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Angry Liberal Blogger Covered by Washington Post

by RonChusid

Maryscott O’Connor of My Left Wing (and who previously blogged at the old Kerry Blog) is featured in an article at The Washington Post:

In the angry life of Maryscott O’Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O’Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O’Connor’s reputation is as one of the angriest of all. “One long, sustained scream” is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.

She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers “malevolent,” a “sociopath” and “the Antichrist”? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as “Satan,” or about Karl Rove, “the devil”? Should it be about the “evil” Republican Party, or the “weaselly, capitulating, self-aggrandizing, self-serving” Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says “I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned”?

The article was fun to read and its always great to see coverage of the blogosphere, but I wish that the mainstream media had something more to say about liberal bloggers than being angry. In their defense, there certainly are parts of the blogosphere which encourage this description, as well as many legitimate reasons for anger. Now that they got the angry blogger article down, perhaps they can look at more aspects of the blogosphere, such as that we were the ones trying to hold the Bush Administration accountable while the media was asleep, accepting government statements without questioning their truthfulness.

17 Responses to “Angry Liberal Blogger Covered by Washington Post”

  1. I am glad the blog is getting play, and she has a place to vent, a life from this, but to what end?

    I remember her very well from the Kerry blog. Ranting. Even donated $25 to her PAC, because she felt she wasn’t getting enough support. It was all about her.

    Just as this general anger is all about the anger, themselves, and politics as therapy.

  2. MSM also had an opportunity to marginalize the blogs with this piece, but often we deserve it.

  3. As I said on the blog below this one: I well remember Maryscott from the old Kerry blog. And, in answer to Ron, posted:
    KJ Says:
    April 15th, 2006 at 9:18 am


    I agree with you that painting the picture of “angry liberal bloggers” is one-note, I do think it is at least a note different from “angry liberal = unAmerican.”

    I wait for the day when bloggers such as yourself find a wider readership. Ron, you’ve long been a voice of sane reason… and, if I could vote, I’d vote for you to present the left on the new WaPo blog thingy. 🙂

    Marjorie, as to what end, I guess, all in all, we all do what we best… in the hopes that we continue to make dents (although “impressions” is a softer word) in the worlds we find ourselves.

    As for me, after too many years engaging in the blogosphere, as far as doing “time” on a right wing blog from before Selection 2000 (when I campaigned for Al Gore) to 2003, when I left that community to join the nascent Kerry blog, my focus today is back in the well (ocean?) that feeds my spirit and soul and I can in turn feed with energy, words and intent.

    I celebrate those who continue their serious work in the blogosphere and add my non-serious .02 cents as the occasion fits.

    Big, big table, as always. “Frames” are rooms we find ourselves in. 🙂

    Hugs to you and DiAnne and enjoy.

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  5. Besides, with the exception of a very few souls in the blosophere, it generally does end up being all about “us.”

    Rare is the non-ego driven poster to be found. Agendas abound.

    In Maryscott’s case, I think she is the mirror for an enormous amount of energy that is present on the web. I’m happy she has a place to rant. I don’t however, read her.

    Just my thoughts.

  6. KJ,

    I agree there are a lot of ego driven posters – especially blog administrators. Thank you for identifying one of the underlying strengths of this one. Ron and Pamela deserve recognition for not being in that class.

    Even the obvious ‘support Kerry agenda’ here is driven by rational conclusions and evidence that he would benefit ALL of the country, and the world, if elected to the WH – more so than any other candidate we know of. And we generally don’t discount other candidates with the usual baseless trashing that other blogs allow.

    This is from the MoveOn website. It was done in ’04 but I think the conclusions are still true and important.

    “A report released in February 2004 by the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet (IPDI) entitled Political Influentials Online in the 2004 Presidential Campaign, details a study regarding political Website audiences”

    “It found that people who frequent sites such as MoveOn largely serve as opinion leaders in their communities. Opinion leaders are referred to as “Influentials”
    in the report and are “the Americans who tell their neighbors what to buy, which politicians to support, and where to vacation” [15, p. 2]. Influentials are those that help others arrive at conclusions, thereby influencing their
    behavior. The study focused on a population called Online Political Citizens (OPCs), which are introduced as follows:

    A new community of citizens online [are] defining the 2004 presidential campaign. These citizens are Internet-oriented and politically energized, and they support their candidates by visiting their Web sites, joining Internet
    discussion groups, reading political Web logs and making political contributions over the Internet. [p. 2]

    OPCs are nearly seven times more likely than average citizens to serve as opinion leaders among their friends, relatives and colleagues . . . Normally, 10% of Americans qualify as Influentials. Our study found that 69% of Online
    Political Citizens are Influentials. [p. 2]
    What’s important about these findings is that undecided voters who may not be regular members of MoveOn, may be receiving information and persuasion indirectly, via OPCs who are. The IPDI posits that the large proportion of OPCs found online mean that they “are disproportionately likely to exert a ‘multiplier effect’ outward to the public at large”

    Closing comment is also illuminating.

    “Stirling Newberry, a 36-year old theorist with ClarkSphere.com, is cited in an
    article by Franke-Ruta titled “Virtual Politics: How the Internet is Transforming Democracy”. He states, “The Influentials are not watching TV; they are not even watching cable. They are on the Internet. If you’re not on the Internet you are not an active person; you are a passive person and you will be swept up later” [11, p. 5].

    Although I think the Influentials are watching TV and cable [Ron, for sure ;0] it is to stay on top of what is being disseminated to the majority so it can be refuted as needed.

    This is the aspect of the blogosphere and responsible blogs that the DNC, elected officials and candidates need to target more. Give us the bulleted INFORMATION to disseminate. Not talking points, but the facts of a bill, an issue, etc that are not getting into the MSM and change the understanding of the problem. Those details and nuances that turn black and white to gray.

    Ron, Pamela, Nick and others have been doing a great job of putting a lot of that info in this blog. I still would like us to work at it more intentionally – the reading groups or whatever. I base this on 30 years of teaching patients about complicated pathophysiology. You can distill complex information into concise and understandable analogies. Present essential facts and allow the individual to grasp the whole without understanding every detail. The feedback I have received is overwhelmingly positive. My patients and peers learn more and understand more when I do this. This isn’t about me, it’s about what can work to reach the people who aren’t drinking Kool Aid wearing blinders and earplugs.
    Although, as your story in the previous post illustrates, some of them are coming to.

  7. Ah MaryScott O’Connor, how could any of us forget her on the Kerry blog. I guess she started smoking again. Oh well, anyway, what I do remember is how the left of the left got her thinking to the level of tin foil hat capacity.

    She was never satisfied and always wanted it her way. As we all know she left the Kerry blog and we do know where she went.

    I’m glad that she is still blogging, and like KJ said she has a place to rant, but I’d rather read common sense and reasoning posts than hers.

    IMO she is a pessimist, not an optimist, and if we don’t have optimism we are not going to get anything accomplished.

  8. I just finished reading the article. I agree with your assessment, FedUp. I wasn’t on the Kerry Blog (I sheepishly have to say I wasn’t even aware there WAS a Kerry Blog), so I know Mary Scott O’Connor from her raving abortion diaries on dKos. They’re not really helpful to move people to the pro-choice side, but I’m glad she wrote them, because a lot of people feel the same was as she does, and the MSM pretends there’s no one out there who actually doesn’t HAVE a moral problem with abortion. So her POV should be added to the national debate.

    I also saw her on Fox News. That coupled with the WP article makes me think they’re using her to marginalize liberals in general, and lib bloggers in particular. You know — oh, all they do is hate Bush. They don’t have any ideas nor a plan to make things better. Hating Bush is ALL they’re about. So does she like Kerry? Just curious.

  9. Fedup! LOL yes, Maryscott added quite a dash of… vinegar? to our feasts on the old Kerry blog.

    The article mentioned that she wrote her first rant and sent it to Kos, but I do think she was writing her rants on the KJ blog long before she went to Kos. Not sure, however.

    Hey, I’m optimist. It’s the best option for today. 😉 {{{Fedup}}}

  10. Ginny, I gotta eat before replying! g;-)

  11. KJ,

    LOL. 😉

    I think you are correct, she had many a rant on the Kerry blog, and then all of a sudden poof, she fell under the spell of Kos.

    I do miss that we do not have anything to look back at on the Kerry blog, the archives would of come in handy for a lot of things right now.


  12. FedUp

    LOL! I do think it would be fairly difficult to forget Maryscott. She left in defense of Kos over the “mercenary” issue.

    “if we don’t have optimism we are not going to get anything accomplished.” – my sentiments exactly!

    What does it take to get the MSM to see that there are a lot of quality liberal blogs that are not all angry?

    Billmon has some good thoughts about the reasoning behind the WaPo piece – http://billmon.org/archives/002387.html

  13. KJ Says:
    April 15th, 2006 at 11:29 am

    You pegged it, See here

  14. Again, maybe my perspectives comes from my (sometimes I think way too long) time on internet.

    Because I remember what the energy was like before and after Selection 2000, the change was evident among Bush supporters. After 9/11, lines were immediately drawn in the sand. I have many stories of what happened at several message boards (blogs were still too new) and how quickly the intolerance for anything that resembled liberal thinking grew.

    The thinking was Supporting Bush = Supporting American and believe me, there was no room for anything inbetween. It was, as Bush said at the time, “Either you’re with us, or you’re against us.”

    So, I see the article on MSOC as at least a bit of progress. I have hope that reason will eventually rule the internet airwaves… because the internet itself is an evolution in communication delivery, so communication styles and attitudes are also open to evolve.

  15. apologies for typos and confused grammer above. need coffee.

  16. beachmom, completely missed your post! I don’t know if Maryscott likes Kerry or not. As Pamela said above, when the Kerry blog got bigger as the campaign took on steam, the link to Kos was taken off the blog. Kos had posted a blog about the deaths of the four men who were burned and strung up that was highly emotional and quite controversal. I was one of several who felt the link should remain on the blog, Maryscott was another and she left and went to Kos. While I may have disagreed with the decision to de-link Kos, I clearly understood that it wasn’t my call and the campaign probably had a bigger perspective on the situation than I did.

    By the way, saw your comments re: Kerry on the only Kos thread I’ve ever posted on last weekend. 🙂

  17. Ron,
    I remember Maryscott from the old blog and am glad to find out where she ended up.