Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Tongue Tied Archives

This post is dedicated to Glenn Reynolds and Scott Norvell of Fox News. To Glenn because I wouldn't have found out about the gig if I hadn't read about on it on Instapundit and to Scott because he gave me the venue. For nine days I blogged at Tongue Tied, speaking truth to power on Scott's blog that appears once a week on the Fox News site. Once a week that is, except for the week I was there. They cancelled it that week.

You can't easily find me in the archives either. Scott scrubbed my last posts from the regular rotation right after he kicked me off his blog but they still somehow live in the numbered archives. I collect them here mainly to have a link for Last One Speaks but also so they won't be lost altogether.

No one was more surprised than me when Scott invited me to blog. It's not like he didn't know what he was getting into and he gave me carte blanche. It all started out innocently enough. My first post - Just dropped in was a simple introduction and a fair warning to the readers.

I jumped into action with Under news management , taking a wary look at the Pentagon channel - all war propaganda, all the time.

Lightening up the mood, I moved to Miller High Life, a report on the employee who was fired from the Miller brewing company for being photographed with a Budweiser in his hand.

I weighed in on behalf of Clint Eastwood whose movie about the girl boxer was under fire from the right with an ridiculous allegation that it promoted euthanasia.

On Valentine's Day, I blogged on My Funny Valentine, a radio promo that offered an no frills divorce as first prize.

By this point, the right wing blogger had long disappeared and only Jim M., the other leftie, and I remained. We hadn't received a word of feedback. I saw the writing on the wall. This was a set-up and we weren't really going to be part of a new experiment at all. I figured we could be canned at any moment so I decided to go for broke.

I started with Rove and roll, on Karl's promotion from behind the scenes guy to policy advisor and his reported trip to the mideast under his new title. Odd I never saw any press on that trip.

I had to get the drug war in and as luck would have it, Andrea Barthwell had just embarked on her traveling con job, selling prohibition against natural medical marijuana. That's not to be confused with her new job selling Sativex - synthetic marijuana produced by a pharmaceutical company - as a medicine.

I started really crossing the line with Love or money, breaking the story on Jeff Gannon when only Ameriblog and Raw Story first published it and followed up with Dirty little secrets where I also scolded Pennywit. I didn't read PW at the time but we engaged in a most interesting and pleasant conversation afterwards and I check his blog regularly now.

I then moved on to Disaster profiteering, dissing a lawsuit arising out the tsunami.

Going for human interest, I then posted on Going to the dogs, on the sale of a picture of dogs playing poker, you remember the one I mean, it was a very popular advertising image in the 50s, that sold for millions at auction. This one was apparently linked to by other sites and made a good showing for Scott on the blogdex.

Moving back to the war on some drugs, I posted One pill makes you larger, pointing to a horrendous story on the new fad in psyche circles of diagnosing kindergarten kids as bi-polar and drugging them with powerful anti-psychotics.

Then came Daddy Government knows best on Al Gonzales and his declared war on porn.

I took on political bias on campus next with Wanting it both ways, looking at the right's desire to shut down political speech of leftie professors while wanting to protect right wing students.

The lack of action on voting machine fraud by the GOP had just surfaced at that time. This by the way is a problem that is still unaddressed by the Bush administration.

I really let out the stops on the appointment of Negroponte as head of the new intelligence bureau in Same thugs, different administration.

With Rough draft I exposed the Bush administration's preparations for a potential resurrection of the military draft - something that's still on the back burner in this administration.

At this point, Joseph Braude of the New Republic starting sending me links and I blogged on Eygpt and free elections and why we shouldn't be in too big a hurry to push Mubarak into having them.

I ended with this post. I think this was probably the last straw. It kind of falls under the heading of biting the hand that feeds you. I took on Clear Channel with Now hear this, mocking those chicken hawks for dissing Air America and then caving in and putting their programming on air because it draws more listeners.

Scott emailed the next day and said the reader feedback was all negative and we were out. Like that was a surprise. I clearly told him that was exactly what would happen. In fact I pitched myself for the gig in the first place on the premise that negative feedback would build traffic but nonetheless, I tried to be gracious with my goodbye post.

Scott unfortunately didn't rise to the same level. His return post was beyond insulting. I wasn't pissed off when he fired me. It was almost a relief but I was really peeved when he intimated to his readers that we had hijacked the blog. He should have thanked us for filling in. In the end, the whole sorry scheme felt like a cheap ploy to get his readers to contribute. He clearly never intended to change the format of his blog to include a left wing perspective.

It was disappointing because he made a lot of promises about the future and because he talked like such a reasonable man that I thought I had finally found an honest right winger. I was pretty excited to be working with him. Guess it just goes to show you can't really trust a Fox news guy, especially one in Libertarian clothing.

In any event, no hard feelings. I vented all those at Last One Speaks shortly thereafter, which inspired a somewhat lively exchange between TongueTied regs and LOS readers. It was good to find out who my friends are and on the balance it was fun. Speaking truth to power can be rather intoxicating and it's a pretty good credential for my blogging CV. In my circles, the honor lies in getting kicked off rather than compromising to get into the cabal.

So I'm really sincere when I say thanks Glenn. Thanks Scott. It was worth it for me. Hope it worked for you.
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