You can go read the exchange in Commonwealth Conservative: Can we disagree without being disagreeable? But in my last response, I said some stuff I wanted to bring back to my own blog in the hopes I can get better coverage for my friends on the right who are so bent on defending Waldo that they seem to miss the big picture.
To be complete, I'll start with Waldo's response to my comment:
I'm just saying it was inconsistant with your previously stated principles.
Much as Alex's behavior was inconsistent with the accepted principles of Virginia political bloggers, at least as I understood them. Everybody has a line at which they consider something offensive. That's mine, and that's where I stop subsidizing Alex's expression. Anybody running such a service will encounter such a line at some point, and it's at that point where they have to consider which principle is more important.
My point was that your aggregator in the end was not a gift, but a trojan horse, and those who thought differently have nobody to blame but themselves.
That's hardly fair. "A trojan horse" implies a planned attack, an intend to deceive. I did nothing of the sort. One could just as easily argue that Alex's blog was a trojan horse: a site that pretended to be about reasoned and humorous discourse, but turned out to be designed to shock and offend anybody of reasonable morals. That's probably not true, either, but the logic is the same.
Here is my response, edited to make it better:
The "trojan horse" analogy is not "fair", it is an opinion that has no firm foundation in known facts.
However, it is a rational opinion, and one that I can at least back up in an ex-post-facto manner by looking at the current situation, as I have described before.
Waldo is certainly a smart person, and a strong partisan for his political philosophy. Is it impossible that he could have started the aggregator NOT simply to be nice to all of us, but instead as part of a plan to build up a following and then control the flow of information?
Waldo would no doubt disagree, and those who know him well will say it is inconsistant with who he is (but the actions he took also seem out of character).
On the other hand, we have observed actions. There was the original aggregator which had everybody on it, and an owner who wouldn't delete patently offensive images used by the left to attack those on the right. And now that same aggregator (at the same URL) is named Waldo's aggregator, with a smaller number of blogs. with several conservative blogs missing, it seems for what they have been saying.
In other words, the observed facts fit with my conjecture, and in fact if Waldo DID mean to do so this is precisely where we would be today.
Waldo could have proven this WASN'T a plan by NOT taking actions contrary to his previous statement of principles. Or he could have taken the time to clearly explain on the aggregator that he intended to boot bloggers who offended him. Or he could have deleted the offending post and then put a new list of rules on the blog. Or he could have explained why this one truthful, non-photoshopped picture was more offensive than all the previous pictures that attacked conservatives and that people complained about.
I've always felt that an aggregator controlled by the left was a bad idea for those on the right, because we can't control our own message if our opposition controls the media in which our message will be transmitted, and is willing and able to censor it at will.
Waldo said: "and that's where I stop subsidizing Alex's expression. Anybody running such a service will encounter such a line at some point,"
That is a clear statement of the reality of the "Virginia Blog Aggregator", in spite of the allusion of being a content-neutral retransmission of all comers. It was Waldo's blog -- he ran it, he paid for it, he had the power and control, and his application of that power was to block a blog from the right for the manner in which that blog chose to communicate a political message.
Waldo in fact has reinforced GGD's point. GGD simply retransmited a PUBLIC PICTURE showing what our enemies, muslims from the middle east, are willing and desirous to do to every American who does not convert to their religion.
Waldo found that so offensive he took the radical step of removing his blog from an aggregator that up to that time had never had ANY censorship, in opposition to his previously stated principles of the aggregator.
THAT is the power of our enemy, to make us give up our own freedoms and rights because we can't handle the offensiveness of their acts.
I bet Virgil Goode did not shrink back from that image -- as a public figure, I bet he suffered himself to watch the entire video, so he could truly understand the nature of our enemy in a way that those of us too chicken to do so will be able to (remember, i'm in that group).
Virgil is right. He says he wants to stop letting people BORN in the middle east, raised in the culture, trained in the madrassas, and adherents of the brand of that religion that gave us people willing to behead our fellow americans simply because we don't worship their god. He reaches that decision based on things like the picture Waldo couldn't bear to look at, that caused Waldo to take the action that led to this entire event.
GGD, whatever else he is or did, simply took a picture and used it to defend Virgil Goode's position that we should rethink our middle east immigration policy. He's a blogger who wanted to make his point in the strongest way possible. He CERTAINLY did not do so in order to offend Waldo. He certainly didn't even THINK about the aggregator when he made his post.
Waldo is the one who took offense to GGD, and he's the one who attacked GGD, not the other way around. Waldo could have responded in a rational adult fashion, and chose instead to respond in a different manner -- which was his right. But it WAS an act against GGD, while GGD's initial act was NOT an attack on Waldo.
Waldo was the first to attack, which again is why I don't understand why so many have taken Waldo as the aggrieved party. My goal is to convince people otherwise.