Friday, June 30, 2006

Take My Poll: You're In Control!

Lots of readers came to this blog from the Huffington Post when I was kicked out. I know I've spent some time to write about what happened, but now it is time to move on.

Move on in a big way or a small way.

I could, for instance, talk to a few investment bankers and journalists and ask if they're interested in a new venture competing with the Huffington Post.

But if I do, I better have a few people who think that's a good idea.

Or I could just keep on blogging. About drugs and other fun stuff.

Tell me what you think! You can only vote once per day, but you can select several options.

And, no one can tell who you are or your IP address or anything. So break the mold! Most people don't vote, but you contribute to the fun if you do. Come on! Just this one time!

Select all the options you agree with!
I like your blog. Just keep doing what you're doing.
I want more. Start the Rost Post and compete with Huff Post!
Get back on topic: Tell me more about drugs and healthcare.
Stay off topic. Have fun. Write about drugs sometimes.
Just go away!
Free polls from


Anonymous said...

As unfortunate as it may be, you probably have to do what you're doing in a bigger way to have the most effect. At best you might help HuffPo get honest and at worst they'll just get nervous.

blackdaug said...

Hey Doc..glad to see you are keeping on keeping on. I was one of those people who was with you on day one when huffpost gave you the boot. Just wanted to let you know you inspired me to go back and re-create my own blog which I had abandoned a few years ago due to outrage fatigue. It is really just a blog for my freinds who dont have time to scan all the blogs i do. Somewhere they can come and pick up on like minded stories, although I do intend to write extensivly on a few topics I care about. Check it out if you get time.
Thanks again...and illegitimus non carborundum ect...
screw the puffhost!!

blackdaug said...

oh yeah....its

Peter Rost said...

I saw your blog, blackdog, that is great! Also, I had some technical problems (called spelling error) so I had to republish voting block and lost a few votes in the first three minutes. If your vote didn't count, just put it in again.

Anonymous said...

Bit off topic of the voting, which is a great idea by the by.

Back to the FDA and Big Pharma. Check out his article:;_ylt=Ag0thwt1xS9boGV_jxhV4fas0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3czJjNGZoBHNlYwM3NTE-

Basically the FDA approved a new treatment for a devastating disease of the elderly that costs $2000 a treatment while one was available already (albeit off label use) for $17 a treatment.

Off label use merely means that the drug company has not applied to the FDA for use of that particular drug in a particular fashion. It has nothing to do with the way the drug is safely and effectively used within the medical community.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Rost Post is winning at the moment...

But to be honest, I see the off-topic stuff are just... well... fine.

I mean this IS your personal blog, and people like myself DO enjoy reading even the off-topic items you have.

Just keep it up with the blogging!


Anonymous said...


Thats a great idea! I'll be there to read, and , on occasion post MHO.

Anonymous said...

Doc --

Every time you make a new post all your old posts get flagged as new and my RSS reader re-downloads them. Any chance you can track down the cause of that?

Anonymous said...

For those who are still checking THP comments. I snuck one in under "NY Times And Wall Street Journal In War...":

*I've never seen so many trolz, do you guys pay them to post here?* [posted @ 3:22pm]

Perhaps the censors our getting overconfident now? Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry...the article link on THP home page is actually:

"NY Times Publisher Hits Back At WSJ Editorial..."

Peter Rost said...

Some users have asked if we need to keep "Word verification" letters (in reply to prior post). Yeah we do. Unfortunately, without word verfication, which is a royal pain, we get tons of spammers. I tried that in the past. Didn't work. Hey, at least no one requires registration and "bans" replies here . . .

shooter said...

Doc,...."THE ROST POST"...nice ring. I checked the "compete with huffpo" box, but it doesn't precisely express my opinion. While vengeance is a good rallying point, and I like to spit on slimeballs as much as anybody, eventually you run out of saliva.
I think it was Shakespeare who coined the phrase "The Play's the Thing." If you've got a bad story, great actors won't help, and if you've got a good story, bad actors can't ruin it. I think you've got a good story, but unless the idea of your own soapbox gets your heart rate pumping "off the charts" don't go there.
I hope you do go there. After 35 yrs. in the corporate world, as chief negotiator for a very large company, I can tell you this. You can never force feed opinions or positions down peoples' throats. You must frame your position as a dilemma and ask the other party to help you come to a solution. We enjoyed a ten-fold increase in our business during the last decade, and it was easy. Of course we used dirty tricks to accomplesh this like..facts, honesty, empathy, knowledge, and the dirtiest of them all....respect.
I better run or the timer is gonna cut me off and I'll have to do this all over again.

"Balls to the Wall" Doc! I and a whole lot of other good folks will be there to help.

Anonymous said...

YES!!! Good idea Doc! :)

Anonymous said...

I can't vote in your poll. So I'll just write some comments and observations instead. The important question, you must ask yourself is - What do you want to do?

-I think you have an interesting knack for title, photo, and mixed media play that enhances the content of all your postings. This is how you first came to notice.

-I think the substance of your postings in general terms could be much richer. I'd like to see you allow the thought, idea, or concept that spikes you into action to be allowed to ferment and grow a little more, before you blog it. Spending a little more time on research, thinking about it from a few different angles, mulling it, and putting more of what you really think deep down about a subject could reward you, your writing, and your audience.

-I like your eclectic style. I don't think you should mess with it, otherwise you won't be inspired from a writing standpoint. You should write about what interests you, and motivates you to run to the keyboard.

-Certainly, expanding the blog would be far more rewarding in terms of general content for the reader. Adding a variety of viewpoints on various subject matter, would create more of a reason to stay, read and linger.

-If you were to expand, it would naturally require more of your time and attention, in terms of monitoring and general upkeep.

-If you know others who maintain blogs consult them regarding the pros and cons.

I started visiting THP from the time it first got off the ground. I usually scan the headlines, click on a few of the main news items and read them in depth. I then scan the bloggers and click a few to see what they have to say. Some grab me and I read them through. Or they don't, and I just skip on to the next. I rarely, if ever, look at the comments. I think the vast majority add next to nothing in terms of value. There generally is always something much better to read for my time while surfing the net. THP is not one of my favorite sites for content relating to politics. I find much more substance elsewhere at a variety of different places, with a variety of different approaches.

I'll probably continue to visit here, but probably much less often in the future. My interest was heightened out of curiosity over how your relationship with THP would play out. The outflow of all this is that I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog and/or participating on one for some time. You have inspired me to think, I should maybe go for it.

shooter said...

Good points all, anon. But to Dr. Rost's defense, he just started. I've done start-ups, so the foibles you mentioned, I'm pretty sure he's aware of. But he's only one man.....right now. Your point about passion is key. If he goes for the idea, heartache and disappoint, even dread, will be his constant companion. But if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. I know that starting and running a successful anything is a long, long shot. But I also know that starting and trying is better than going to
your next life with the thought, " I wonder, what if.................."

Anonymous said...

The window of opportunity in regards to exposing or altering the actions of the staff at THP has slammed shut. Our best hope was in inciting the guest bloggers to publically comment on the issue, or boycott THP altogether. But to do so required ACTION on our parts, in email queries and demands, as well as informative posts at blogs such as Daily Kos or the Drudge Retort. Instead, what I saw was a primarily slothful pattern of bellyaching, backed up by very little actual action. The Kos thread died an immediate death due to lack of participation, as did the Drudge thread. I saw NO ONE from this blog join the topic at The Washington Note, despite the invitation I offered. Don't get me wrong, a few here applied real and laudable effort, such as the timeline, but these efforts reached a pitifully small audience, and did little to actually expose THP's actions to the blogosphere in general. Indignation is great, but unaccompanied by action, it rarely invokes change. Personally I feel Rost's banishment, and the actions of THP, deserved FAR MORE effort at exposure than the tepid efforts I saw from the majority of bloggers and readers that were following and decrying THP's travesties.

My opinion??? Too little, too late. Its already blown over. And if Rost was to launch a serious opposition or competitive drive against THP, it would require far more ardent support from a following that has shown itself unwilling to expend the effort.

Dr. Rost, just keep keeping on, there are plenty of dragons to slay besides THP, and THAT dragon has just eluded you. This time. Tommorrow is another day.

Anonymous said...

IF I was able to talk to people and IF I had the ability to start a ROST POST (Rostingtonpost? heh heh heh I couldn't help myself, sorry) I might be more interested in hooking up with a known progressive name.

I've mentioned Vanity Fair in a few posts in the past. They have the money and SEEM to be much more honest than Arianna's site. BUT they have a tiny site that doesn't seem to know what to do.

THAT is why I mention them. They have the potential, the name, and the money. AND they love a good challenge. I've been subscribing to them for years and years now and consider them to be about the best magazine out there.

Highly intelligent writing.

VERY in depth reporting.

Skeptics galore over there. The editorial staff seems more interested in a good story than in trying to lean it one way or the other, but their progressive/liberal roots are out there for everyone to see and that's the way I like it.

Maybe a tentative outreach to them?

OR your own, but I would love to see a better site than Arianna's now. I just feel a little dirty going there now. I stop in read the headlines, maybe check out a few posts and raraely make my own post now.

The Troll Warz are out of control over there now.

Maybe as well, some "Caught!" type of blogs if you start your own Rost Post with regards to liberal/progressive media because as liberal as I am, and I am very liberal, I hate it when our side stoops to their level.

Ummm maybe a better name as well.

I'll be watching to see what happens, but more importantly go after the slugs in the Pharma industry.

Best Oscar party on Earth.

Argon said...

It's always better to have more options in where you get your opinions right? Giving more sources to choose from is a good thing since it helps improve the quality of the competition. That's what Penthouse did for Playboy right?

Especially nowadays with so many media market comglomerates consolidating and giving out homogenized views, if you can give out a different perspective than THP that's all the better to side all sides of issues.

I wish you as much success and that you also learn the lessons so you can handle the responsiblilities of that success better than some others have.

shooter said...

Michael, you hit the nail on the head. I had to check the byline to see if I wrote it. The idea that a tiny bunch of unhappy posters could make a dent in the massive corporate support of Huffpo is not just naive but ridiculous. The hyperbole and impatient frustration that we didn't storm the Bastille en-masse, torches in hand, displays an unrealistic and inexperienced position.
While I didn't post to the blog the reader referred to, I did post to at least six of the largest progressive sites around. The result was completely predictable. Just like inter-locking directorships, they were not about to give voice to one of their own, read interlocking links. The same with their key guest bloggers. I wrote many long e-mails, with the same results you got, Michael. The Big blogs and the guest bloggers are exactly like politicians. They got a good thing going and will never swim against the current. If George Bush pronounced that shit could replace store bought food for the elderly, The congressmen and senators would step on their own children to get to a mike to detail the amount of vitamin C, B1, and niacin, not to mention the minerals laying right there on the lawn. Rush Limbaugh would start his next show with " listen folks, I know what you've been thinking, but I've gotta tell you something.................." The phone would ring off the hook with" Hey Rush, you're a great American. Dildo from Kansa here. At first I thought you were kidding, but last night............................"
I said before it would be the hardest thing Dr. Rost ever had to do. That the first little flicker of unhappiness didn't turn into a typhoon immediately is realty. But an illiterate, unread, human failure, and ne-er do well made it to the White House. I think "ROSTPOST" is a winner.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else scanned the HuffPo comments lately? I did and I don't recognize most of the names of people who are commenting. I did find one 'Clevelandchick' though.

It's all sort of interesting and CYA on their part.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing about huffingpost. I don't recognize most names anymore EXCEPT the trollz.

It seems as though the comments are down to a few people who are fighting with each other and it's all predictable.

What the trollz will say and what the response will be. It all seems very contrived. Almost to the point of scripted.

Such a shame. I would love to see a similar site set up without the contrived comments and censorship of blogs. All responses posted unless they are blantantly offensive.

There was a guy there azim/azem/azom who posted some of the most vile sexual comments and of whom I actually think is a real troll but I don't know anymore what is real over there and what isn't.

Haven't been there but for a short while earlier.

Anonymous said...

Doc, in addition to \\\"The Rost Post\\\" (or whatever it will be called), try to do something that will make a difference, instead of \\\"drive-by-reporting\\\" of the news. There\\\'s too much of that, and HuffPo is only part of that, an electronic news bulletin board.

Btw, is a pretty good anonymizer.

You\\\'re doing great. Keep it up.

insider said...

Count me in!

Have sent you an email, Peter.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to vote all the right wing comments abusive from now on on FuffHO. I have to push a button!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can see how permanently losing elections could be considered mentally abusive.

Anonymous said...

Hope you guys are ready for this!!!

Anonymous said...

Peter: I could, for instance, talk to a few investment bankers and journalists and ask if they're interested in a new venture competing with the Huffington Post. But if I do, I better have a few people who think that's a good idea.


No, a few people won't get any interest from investment bankers.

You'd need a LOT of people.

And right now, your poll results are less than meager.

So here's how you could start the Rost Post on the cheap - and see if there really is a market for competition to Arianna.

First, put up some blogger software that supports multiple bloggers. Then, invite people to blog...and see what happens.

You can do the whole thing for FREE - using WordPress on their site. Has good administration, can control spam comments pretty well, etc.

Go for it. Then, if your numbers grow, you can monetize it.

Anonymous said...

It really is time to do something different with your blog doc. Now that I read this... from this site.

"Here's one terrific example. John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff for the New York Times, was one of New York's best loved newspapermen. Called by his peers "The Dean of his Profession", John was asked in 1953 to give a toast before the New York Press Club, and in so doing, made a monumentally important and revealing statement. He is quoted as follows:

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar weekly salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

Lets not be.

Anonymous said...

Ummm all sound like good ideas. The freebie startup sounds the best for now.

The idea of guest bloggers, etc. might go a long way.

Time will tell, but I'll stick around no matter what.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see more High Quality blogs out there. I like huffpo, but what they did to you leaves me cold, so I'll gladly abandon them to follow your site. If you go through with this, I'd like to be considered for cartoon content. I sent a few to HuffPo, but I never heard a word from them, not even a thanks but no thanks.

Give me a sign that you'd take an interest and I'll send the two I made for huffpo, this should give you an idea what I'm about and inspire me to create some fresh stuff.

I'd post my email, but did you see what happened to that Yaco guy ... brutal.

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

shooter said...

Yo Beeta, my buddy. First of all what's this "Anon and Justin" stuff? What am I, chopped liver? LOL
Now, a quick little lesson in successful negotiations. You heard all those things Rose said and were a little critical that her statement seemed maybe a little half-hearted. What I heard her say was "I'll ........... NO MATTER WHAT." We need everybody who wants to be part of a potentially wonderful thing. My guess is that Dr. Rost is struggling with himself right now to decide what to do. Some of us will do a lot, some a little, some will just be interested passengers. I want them all.

What has struck me so far is, that despite the very few numbers, we have some very, very bright supporters. I won't list them because I'll leave someone out, but the intellect shown is very heartening. It takes three things to have a shot at going from start-up to success: Balls, Brains, and that order. Dr. Rost, hopefully, will supply the first, we all will supply the second, and a previous writer has correctly stated that that the third can be minimal. Remember our old pal shakespeare, "the plays the thing."

My suggestion for Dr. Rost is to focus, laser like, to the exclusion of everything else, A Business Plan. From what I've seen so far is that there are a lot of excellent, albeit random now, ideas to be considerd and prioritized. He should call together a "council" of dedicated, talented people, who share a common revolutionary vision, to barnstorm and air it out. From the forum, a "Plan" will emerge. If the stars are aligned properly there will be a collective cry of "Eureka" and a beautiful thing will have been created.

It's late right now and I have a million more things to say, but I'll leave you with just this one little anectdote.
I swear this is word for word, exactly how it happened."

A guy bumped into Einstein one day and said " Hey Einstein, aren't you the guy that invented E=Mc squared? Einstein said, I didn't invent shit. It was always right there, hanging from a tree like a fat plum. I just turned my head one day and it hit me right in my freak'n face."......moral, the answer is always right in front of you, if only you have eyes and can see.

Cathy said...

Wow, I just came across your blog while looking around. I'm going to have to spend some time reading here. It all sounds very interesting.

Anonymous said...


Exactly what would you have me do besides support the site?

I am not a blogger, I don't have that much witing style and I certainly can't put any money into this as much as I would love to. Or at least not as much as would be necessary.

I like the Doctor's style and the way he can get inside a subject. So reading, supporting, going to other sites and telling them about this place and being here every day is about all I can do.

So besides support, what else would you have me do but stick around and support the site?

Anonymous said...


While I do agree with your comments regarding off-topic items (that it's pretty much useless stuff compare to the "important issues"), but then again, it's purely entertainment (sort of)!

I mean come on, wouldn't you rather read about the baby birds as oppose to, I don't know, Arianna's entry about the Ad-conference promting new and harder-to-escape advertisement tactics? Or some guy's smirking about how his Toyota Primus shines during a Hollywood party...?

Personally, I'd pick the baby-bird and cheating friend anyday... but that's me!

Anonymous said...

I can't beleive this happened!!! the above link is about a study the Airforce is conducting on blogs, to fight terror!!!

"Dr. Brian E. Ulicny, senior scientist, and Dr. Mieczyslaw M. Kokar, president, Versatile Information Systems Inc., Framingham, Mass., will receive approximately $450,000 in funding for the 3-year project entitled “Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information.”

[and then here's the kicker.]

"To some degree blog interpretation, he said, involves understanding a different form of communication.

“Blog entries have a different structure,” Ulicny said. “They are typically short and are about something external to the blog posting itself , such as a news event. It’s not uncommon for a blogger to simply state, ‘I can’t believe this happened,’ and then link to a news story.” "

ummm, I coulda told them that for free.

Anonymous said...

Reaniel, I concur, but I think the concern is not so much the Doc being off-topic as it is the opportunity for him to start a blog cite where we are educated about the real things that are shaping our lives. I guess if we've ever come close to having a free press it's now, because of blogging, these new voices ARE creating CHOICES, ( I know that was cheesy but bear with me) and WE have chosen to follow the doc so to speak. However, the reason we have followed is bigger than the Doc, he was the catalyst in our decision to leave the Ho Po, but he's not really the reason we are willing to stay, what it boils down to for us is our ability to trust the media again. (Which we know we can't so we have to start our own source of news, I mean we've been let down before HP) Anyways, Yeah I want hear about the doc and "his personal grudges" but I also want to get my information from people who are not being paid off to promote useless products or create more propaganda about my child’s future drug habits and my family’s dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

Beeta, thanks, I read Rosens blog and I posted a comment similar to the one I posted here about John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff for the New York Times, you know, when he calls journalists "intellectual prostitutes" along with some other shall we say, side notes (yeah I brought up the Doc, can you blame me?) Anyways, I keep checking to see if it will appear on a blog that claims to appease the "people formerly known as the audience."

I shouldn't hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

I used to post a lot there. You could tell something was very shady. I used to get automatic posting. I used to post Arianna's stuff a lot. I pleaded to her to pick it up a notch, to not be a gatekeeper. She or Yaco or both banned me when the Clooney thing happened.

So many trolls would not get banned even when posting the most vile filth.E-mails to Huffpost were ignored. I don't think HuffPo needed to astroturf like they did. There were probably enough other paid forces to keep the faithful troll bashers interested. Now I think progressives are out of there. Mission can still be accomplished for those frauds only if they go for the stupid vote. I think their base is gone. The comment pages are now unreadable, and HuffPo is real weak with its stories and blogs. Gatekeeper city is what it has become. Perhaps just ask Molly Ivins, Cindy Sheehan or George Clooney why they don't still post there. Yaco definitely messed up and should have been fired for hounding a fellow employee.

Go for RostPost, just make sure to get the very best, Howard Zinn, Molly Ivins, you know who I mean, Donahue. Get a few, hire honest, decent moderators, think it through, and before you know it, the RostPost could be a social movement. You'd need good tech guys too to keep the place safe. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Hello Doc,
What's with the background spots, some sort of colour blindness test? I find them very distracting and would be delighted if you would get rid of them. One thing HuffPo got right is their website has a nice design.

Sure there is room for some HuffPo/dkos competition, go for it I would say, and you might be just the guy to do a decent job of it too, with your background and investigative skills, plus it seems you might have time on your hands to devote to such a project. Maybe the bottom line is whether your better half lends support ...

Anonymous said...

"Sure there is room for some HuffPo/dkos competition"


dkos is wayyyyyyyyyyy too busy. It's one of the worst sites I've "ever" visted in terms of a simple straightforward layout. Everything is the same it seems and by it's sameness it's more difficult to navigate. There's little to no contrast by which to judge the timeliness or importance of an issue.

Huffpo is head and shoulders above dkos in terms of usability, though it's not without it's problems as well.

I mean seriously look at this, and scroll down:

It's a garbled mess.

compare it with this:

I don't like what she's allowed to happen but I could never say that dkos is even playing in the same presentability, ease of access, and use, ball game with Huffpo.

They're not. Not even close really.

dkos should be used more as an example of how "not" to present a web interface rather than how to.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (above post),
I can understand your post except for the "whaaa?" which seems to me to be out of context.
I am not sure you understood my post.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to just LOVE this place. More honest comments, and actual discussion than just about anytime I can think of at Huffingpost.

Too cool. I'm just dropping in late as we are doing some 4th stuff, but Ahl Be Bahk. Heh heh heh.


Ya gottat keep your voting poll up on top for a little while. This is the 4th and people will be all over the place and I think more people would like to vote.

Well that's my buck's worth.