Friday, February 24, 2012

SP&T further silences even more voices

Brent Boyer recently announced his latest effort to silence those he disapproves of.

Ostensibly, the motivation is to “create a vibrant, thoughtful and tolerant place for readers to share opinions, debate issues and otherwise engage in the news”.

Some, including myself, would suggest the real motivation is to further silence voices which do not share the political agenda of SP&T.

I think I can say with reasonable certainty that my voice at SP&T was silenced for purely political reasons. I cannot say for absolute certain why I was banned for life from ever again commenting at SP&T. You see, I never received any warning alleging any violation of the SP&T comments policy and I never received any explanation for why I was suddenly banned for life and every comment I had ever posted was summarily deleted. All I know is that I was banned for life shortly after I criticized an article published by SP&T.

On 3/12/2008 (in the throes of a heated Presidential election year), SP&T published an article which referred to “[t]he recession of the national economy”. I took SP&T to task on this and demanded a correction. At the time, the NBER had not yet declared the economy to be in recession -- that took place much later (on December 1, 2008). Furthermore, the most recent GDP data at that time indicated the national economy had expanded in each of the previous two quarters. Therefore, I submitted that SP&T was guilty of editorializing in what was purported to be objective news reporting. I further cited an editorial critical of such practices.

At that time, voicing an OPINION (on the editorial page) that the national economy was in recession would have been acceptable (albeit unsubstantiated). What was utterly indefensible was stating this as FACT in an article purporting to objectively report straight news.

Click here and see that my criticism CLEARLY irritated Mr. Boyer. Boyer threatened to (quite arbitrarily) delete any further comments on this subject. My assumption is that he went one better and deleted every comment I ever wrote and banned me for life. I have searched Mr. Boyer’s comment history and confirmed that this was the one and only time Boyer ever responded to any of my comments.

As always, NONE of what I posted was even remotely close to being in violation of the SP&T written policies for commenting on their site. What I posted did, however, expose the political agenda at SP&T. I’m about 99% certain my critique of that political agenda is what got me banned for life.

Then, as now, the only thing lacking at SP&T was anything even remotely resembling objective and unbiased enforcement of their own written policies for commenting. Then, as now, I believe the real objective was to silence those who did not share the SP&T political agenda. Phase I (requiring commenters to disclose their true identity to SP&T) CLEARLY had that effect. Our local Leftists openly admitted this and openly celebrated it. Phase II (requiring commenters to reveal their true identity to every emotionally unstable political extremist in the area) has (not surprisingly) already silenced even more of the political opposition. Once again, local Leftists are thrilled.

Sad times for Steamboat Springs.