RIP Bartcop
March 10, 2014 5:26 AM   Subscribe

Pour out a little Chinaco

The godfather of liberal bloggers, Terry R. Coppage, aka Bartcop, passed away last Wednesday.

Bartcop was a snarky, no-holds barred, riotous – at times mean-spirited, but never untruthful – oasis of hilarity and vitriol, where politicians and a compliant media were called out for their bullshit. Along with Media Whores Online (‘The Horse”), no journalist was ever again safe from having their stories fact-checked online and then held up to ridicule.

Bartcop was the brainchild of Terry R. Coppage, based out of his beloved and sometimes mocked Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Terry was fearless in a way that other media critics couldn’t be for a simple reason: he wasn’t angling to move up the fawning beltway food chain with a guest spot at The Washington Post. He didn’t pull punches and he called bullshit for what it was: “bullshit.”

The site was crude, the graphics sometimes even cruder (I have a special place in my heart for his animated gif of Tim Russert repeating “Clinton’s cock” over and over and over again), but most importantly it dispensed with the niceties with a wicked grin with a well-placed deflating shiv between the ribs.

posted by sensate (26 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:29 AM on March 10, 2014

Wow, that brings back some memories! I came across his website in the 90's ; it was a time when Rush Limbaugh seemed to be everywhere and this liberal was desperate for an alternate viewpoint. It was probably Alta Vista that led me to Rush Limba, Lying Nazi Whore, and I became a regular visitor for years. At one point I even sent him a little donation, probably the only time I have ever done that for a website. (I know that makes me a cheap bastard; sorry, Matt.) He could be a little strident for my taste and I didn't agree with him on everything, but an outspoken, pull no punches liberal was a breath of fresh air. The Chinaco reference is very much appreciated. I first learned of that from Bartcop and still prefer it to the Patron that everyone else around here thinks is really top-shelf tequila. For whatever reason (probably because this site came along) I eventually stopped spending as much time there, but still checked back every once in awhile. I liked the little photo contests he added at some point and was pretty good at the car ones. I'm glad to see I'm not the only mefite that was a Bartcop fan. Even though I didn't visit as often as I should have, it was comforting knowing he was out there. Sort of like a liberal grandparent. Really sorry to hear that he is gone.
posted by TedW at 5:47 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

[ Mods - that first link is a little borked - it goes to http://http// ]
posted by jquinby at 6:06 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by localroger at 6:08 AM on March 10, 2014

Mod note: Thanks, link fixed!
posted by taz (staff) at 6:13 AM on March 10, 2014

I feel pretty good about the fifty bucks I gave him back during GWB's first term.
posted by The Giant Squid at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

RIP to a fine liberal gadfly and zen bastard. Bartcop was a trailblazer on the Web, one of the first on the left to provide a popular way station and rallying point for his fellow travelers. The bad guys might win in the end, but by God they would not go unmocked and unlaughed at.

In the words of another fine role model:

So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.
posted by delfin at 6:52 AM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by Renoroc at 7:12 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by tonycpsu at 7:34 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by mondo dentro at 7:41 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by immlass at 8:11 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by spitbull at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by detachd at 9:33 AM on March 10, 2014

I just donated 20 bucks.

posted by stenseng at 9:48 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by jabo at 10:44 AM on March 10, 2014

Wow. End of an era.
posted by PMdixon at 10:46 AM on March 10, 2014

posted by Token Meme at 12:25 PM on March 10, 2014

Damn shame I never found this guy whe nhe was active, RIP, brother.

posted by scottymac at 1:05 PM on March 10, 2014

Thanks for posting this. I started reading bartcop when I was about 15 years old, America was at the height of Lewinsky madness, nobody had heard of George Bush Junior and political blogs didn't yet exist.

Bartcop looms large in my memories of the early web. Yes, this dude was the original, blogging since before there were blogs. His page was unique and the way he kept it going year after year was an inspiration and an early example of the awesome power the internet has had in democratizing political speech. I disagreed with him plenty but he always had my respect and affection. He showed just how much fun you can have being outraged.

I hope his archives stay online because it's all there in the back issues - a time capsule of what it was like to see the freakshow of early 21st century American politics unfold, and the Republican Party's descent from everyday villiany into cartoonish super-villiany. One day I will direct curious young historians that way.

And he gave it all away for free, too. In all my time reading I only once sent him a single $100 donation (shame, but I was a broke kid for most of that time). I'm going to match that now for Mrs Bart's sake.

posted by moorooka at 2:34 PM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

posted by Katjusa Roquette at 3:02 PM on March 10, 2014

posted by sgillies at 6:14 PM on March 10, 2014

Aw, man. I let his site drift out of my rotation a while back but it was a daily visit for a long time. *raises shot of Chinaco and posts a photo of Shirley Manson*
posted by bink at 12:43 AM on March 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Gelatin at 3:06 AM on March 11, 2014

William Rivers Pitt | In Memory of Bartcop: Seedcorn, Pioneer, Patriot

Memories of hitting the Bartcop bookmark in Netscape Navigator, walking away for half an hour while the images loaded.

Note: It is Chinaco Añejo, not Chicano Anejo
posted by maggieb at 11:29 PM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

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