Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Progressive" Censorship: Banned Again For Telling It Like It Is

by John Doraemi

I might as well get an article out of my serial banning in the "progressive" sphere of the interweb tubes. Funny, I hold some pretty "progressive" ideas.

My ideas about the corruption of the alternative media by foundation funding grants seems to irk a few lib-censors however. That is where the rubber and road meet. They wanna get paid, homes. And they don't want readers to know by whom.

Somebody may find this issue instructive. just banned me, without explanation. I figured it out quickly however, because my last post there was deleted, which I will try and recreate here from an admittedly faulty memory.

"Worsening Economy Gives Obama and Hillary a Chance to Copy Edwards' Populist Ideas," is the name of the article which I chose to comment on. It was penned by William Greider for the CIA-connected publication (and fiefdom), The Nation. Alternet reposted it, as they do with a lot of questionable content from questionable operations.

I have ruthlessly pointed out Alternet's biases on a number of subjects many times previously. This particular comment got me banned, though:

Subject: The Nation and Alternet

Text: You haave done a good job advising neo-fascists how to fool more of the people more of the time. Keep up the good work, exposing your foundation-funded role as whores for the establishment.

Now, in retrospet, I suppose they wouldn't appreciate such bluntness. They could have, however, addressed the point with counterarguments. I'm not sure if there are any counterarguments, though. So the fallback is to just delete the bad news from readers' view and pretend they have not committed the affront I have accused them of.

Censorship erases complaints, even if they are valid, so that others remain ignorant of them. It is a way of enforcing secrecy. The most common argument in favor of free speech is that the answer to speech one finds discomforting is MORE SPEECH -- not less. Censors slip off the hook for their own misdeeds, because any criticism can just be deleted, and the damage minimized. Therefore there is no pressure to change course, to correct a bad system, to correct a bad editorial policy, to correct anything at all.

That's why censorship is wrong. When you complain about Bush's culture of secrecy, you have taken a stand that openness and dissent are acceptable and required. That should apply to publications, to the press as well. If you are going to allow some comments, you must allow all points of view (as long as they are relevant to the topic under discussion). To hide dissenting views is to absolve onesself of scrutiny and of accountability. Jolly bad form. This pretty much distinguishes journalism from propaganda, and journalists from propagandists.

I know that censoring isn't limited to the alleged "progressive" or "liberal" sphere, although I do see an awful, awful lot of it there. But it certainly weakens your case if you are afraid to stand up to scrutiny. They have opted for the most part to simply preach to the choir, thereby marginalizing themselves and rendering themselves less relevant.

I have also been banned from This was for an entirely different cause, as follows. Rob Kall, the editor there, announced that the word "zionism" would be verboten, no longer part of the language. There were heated arguments on the absurdity of this diktat, but he remained pretty intransigent over the matter.

If you're thinking that I typed the word just to provoke him, you'd be wrong.

No. The article that got me banned did not say the words "zionism", "jewish" or any such thing. It did not have anything to do with religion, at all.

It had to do with a van full of explosives reported stopped at the George Washington Bridge on September 11th, 2001. The Jerusalem Post and CBS News (Dan Rather) both reported this incident as genuine. And I want to get to the bottom of it. (Don't you?)

The context of this incident relates to the 9/11 attacks, and to the reports of Israeli agents doing very strange things, connected to Urban Moving Systems, a Mossad front business whose owner fled to Israel while FBI agents wanted to interrogate him in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Several Urban Moving Systems employees were seen "celebrating" the crash of the first airliner into the World Trade Center, and these Israeli citizens were arrested after an FBI Be On Look Out (BOLO) alert was sent to all the region's police stations on the afternoon of 9/11/01.

You don't hear about these matters on corporate news -- or on most "alternative" news outlets either, included.

Kall will probably point to the Christopher Ketcham piece ("What Did Israel Know in Advance of the 9/11 Attacks?") that he allowed on, which did spin some of this. However -- big however -- he outright refused to allow my rebuttal to Ketcham's half-truths, which you can read here.

I uploaded the explosive-laden van report article, which is simply called "Corroborating a van full of explosives reported at the G.W. Bridge," where I located two more news sources (CNN, and an editor at the Wall Street Journal). And that was it. I haven't been able to post again there since.

My final complaint over "progressive" censorship (isn't that a bit regressive?) is

Apart from them running sloppy hit pieces against the 9/11 Truth Movement (as does Alternet), and their refusal to publish any response or balanced coverage of the issue, CommonDreams has a very active censorship regime filtering their reader comments.

Most comments of mine, no matter how thoroughly researched and on-topic, never show up at all. Several have actually appeared, which led me to believe that I would get to continue posting -- the login still works. The website seems to have a very sophisticated (or vindictive) way of filtering out comments that don't fit the slimly narrow world view of the editor there.

Narrow blindered thinking is a prescription for stagnation, not growth. If these editors get to wondering why real change is not on the ballot, perhaps they can point to their own roles in stifling honest dissent, disgust, and outrage.

I haven't signed on any dotted lines, not traded my independence of thought for a membership somewhere, not accepted the false Democrat/Republican dichotomy (both parties are criminally complicit in numerous domestic and international crimes). And I don't suffer fools gladly.