Thanking Breitbart? The Cyber-Lyching of a President

I’m proud of the team at Big Journalism or Breitbart.com or whatever they are calling it these days. They are tackling a very important racial issue. It’s called Critical Race Theory- and they have introduced it to an audience who many never have heard of it otherwise. Yup, white Fox News viewers in middle America now are hearing about this ‘radical’ theory that was introduced by Professors Derrick Bell and Alan Freeman. Conservatives have set their sights on Bell.

Now, it’s obvious their intentions of showing everyone Critical Race Theory is to somehow chip away at the President and his bid to be re-elected. At least that is how they see it. I see it as educating what seems to be a rather racially uneducated group on a very complex theory that they may dismiss or they may, actually, let sink in and compare with what they SEE in every day life. People of color being stopped by police. People of color being targeted to show their ‘papers’- people of color who have spent their entire lives assumed as criminals, whether they walk into a store or walk down a white neighborhood’s sidewalk.

Just this week we’ve had another instance of CRT in action. And it’s killed a child.

Of course the Breitbart folks are trying to frame CRT very differently than any sane person might. They are calling black professors racist and calling anyone who believes this theory has merit racist. Yes, white privilege at it’s finest. (that’s sarcasm, which I have found I need to point out because some people don’t catch it)

However, my hope is they continue to study CRT. They continue to read and read and read and see, with their eyes and their heart, the truth that has been sprawled out before them. They can learn so very much from Professor Bell and their President. By all accounts (except those you’ll find by political types trying to take down the President) Professor Bell was not a firebrand, he spoke calmly and logically regarding race. If you take a look at ColorLines some of his former students are beginning to come forward and share their stories.

History has a way of showing us the right path- and students and colleagues at Harvard, as well as Bell’s books and writings, all indicate his dedication and lack of ‘radicalism’ on the matter. While some might call the idea that racism is inherent in the law and legal system as ‘controversial’ I can’t possibly conceive how anyone could call the idea ‘radical’ or ‘racist.’ We have been witness to racism in the legal system since it’s inception. We are WATCHING IT HAPPEN before our eyes, and grew up watching it happen. Denying these very simple truths is like denying the sky is blue or water is wet. Turing it around to make those who point it out the ‘racists’ is just plain evil. Unabashedly evil. And also horribly dangerous.

Here you have a community that has been enslaved, and treated as far from equal since the day they were forced here on those boats and we have the nerve to trot out political arguments calling this community RACIST. How far have we fallen? How horribly backwards have we become? At what point do the conservative pundits we see on CNN and Fox and MSNBC stop and look at themselves and realize they have crossed a line that makes half the population shudder. This isn’t a game people. This is not a ‘vetting’ this is a cyber-LYNCHING. Yes, I realize that is a loaded word, but what you are doing is nothing short of attempting to cyber-LYNCH a President and the people he has known throughout his life because of RACE. You, the people who swear race has nothing to do with any of this, are now using it. Oh, the irony.

You may not be hanging a noose on a tree, but you are certainly trying to use your WHITE PRIVILEGE to tackle a complex racial theory and use it against our first African-American President. Not only have you shown your true colors (something us Leftists have been saying was behind this all along) you have now displayed for the world your ignorance on the subject of race. Crying reverse racism in a world where you don’t have to worry about being shot accidentally by a neighborhood watch captain. Where you certainly don’t fit the profile for 10% of the population being locked up. Where instead of having a civil discussion about race and institutionalized racism you attempt to score political points with cheap shots, incorrect information, and you dare call those who fought for equality racists. Think about that for just a second. Let it sink in. You are calling people who FOUGHT for EQUALITY – and I mean FOUGHT… not some slacktavist online petition… I mean gave their LIVES and their PAYCHECKS (maybe that is something that might hit home for you more) in order to make sure others had opportunities most white people had.

I simply ask this: Have you taken a stand for racial equality in your life? I mean real racial equality, not that your white ass isn’t inconvenienced by some black activism. I mean diversity. Have you demanded diversity at your workplace? Do you even believe diversity is important? Have you given up six figures or more because of what you believe? Can you honestly say to me that we, as Americans, are at a point where old black men can be deemed racist for documenting our country’s history of criminalizing blacks and giving their LIVES to make sure the next generation of African-Americans have better opportunities?

I had an interesting discussion with my brother the other day. We were recalling how we grew up, and our family and friends. Family and friend we still love dearly despite their flaws, as they love us despite ours. We were agreeing that all this political talk of racial ‘code’ words and what not was entirely true. Because we know you. We know those family and friends. We were present when they made those racially tinged jokes and elbowed their buddies. We were at the dinner table when they use the N word, laughed about the n*gger that got shot (it was deserved, of course) and listened as they bitched about those n*ggers getting into school and taking a white man’s spot at work. We were there when you laughed and high-fived after hearing some black kid was beat for being in the wrong neighborhood, or looking at one of ‘your’ women. We have been there all along, and we know who you are, how you operate, and the way you really think. So when we attended college or learned of CRT, it wasn’t a surprise to us…it was confirmation of what we’ve seen our entire lives as privileged white kids. It confirmed the stories our uncles told at Thanksgiving about police offices, or judges, or other public servants. It confirmed the way our aunts acted when they saw anyone of color walking down their block or in ‘their’ mall. And it certainly confirmed how they looked at us when we dared question the status quo.

I’ve been called a n*gger lover my whole life because when I was a tween I picked up and read Malcom X’s autobiography. I dared encouraged my cousin to hang a poster of Michael Jordan on her wall. I wrote in school newspapers that our all white school needed to celebrate MLK Day just like the schools on the other side of the railroad track. I stood up and demanded diversity, equality, and racial justice in my teens. Because as my brother and I noticed then, and still notice now, CRT is alive and well in many parts of the nation. We see it. We feel it. We’ve LIVED IT, so denying it now seems not only ridiculous but evil. It’s also rather stupid to deny something we’ve witnessed our entire lives. So if we’ve seen it from OUR side of the white experience, imagine how this feels to the millions of African-Americans in cities across the country who have lived it.

You may want to rewrite history, but you can’t. You may want to play victim, but I’m sorry…when your race is enslaved and then kept down for generations- be it by Jim Crow or segregation or what you are doing NOW, then we’ll talk about YOU being the victim. Until then your role is to STFU and help make it better. Tip: helping to make it better does NOT include saying YOU are the victim of racism when clearly you are a spoiled, white, brat.

Sorry, that’s me with name calling. Professor Bell would not approve.

I just ran upstairs to check my constitutional law books from when I thought I might become an attorney. Not one mention of CRT. Granted those are the lower level classes but still, it’s not as if this ‘theory’ was so prevalent it entered into mainstream law books at universities across the country. Which is almost a shame really, I think it deserves a mention. It’s clearly part of our legal fabric.

Which, I suppose, makes me some sort of radical for even bringing it up. But let’s be honest here, the radicals are not the well-educated professors, working hard for equality. Nor are they the students standing up for diversity. And the radical is certainly not our President who hugged and stood up for racial justice. I’m also not a radical for seeing the theory in action and substantiating that it exists. The radicals are those conservatives whining that they are the victims of reverse racism. The radicals are those who claim to be vetting in their cyber-lynching. The radicals are those who do not understand diversity, equality, CRT, racial injustice, and generations of struggle. While these radicals at Breitbart.com and otherwise brought up CRT to score political points, I am hoping their efforts educate the NASCAR Dad and Soccer Mom on a struggle they might not have otherwise realized: the struggle of people of color in modern day America- and how radicals like those conservatives are using racism to keep the struggle difficult and alive.

I do not pretend to even understand what a person of color’s experience is like. Those who have set their sights on taking down the President, via racism and racial politics, need to humble themselves as well. To play politics is one thing, to act as though they not only understand but know better about the black or person of color experience is another.

The cyber-lynching ends now, where the discussion of Critical Race Theory and other racial issues begin. Let’s turn this into an education of the American people in honor of Professor Bell and his work. Let’s turn this into a teaching moment on race, and THANK those who brought it up so that we may have a real discussion on what is or isn’t true about the black (or person of color) experience and racism. Let’s use the President’s hug of Professor Bell as a jumping off point to HUG the real radicals spreading hate and thank them. Now the average, white, Fox News viewer can ponder Critical Race Theory and what happens at their dinner table. What happens at their workplace. What happens when their family and friends joke and high five. Because in their hearts, and around their kitchen tables…they know the truth. And so do we.

Elitist My Ass

It has been awhile since I’ve been back to my hometown near Detroit, Michigan. I took the kids there in early 2007; the cold and unemployment were a stark reminder of why I left.

The abandoned buildings. For Sale signs. The way the road goes from smooth to bumpy when you cross the state line. Boarded up windows, failed ‘revitalization’ efforts. Friends laid off. Friends looking for work. Friends moving to get work. Family leaving, family staying, family commuting to other states for part-time jobs and part-time pay.

Make no mistake, I LOVE my hometown. I LOVE the Midwest. I think anyone and everyone should live and work and grow in these cities and towns-but understand when I tell you that Senator Barack Obama is DEAD ON when he talks about the bitterness of residents.

Are you hearing me?

This former Midwest girl is telling you Obama is not being ‘elite’ or ‘out of touch’ -he could NOT be MORE in touch. He’s LISTENING and understanding that many of us who moved away and many of us that stayed are angry, frustrated, disappointed, disillusioned, and UNEMPLOYED.

In what world do Obama’s remarks constitute ‘looking down on’? I’m sorry, Senator Clinton-but are you HIGH? I am watching you right now, speaking in Indiana on CNN, and you are ‘somewhat taken aback’ by what Senator Obama said. Are you unaware that when life is as bad as it can possibly be, people turn to religion? Are you unaware that frustrated individuals tend to take up arms when they feel their very well being threatened by their surroundings?

Senator Clinton, let me be as clear as I possibly can here:

Barack Obama is giving voice to millions of us by speaking the TRUTH. He’s simply vocalizing exactly what I hear from my Uncle, from my High School friend, from my former teacher, from my now re-located parents. He is speaking about what he’s heard, what he’s been told, what he has seen.

Senator Obama’s remarks reminds me yet again that he is one of us. He GETS IT. He knows that I LEFT Detroit. I AM BITTER. I AM PISSED OFF. THERE ARE NO JOBS IN MY HOMETOWN. I couldn’t move my family back there if I WANTED TO.

When I do take trips back home it is depressing. My husband NEVER wants to visit because he can’t stand how dejected everyone is and how run down the whole place seems. Are there some amazing neighborhoods and jobs-of course. Is it horrible everywhere-of course not. Is it worse there than in many other places in the US-damn right.

Do you think I like living 3-thousand miles away from my family and friends? Do you think it’s fun for me to watch everyone I know get laid off, go into bankruptcy, lose their house, work two low paying jobs, move into their parents home? Do you think I am NOT bitter about any of this?

Spin it. Go ahead. Talk about how those remarks make him seem elite and condescending. It is so absurd that it only confirms for me that you and Senator McCain are COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH with what REAL Americans think and do and want.

I would suggest, however, that you take your rhetoric elsewhere. Because the more you yap about Obama being ‘elite’ -while he’s talking about how we really feel and you’re releasing 109 Million dollar tax returns- the more stupid you look.

I Curse Jason Calacanis With 10 Daughters

My husband nearly fainted when we found out our second child was going to be a girl.

Dead silence on the other end of the phone.

Weeks earlier my OBGYN thought he saw a penis and the look of relief on my husband’s face told the true story. Everything is going to be ok, it’s a boy.

Then a checkup a few weeks later showed vulva, no penis, and terror struck. TERROR.

His fears included, but were not limited too: will she get knocked up at 16? Will I have to kill all the boys that like her? Will she be ugly, pretty, smart, stupid? To this day he’s hoping our striking daughter needs glasses, braces, and is covered in hair.

He thinks if she’s hairy, the boys won’t bother her. He would also prefer she be gay.

Why? Easy, he’ll tell you that he is a man. He knows men. He knows how he was at 13, 16, 19, 25, 35 and he wants his daughter to have nothing to do with any of it. Period. End of story.

What my husband fails to realize is he married ME. With any luck my strong, vagina-having, self will make sure my daughter is prepared for the boys, the body-issues, the confusion between what matters more: her mind or her looks.

Which leads me to yesterday, and the can of penis worms opened by one Mr. Jason Calacanis, and his search for a replacement for Veronica Belmont, host of Mahalo Daily.

I logged into Twitter to see several people had mentioned my name to Jason as a possible replacement. Hmmm, I thought. Must investigate more. I’m not exactly a Calacanis fan after his ‘make me the #1 twitter-er’ bribe, but had been willing to listen to all those who said he’s actually a decent guy.

So I checked it out-Veronica looks like she’s done some fun stuff with the videos, totally not techy (that I can tell) but entertaining. A few minutes into my snooping and Gary Vaynerchuk twittered that Jason was live on Ustream taking suggestions for a new host. I clicked on over. I’m not really sure I can accurately describe what I found, so let me just copy and paste my twitter stream:

QueenofSpain They are going over these girls based on looks-seriously. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with that crap. It would be an Erin SMACKDOWN

QueenofSpain and I love how they all just ASSUME any of these women are just DYING to get a call to work for @jasoncalacanis

QueenofSpain Am I wrong? Am I the only one who is watching this? Sad. Sad. Sad. And RIGHT THERE is the problem with women in tech. RIGHT THERE

QueenofSpain because the guys filling in, or the guy and @calacanis is such a HOTTIE? I mean, they must be, if they are on MAHALO VIDEO

QueenofSpain I love how that’s a requirement for the girls. @lons did you submit photos too?

QueenofSpain Ugh. I feel sick after watching that for too long. Olive branch totally taken back. I don’t give a crap what he’s done.

QueenofSpain @themacmommy hell no. Not a chance in HELL. I’ll stick with organizations that actually show a bit of respect.

QueenofSpain @GeekMommy don’t be. was a great education. seriously. I mean that. all that buzz about women in tech in the fashion section? yeah. i get it

Basically I tuned in to see Jason Calacanis and his ‘JasonNation’ look at photos, declare there shall be ‘no schlubs’ and discuss the hotness level of each candidate. Jason did stipulate the candidate must have brains (how nice) but needed to be easy on the eyes.

Let’s just review who I’m watching currently in and around the web, shall we?

Lon Harris is the current co-host of Mahalo Daily.

Robert Scoble

Jeff Pulver

Jason Calacanis

Shel Israel

Loren Feldman

Steve Garfield

Gary Vaynerchuk

Those are just off the top of my head, there are many more. Now let’s go ahead and guess how many of that group would have gotten to where they are if being ‘easy on the eyes’ were a requirement? Not all Brad Pitt up there on that list. Turns out, and it’s funny really-it is their CONTENT that matters.

I’m not sure if Jason Calacanis or anyone in that chat room (with the exception of Gary who is respectful and has proven himself as such) gets what they are doing when they make looks a requirement, when it’s clearly NOT a requirement for the men.

The only way I can possibly think of to make the CEO and ringleader understand is to curse him with 10 daughters.

5 super model daughters and 5 less than perfect daughters. I’d like him to see first hand the opportunities they are afforded, the heartbreak, and the double standards they face. I’d like him to feel the pain of his daughter as her brilliance in tech and web are overlooked for a less-intelligent woman with a better rack. I’d like him to watch as his beautiful daughter is paraded on a video blog to be masturbated to by 40year-olds in their mother’s basement. I’d like him to sit all 10 of them down on the Calacanis family couch and explain Daddy’s requirements for the next Mahalo Daily host.

Whomever you hire, Mr. Calacanis, I hope she’s qualified, brilliant, and kicks your ass.

The Business of Mommyblogging

I’m getting myself very out of sorts lately following all the J&J, Disney drama. It has nothing to do with who got invited, who got snubbed, who got an email, who got a pitch, who is going, who is staying silent.

Nothing.

It has everything to do with the buzz word of the moment: ‘brand.’

Queen of Spain Blog is a brand. CityMama is a brand. Sarah and the Goon Squad is a brand. Mom101 is a brand. Karen Sugarpants is a brand. Table for Five is a brand. Suburban Oblivion is a brand.

From Heather Armstrong to Sparks and Butterflies to those of you getting 3 hits a day-2 of which are your husband-YOU ARE A BRAND.

I didn’t believe it either, then all these other people told me. Not that I needed them telling me, it was just the wake-up call to a slumber that started somewhere in San Jose about 2006 when I was cornered between a Weight Watcher representative, a Disney PR person, and a cameraman, all while nursing my daughter in the middle of a conference.

The proof is not in the community we’ve created. The proof is not in the ad checks we receive. The proof is not in the press or the interviews or the issuing of credentials to important functions.

The proof, my dear friends, is in the shift in corporate America.

Remember when we used to say “if only they knew how great and powerful we are they’d partner with us and pay to have us use their shit and we’ll all live happily every after!”

Guess what-they know. They know, they’re pitching, and they are finding you a wide-eyed doe in an open field. Not that I don’t love my does, but it is time to be re-educated in Mommyblogging. More important the BUSINESS of Mommyblogging.

I don’t know about you, but when I started Queen of Spain it was because I was at home with kids and needing something. I needed to get out my fears and my frustrations. I needed to talk about what I loved about being a mother, what I loathed about being a mother, and I needed to find other mothers like me to talk more about what we liked about being mothers, what we loathed about being mothers, and so on and so on.

Very few of us went into this thinking we were doing anything other than writing, finding friends, talking shop. Even fewer of us went into this realizing we were creating a business.

I want you to understand in no uncertain terms: Mommyblogging is a business.

I know half of you are shaking your heads and saying things like “I’m not really here for that, I just want to lament about potty training and gab with my girlfriends and maybe make a few extra bucks to pay a few bills.”

While all of that is true, understand you have graduated from “make a few extra bucks” to “they want us so bad they are sending us on all expense paid trips, filling our inboxes with press releases (fyi PR peeps-I’m not the New York Times I’m a mommyblog. If I were a reporter your release might come in handy, in my email-not so much) and partnering with some of us to consult, sit on a focus group, even blog on their corporate website.

You. Are. A. Business.

Here’s the problem: most of us don’t know shit about business (myself included) and they are taking advantage of our ignorance.

I’m sorry ladies, truth hurts. You’re getting snowed, fleeced, taken, abused, used.

I am too. Correction, I was.

I am the first to admit I want an open and transparent partnership with companies that come a courtin’. But I want it at market value. If my market is WOMEN ONLINE, what’s the value?

Recently I about lost my mind reading a very sweet post over at the LadyBug and her Blogging Mama. It’s something that has popped up a few times on many of the blogs discussing all the recent PR and marketing dust ups.

The idea goes if we are not nice to corporate muckity mucks, and if we don’t mind our Ps and Qs like good little girls, none of us will get flown anywhere, ever again, and we’ll be stuck to wallow in our silly little community. In other words: ‘you Mommybloggers need to quit your bitching or the big boys and their big money are going to go away.’

Heh.

As you can imagine I started to type a rather half-crazed response, when I noticed something else over at Self-Made Mom’s comment section,

“This Disney event was a test, one that now may not soon be duplicated.”-Maria Bailey

Now for those who don’t know, Maria is paid by Disney to arrange these sorts of meetings. Maria contacted me in September of last year to attend a similar event for Halloween. We went. We had fun. Apparently no one objected to it being held on Satan’s Holiday and all went off without a hitch.

I too have consulted, and have gotten paid, by Disney to help them better understand Mommyblogs.

They paid me $6,000 for what essentially amounted to a few emails, a survey, and a meeting. (that last sentence is called being TRANSPARENT-goes right along with that ‘brand’ word we discussed at the beginning)

But here is the important part and why I am pointing out Maria’s quote- “…one that may not soon be duplicated…” which, in my opinion, implies Disney told her to this isn’t going to happen again if we keep yapping on our blogs.

Despite the fact that I’m a bit confused by this is an ‘experiment’ when I did something similar months upon months ago and it was a huge success, (and they did something in Palo Alto awhile back too) I’m more confused by Disney possibly not wanting to connect with influential Moms. Or the idea that companies don’t want to come inside social media and use us as their advertising because we might actually talk back.

At what point did I miss them not needing Moms. Are you seriously trying to backhandedly threaten me, and imply Disney doesn’t need Moms? Are you telling me Johnson and Johnson doesn’t need Moms to buy their baby shampoo too? Maybe they will market J&J babywash to single males instead??

If sales are dropping dramatically for magazines, if viewership has dropped dramatically for television, if MILLIONS OF MOTHERS ARE NOW ONLINE READING AND WATCHING AND CONSUMING are you really trying to tell me my mouth is what is going to drive them back into their corporate headquarters???!!!

“Oh, shit! Those Moms have OPINIONS! Holy fuck! Quick-get me the best team in the world and let’s figure out how to get all those Moms offline and BACK watching Days of Our Lives because marketing to a person as opposed to throwing a shitty 30 second spot together is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard!”

…and then Mr. CEO realizes we still hold the pursestrings and he doesn’t have a motherfreaking choice. He has to assemble that social media team to come play by our rules or we’re buying the organic shampoo at half the price a friend of a friend blogged about last week.

My latest and greatest concern in this entire Mommyblogging Coming Out party is very simple: don’t be a sucker. I too have been a sucker, don’t be me.

Take the free trip but take it knowing what it means for your brand. Take the free box of diapers understanding this is a business deal. Treat all of this not like a star-struck fan, happy to get some bibs in the mail, treat it LIKE A BUSINESS.

They want you to blog their product? Charge them for ad space. They want to know if you think other Mommybloggers will like their new website? Charge them a consulting fee.

And for good measure, you might want to know who you are dealing with on the other end. They want a piece of the action too, and allegedly don’t mind stretching the truth to get it.

This is business, not personal. This is about me saying ‘yes, I help out Photrade.com and if I ask you about using our new ad format -this is business.’ This is about you saying ‘yes, I’m blogging this humidifier because some PR company sent it to me, and they followed up with 30 emails and I’m afraid if I don’t say Vic’s Humidifier on my blog they may never send me anything again.’

This is also about realizing the true value of our community and what it’s become. Make no mistake, they need you-make them treat you appropriately.

If they give you shit, send them to me.

Are You Reading This On BlogNetNews.com?

*updated at 1150ampst with new email from ‘Dave’ at bottom. My site has been removed-has yours?

If so, find a way to click back to MY blog and be very aware they have syndicated this content without my consent.

MANY of you are being syndicated. If so, take action now-Email editor@blognetnews.com and tell him to REMOVE YOUR FEED IMMEDIATELY, and feel free to mention I sent ya.

Here is the email exchange with ‘Dave’ and I-

From: Erin Kotecki VEST <queenofspainblog@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:15 PM
To: editor@blognetnews.com, queenmediallc@gmail.com, Aaron <aaronvest@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers

Hi my name is Erin Kotecki Vest, owner of Queen of Spain blog.

I’m concerned about what appears to be my site’s feed streaming into BlogNetNews. It is a)taking away traffic from me and b)not sending anyone back to my page. I see no links back to my blog. I have no indication of any hits from your service. I also am not sure I recall opting-in, although I see the last correspondence I have from you is dated 2006.

I’m going to have to ask you remove Queen of Spain Blog’s feed immediately.

Erin Kotecki Vest

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 21:57:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <editor@blognetnews.com> Add Mobile Alert
To: queenofspainblog@yahoo.com
CC:  

We certainly aren’t taking traffic away from you. Click on any headline or the “…” after the excerpts of your posts and you will appear on your site. (compare that to trying to get to a blog when it appears in a section front of technorati (here for instance: http://www.technorati.com/entertainment/celebrity/ )

You can find an archive of what posts are getting the most clicks here: http://www.blognetnews.com/parenting/most-clicked_archive.php

I don’t know whether any of yours appear there. Anyway, there is no place on our site where anyone can read your whole posts, people always have to click thru.

I’ll remove you from the site when I reopen the database in the morning, but I hope you’ll reconsider.

Best,
Dave Mastio

BlogNetNews.com
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:21:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: “Erin Kotecki VEST” <queenofspainblog@yahoo.com> Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
To: editor@blognetnews.com

Your click thru is frames, correct? Or your re-direct.link has something going on?

You’ve essentially syndicated my content. I am not being paid for this syndication. I am not being compensated for this syndication. There are others upset as well. We work hard to protect our brands and keep readers on our own sites, not yours. If you were writing an article on parenting and linking to me occasionally, that’s one thing. But instead you’ve syndicated my feed and used loop holes to abuse my community. Even some indexing sites have the courtesy to only use headlines in order to be genuine in their want to drive traffic out.

You are exploiting, plain and simple. You are not part of our community, you are simply here to capitalize on this community.

Expect emails from about everyone else on your blogroll in the parenting and politics communities.

I appreciate your quick response and thank you in advance for removing my feed and the feed of everyone else who asks.

I hope that if your business is sincere you extend an olive branch to the communities you are pillaging.

Erin Kotecki Vest
http://queenofspainblog.com
http://blogher.com
http://huffingtonpost.com
@queenofspain on twitter
http://photrade.com

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 10:04:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <editor@blognetnews.com>  Add Mobile Alert
To: queenofspainblog@yahoo.com
CC:  

We do not do frames and I’ve just been on the site, the redirect is working just fine.

If you can tell me what browser and os you’re using, I’ll ask our programmer to check if there is a compatability issue.

If you can forward to me the email you recieved or the URL to the site you saw that gave you the idea we are exploiting anyone. I can give you many examples of how BNN is far more blog friendly than lots of other sites that are out there.

You’ll be removed shortly.

Best,
Dave Mastio

BlogNetNews.com
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers

Mom Gone Mad

So I’m having it out with Dad Gone Mad. I can do that, he’s my friend. So don’t be getting any ideas that we hate each other or something. We’re friends that can agree to disagree and go back and forth and get nasty but still respect each other.

He’s being a big girl and wants Nickelodeon to take Zoey 101 off the air. He’s also against them airing any sort of special on teen pregnancy. Why? I’ll let him tell you:

“There was a report by the Associate Press yesterday that announced Nickelodeon was considering a special program on its air about teen pregnancy. I nearly puked.

Fact: teen pregnancy is real.

Fact: kids need to know what this girl did was stupid, irresponsible, and ruinous.

Fiction: that message should be delivered on a television show.

I went to a state university. I’ve had a mental illness. But this is what I want.

I want Nickelodeon – a channel that markets itself toward children to take a fucking stand.

I want them to announce that they have canceled this show, and I want them to say they did so because their audience is children and Ms. Spears’ behavior does not reflect the image they want those children to see.

I want them to say that parents who wish to speak to their children about this issue can log onto a website where they can find resources and strategies written by professionals.

In my view, that would be the decent thing to do.

I do NOT want this girl to be lambasted, nor do I want to see her mother publicly humiliated. Her daughter is not the only pregnant teenager in America.”

Danny, Danny, Danny. This makes me want to kick you in the nads. Why? Let’s read Erin’s comment in Danny’s post:

“Alright I realize we’ve been around and around on this already..but here goes anyway:

You’re all fucking crazy. Stick your heads in the sand some more and shun 16 year olds for irresponsible sex. Oh, wait…it’s the 16 year old GIRL we’re shunning. Nice message asshats.

So you’re fine with Bratz commercials because HEY, that’s just subliminal. Yet when they offer to tackle the subject with discretion and age appropriateness you get all up in arms? What the hell? If the sex is there already, subliminal or otherwise, why are you letting them watch Nick NOW?

And what, exactly, is a 6-year old doing watching that anyway? I mean…last I checked her character wasn’t knocked up and talking about this. And if Nick addresses it, turn it the hell off if you don’t want them to see it.

I applaud Nick for at least trying here. Will they get it right? I have no idea. And as a parent it’s your duty to prescreen or shut it off if you don’t like it. Do I think they should air or not air a special? I’m not sure. Depends on how, when, etc. Again, at least they are *thinking* about how to deal with it. You just want it swept under the rug instead of having a *gasp* talk with your kids. Be a parent, teach them things in an age appropriate manner or don’t let them watch tv or go outside or see the world, period.

Your job is to guide and protect, and the last I checked sex wasn’t something anyone needed protection from, just education ON. It’s not evil and it’s not bad and it’s not WRONG.

BTW, you can’t fire a woman for being pregnant, it’s against the law.

My kids are 4.5 and 2.5 and there is no mystery about babies or sex and they are STILL KIDS.
You people need to get the stick out of your asses.”

Furthermore: Let your preschooler and or elementary schooler watch High School Musical or Zoey 101 or some other teen/tween show and you get what you ask for. You get Bratz commercials and innuendo. You get the possibility they will pick up on something YOU are not ready to address. This is YOUR fault. Not Jamie Lynn Spears OR Nickelodeon.

Treat sex like some ticking time bomb and it will be just that in your house. Some unspoken, totally mysterious, ticking time bomb. My preschoolers ask and get answers. “Yes, Mommy’s have babies in their bellies, yes, a man helped make the baby with his penis.” Not totally scientific but also not crazy inappropriate for their age.

…and ANOTHER thing. Zoey 101 is done. It’s over. It’s been filmed. JLS isn’t acting on it pregnant. She’s not pregnant in the story line. She’s not even talking about being pregnant. She’s pregnant in real life. She’s not filming pregnant. She’s not flaunting her teenage mistake in front of your 6-year old who shouldn’t be watching that freaking show anyway. On the show she’s the same character addressing the same issues as she always did. And what about re-runs? Or those now invalid because the star got in trouble OFF screen?

Just curious, did you pull HSM from the DVD bin when what’s her name’s naked pics came out?

I’m thinking of voices in animated cartoons I watch…man, some of those actors really fuck themselves up off camera. Alex the Lion? (Ben Stiller) Dori?(Ellen) Lightening McQueen? (Luke Owen Wilson) I mean just right there you’ll need to talk about dirty jokes, lesbianism, and suicide with your kids. And that’s just off the top of my head.

I think your anger is displaced and you need to get over sex issues and discuss things with your children if and when they ask. Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be oooookkkkkk.

Nickelodeon doesn’t need to send any messages. To anyone. They are not responsible for your kids. They make tv shows for children and tweens and teens. If you don’t like what they make, turn off your goddamn television.

But Danny knows I love him. And hot wife. And wonder sis. And I’m guessing he’s going to email me and yell at me in about 5…4….3…2…. but hopefully I made him think, just a little.

I Feel Bad For Lynne Spears

Maybe I’m having a weak moment. I don’t know, but everyone is slamming this woman now that we all know her 16-year old (ala Zoey 101′s) Jamie Lynne Spears is knocked up.

They film that up here by me. The Spears contingent is in town a lot.

The Mom of Britney and Jamie Lynne is being torn to shreds because it would appear both her little darlings are total fuck-ups. Ouch. Ok, so Lynne was in the midst of writing a parenting book, and apparently the publisher is known for “inspirational books and Bibles”- so you know there won’t be any 16-year olds heading to Planned Parenthood in this family.

As I sit here today and watch everyone on daytime tv slam the Mom, and around the blogosphere, etc. I’m wondering at what point we get to be upset with Britney and Jamie Lynne. Sure, 16 is young…crazy young-but not unheard of in 2007. My Mom was pregnant with me at 18. Go on over and talk to Kelly (aka Mocha Momma) about teen pregnancy.

Let’s add in these are two celebrity kids. Drug use and criminal activity is one thing, but your daughters procreating like bunnies, while not exactly responsible, isn’t really the end of the world here.

I’m by no means absolving parents of responsibility here. I just wonder how much we really know about Lynne Spears and her parenting tactics. The bottom line is: we don’t know shit. She might be the total church-going, supportive, doing-the-best-she-can kinda mom.

I don’t know about you, but I was having sex by 16. Something CERTAINLY could have happened. I can’t say my parents didn’t teach me all the things I needed to know and I didn’t have a solid foundation when it came to sex and responsibility. No excuses there. They told me. I knew.

Birth control still could have failed. I could have had a ‘moment’ of passionate irresponsibility. We alllllllllllllll could have.

So while I’m not ready to pat Lynne on the back and tell her “hey, good job!” I’m certainly not going to bitch like some crows circling overhead. We’re all Moms here. We’ve all fucked up. We’ve also all had sex, and sometimes rather irresponsibility.

Yeah, I feel bad for Lynne Spears. I hope everything works out, because her daughter is going to need support and that family needs to be stronger than it appears splashed all over the rags at the grocery store.

Frankly I’m finding all the blog laughing and pointing fingers and being snarky about a 16-year old getting pregnant rather high school. It’s the holidays after all, and I don’t care WHO this family is or HOW much money they have, babies are never easy. They aren’t easy for me under the best of circumstances at 33-years-old and certainly can’t be easy for a teenage.

Keep shaking your heads and making your jokes if you want, personally I think you need to shut up and grow up.

I’m Running Out of Energy

So yeah, I’m a little annoyed. That’s me using grown-up words because I’m on my best behavior here. But this one is personal (when aren’t they, you say…)
Many of you know I’ve been working on yet another mystery project for BlogHer. Well, cats out of the bag, as it were…and I’ve been busting my rather round buns on Election ’08.

BlogHer Co-Founder Lisa Stone has a very calm (something I don’t do well) and rational (something I do from time to time) post asking our community what they want/would like to see over at BlogHer for Election ’08. The part in her post that reads:

“Oct 2007:
-BlogHer invites Candidates Clinton, Edwards, Obama, (Democrats) and Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Thompson (Republicans) to answer Voter Manifesto questions on-camera, including an offer to fly to the U.S. location of the candidate’s choice and be interviewed for 15 minutes by a member of her or his own political party, by either Editor Morra Aarons or Editor Mary Katharine Ham (also of Townhall.com). No candidate accepts.
-BlogHer co-sponsors 10questions.com, a techpresident.com initiative co-sponsored by The New York Times and MSNBC.

Nov 2007:
-BlogHer re-invites candidates to answer Voter Manifesto questions on-camera. No candidate accepts.
-BlogHer members submit questions to 10questions.

Dec 2007: BlogHer re-invites candidates.-Candidates John Edwards and Mike Huckabee submit answers to 10questions.com. Candidate Ron Paul also agrees to participate, according to the site.
- Sen. Obama tours Iowa with Oprah Winfrey and his campaign launches “Women for Obama”:

The parts I highlighted up there? “BlogHer invites, BlogHer re-invites, BlogHer re-invites…” yeah, that’s me. And by “re-invite” it was, Erin busting out her long-ago-used news reporter skills to annoy campaigns. Of course I did a bit more than that too (my technical term here is PRODUCER and Field Reporter) the gist of it is me being told over and over and over and over again how important women are in this election yet being denied over and over and over again by every single presidential candidate running’s email, phone, or email and phone aide type person.

Annoyed. Yes. Yes I am.

We were handing them 7.6 million blogher readers on a golden blogher platter (while using our Butterball potholders, of course) the majority of them the WOMEN THEY WANT TO VOTE FOR THEM and interest by the candidates has been, shall we say…less than enthusiastic. We even offered them hosts from their own parties (Morra Aarons-Mele and Mary Katharine Ham, why YES you DO see them on CNN).

And I wonder why I still have to write about feeling ignored as a woman voter. By being patronized because Obama and Oprah have teamed up. By once again feeling like I was patted on the ass and sent to go cook in the kitchen. They can market to us, sure…but can they just TALK to us? We’re women, we want you to sit down and chat along WITH your stats and stances. We’re WOMEN, we want you to answer the tough questions about healthcare and education AND Iraq. We’re not afraid to talk about the economy and choice. Hell, one of you running is even ONE OF US, and is well aware we are no longer just reading the Style section and worried about whatever it is our husband’s tell us to worry about.

I also know one thing, deep down to my Queenly toes…these candidates will get possibly the fairest interview and most diplomatic handling that is currently on their agendas. Bar None. BlogHer has made sure of it, BlogHer is alllll about it, BlogHer tends to roll this way with EVERYTHING. So not only is this a great opportunity to reach their target demo, it’s one of the safest interviews they’ll ever have. Will we pitch softballs? No, but they’ve seen our Voter Manifesto, they know what we’re asking.

One thing keeps sticking with me throughout this whole, frustrating process-Oprah has 8 million viewers, BlogHer has 7.6 million readers.

We’re a nonpartisan dot com.

Yes, I’m annoyed. And quickly losing faith in this election process. I really want my faith back. I really want to believe.

I’m annoyed. And I’m waiting.

Go take the BlogHer survey. Make your voice heard.

Demand they pay attention. Our questions will NOT be ignored.