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Comments by YACCS
Monday, June 13, 2005

It's about the money

Democrats arguing.
Stupid Donkeyassed motherfucker.
Kickcrazy ass fuck

Some women got pissed at Kos for running a TBS ad of two women throwing pies at each other. What I don't think the women understand is that it's not a simple matter of refusing ads. Daily Kos is a business, and it needs money to operate the way it does. It's easy for other people to debate your actions when they don't have your bills. And a lot of people, especially younger people, don't get that you need to make hard choices to reach a goal.

Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take It Anymore

Note: I really debated about whether to post this. It's the kind of thing that inevitably raises charges of angling for attention, fishing for links, trying to drum up controversy, etc., and really, all I want to do is vent about something that's irritating me. Readers can take me at my word on that, or assume ulterior motives; that's something I can't control. I just felt, in the end, that it was important for me to stand up for what I believe-and every day on this blog I argue for gender politics to be recognized as legitimate and of equal importance to issues like Social Security. I can't back down no matter at whom my ire happens to be directed. —M.


So, recently, Kos ran an ad for TBS' new reality show, the Real Gilligan's Island, and some women were unhappy with his decision to run the ad, as it featured two sexy women throwing pies at each other.

I saw the ad over the weekend at other places, too, and I didn't click on it, because I didn't feel compelled to do so (probably because it wasn't really designed to catch the attention of someone like me, now was it?). Anyhow, most of the regular Shakers know I'm not exactly uptight or humorless about this stuff—but I'm also not remotely unsympathetic to women who get genuinely upset by it. Even for a woman like me, who doesn't begrudge a guy the enjoyment he gets from such a thing, it's not particularly easy to watch without feeling that pang, that sense of what I can only describe as a discomfiting exposure, something like but not exactly embarrassment. Getting it isn't the same as being unaffected by it.

In any case, whether one opposes or sides with those raising concerns at Daily Kos about the appropriateness of liberal sites running ads for shows that promote the exploitation of women (or something damn close to it), surely people on either side of the debate can see the value in a discussion about it. Raising the question with liberal bloggers, who ostensibly support women's equality, is a fair one, in my opinion. Kos, however, disagrees:

Apparently, having two women throw pies at each other, wrestle each other in a sexy, lesbianic manner, then having water splashed on their ample, fake bosoms is degrading to women. Or something like that.

Whatever. Feel free to be offended. I find such humorless, knee-jerk reactions, to be tedious at best, sanctimonious and arrogant at worst. I don't care for such sanctimony from Joe Lieberman, I don't care for it from anyone else. Some people find such content offensive. Some people find it arousing. Some people find it funny. To each his or her own.

But I am not Lieberman. I won't sit there and judge pop culture and act as gatekeeper to what I think is "appropriate", and what isn't.
And I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site. Feel free to be offended. Feel free to claim that I'm somehow abandoning "progressive principles" by running the ad.

It's a free country. Feel free to storm off in a huff. Other deserving bloggers could use the patronage.

Me, I'll focus on the important shit.


If women who read Daily Kos didn't have something to be upset about before, they sure do now.

Asking why the most influential liberal blogger is running an ad promoting something that is generally anathema to liberal women is not the same as being a culture-vulture like Joe Lieberman. There's a big difference between seeking to ban content, and questioning whether that content is in alignment with the objectives of those who profit from it. This distinction seems patently clear to me, but apparently it was easier for Kos to assume to sanctimonious and arrogant tone of which he was accusing women of having in order to scold them for gettin' uppity, rather than address the actual issue—whether he had chosen to either overtly or covertly condone the exploitation of women.


The problem is that people have come to expect that when they express a concern, it will be considered and taken seriously, instead of being told to pound sand. Sometimes, they get told to pound sand.

Kos isn't going to explain why that ad wasn't going anywhere, but I think you deserve to understand the issues here. I see this from the publisher's side and I think that's the real issue here.

First, I think this is an honest, if misguided, concern. The ire is misdrected, but I don't think this is a Bynaert stunt in the least. Honest disagreement is fine. But I don't think all of the issues were on the table

Second, let me say this: if the biggest concern in your world is a TBS ad, consider yourself lucky. You must have an otherwise perfect life. If the ONLY thing you have to complain about is an ad for a show you will avoid, I'm happy for you. And he was far nicer than I am to people who tell me how to run my site. But I think you think this is a simple issue and it is not.

Frankly, this "women are degraded" line holds little weight with me. You may not like it, but it isn't necessarily considered degrading by all women and what you may find to be offensive is not offensive to everyone. Expecting Kos to drop an ad because it offends you is well, silly. You consider it to exploitative, maybe your friends do as well. You assume you speak for people other than yourself. You don't. You don't know how most of his readers felt, and since he told you to piss off with little reaction, they chose to support him.

Also, that's not how Blogads work. Once an ad goes up, it's up and you've been paid. In Kos's case, a couple of grand. You can't just drop it.

You spent zero time thinking about the complications of this. You expect Kos to make decisions as you would and when he said he wouldn't, you got all huffy like your college prof said something you didn't like.

Remember, you don't pay for his site, you aren't covering his tremendous hosting costs. Someone has to, and in this case, it's being covered by TBS in part. The people to complain to are at TBS. Kos didn't even see the art for the ad if he does his ads like I do. It just went up. But no, you folks want to debate this like it's a college class and it isn't. Real choices have to be made. Were you going to pay Kos instead of TBS? Were you going to run more ads that they wouldn't if he dumped them? No.

Look, this isn't a game. You don't get to make your little points for free. If he did what you said, he loses a couple of grand up front and possibly five figures down the road. Have you ever asked how he would make up that money? He isn't running a charity. He runs a business which you get to use for free. I would think that would be a consideration before you start to lecture him on your personal offense. If he loses money, you lose access. Simple as that. He isn't running a dotcom, he has to make a profit toi keep the site running.

It's how he feeds his kid and pays his rent. So no wonder he told you to piss off. It's only a matter of minor offense for you. It's food for him. It's bandwidth for him. It's a new server for him. You're talking about feeling offended. Offense doesn't pay the bills. He can afford to offend you a lot easier than TBS or other people who pay for his site. Think about his content. Think how hard it was for the guy at TBS to first, sell advertising on blogs, then advertising on Kos. That was no small deal, trust me. If Kos had pulled that ad, I think any TW company would have a hard time dealing with him again.

If you want Kos to run, you have to cut him a little slack, you need to cut all of us a little slack. He needs the money. So do we all. The people to complain to are the people who made the ad, not the people who run it. What is the greater goal? Having a successful site or making sure everyone isn't offended. And save the lectuires on commerce. You cannot run his site for free or by asking people to kick in. He needs steady income. It's a business and he makes business decisions like everyone else does.

This is about survival. Making sure Kos is profitable is critical for the rest of us to succeed. I think if TBS wants to pay for liberal activism, even with a cheesy ad, let them. If you don't like the ad, tell them. But don't get into a debating circle when you think your issue is the only one, and when in reality it is not. This is not about the exploitation of women, but keeping the site running. And unless you have a new blogads client for him, I don't think your concerns and lectures are going to pay his bills.

posted by Steve @ 1:07:00 AM

1:07:00 AM

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