Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | August 18, 2003

What makes Conason mad about the wingers

The following is from Joe Conason, journalistic hero to the left and columnist for the NY Observer and Salon -- kos

By Joe Conason

As a fellow reader of Daily Kos, I send greetings to all you savvy activists and political junkies. I discovered Kos more than a year ago – back when Salon’s editors first asked me to write a daily Journal (a name I chose because what I do isn’t really, technically, purely a weblog). I kept coming back to Kos day after day for accurate information, uplifting good sense, cutting humor -- and because I enjoyed the site’s style. (I also appreciated certain aspects of the Kos persona, such as “liberal Democratic Army vet.”) I’ve learned much from Kos and a few others who blazed these Internet trails.

The real importance of that trailblazing is only beginning to become clear. Years ago, when I reported on democracy movements in the Philippines and China, the patriotic activists fighting authoritarianism used new technologies (cheap mass videotapes, audiotapes, faxes, etc.) to outsmart their country's censors and reach the people. Without straining the analogy, I think it's now obvious that blogs and other Internet sites are helping the American people to distribute their messages through pathways uncontrolled by our sclerotic, illiberal media.

At the same time that I began writing the Journal in July 2002, my editor at St. Martin’s Press approached me about writing the book that eventually became Big Lies. They wanted a tough, sharp critique of modern conservatism – or what masquerades as conservatism these days. They were tired of seeing Coulter, then riding high on Slander, dominate the bestseller lists. They asked me a simple question: “What makes you mad about the wingers? Tell us, in 250 pages or less.”

I took up that challenge, despite a daunting daily workload -- because I believe what I wrote in the introduction that appears on Salon today. It's imperative for us to "confront the biggest lies deployed by conservatives against liberals, progressives, and Democrats," and if they don't like it I make no apology. They've asked for it, many times over. And I also believe that whatever comes, "the underdog who fights back [that's us, for the moment] is always better off."

Thanks. I hope you enjoy Big Lies – and that you find it useful in convincing friends and confounding enemies.

Posted August 18, 2003 01:25 PM | Comments (85)


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