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AOL Libels Free Republic; Web Giant Falsely Accuses Conservative Site of Hosting Child Porn
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Kristinn

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.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Free Republic; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2010electionbias; achillwind; agitprop; aol; aollies; businessinsider; cyberbullying; dailyfinance; dailykos; democrats; dncbrownshirts; dnctalkingpoints; drivebymedia; evilporntroll; fakebutaccurate; fr; freerepublic; gawker; gaystapotactics; goebbelswouldbeproud; hitsquad; howardkurtz; internetmeme; jacuse; jamesrisen; jeffbercovici; johncook; journolist; journolistgate; kaos; lavendermafia; libel; libelous; liberalfascism; lyingliar; madhatter; mediabias; mediagate; nicholascarlson; plantedevidence; pornification; propaganda; salon; saulalinsky; slander; smearcampaign; stalinisttactics; thebiglie; trollpostsporn; trolls; vikingkitties; washingtonpost; witchhunt; yahoo; yahoonews; yellowjournalism; zogbyism
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1 posted on 09/22/2010 8:23:13 PM PDT by kristinn
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To: Jim Robinson

This is actionable.


2 posted on 09/22/2010 8:24:18 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: kristinn

Sheesh...!


3 posted on 09/22/2010 8:24:22 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Pablo is very whiney)
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To: kristinn

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.


4 posted on 09/22/2010 8:26:28 PM PDT by La Lydia
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To: kristinn

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.


5 posted on 09/22/2010 8:27:04 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: kristinn

“....then they attack you, then you win.”

Mohandas Gandhi


6 posted on 09/22/2010 8:27:07 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: kristinn; Jim Robinson
Notice is doesn't say 'alleged'? They make it sound like an unquestionable fact. This is outrageous.

Nail 'em Mr. Robinson.

7 posted on 09/22/2010 8:27:51 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Pablo is very whiney)
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To: kristinn

WOOHOO...time to take the trolls to court!


8 posted on 09/22/2010 8:28:01 PM PDT by penelopesire ('Obama's Wars' are with our own military..Bush's Wars were with our enemies!)
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To: kristinn

I hope JR makes Jeff Bercovici prove his allegation in court, and AOL also (where the big money is).


9 posted on 09/22/2010 8:28:03 PM PDT by Inappropriate Laughter (Obama: Another illegal alien living in public housing)
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To: kristinn

Ironic. AOL chat rooms were notorious hangouts for pedophiles.


10 posted on 09/22/2010 8:28:50 PM PDT by Mojave (Ignorant and stoned - Obama's natural constituency.)
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To: Inappropriate Laughter

LOL... you crack me up. AOL = big money? Really? Hahahaha.


11 posted on 09/22/2010 8:31:49 PM PDT by ican'tbelieveit (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team# 36120), KW:Folding)
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To: kristinn
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.

As fast as you could ban one another one posted a nasty pic.

12 posted on 09/22/2010 8:31:54 PM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.)
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To: Jim Robinson

I think this might get you that new bass rig you’ve been wanting. Maybe a whole fleet of ‘em.


13 posted on 09/22/2010 8:32:19 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Obama: running for re-election in '12 or running for Mahdi now? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi])
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To: kristinn


"Let's nuke the bastards."
14 posted on 09/22/2010 8:32:30 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Let this chant follow BHO everywhere he goes: "You lie. You lie. You lie.")
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To: kristinn

“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.


15 posted on 09/22/2010 8:32:46 PM PDT by purplelobster
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To: Mojave
"Ironic. AOL chat rooms were notorious hangouts for pedophiles."

No less than Scott Ritter, IIRC. My memory might be faulty, but I seem to recall he set up his infamous Burger King rendezvous in an AOL chat.
16 posted on 09/22/2010 8:34:55 PM PDT by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Obama: running for re-election in '12 or running for Mahdi now? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi])
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To: kristinn; jimrob
Slander might be tough to prove, as he could have written such an article, but the claim of Outrage or False Light would be better.

Call Liberty Counsel, a national Conservative lawyers’ group Hq in Orlando.

They could file in the Rocket Docket so Kristinn could watch the proceedings. :)

17 posted on 09/22/2010 8:35:04 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Fighting the "con" in Conservatism on FR, since 1998.)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick

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.


18 posted on 09/22/2010 8:35:09 PM PDT by Mugwump
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To: kristinn

SUE THE B*****Ds!!!!

This constant Slander/Libel praticed by the Left HAS to STOP!


19 posted on 09/22/2010 8:35:29 PM PDT by Marty62 (marty60)
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To: kristinn

Does this mean when we win that we won’t need anymore Freepathons?


20 posted on 09/22/2010 8:35:46 PM PDT by Mr. Jazzy (God bless the United States of America and protect her from the enemies of freedom.)
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To: kristinn

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2594514/posts


21 posted on 09/22/2010 8:35:49 PM PDT by mojo114 (On to November.)
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To: Mojave

AOL is still around? Huh. They sucked so bad I celebrated the day I left them and never looked back. AOL=Almost On Line..


22 posted on 09/22/2010 8:36:22 PM PDT by Aut Pax Aut Bellum (The Summer of Recovery is becoming the Fall of Fall...)
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To: kristinn; Jim Robinson

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/howard-kurtz/2010/09/reporter_fed_up_with_yahoo.html

Reporter fed up with Yahoo

(snip)

“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


23 posted on 09/22/2010 8:37:56 PM PDT by maggief
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To: La Lydia
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.

What's wrong with the current FR server? (live cam below)


24 posted on 09/22/2010 8:38:05 PM PDT by montag813 (http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona)
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To: La Lydia

It would be nice if they had to pay for the next few FReepathons. :)


25 posted on 09/22/2010 8:39:02 PM PDT by Politicalmom (A BIG TENT analogy isn’t the correct one. The correct one is a MAGNET.-Fred Thompson)
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To: kristinn
“The Internet giant AOL “

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?

26 posted on 09/22/2010 8:39:22 PM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: Inappropriate Laughter
As a Freeper, does this mean Jim will be paying out dividends?

Joking aside, I hope Jim wins enough to make himself comfortable and make Free Republic permanent.

27 posted on 09/22/2010 8:39:22 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: kristinn
Gee, I wonder if the timing has anything to do with Nov 2 coming up.
This is more Rat work!!!
28 posted on 09/22/2010 8:40:40 PM PDT by The Cajun
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To: Mugwump
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.


Regular freepers can help keep the site clean by using the "Report Abuse" button whenever you see something that needs to be dealt with. Mods can't be everywhere at all times.
29 posted on 09/22/2010 8:41:23 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: montag813

Hilarious. I felt old just seeing that and knowing how to operate it.

Sue the Bastards!


30 posted on 09/22/2010 8:42:20 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA
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To: Celtic Cross; Jim Robinson; LucyT; Cindy; Oorang; ExTexasRedhead; ExSoldier; appalachian_dweller; ..
Notice is doesn't say 'alleged'? They make it sound like an unquestionable fact.

Whatever their intent, it degrades and slanders Free Republic. This is a despicable and malicious action.

31 posted on 09/22/2010 8:42:28 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: kristinn
Lawsuit!
32 posted on 09/22/2010 8:42:52 PM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick

“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.


33 posted on 09/22/2010 8:42:58 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: montag813
Commie 64 porn ... brings back fond memories :)

But that is definitely not a classic 1701 Monitor ....... /laughs

34 posted on 09/22/2010 8:44:02 PM PDT by Mr_Moonlight
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To: MamaDearest

Their intent is very clear. Its sad that anyone could stoop so low.


35 posted on 09/22/2010 8:44:57 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Pablo is very whiney)
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To: kristinn

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.


36 posted on 09/22/2010 8:49:28 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: maggief

Terrific...


37 posted on 09/22/2010 8:49:42 PM PDT by kristinn (Lowering the IQ on FR since Jul 31, 1998)
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To: kristinn

That bites. These people can try and post anything and then report against free republic.


38 posted on 09/22/2010 8:51:22 PM PDT by swheats (We were born for such a time as this. Let's Roll!)
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To: kristinn

Get them for this!


39 posted on 09/22/2010 8:52:14 PM PDT by RedMDer (Throw Them Out! Forward With Confidence!)
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To: kristinn

This should be pursued legally to the extent that JimRob need never hold another Freepathon again.


40 posted on 09/22/2010 8:53:45 PM PDT by Caipirabob ( Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

Yeah, you can keep up-to-date on the Ritter case at aolnews.com

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/former-un-inspector-scott-ritter-faces-child-sex-charges/19317435


41 posted on 09/22/2010 8:54:18 PM PDT by LayoutGuru2 (0BAMAC0RN)
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To: Celtic Cross
Their intent is very clear. Its sad that anyone could stoop so low.

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.

42 posted on 09/22/2010 8:58:45 PM PDT by MamaDearest
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To: kristinn

Jim should own them. Never mind, aol, has to be broke to pull this stunt. My vote is with an earlier post, on operatives.


43 posted on 09/22/2010 9:01:35 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Please God, Bless and Protect Our Men and Women in Uniform)
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To: All
There's a biggggggg difference between porno pics being surreptiously posted on a forum in the middle of the night by a whack-job or political enemy....and a forum HOSTING a porn site.

Keep in mind le difference, oui?

Leni

44 posted on 09/22/2010 9:01:37 PM PDT by MinuteGal (Are any Americans better off than they were 4 trillion dollars ago?)
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To: Jim Robinson

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!


45 posted on 09/22/2010 9:03:36 PM PDT by FarRightFanatic (It wasn't an election. It was a socialist coup.)
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To: kristinn; Jim Robinson

Go get ‘em!


46 posted on 09/22/2010 9:04:53 PM PDT by SouthTexas ("Global Climate Disruption" = More bovine excrement)
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To: kristinn

This is on Wiki:

Banning participants
Jim Robinson has also made it a point to ban fellow conservatives and others who don’t completely share his political mindset. [55]

(SNIP)

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.”[58]


47 posted on 09/22/2010 9:06:25 PM PDT by woofie
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To: kristinn
"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.

Yeah because, you know, that whole "freedom" thingy is just so hard to understand....

48 posted on 09/22/2010 9:06:28 PM PDT by csense
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To: kristinn

Quick! Get a lawyer!!! I feel a whiplash coming on! Sue AOL’s ass!!!


49 posted on 09/22/2010 9:09:50 PM PDT by ALocalTech (Throat punch a liberal)
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To: ALocalTech

In ius voco spurius


50 posted on 09/22/2010 9:12:14 PM PDT by rolling_stone
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