. Each day Feedburner calculates an estimate of the number of computers subscribed to each member blog’s feed. Today Liberal Values has 3360 subscribers, and this number has been increasing by about one hundred every week. The Democratic Daily has 108 subscribers total. Liberal Values has added 130 subscribers in the ten days since my first post on 9/11 conspiracy theories. This makes their recurrent talk at The Democratic Daily of having Liberal Values boycotted or repudiated sound like a rather lame threat.

Some have expressed surprise over such great differences in belief between two blogs on the left. The left versus right division is only one division of beliefs. There are many other intellectual battles which are equally important. This includes defending reason and science over superstition, and opposing bigotry regardless of the source. I will continue to disagree with leftist blogs such as The Democratic Daily when they spread claims that the attack on the United States on 9/11 was committed by parties other than al Qaeda terrorists, that Mel Gibson was just a misunderstood actor with a bit too much to drink, or that astrology and new age beliefs can be a substitute for modern science.

If The Democratic Daily chooses to respond to disagreements over these issues with personal attacks, so be it. Just don’t be surprised if I respond.

Update: Poodle Balling and Blogging

Update II: World Net Daily Attacks The Democratic Daily Over Violence and Porn–What Irony