Skip to comments.AOL Libels Free Republic; Web Giant Falsely Accuses Conservative Site of Hosting Child Porn
Posted on 09/22/2010 8:23:10 PM PDT by kristinn
The Internet giant AOL libeled Free Republic as "hosting child pornography" in an article published Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at their Daily Finance news site. The site's masthead reads: Daily Finance An AOL Money & Finance Site.
Authored by Daily Finance media columnist Jeff Bercovici, the article entitled Muzzled Reporter Says 'Maw of Yahoo' No Place for Journalism tells the story about John Cook's reasons for leaving Yahoo News and returning to his previous gig with Gawker. According to the article, Cook was the senior national affairs reporter for Yahoo's The Upshot news blog. Bercovici notes that he and Cook are friends and former colleagues.
In the article, Bercovici writes that among Cook's reasons for leaving Yahoo News was that he was not allowed to write about Free Republic:
"But Cook offers a different interpretation of his move, saying that Yahoo's corporate conservatism repeatedly got in the way of his attempts to report the news. In one instance, Cook was forced to bowdlerize a quotation from New York Times reporter James Risen; he was told that referring to masturbation, even euphemistically, was unacceptable. On similar grounds, he was prohibited from writing about the conservative website Free Republic hosting child pornography. Most glaringly, he was told that a proposed story on the Obama Administration raising the salary of White House staffers by 9% lacked the necessary balance; it was killed."
The original paragraph includes a link to a Salon.com article about a scammer creating a user account at Free Republic and posting a link to an alleged child porn site on his home page.(Salon reports it did not directly verify the link.)
The article explicitly exonerates Free Republic of "hosting child pornography" and instead cites the site as being "lax" in its registration process:
"Now FreeRepublic.com is not hosting or even "condoning" child pornography. It's just that it's so ridiculously easy to set up a profile and get your own FreeRepublic page that apparently anyone can and will do it. Theoretically, someone could do this at Kos or OpenSalon. (But, as far as we know, no one has.)"
"...Free Republic appears to delete profiles started for spamming purposes (unless user "freehoodia" was "banned or suspended" for some other reason, like supporting TARP), so, again, all we're accusing it of is being somewhat lax in its moderation of the user registration process."
AOL's Daily Finance presents itself as a professional journalistic enterprise with a full editorial staff overseeing their reporters.
Yet even with a link to the article that flatly refutes AOL's claim that Free Republic hosts child pornography, AOL printed the libel anyway.
Corrective action will be sought.
This is actionable.
A lawsuit that results in enough $$ to buy deluxe versions of those new servers or whatever it is that is needed would be nice; that, and an apology.
This is transparently malicious. It wouldn’t take 5 minutes for them to investigate and realize the FR doesn’t host anything but text and html.
“....then they attack you, then you win.”
Nail 'em Mr. Robinson.
WOOHOO...time to take the trolls to court!
I hope JR makes Jeff Bercovici prove his allegation in court, and AOL also (where the big money is).
Ironic. AOL chat rooms were notorious hangouts for pedophiles.
LOL... you crack me up. AOL = big money? Really? Hahahaha.
As fast as you could ban one another one posted a nasty pic.
I think this might get you that new bass rig you’ve been wanting. Maybe a whole fleet of ‘em.
“returning to his previous gig with Gawker”
The guy’s only prior experience was writing bon mots about Paris Hilton and Julia Allison party events so he must struggle to actually write articles about real subjects. He is sort of an internet version of Jayson Blair.
Call Liberty Counsel, a national Conservative lawyers’ group Hq in Orlando.
They could file in the Rocket Docket so Kristinn could watch the proceedings. :)
Oddly, I saw a really repulsive porn shot in the last seven days. Repulsive... I dunno what’s going on, but it needs to be dealt with — with prejudice.
I trust Jim and the gang will do so.
SUE THE B*****Ds!!!!
This constant Slander/Libel praticed by the Left HAS to STOP!
Does this mean when we win that we won’t need anymore Freepathons?
AOL is still around? Huh. They sucked so bad I celebrated the day I left them and never looked back. AOL=Almost On Line..
Reporter fed up with Yahoo
“In one instance, Cook was forced to bowdlerize a quotation from New York Times reporter James Risen; he was told that referring to masturbation, even euphemistically, was unacceptable. On similar grounds, he was prohibited from writing about the conservative website Free Republic hosting child pornography. Most glaringly, he was told that a proposed story on the Obama Administration raising the salary of White House staffers by 9% lacked the necessary balance; it was killed.”
Cook told him: “I really valued being able to write what I think without somebody worrying about whether it will upset somebody, or meets the sort of balancing test that newspapers apply to themselves.”
Andrew Golis, who runs The Upshot, wrote on his blog Wednesday. “John’s a brilliant reporter, but he decided that he prefers the license Gawker gave him to add his opinions into his reporting to the scale and credibility Yahoo! News could offer.”
Cook is heading back to Gawker. The question for Yahoo, AOL and other portals edging their way into the content business is whether other journalists will see them as a liberating leap from the MSM—or large corporations with overzealous editing.
By Howard Kurtz | September 22, 2010; 10:12 PM ET
What's wrong with the current FR server? (live cam below)
It would be nice if they had to pay for the next few FReepathons. :)
They still exist? I thought they went out of business years ago.
Wonder why they include those neat little mini Frisbees in every magazine anymore?
Joking aside, I hope Jim wins enough to make himself comfortable and make Free Republic permanent.
Hilarious. I felt old just seeing that and knowing how to operate it.
Sue the Bastards!
Whatever their intent, it degrades and slanders Free Republic. This is a despicable and malicious action.
“Are they referring to back a few years ago when a few libs joined and kept posting porn pics in threads for about a week.”
Having been a very active FReeper for 12 years, I do not recall such an event.
Traveling for the last ten years, however, I may have missed a few months at a time.
But that is definitely not a classic 1701 Monitor ....... /laughs
Their intent is very clear. Its sad that anyone could stoop so low.
So it appears to me that the two main players Cook, and Bercovici with some sort of relationship as “friends”, whatever have another friend that pulled something on FR under the guise of “freehoodia”, and they apparently colluded to get even with FR after THAT friend of theirs was banned from the site.
Quite a childish act, but then Liberals are.
That bites. These people can try and post anything and then report against free republic.
Get them for this!
This should be pursued legally to the extent that JimRob need never hold another Freepathon again.
Yeah, you can keep up-to-date on the Ritter case at aolnews.com
They unquestionably allowed the verbiage to be printed knowing full well the false suggestion of child pornography upon Free Republic was potentially very damaging to the website's conservative reputation. It was in its way a stealth attack on Free Republic and every conservative who posts here.
Jim should own them. Never mind, aol, has to be broke to pull this stunt. My vote is with an earlier post, on operatives.
Keep in mind le difference, oui?
I know we don’t need to tell you this, Jim, and you’ve probably already started exploring your options, but this is a very serious charge being leveled against this site. It is slanderous and malicious. Take them to court and demand a full apology, in addition to damages.
Surprisingly, there is actually a lawsuit that this Freeper can support! GO GET ‘EM, JIM!
Go get ‘em!
This is on Wiki:
Jim Robinson has also made it a point to ban fellow conservatives and others who don’t completely share his political mindset. 
Despite this willingness to ban users, however, critics have charged that the lack of moderating on the site has allowed some users to advertise underage pornography: “One thing that apparently won’t result in a ban: using the site solely to boost Web ranking for your child porn site.”
Yeah because, you know, that whole "freedom" thingy is just so hard to understand....
Quick! Get a lawyer!!! I feel a whiplash coming on! Sue AOL’s ass!!!
In ius voco spurius