Sunday, October 05, 2008

Censorship on Huffington Post

I've been banned from Huffington Post -- again. But not for swearing this time. It's political, and overtly and obviously so: because I dared to defend Bill Ayers.

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Jane Smiley had a post on Huffington on Saturday. She made some comparisons between John McCain and Bill Ayers. It was a nice piece. I thought she made some good points. Then, reading through the comments, I responded to a commenter who though it unseemly to compare Ayers' death count with McCains.

IT would be a stretch to consider Ayers's history and McCain's service in Vietnam as analogous, and even so, it contributes absolutely nothing to this discourse

I said that I thought that Ayers was the greater patriot because, although both men risked life and freedom on behalf of their county, Ayers required more courage, as he acted in opposition to the state, whereas McCain went to war with the full support of the state. I went on to say that I would not equate the state with "my country". I don't think I quite managed to say, but I meant, that putting "my country" above the dictates of "the state" is the highest form of patriotism.

Now I wasn't banned after that comment. They simply wouldn't post it. But if you go to my profile on Huffpo, you'll see that I commented on the William Ayers and John McCain post.  But my comments never appeared. In the Stats Board section, you'll see a stat for "Comments deleted" (31). Hmmmm. I never deleted any of those...  

After it became apparent that my first comment was not going to be posted, I wrote another, asking why I was not being allowed to defend Bill Ayers.  (I do not believe he is indefensible, but it seems one is only allowed to utter his name if "terrorist" is included in the same breath.) That's when I was banned -- when I got uppity.

Anyway, it's obvious to me that Huffington Post is guilty of the same posturing they accuse the mainstream media of: they won't allow me to defend a fellow '60s radical, because they feel their credibility will suffer if they're seen to have these old new leftists lurking on the site. I am deeply disappointed. I thought they were better than that.

Well, I've gone back, and I seem to be unbanned. But obviously I've learned my lesson: I won't post Weather Underground propaganda on the Huffington Post again!
I guess I'll have to confine my radical ravings to this space!


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