Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Class War For Idiots / May 13, 2011

Jane Hamsher with ex-boyfriend Andy Stern

Update: Firedoglake’s Michael Whitney just sent a threatening email to Mike Elk, author of this article: “Good luck getting hired again.” For the entire email exchange between Whitney and Elk, see the bottom of this article.

*       *       *

Yesterday I confronted Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake, over her refusal to honor a labor boycott against the Huffington Post that two major writers unions, The Newspaper Guild (TNG-CWA) and National Writers Union (NWU), have called for.

Here’s some background: HuffPo’s legions of bloggers are organizing a sort of electronic picket line of the Huffington Post in response to Arianna Huffington’s announcement that she earned millions in her sale of HuffPo to AOL, profits everyone knows were made off a site that relies mainly on unpaid labor. Huffinginton added salt to the wounds with her dismissive, arrogant attitude towards those who felt fleeced. When she refused to meet with the heads of these two unions to discuss their grievances, the two unions decided to call for a picket line, or boycott, of contributing by unpaid bloggers of the Huffington Post.

(The HuffPo’s exploitation of unpaid bloggers reached absurd proportions when I was actually “fired” from the HuffPo–where I blogged for free– because I dared to upset a meeting of the Mortgage Bankers Association.)

AFL CIO President Richard Trumka and the heads of nearly all the major unions have honored the picket line and refused to blog at the Huffington Post. These union  leaders have been sacrificing badly-needed publicity for their labor causes in order to show their solidarity for writers like me who work in an industry with low pay and practically no job security.

Meanwhile, people like Jane Hamsher–who already have well-funded sites with huge traffic volume– have continued writing on the Huffington Post, promoting their already high profiles without giving thought to the damage they cause to struggling writers and bloggers.

But Hamsher wasn’t satisfied merely crossing the picket line: She went on the offensive against boycott organizers.

In an email exchange with several members of the labor movement, Hamsher jeered the writers’ union organizers, mocking their organizing efforts, taking much the same stance as Arianna Huffington.

In response to Hamsher’s outrageous anti-labor attacks, I wrote to one of these listserv groups on which both Hamsher and I were members: “Jane Hamsher the last person I would ever want to have as my shop steward”. (A shop steward, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is a union representative who stands up and fights for workers’ rights in a workplace.)

Some objected to my questioning of her commitment to workers’ rights. However, as I pointed out to the crowd involved in the email exchange, this was not the first time Hamsher has taken a position hostile to workers’ rights and labor. Hamsher may dish out all sorts of rhetoric against the DC “veal pen” which refrains from questioning the political elite, yet as many labor activists know, Hamsher has deep personal ties to two members of the political elite who have been criticized for their anti-labor practices: her ex-boyfriend, former SEIU President Andy Stern, and Arianna Huffington, with whom Hamsher has deep personal ties and a professional alliance.

While Hamsher was dating and living with former SEIU President Andy Stern, he was leading a vicious campaign to force members of California’s United Health Care West, a local of SEIU, to agree to concessions and secret contracts that union members themselves would not be able to see or vet in-advance. When local members resisted this outrageous demand by Stern, Stern essentially dissolved and took over their union by placing it under trusteeship, and he booted the nearly 200 elected shop stewards out of office. Some say he illegally trusted the local falsely accusing it of corruption.

(Stern, it should be noted, is currently under investigation by the FBI for his corruption while at the head of SEIU. When Stern left the SEIU, he joined the board of a biodefense firm, SIGA Technologies, backed by a major private equity fund. To learn more about the corruption of Andy Stern as President of SEIU, I highly suggest labor journalist Steve Early’s new book The Civil Wars in US Labor.”)

Hamsher at time was engaged in a two-year-long romantic relationship with SEIU President Andy Stern according to an article in POLITICO. Although one would have thought she would recuse herself from commenting on this tragic labor story, given her obvious conflict-of-interest, Hamsher instead used Firedoglake to attack several progressive bloggers who supported the rank and file workers in the struggle against their corrupt leadership. On one occasion, Hamsher even made a phone call to Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films to complain about one of Brave New Films’ employees, who had previously worked as a union organizer for that union local in California.

Hamsher accused the employee (whom I know) of planting a story on a pro-union democracy website called Perez Stern. Perhaps Hamsher never told Robert Greenwald to fire him– and to Greenwald’s credit he didn’t–but why call someone’s boss to complain about one of his employees over a matter that has absolutely nothing to do with their job? It was an implicit threat, and a nasty tactic aimed at intimidating someone who was helping the workers’ struggle against the corrupt methods of Hamsher’s boyfriend, former SEIU President Andy Stern.

Hamsher also attacked Sal Roselli implying that he was an Italian thug, an old tactic used by anti-labor PR people to smear labor activists as mobsters. Roselli resisted Stern from his role as president of dissident SEIU local SEIU-UHW–he was ousted in Stern’s highly-dubious takeover and mass-firing of those who dared resist him. Hamsher referred to Roselli “a crook who isn’t fit to shine Andy’s shoes.” On other occasions Hamsher has referred to Roselli in similar language, depicting him as a “thug.” As an Italian-American from a family of labor activists, whose family members faced discrimination when they came to this country from Italy due to stereotypes about Italians as thugs and criminals, Hamsher unfairly labeling someone in the labor movement with an Italian surname as “a thug” merely for the crime of not submitting to her ex-boyfriend struck me as about the lowest blow imaginable, especially coming from a person who claims to fight for progressive and labor causes.


When I raised this ugly episode yesterday in the context of Hamsher’s attacks on the HuffPo boycott, Hamsher responded to me, “You’re just halucinating [sic] now, Mike. I never ‘tried to get people fired from their jobs,’ nor did I ever use ‘race baiting language to paint Sal Roselli as a thug.’….You’re either really mentally ill, or incredibly malicious.”

This was a new low for Hamsher. She and I had previously discussed my struggle with depression and Asperger’s Syndrome; Hamsher was well aware of my writing about my very personal struggle with depression and Asperger’s. I pointed out to Jane that such comments from her about my struggle with mental health were extraordinarily hurtful and petty for a woman of her stature and influence. I replied that my ability to analyze and criticize the labor situation at the Huffington Post should be judged by the merits of my analysis, and not by my battles with mental illness.

Hamsher became even more petty and vindictive–she responded by attacking me:

“You don’t have ‘analysis,’ you’re either a liar or you have no ability to discern the truth.”

“You can’t blame either on asperger’s syndrome.  That’s not a symptom.  Your reflexive crouch into tribalism and ‘poor me’ to excuse reprehensible behavior is really feeble.”

“This may be due to the fact that you’re incredibly sick, and unable to discern reality….”

[Note: The full unexpurgated email exchange between Hamsher and myself is included below, excluding statements made by other people on the group list.]

The statement by Hamsher was incredibly hurtful to me–which is exactly what she intended. Previously, I had defended Hamsher when some people had labeled her as “crazy.” In October 2009, as a blogger then at the Campaign for America’s Future, I was asked to organize an invite-only event between then new AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and several prominent bloggers. Several labor activists objected to inviting Hamsher, labeling her as “crazy” and citing some of her bizarre behavior, particularly her notorious penchant for petty, vindictive attacks. I defended Hamsher, saying that her personal life was irrelevant and not a subject for fair game. On another occasion, a person in the labor movement referred to Hamsher as a “botox liberal”–putting her down as a shallow and vain Hollywood “liberal.” I defended Hamsher, saying that was a low blow to criticize someone for having alleged plastic surgery–and who really cared where a person was from, what mattered was their judgment and intelligence and their willingness to be fair and open-minded.

In yesterday’s list exchange, I pointed out to Hamsher that I had defended her when someone questioned her mental health and called her a  “botox liberal.” Hamsher, instead of reading what I literally wrote to her, switched tactics from mocking mental illness to now playing the politically-correct card: She accused me of being “sexist” and “misogynistic.”

To call me a sexist is simply absurd. I have written multiple pieces criticizing labor leaders for not standing up for women’s reproductive rights. Can you name another male labor reporter who has written such pieces in solidarity with female allies?

Furthermore, Hamsher’s accusation that I engaged in a personal attack, even though, I didn’t, is beyond hypocritical and downright bizarre considering what she said about my own mental health issues.

Jane-Pot, meet Hamsher-Kettle.

One thing my exchange with her yesterday showed is that Hamsher can dish it out with all the petty mean-spiritedness I’ve come to expect from her, but Hamsher can’t take it without resorting to cynical appeals to political-correctness which no one seriously believes she really meant. Especially since she showed no pang of conscience when she belittled my mental illnesses.

I know I have mental illness issues and it took a lot me a very long time to finally have the courage to write about them in public. But I have to ask Hamsher: what sort of pathology drives a woman of her stature and prominence to belittle the mental illness of a young reporter who has done nothing but stand up for workers’ rights and union democracy? Hamsher rails incessantly against her favorite neologism, “the veal pen syndrome”– but if somebody crosses her, god forbid, she’ll  resort to the lowest of attacks – bringing up their long history of mental depression and Aspergers’ Syndrome.

Like I said, I’m glad Jane Hamsher is not my shop steward.

Update from The eXiled Editor: Within minutes after this article was posted, Michael Whitney of Firedoglake sent Mike Elk, author of this article, the classic Hollywood death-knell: “You’ll never work in this town again.” Whitney, who once ran a labor blog for Firedoglake until it was taken down because it was so poorly put together and drew such anemic traffic, now serves as Vice President of the Membership Board for Firedoglake. Apparently one of his duties is acting as Hamsher’s hall monitor, policing the internet for anyone not sufficiently worshipful of his employer. Before working for Hamsher, Whitney worked for–ta-dum!— Hamsher’s ex-boyfriend at the SEIU.

Michael Whitney

Here is the email thread, unedited. This should make Jane proud:

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Michael Whitney <>

To: mike elk <>

Date: 2011/5/13

Subject: Re: I Confronted Jane Hamsher over Her Labor Record & She Made Fun of Me for Having Aspergers

good luck getting hired again.

On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM, mike elk <> wrote:

the answer is you have never done shit in your career as a labor blogger except typically run big blockquotes of stories I wrote.

2011/5/13 Michael Whitney <>

if you don’t know the answer to that, enjoy your delusion

On Fri, May 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM, mike elk <> wrote:

Why dont pick up a recent edition of the Nation and see whose story is on the front cover? Umm what major stories have you or your site ever broken?


2011/5/13 Michael Whitney <>

Labor journalist? Maybe see if TMZ is hiring.


* * *



Here is the email thread between myself and Jane Hamsher. I’m posting this so that readers can see for themselves what many people who have crossed Hamsher already know but rarely go public with for fear of incurring another one of her wrathful campaigns.


On Thu, May 12, 2011, at 4:17 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

Hey guys, when do you plan to include the Washington Post’s op-ed writers in your campaign?  They are a multi-million dollar corporation exploiting “unpaid labor” for “exposure” and “opportunity” in exactly the same way.

Jane Hamsher
Follow me on twitter:


On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Jane Hamsher the last person I would ever want to have as my shop steward


On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 4:37 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Jane Hamsher tried to get people fired from their jobs who were supporting the elected shop stewards of uhw. Then she used racebaiting language to paint an Italian American union leader sal roselli as thug. The racebaiting language seemed more in tune with that of a glenn beck episode then a so called progressive blogger


On Thu, May 12, 2011, at 4:52 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

You’re just halucinating now, Mike. I never “tried to get people fired from their jobs,” nor did I ever use “race baiting language to paint Sal Roselli as a thug.”

You had a similar outburst the other day on another list, when you accused me of having “worked with libertarians before.”  What you did not mention was, it was on YOUR “Audit the Fed” campaign, and YOU had brought the libertarians on to it.

You’re either really mentally ill, or incredibly malicious. Either way, it’s not appropriate to a list like this.


On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 5:11 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Yes Jane I am mentally I’ll. As someone whose aspergers I’m offended that you would cite mental illness as the roots of my analysis that’s a low point. U have no shame Jane. My aspergers has nothing to do with my beef with you Jane.

When u go after people standing up for the oppressed like the writers union, darcy burner, mark Ames, or sal roselli I’m gonna come after you. You are nothing but a Hollywood huckster protecting the people that fund you and provide you with organizational alliances.

Any crazy person can see that what you are doing is unethical.


On May 12, 2011, at 5:39 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

You don’t have “analysis,” you’re either a liar or you have no ability to discern the truth.

You can’t blame either on asperger’s syndrome.  That’s not a symptom.  Your reflexive crouch into tribalism and “poor me” to excuse reprehensible behavior is really feeble.

This may be due to the fact that you’re incredibly sick, and unable to discern reality.  In that case I wish you the best, and hope you’ll seek help.  Failing that, you’re just a liar and a bad faith artist.  But this list is not a place for you to be working through either of those issues.


On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Wow Jane you’re the name caller and I’m the one with no ability to conduct analysis.

You just have no shame Jane and I defended you when people in the labor movement called you a Botox liberal


On May 12, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Jane Hamsher wrote:

So now you’re making mysoginistic slurs on top of it all:  “botox liberal.”

It’s embarrassing when people like you try to call yourself “liberals.”

You’ve turned this list into a shambles, and the fact that the moderators have let you do it does not reflect well on them.


On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM, Mike Elk wrote:

Jane I’m dyslexic and it looks like I can read better than you. What I said is I heard someone in the labor movement call you a Botox liberal and I defended you against it. I never called you that, I defended you against the people that did.

Please Jane this isn’t Hollywood this is journalism engage in some seriously constructive dialogue and read what others were saying.


2011/5/12 Jane Hamsher wrote:

Let’s list them:

“I wouldn’t want Jane Hamsher as my shop steward”
“Botox liberal”

You’re basically incapable of making an argument based on reason and fact.  Every attempt anyone has made to engage you in rational discussion have been met with tribalism, demagoguery, and sexist and dismissive slurs.  You simply cannot construct a rational argument, but instead (as has been repeatedly noted) retreat into childish taunts when you’re not capable of answering.

More importantly, the moderators of this list (Tula Connell and Richard Negri) seem to believe that this is an appropriate tone for this list, because they’re clearly capable of moderating it if they’re capable of sending an email.  I know of no other list, and no other moderators, who would accept this kind of behavior so passively.

It may be time for them to surrender the moderation reins to someone who has more interest in doing the job.

Mike Elk is a labor journalist and third-generation union organizer based in Washington, D.C. He writes frequently for In These Times, AlterNet, and the American Prospect. You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeElk.

Read more: , , , , , , , , Mike Elk, Class War For Idiots

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. helplesscase  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I’ve never heard of Jane Hamsher or that Whitney fellow, but they sound like total morons. Now I know why I always felt that FireDogLake was pretty weak.

  • 2. wengler  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I remember back in the day when Arianna Huffington was a rightwing shill pimping anti-Clinton talking points for her closeted gay politician husband.

    Her politics may have changed but her ethical compass did not, as Huffington Post has shown. As for Jane Hamsher, she has an incredible ability to pick fights with supposed allies. These links with Huffington an Stern may be why.

  • 3. Dude  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:23 am

    How shocking that a Hollywood prima donna is a Hollywood prima donna.

    There’s no one in this deal that looks good. The blog writers knew they wouldn’t get paid and wrote anyway and then whined when the site owner got paid. Arianna Huffington was, to anyone who knows the internet marketing industry, a total figurehead who hired a bunch of SEO and PR people to help flip her bullshit site into a small fortune using spammy ad techniques and sweatshop/outsourced labor and then cackled to a victory lap in her Cruella mobile as a self-proclaimed media mogul. And Hamsher lives down to the worst stereotypes of petty and vindictive women spurned, looking like a miserable cunt of the internet maven variety in the process, replete with the legions of male white knights carrying out her dirty work for her. The whole episode reeks of self-absorbed blogosphere internet digerati types who should probably all be bundled together and tossed into a pond to see if they can float.

  • 4. Aaron  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Mike, I agree with Hamsher on one point, and one alone: it *is* embarrassing that you should call yourself a liberal. It’s a degraded term, and it’s not conservatives who’ve done that to it; it’s the moneyed Democrats, Hamsher herself and those of her ilk, who bear that responsibility.

    Liberals, at best, are leftists without the courage of their supposed convictions; at worst, they’re people like Hamsher whose only loyalties are to themselves, and to the elite from which they spring and with whom they feel comfortable. Your record does not appear to reflect those flaws; why call yourself a liberal, instead of the genuine leftist you strongly appear to be?

  • 5. Aaron  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    wengler: Arianna Huffington has an ethical compass? Pix or it didn’t happen.

    Dude: Sounds like a great fuckin’ plan to me! Think we’ll have room for Joi Ito and Cory Doctorow in the truck bed? (If not, no worries, so long as we’ve got a couple of ropes, or a set of jumper cables in a pinch.)

  • 6. Dude  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Aaron: I think we’re gonna need a bigger pond.

  • 7. Victorvalley Villain  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    One of my best friends trusteed UHW. He has a got a signed copy of Cal Winslow’s book [i]Labor’s Civil War in California: The NUHW Healthcare Workers’ Rebellion[/i].

    “Seth – Shame on you! Cal”

    It’s pretty fucking awesome.

    Rosalie, or Stern? They are both corrupt bureaucrats. Fuck’em.

  • 8. Mike  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I don’t know the personalities involved, nor do I want to get in-between any of the personal drama, but some things are clear to me.

    You don’t cross a picket line.
    You do not EVER cross a picket line.

    SEIU at the International level under Stern was a top down business union.

    Mike Elk has a background with the UE which is a much more democratic, grass roots union with better left wing credentials than SEIU.

    Jane Hamsher is either functionally illiterate or so blinded by her personal biases that she can’t see what’s in front of her.

  • 9. Victorvalley Villain  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:59 am

    has a*

  • 10. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  May 13th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    the eXiled krew oughta see what it can do towards ramping up and duplicating the run to a payday that HuffPo did. Our glorious corporate masters are dumb as fuck these days. Intellectually inbred elitist rubes with more cash than sense… Played right, they’re ripe for the pickin’…

  • 11. Duarte Guerreiro  |  May 13th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I don’t care about any of these people, but I will agree that they all look like assholes judging by the pictures, especially little “Whitney”. If someone was ever queefed instead of birthed, this was the guy.

  • 12. JA  |  May 13th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    The only thing worse than Jane Hamsher are the little toadies and twerps that surround her. How can anyone like that woman? Even when I agree with her she makes my taint hair bristle.

    Michael Whitney: privileged dork fighting* for the working class.

    *By fighting I mean writing blogs posts and gathering signatures for online petitions.

  • 13. Aaron  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “How can anyone like that woman?”

    Why assume they do? Does it matter whether a remora likes sharks?

  • 14. Aaron  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    16 Shells, the eXile has too much of the wrong kind of reputation, and Ames and Dolan don’t twitch right for the herd — I don’t doubt for a second they’d sell out if anyone was buying, and I doubt I’d blame them for it, but it’s not going to happen.

    “Intellectually inbred elitist rubes” Hamsher and her ilk certainly are, but you can’t say they don’t know their own — not that it’s too much of an accomplishment, when something as dumb as a sheep can figure out the same thing — and if something doesn’t smell right, they’ll do their damndest to kick it to death.

    Dude: Nah, I know what we do: fill up the pond we’ve got, and then use the leftovers for Fukushima shielding. May not be all that good at it, of course, the elite never having been particularly well acquainted with doing actual work, but still, every gray they absorb is one less that’ll harm a cleanup worker or some other actually worthwhile human being, you know?

  • 15. Bore  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Man, you need to calm the fuck down a little.

    The email exchanges show that this Firedog person is someone who claims writing as their vocation, but can’t read.

    Your piece needed a good fucking editor, though. It was riddled with grammar and spelling errors. And I get you’re dyslexic, but shouldn’t fucking Open Office pick that shit up?

    The piece suffered from the delusion that most people care about your feelings. You’ll need to get over that. We don’t give a shit if you were offended by someone. Why should we?

    What we care about is that this Hamsher twat is a picket-crossing scab. Get your focus off your internal monologue, and your emotions, and back on your convictions. She insulted you? Big deal, whatever. She is a strike-breaker motherfucker who styles herself as a leftist? She’s the death of the hope of a Democratic Party worth two squeezes? That’s what counts. Keep your eye on that.

    There was the core of an article, but this entire section could just have been skipped:

    “To call me a sexist is simply absurd. I have written multiple pieces criticizing labor leaders for not standing up for women’s reproductive rights. Can you name another male labor reporter who has written such pieces in solidarity with female allies?

    Furthermore, Hamsher’s accusation that I engaged in a personal attack, even though, I didn’t, is beyond hypocritical and downright bizarre considering what she said about my own mental health issues.

    Jane-Pot, meet Hamsher-Kettle.”

    and it’d have been far better for it.

    Congrats on The Nation thing, though. I think with an editor worth a damn you’ll go far (I guess Ames and Levine were high when they put this up…lucky bastards).

  • 16. Dude  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Sounds like a good job for the upcoming WPA 2.0.

  • 17. Hannibal  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’d pork both of’em.

  • 18. Sergo Ordzhonikidze  |  May 13th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    OMG!! That Whitney kid reminds me of this girl back in my college days, who compared the LA riots (urban outrage, police brutality, etc etc)to shadows flickering inside Plato’s cave. I think she thought Gates was the philosopher-king or some such. Whatever. I don’t know Hamsher, don’t know the Whitney kid either. They are both ugly. Ames!! It’s snapper season in Moscow dude! I fucking miss Moscow so much.

  • 19. Dude  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I agree with bore. You (the author) are guilty of the same blogger circle-jerk self-absorption they are. You’re on the right side of the issue, but drop the God-forsaken pity party you nancy. This is The eXiled, not Huffington Post or FDL or Daily Kos where people might give a shit about your feelings.

  • 20. Will  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    please please please listen to Bore. Hamsher actually is a pretty shady bitch but you only brought up her track record as an introduction to your current blogger slap fight. Also, you shouldn’t object to calling her a botox liberal because she is exactly what that term refers to. “Botox liberal” is interchangable with “limousine liberal” or my personal favorite “HuffPo Motherfucker”.

  • 21. Will  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Chardonnay socialist, Australia and New Zealand
    Toskana-Fraktion, Austria and Germany
    Rosedale socialist, Canada (Ontario)
    Shaughnessy socialist, Canada (British Columbia)
    Gauche caviar, France
    Radical chic, Italy
    Limousine liberal, North America
    Esquerda caviar, Portugal
    Gauche divine, Pijo-progre, Spain
    Rödvinsvänster (red wine left), Sweden
    Cüpli-Sozialist, Switzerland
    Caviar left, Peru
    Smoked Salmon Socialist, Ireland[3]

  • 22. FunTimeSteve  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    She’s so out of touch that she’s probably confusing a “shop steward” with a stewardess.

  • 23. Dobb  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Meh. Never trust people who call themselves “liberal” and spend their time talking about “policy.” Any leftist with half a cerebrum knows that policy ain’t shit and that liberalism is a politics of flaccid genitalia.

    That said, Mike shouldn’t be too kind to the “rebel” local. Sal and Stern are both labor bureacrats who run top down business unions. Sal was just in Stern’s way.

    Funny how that cunt Stern has completely fallen into the shitter. Guy was poised to become the next big pimpin labor czar of New Deal America 2.0. Sadly Capital had other ideas.

  • 24. pmx?  |  May 13th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    What a hateful bitch.

  • 25. helplesscase  |  May 13th, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    One more thing: Dude and Bore are totally, totally right. This piece is strongest when it shows how Hamsher is a semi-literate scab and worst when it talks about your personal issues.

  • 26. my dick  |  May 13th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    This is news? WHO CARES? I personally don’t care much about fake-leftists who are anti-labor. That’s because I’m a “progressive” and proud of it

    This is why the fascists always win- the left is so divided by petty, self-destructive bullshit.

  • 27. Victorvalley Villain  |  May 13th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    @8 IWW Mike, “You do not EVER cross a picket line.”

    What if it’s a good ol’ white boys union striking to keep coloreds out of the shop during the Reconstruction?

    Those times could be coming back around again.

  • 28. solfish  |  May 13th, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Yeah, the waaaaambulance will arrive shortly. This is exactly the type of whiny, esoteric bullshit which drives folks to vote Republican or wax nostalgic for Stalin.

  • 29. swummyfooshes  |  May 13th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    firedoglake sucks anyway

  • 30. DrunktankDan  |  May 13th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Good to have a new voice on the Exiled. Enjoyed the piece, even though a lot of people seem to be bitching that it was more blog-like that bare-bones journalism style. Chop up an edited version without the introspective stuff and you’ll reach a wider audience, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. Keep up the good work.

  • 31. Mike C.  |  May 13th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    To play devil’s advocate, maybe Elk went personal (on himself) in the post preemptively, expecting a twit like Hamsher to bray about that first if she decided to escalate. Having it on the record, voluntarily, damps that squib, though I agree it doesn’t offer anything substantive to the reader.

    Just a guess.

    Good to see labor in the conversation again, anyway, rather than “markets.”

  • 32. Beulahmo  |  May 13th, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    You’re on the right side of the issue, Mike. Sorry you got Hamshered, too. Her behavior showed what a bully she is.

    You gotta be careful when dealing with someone like Jane. Unfortunately, you let her get under your skin and you gave her a greenlight to keep attacking you when you included this in one of your listserv responses:

    “You are nothing but a Hollywood huckster protecting the people that fund you and provide you with organizational alliances.”

    Assuming the goal of your listserv responses was to expose Jane’s behavior, it wasn’t necessary to make that accusation, imo. The readers will draw that conclusion on their own, based on the information you provide. So keep your comments about her (and to her) as objective and as measured as possible. I use this question as a test when I’m trying to objectively criticize someone: does any point in my criticism leave my target any room for plausible deniability? If it does, I consider leaving that point out of my criticism. That way, you avoid any dings to your own credibility and you deprive her of any means to derail the overall theme of your criticism.

    As for Janie-poo’s professional future, I’ve a feeling she’s going to piss off too many people eventually, and she’ll fade into liberal obscurity. Actually, she’ll prolly just switch to the other side. Her temperament and interpersonal skills would fit right in over at Breitbart’s.

  • 33. ButWait  |  May 14th, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Your email mouse over is showing.

  • 34. Extreme Liberal  |  May 14th, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Good piece Mike. I did a lengthy expose on Jane and she sent Jon Walker and David Sirota to attack me on Twitter. I chewed them up and spit them out (in my opinion, anyway). That gang of haters are very vindictive and it will catch up to them very soon. Personally, I think we need to draw a line in the sand with those people quick, before they get the chance to undermine Democrats in the 2012 race. They really don’t seem to care about unions, workers, poor, those with no health care or anything but their petty little issues, oh and whining about being called out as the “professional” left, meaning…in it for the money.

  • 35. vortexgods  |  May 14th, 2011 at 6:07 am

    You know, this makes me think of a Harlan Ellison comment when someone asked him to do a writers commentary on a DVD and he asked how much he was going to get paid.

    When he got the response, “Nothing,” he replied, “Do I look like I just fell off of the turnip truck?”

  • 36. Yeah Huh  |  May 14th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    No female is bitchier or self-absorbed than the aging punker girl with artistic pretensions. They’re even worse than the campus Women’s Studies profs.

  • 37. BobKincaid  |  May 14th, 2011 at 8:42 am

    helplesscase at #25 above has finally said what most needed saying: “scab.” More particularly, cyber-scab. That fits Jane to a “t.”

    Labor needs to understand that Jane Hamsher is a new breed of anti-worker propagandist, the cyber-scab, and needs to spread the word far and wide.

  • 38. hamster  |  May 14th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I would start looking into the insane manipulative-exploitative relationships hamster maintains with her staff to keep it going. She’s obviously at least mildly sociopathic, maybe totally sociopathic. She would have succeeded in any line of business, because it’s all about how comfortable you are at telling people what to do

  • 39. Matt Osborne  |  May 14th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Ah, yes, the Hamsher Hypocrisies. Among my favorites: taking ad money from BP for her “Common Sense Media” organization whilst simultaneously hammering the Sierra Club for receiving money from BP. I’m convinced she’s not really a liberal or progressive, but in fact a libtertarian douchewad like her buddy Greenwald.

  • 40. Peg  |  May 14th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    I have watched Hamsher get into twitter arguments with people who don’t toe her line and it is incredibly frustrating to see.
    She often pulls the misogynist card, she routinely will take a word or phrase out of context and twist it into it’s new meaning over and over and over again. She will call on RW peer’s she knows from cable news to attack another dem supporter. She will spread rumors like a 9th grade cheerleader. And the worst part of all of it is that she is the “go to” progressive we see on tv supposedly representing the “movement” when half the progressives disagree with her positions.
    If you publicly disagree with her, she will put you into an enemy corner and sic whoever she can on you-anonymous, tea party tweeters,her fan club. It’s a pathetic thing to watch and I honestly wish she would just go away.

  • 41. Peg  |  May 14th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    And for those asking “Who Cares” and “Why is this important” the reason is this: Jane Hamsher has become the the face of the progressive dem movement and gets a TON of air time on cable channels.
    If you are a democrat, she has become the poster child representing YOU and YOUR ideology. She has become your media spokesperson to the world. That is why this is important.

  • 42. Alpha Omega  |  May 15th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    All ideologies are obsolete. Liberalism is dead. Conservatism is irrelevant. Idealism is hallucination. The world cannot and need not be saved.

    Techno-fascist transhumanist transcendence is the only way forward for Earth-based life. The stupid masses have nothing to offer and must be strictly controlled by their superiors. All power is accumulating in the hands of post-ideological super-intelligent machine-man networks.

    Intelligence + Technology + Will = Power. Everything else is conversation.

  • 43. Private Ivan  |  May 15th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    The inability to read of America’s leaders is simply, truly amazing:

    “What I said is I heard someone in the labor movement call you a Botox liberal and I defended you against it. I never called you that, I defended you against the people that did…Please Jane this isn’t Hollywood this is journalism engage in some seriously constructive dialogue and read what others were saying.”

    And the response:

    “Jane Hamsher wrote:

    Let’s list them:

    “I wouldn’t want Jane Hamsher as my shop steward”
    “Botox liberal”

    You’re basically incapable of making an argument based on reason and fact. Every attempt anyone has made to engage you in rational discussion have been met with tribalism, demagoguery, and sexist and dismissive slurs.”

    Reading Comprehension fail. I wonder if she completed Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” Program. Perhaps, as Dubya said: “it’s time for [American Leaders] to enter the Solar System!”

    Except I wouldn’t call Ames, “oppressed”. He’s a damn good Gonzo Journalist, with a following that’ll defend him. After his stellar coverage of the Ossetian War, the Kremlin learned not to block this website, the hard way. At least they’re quick learners, and don’t bitch when they lose, unlike the Jamestown Foundation, they take it, learn, and move on. Ames is a damn good journalist, but he isn’t oppressed.

    PS. Ames’ Article:

  • 44. Yousif  |  May 16th, 2011 at 11:35 am


  • 45. jim  |  May 16th, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Jane Hamsher formed an alliance of convenience with Grover Nordquist to fight the ACA, which pretty much says it all.

    “We want a public option, & we’ll kill the end of recission & every other reform in this bill to (never) get it, no matter who dies in the meantime” wasn’t exactly breathtaking political genius.

    It is rumored that one of the pet projects of the Melman-Rove Golden Age Of GOP Ratfucking was to inject phony “liberal activists” into the Democratic Party whose sole job was/is to stir shit up & foster pointless infighting & debate over trivia, thus keeping their opponents busy with each other while the GOP operated as a lock-step solid political bloc.

  • 46. Dark Markets  |  June 12th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    great comment, Mike.
    I’ve been wanting to write a blog, “ARE JANE HAMSHER and RACHEL MADDOW two (BOTH of ’em) radical right-wing Neo-Con WARMONGERS?” !!!

    yep… these two may PRETEND to be “Liberal Democratic ACTIVIST leaders” but they JUST…. CAN’T… SEEM…. TO…. NOTICE… the GODDAMN-SACHS…. hostile LBO takeover HIJACKING of the late ‘Democratic” Party. I wish, I said i WISH I could link to an Elders of Zion conspiracy website, but like always those damn Jew Elders (who want to mate with our fine Dixieland women and dirty their purity) foiled my plans by implanting a bug in my brain that stopped me from doing so!

    When so-called “Change” candidate Barack Obama selected TWO of BSUH-II’s RETREADS, little timmy geithner and “back door THEFT of your savings by FREE MONEY from the Fed to member/owner Wall Street mega-banks” BEN BERNANKE to lead his (obama’s) administration’s financial/economic policy, anyone with more neurons than a garden slug knew that this was NOT “change” – it was BUSH-III, ON STEROIDS, of the DIRECT “bailouts” EXTORTION of Taxpayers to serve the high & mighty on Wall St.

    Well, “more neurons than a garden slug” doesn’t seem to include HAMSHER or MADDOW – you can go 1,000 days, before you hear either of them complain about Obama’s infestation of his administration with FORMER GOLDDAMN-SACHS CHAIRMAN Bob Rubin minions & toadies
    (RAHM EMANUEL to be his Chief of Staff, Larry Summers directing Econ policy, Geithner at Treasury, FULL GS PARTNER Gary Gensler at CFTC, AWOL mary schapiro at SEC, jared bernstein telling Biden what to do, Jacob Lew & Peter Orzag in revolving doors to Wall St, etc. etc. etc. ad naseum – alas you cant see the link)!

  • 47. Jake  |  June 28th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Hamsher has a vindictive and cruel side that has become more apparent.

  • 48. Butternut  |  July 9th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    TO Mike Elk: read about this crap from Jane Hamsher on The Obama Diary and just want to tell you that I admire you very much, and I so respect your standing up those on the so-called PL who are basically wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    You are stronger for it and you have much, much respect.
    Good for you.

  • 49. gwells  |  July 10th, 2011 at 2:13 am

    “(Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)” Hmm. I specially like the “at whim” element.

    Is it just me, or does my comment read like it is written by a retard? A mean-machined, foul-breathed person with anterior motives. Probably might as well shut my fucking mouth because I’m really not worthy of much here. Thank god though for this, keeping the riff-raff away:

    “(Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)”

    Thank you, at least one site cleans up the filth!

  • 50. gwells  |  July 16th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Censoring or deleting comments is one thing. Rewording them in filthy goatfucking, sphincter-tonguing language is like totally, way fucking different. The comment above is NOT nearly as idiotic and bigoted as what I actually wrote, so kudos to the monitor for improving my retarded shit-sneezing original comment. If I have any shred of non-retarded mental capabilities remaining I would be able to grasp the fact that you will no sooner restore my original wording and add an apology than I would have a fucking clue about what the fuck I’m doing on this planet, or why I haven’t swallowed a bottle of Dran-O for the good of all mankind.

  • 51. Byo  |  July 17th, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Forget Hamsher. I quit FDL when she went on FOX urging defeat of the Health Care Bill.

  • 52. 840  |  July 19th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Should ignore “Hollywood” re this Jane Hamsher. She had a bit of non-creative success, but unable to sustain, petered out, had no choice other than to leave and try other things. That’s okay, happens all the time, for any of a thousand reasons. Karma, of course, may factor.

  • 53. Jethro Troll  |  March 30th, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Shit, I remember her from back in the punk rock days when she did her little fanzine with all those ads…Jane Hamsher, now entering her fourth decade of commodifying rebellion

  • 54. nestore  |  May 24th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    so, who is this “jane hamster”?? ..Frankly, she looks more like a cheeky gerbil….or a girl squirrel..

  • 55. slaptboggwithrottedcheese  |  June 9th, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Yeah, Jane is an absolute monster. FDL is an utter joke, and they employ that shit bag authoritarian Tbogg who would probably turn in Anne Frank. If it makes you feel any better, apparently Jane’s life is falling apart. Schadenfreude and all that.

  • 56. tongorad  |  March 29th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Jane went bankrupt:

Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)


Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed