I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blogs of BVD-clad amateur journalists

Ron Steinman wrote,

There is a growing and disturbing movement in the media for a new freedom that promotes the idea that whoever covers news, and believes they are journalists without credentials, can and should be their own editor, writing and saying what he pleases in his self-created Web log [and also arbitrarily censoring comments from those who disagree with him]. Everywhere I turn, those who call themselves serious journalists, some even using that grand and old fashioned phrase, the press, are assaulting us with the virtues of this new-found freedom. Thus, blog, the shortened version, is now the latest gobbledygook noun in the English language. Lewis Carroll would be proud.

. . . .A major problem is bloggers who run items with no sources. When they cite sources, they are so tenuous as to make you pass Go and return the $200. When caught, the blog will sometimes print retractions quickly [a BVD-clad blogger is likely to just delete the comment that pointed out the error]. The problem is that the readers have become so undiscerning it makes no difference [Fatheaded Ed Brayton's fans are a good example]. As quickly as an item is found wrong and as quickly as the blog runs a correction, another rises to take its place. Accuracy has no place on many blogs.
(bracketed comments are mine)

The notion that blogs have obsoleted the traditional news media is typified by a stupid book titled, "We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age," by Scott Gant.

Carolynne Burkholder wrote,
.
. . . . bloggers’ claims that they are the true citizen-journalists and that they can self-correct their errors is questioned by journalists and ethicists as self-serving rhetoric. Critics note cases where rumours were circulated by blogs and they were not proven to be false until much damage had been done to the reputation of career of a person or group. Self-correction by blogs is an imperfect process [and is made even more imperfect by the arbitrary censorship of comments]. Other critics accuse blogs of hypocrisy by claiming they believe in accuracy but they do not believe in editorial controls on postings prior to publication [BVD-clad bloggers also do not believe in any controls after publication]. Bloggers are also accused of wanting freedom without responsibility -- of reaching thousands of readers but rejecting calls for ethical codes and standards.(emphasis added; bracketed comments are mine)

And one of those "ethical codes and standards" that BVD-clad bloggers are rejecting is, of course, a rule against arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments. And, of course, this arbitrary censorship not only impacts factual accuracy but also impacts fairness in the presentation of opinions.
.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Moulton said...

Taboo or Not Taboo?
That is the Question.


Arbitrary and capricious censorship is a practice that cannot be outlawed, for the simple reason that outlawing some shreklisch practice is itself a variety of prior censorship.

Freud wrote about this issue in Totem and Taboo. Can whoever is highest up on the Totem Pole effectively control the speech of those beneath? Or is that just a hubristic caprice of the Arrogance of Power?

I reckon it is better to let the disgruntled riffraff shoot off their mouth than shoot off a more lethal salvo in the culture wars.

After, all an interminable soap opera makes a better drama than a silent murder mystery.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 3:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Wilderness said...

> ... can and should be their own editor, writing and saying what he pleases in his self-created Web log <

That is not disturbing. You believe that they should be censored. That is disturbing.

> [and also arbitrarily censoring comments from those who disagree with him]. <

Who, besides you, is doing this?

> When caught, the blog will sometimes print retractions quickly <

Sometimes they find their own errors. It is commendable that they then retract them. You have never retracted your errors. Of course if you did, there would be little left.

> [a BVD-clad blogger is likely to just delete the comment that pointed out the error]. <

Anything that a person banned for cause, such as yourself, will have their posts banned, no matter what the subject. You seem too dense to realize that and think that the subject of your post is the reason for the banning. It isn't. You were banned for cause and nothing you post will be accepted.

> Accuracy has no place on many blogs. <

It certainly doesn't on this one.

> Self-correction by blogs is an imperfect process <

But you shold try it anyway.

> [and is made even more imperfect by the arbitrary censorship of comments]. <

Then perhaps you should give up the practice? We would like to see ViW back.

> [BVD-clad bloggers also do not believe in any controls after publication]. <

No. They don't want censorship. How do you defend your advocacy of censorship.

> Bloggers are also accused of wanting freedom without responsibility -- of reaching thousands of readers but rejecting calls for ethical codes and standards. <

You seem jealous. You would reach more readers if your blog was not "non-notable" and "crappy".

> And one of those "ethical codes and standards" that BVD-clad bloggers are rejecting is, of course, a rule against arbitrary censorship of blog visitors' comments. <

As the only practitioner of arbitrary censorship who has been accurately named on this blog, why don't you lead by example?

There is no arbitrary censorship on any blog you have mentioned. There is on this blog!

Don't you realize how much your braying about "arbitrary" censorship blows your already limited credibility?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 4:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems quite hypocritical for you to advocate censorship of other people's blogs, as you do here, practicing censorship yourself on your own, and falsely accuse others groundlessly of doing the same.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

In these shreklisch dramas, it's rather difficult to solve for the Vexagon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 6:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrek said...

I object to having my name (my trademark!) misused by Moulton.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Shrek said...

Google hit counts:

"shreklisch" (Moulton's "word") -- 245

(Good going, Moulton -- they're probably all yours or related.)

"schrecklich" (actual word) -- 2,710,000

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:42:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

There is a subtle, but crucial difference between schreklich and shreklisch.

The former means "truly dreadful" whereas the latter is "faux dreadful" (meaning only dreaded by farquaadic overlords).

Thursday, October 18, 2007 2:03:00 AM  

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