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Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters
NY Observer ^ | Published: May 24, 2007 | by Rebecca Sinderbrand

Posted on 05/26/2007 1:49:34 PM PDT by Eurotwit

A few weeks ago – in between Hillary Clinton’s official entry into the presidential race and the first Republican primary debate of the cycle – the fiery online conservative forum Free Republic marked a decade in operation as one of the premier online forums for right-wing political discussion.

It also experienced one of the biggest internal battles to rock the site since the 2000 election of George W. Bush -- a tumultuous campaign year that nearly tore the site apart, as its founder and chief administrator first cleansed commenting ranks of Bush supporters, then, later, rallied to his support.

At the heart of the latest controversy: the fight over the conservative bona fides of Rudy Giuliani.

Over the past few weeks, chaos has reigned in the “Freeper” community as members sympathetic to the former mayor's candidacy claim to have suffered banishment from the site. They were victimized, they say, by a wave of purges designed to weed out any remaining support for the Giuliani campaign on the popular conservative web forum. Another significant chunk of commenters have migrated away from the controversial site over the action, according to a number of former site members and conservative bloggers who have been tracking the situation.

In a plaintive post on the blog “Sweetness & Light,” exiled commenter Steve Gilbert, who says he does not support the former mayor’s campaign, blasted the site’s new “anti-Giuliani, anti-abortion jihad.” Since George W. Bush was elected president, he wrote, “there haven’t been any large scale [Free Republic] purges to speak of – until now.”

The fight began one month ago, when site founder Jim Robinson posted an anti-Giuliani manifesto titled: “Giuliani as the GOP presidential nominee would be a dagger in the heart of the conservative movement.” Then the virtual ax started to swing. Longtime posters to the freewheeling discussion threads, used to serious no-holds-barred web etiquette, were still stunned by the intensity of the anti-Rudy activity; conservative blogs buzzed with the development.

“Jim Robinson has been going on a tear demonizing Rudy Giuliani, because Rudy (agreeing with the vast majority of Americans), is personally opposed to abortions on a moral level…” complained a user on the GOPUSA Web site. “Anyone who posts any support for Giuliani at the site, if it's at all forceful, will be banned.”

(“Normally, we don't allow complaints about other conservative forums,” chided the moderator, but “…because it is being discussed all over the Internet, I'll make an exception.”)

Just a few months ago, Rudy Giuliani placed second in an early Free Republic straw poll; now, his support on the site has been virtually eliminated. “After the ‘April Purge,’ I don't think there are any Rudybots left around here,” noted Free Republic commenter “upchuck” in one recent post. “And if there are, they're not posting pro-Rudy stuff :).”

The forums weren’t the only venue for the Free Republic’s new antagonism toward Mr. Giuliani, which coincided with a wave of comments expressing similar sentiments from other corners of the conservative movement. A few days after Mr. Giuliani’s equivocal Roe v. Wade comments at the Republican presidential debate on May 3, a new “STOP RUDY NOW News & Information Thread” was featured on the site, and a newly-created stand-alone category debuted via a link from the homepage: “The Giuliani Truth File.” (So far this campaign season, Mr. Giuliani is the only candidate – Republican or Democratic – to be singled out for that level of scrutiny from the Free Republic.)

Why Rudy? Why now? Some conservative bloggers and former commenters contacted for their view of the continuing controversy say they believe that site founder Jim Robinson holds ideologically middling Republicans like Mr. Giuliani responsible for the GOP’s congressional loss and current woes. (They asked that their names be kept out of this story for fear of antagonizing the famously frisky site regulars.)

Others claim that the former mayor’s top-tier status is spurring frantic site administrators into action. Finally, one popular theory holds that the Free Republic is secretly hoping for another Clinton presidency that would send its Alexa ratings soaring back to levels it hasn’t experienced since its halcyon days of the Clinton impeachment, when a since-soured relationship with blog pioneer Matt Drudge and overwhelming anti-Clinton sentiment in Republican ranks helped make Free Republic one of the hottest Web sites in the nation. It hasn't recovered that luster since the Bush administration took over.

“It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s an observation,” said one blogger, who describes himself as a half-hearted Mitt Romney supporter. “They’ve still got a brand name that means something, but they’re not what they were in terms of real-world impact. A Hillary presidency would get them there.”

Robinson himself could not be reached for comment, but his original post laid out his case against Mr. Giuliani – a graphics-heavy presentation of some of the former mayor’s most damning moderate quotes in mainstream media venues, along with a color-coded report card tracking his less-than-doctrinaire positions on abortion, immigration, gays and guns.

Robinson, it should be noted, famously blasted George W. Bush’s presidential candidacy back in 2000, before a dramatic late-campaign about-face that saw him emerge as one of the GOP ticket’s biggest supporters. But whether or not Free Republic experiences a similar election-year shift this cycle, the site’s current campaign is spreading a dangerous primary-season meme of Rudy Giuliani as big-city liberal – and turning one of the most influential web forums in conservatism into an exclusive gathering place for those who share that view.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: bugzapper; byebyerinos; freepicide; goodriddance; popcorntime; rinowhine; springcleaning; wambulance; whiners
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Just came over this. Thought some of you mind find it interesting.

Cheers.

1 posted on 05/26/2007 1:49:35 PM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: EternalVigilance

Someone posted on this article under the nick EV?

Was it you?

Cheers and a good weekend to you,

Euro.


2 posted on 05/26/2007 1:50:55 PM PDT by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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To: Eurotwit

Appears to be a non-event except in the imagination of some amateur historians.


3 posted on 05/26/2007 1:51:55 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: Eurotwit
A lot of these morons weren't banned, they committed FReepercide on their own.

Couldn't handle the truth on Giuliani so they fell on their sword.

4 posted on 05/26/2007 1:52:07 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: RightWhale

It this a serious magazine??


5 posted on 05/26/2007 1:53:25 PM PDT by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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To: Eurotwit

Sounds like a Rodney Dangerfield comedy skit...


6 posted on 05/26/2007 1:53:42 PM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Eurotwit
the site’s new “anti-Giuliani, anti-abortion jihad.”

Onward, Jihad!

7 posted on 05/26/2007 1:54:31 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Eurotwit
Finally, one popular theory holds that the Free Republic is secretly hoping for another Clinton presidency that would send its Alexa ratings soaring back to levels it hasn’t experienced since its halcyon days of the Clinton impeachment, when a since-soured relationship with blog pioneer Matt Drudge and overwhelming anti-Clinton sentiment in Republican ranks helped make Free Republic one of the hottest Web sites in the nation.

This is how they think, so they project it onto us.

They think only of their own personal gains and only appear to give a hoot for the country as begun in 1776. So they assume we are the same and would rather have no USA left but a thriving Free Republic website. (They also imply that conservatism can only thrive as an underground opposition, which would have put Rush Limbaugh out of work 7 years ago; last I heard, the MajaRushie is doing fine.)

8 posted on 05/26/2007 1:54:42 PM PDT by Yaelle
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: Eurotwit
"(They asked that their names be kept out of this story for fear of antagonizing the famously frisky site regulars.)"

Then screw you cowards. Stand up like a man or crawl back under your bridge...
10 posted on 05/26/2007 1:55:37 PM PDT by rockrr (09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0)
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To: Eurotwit

Kool


11 posted on 05/26/2007 1:56:15 PM PDT by processing please hold (Duncan Hunter '08) (ROP and Open Borders-a terrorist marriage and hell's coming with them)
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To: Eurotwit

“They were victimized, they say,... “

That’s just so sad. Sniff.


12 posted on 05/26/2007 1:57:31 PM PDT by OwenKellogg (Would you like to touch my hair?)
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To: Eurotwit

I though it was a purge of liberals not just Rudy fan - oh, wait - never mind.


13 posted on 05/26/2007 1:57:48 PM PDT by WorkerbeeCitizen (I Relieve Myself In Islam's General Direction While I Deny Global Warming.)
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To: Eurotwit
"...the site’s current campaign is spreading a dangerous primary-season meme of Rudy Giuliani as big-city liberal..."

Giuliani is a "big-city liberal" and if the meme is dangerous then that is more reflective of his liberalism than any "current campaign".
14 posted on 05/26/2007 1:58:07 PM PDT by Texas_Jarhead ("nothing gets figured out if you don't bother to stop and think about it", Thomas Sowell)
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To: Eurotwit

100,000 reply thread!!!


15 posted on 05/26/2007 1:58:07 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Eurotwit
famously frisky site regulars

Although I'm not supporting Rudy in the primaries, I've posted some things supportive of him. I've not been banned so far.
16 posted on 05/26/2007 1:59:56 PM PDT by loreldan (Without coffee I am nothing. Romney supporter for now...)
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To: Eurotwit

LOL.

Check out the photo they ran with Mojo’s article:

http://www.observer.com/files/imagecache/article/files/rudypride.jpg

“Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg marching in the gay pride parade in Manhattan in 2001.”

I rest my case.


17 posted on 05/26/2007 2:00:18 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Our God-given unalienable rights are not open to debate, negotiation or compromise!)
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To: Eurotwit

Can’t say; don’t know anything about it. Probably some neo-marxist beatnik Greenwich Village rag of little note.


18 posted on 05/26/2007 2:01:05 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: Eurotwit
anti-abortion jihad

OK. Who declared war? Was war waged on the womb or from the womb? (I don't think anyone smuggled in arms to the pre-born babies, except for the "two" they naturally come equipped with)

19 posted on 05/26/2007 2:01:18 PM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Eurotwit
Robinson, it should be noted, famously blasted George W. Bush’s presidential candidacy back in 2000, before a dramatic late-campaign about-face that saw him emerge as one of the GOP ticket’s biggest supporters.

Bush at least stood up for the unborn and was pro-gun & pro-tax cuts.

Sadly, we all saw that Bush only gave lip service to conservatism. The opposition to Giuliani and other RINOs simply means we don't want to make that same mistake again.

20 posted on 05/26/2007 2:01:28 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: Eurotwit
“Jim Robinson has been going on a tear demonizing Rudy Giuliani, because Rudy (agreeing with the vast majority of Americans), is personally opposed to abortions on a moral level…”

Did I mis-read that?

21 posted on 05/26/2007 2:02:17 PM PDT by Abcdefg
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To: Eurotwit

Just gotta love the ninth paragraph.

LOL!!!


22 posted on 05/26/2007 2:03:15 PM PDT by upchuck (Who will support Fred Thompson? Anyone who enjoys a dose of common sense not wrapped in doublespeak.)
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To: Eurotwit
Robinson himself could not be reached for comment, but his original post laid out his case against Mr. Giuliani – a graphics-heavy presentation of some of the former mayor’s most damning moderate quotes in mainstream media venues,...

They weren't 'moderate' quotes - they were liberal/leftist quotes... that's why they were 'damning'... /grin

23 posted on 05/26/2007 2:03:25 PM PDT by tarheelswamprat
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To: Eurotwit

Anti-Rudyite behavior on FR? That’s kind of hard to believe. :^)


24 posted on 05/26/2007 2:03:39 PM PDT by claudiustg (I curse you, Rudy of the Giuliani!)
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To: Eurotwit; al baby; Allegra; Auntbee; BJClinton; Dashing Dasher; dfwddr; exile; feinswinesuksass; ...
What the hell is The New York Observer?
25 posted on 05/26/2007 2:03:41 PM PDT by EveningStar (http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/)
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To: Eurotwit
the site’s new “anti-Giuliani, anti-abortion jihad.”

No bias there L0L

26 posted on 05/26/2007 2:04:17 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Jim Robinson

Would be a great election. A communist, a socialist, and a socialist (with a billion dollars)

We lose! yay!


27 posted on 05/26/2007 2:04:21 PM PDT by Crazieman (The Democratic Party: Culture of Treason)
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To: loreldan

On a thread where I was standing up for the British effort in the war on terror, I supported Guilianis straight talking manner.

I didn’t get banned.

However, after the debates, my opinion of Rudy’s straight talking has gone markedly down.

He, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be the strong clear leader the free world requires.

Still though, big credit to him for standing up to the Saudi’s

Still waiting for the President to follow suit.

IS there anyone who dares?

Fred Thompson?

Come on Fred.

I love ya man. Take on the Saudis....

Cheers.


28 posted on 05/26/2007 2:04:31 PM PDT by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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To: Eurotwit
(They asked that their names be kept out of this story for fear of antagonizing the famously frisky site regulars.)

That's me to a "T" - Frisky

29 posted on 05/26/2007 2:04:38 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Jim Robinson
Robinson himself could not be reached for comment,

Testing! Testing! One two three....testing! ;) :)

30 posted on 05/26/2007 2:04:42 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (See HiJinx's tag line....then DO it!!!!)
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To: Eurotwit
You should have been around here in the "Go Pat Go" days. JimRob has banned a few that I didn't think deserved it but on the whole he has been rather restrained.

I Know Eternal Vigilance, nice guy, I owe him a dinner.

31 posted on 05/26/2007 2:05:40 PM PDT by Little Bill (Welcome to the Newly Socialist State of New Hampshire)
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To: tarheelswamprat

Hadn’t you heard? There’s no such thing as “liberal” - there’s just peaceable thoughtful folks....and those damnable right-wingers ;’}


32 posted on 05/26/2007 2:06:18 PM PDT by rockrr (09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0)
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To: Graybeard58

I ain’t famous, but I sure am frisky.


33 posted on 05/26/2007 2:06:46 PM PDT by umgud ("When seconds count, the police are just 10 minutes away!")
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To: Eurotwit

I must be working too much or either nobody bothered to tell me there was a purge.


34 posted on 05/26/2007 2:07:04 PM PDT by SouthTexas (Man made global warming is a man made LIE!)
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To: Eurotwit
famously blasted George W. Bush’s presidential candidacy back in 2000, before a dramatic late-campaign about-face that saw him emerge as one of the GOP ticket’s biggest supporters

For those who have forgotten 2000, George was annointed the GOP candidate. Rudy has no such standing in the GOP and needs to be defeated before it comes to a November decision.

35 posted on 05/26/2007 2:07:23 PM PDT by Glenn (Someone in '08!)
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To: Eurotwit

bttt


36 posted on 05/26/2007 2:07:51 PM PDT by BlabItGrabIt (The Liebrals Shure Are Getting Cocky)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
A lot of these morons weren't banned, they committed FReepercide on their own.

Now THAT is funny...

37 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:05 PM PDT by Axenolith ("pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels ? bring home for Emma")
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To: upchuck; Abcdefg

Yeah, that was sort of odd.

;-)


38 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:17 PM PDT by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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To: EveningStar

“the curiously pink newspaper.”


39 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:19 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Eurotwit

“right wing” ?

We’re more like loyal Americans who love our country as opposed to American-hating socialists over at the DNC, MSM, and most of Hollywierd.


40 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:33 PM PDT by rbosque (L)
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To: mylife

I saw that. lol


41 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:56 PM PDT by EveningStar (http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/)
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To: Eurotwit
It also experienced one of the biggest internal battles to rock the site since the 2000 election of George W. Bush -- a tumultuous campaign year that nearly tore the site apart, as its founder and chief administrator first cleansed commenting ranks of Bush supporters, then, later, rallied to his support.

I really don't remember that at all. I remember being invaded by McCainiacs, but I don't remember any purging of Bush supporters.

42 posted on 05/26/2007 2:08:58 PM PDT by Always Right
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

A picture is worth a thousand words! I’ve also noticed some “new” members lately who appear to be retreads of previous members who have had second thoughts about giving up their posting privileges to the best conservative forum on the web.


43 posted on 05/26/2007 2:09:08 PM PDT by FReepapalooza
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To: claudiustg
Anti-Rudyite behavior on FR? That’s kind of hard to believe. :^)

Especially with hard core conservative credentials like those of "America's Mayor".

44 posted on 05/26/2007 2:09:34 PM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: Eurotwit
It hasn't recovered that luster since the Bush administration took over.

Shhh, don't mention Rathergate...

45 posted on 05/26/2007 2:09:51 PM PDT by jiggyboy (Ten per cent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: Little Bill

I miss Travis Mcgee....

FR has not been the same since he was shown the door...

A true American, a true Patriot, and a true defender of Western Civ.

Cheers.


46 posted on 05/26/2007 2:10:03 PM PDT by Eurotwit (WI - CSC)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Duxh is and was all hat and no cattle.


47 posted on 05/26/2007 2:10:36 PM PDT by afnamvet (It is what it is)
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To: Eurotwit
Don Morgan for me.
48 posted on 05/26/2007 2:11:16 PM PDT by Little Bill (Welcome to the Newly Socialist State of New Hampshire)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Kinda makes me real proud to be a right winger.

I’m wiping...my tears....ugh...for those Rooty toots!

Driven away...sob.


49 posted on 05/26/2007 2:11:53 PM PDT by dforest (Fighting the new liberal Conservatism. The Left foot in the GOP door.)
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To: Eurotwit
Finally, one popular theory holds that the Free Republic is secretly hoping for another Clinton presidency that would send its Alexa ratings soaring back to levels it hasn’t experienced since its halcyon days of the Clinton impeachment, when a since-soured relationship with blog pioneer Matt Drudge and overwhelming anti-Clinton sentiment in Republican ranks helped make Free Republic one of the hottest Web sites in the nation. It hasn't recovered that luster since the Bush administration took over.

“It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s an observation,” said one blogger, who describes himself as a half-hearted Mitt Romney supporter. “They’ve still got a brand name that means something, but they’re not what they were in terms of real-world impact. A Hillary presidency would get them there.”

LMFAO... sounds to me like some puss-bag at KOS has a friend at the NYObserver.

50 posted on 05/26/2007 2:16:12 PM PDT by johnny7 ("But that one on the far left... he had crazy eyes")
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