Skip to comments.Open Letter to Dick Morris
Posted on 08/22/2003 11:26:45 PM PDT by DocFarmer
"Open Letter to Dick Morris"
Posted by Doc Farmer Saturday, August 23, 2003
Dear Dick Morris,
I recently read your article regarding media bias (see link at the bottom) and found it quite interesting. Granted, Ive been aware of media bias for a long time now. Accuracy in Media (AIM) and the Media Research Centre have been telling folks about the leftist slant in the news for years. Bernard Goldbergs ''Bias'' was a well-written eye opener regarding just the kind of shenanigans that really go on in the newsroom. I understand how censorship works, and you did a very good job of exposing the hypocrisy of the mainstream media.
However, you should perhaps check your own glass house. Theres a bit of bias going on in your own organization, Vote.com. Specifically, in the discussion board area.
Ive been a poster on Vote.com for a couple of years now. Its an enjoyable experience, most of the time. You can get into some really good debates. And sometimes those debates get a bit, well, intense. Sometimes they just devolve into schoolyard taunts and juvenile exchanges. And Im here to admit that Ive done some slinging of my own there. But Id get as good as Id give, and vice versa, and nobody seemed to mind.
Oh, there were occasions when some folks would go too far. One guy threatened the President, and he was subsequently banned. Another perennial idiot would register under several names and use vile language and blasphemous statements meant to shock and insult. He finally got bored and left after being nuked several times. But for the most part, folks would accept that this was a free discussion area and theyd participate nonetheless.
However, all that seems to have changed. There is a bias growing at Vote.com. A decidedly left-leaning bias. Not from the users, but from your own staff.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
In the past you had a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who would axe the just worst offenders, and then only after taking time to give them fair warning. Hes left your employ and youve hired a new guy. And his take on how, when and whom to ban is a bit less than even-handed. He banned me once, but we worked things out and I held no ill will toward his actions. But hes banned a few others, all conservatives or libertarians, because they did an awful thing. They were politically incorrect (see also: honest).
The latest case happened just before I wrote this article. One of my fellow debaters was warned by your CTO to not use the term ''sodomite'' or ''sodomist'' to (accurately) describe the actions of homosexuals. This is a legal term, and is described in the dictionary. It is not an overtly offensive word, except perhaps to those who practice sodomy. The so-called ''gay'' people (a term coined by the media years ago to make homosexuality more acceptable to the public). Some of the sodomists on the board then took it upon themselves to call this user all manner of foul names, told base lies, assaulted his character and besmirched his name. When this user contacted the CTO to inform him of this, however, the CTO took action against him, not the folks who attacked him.
Why? Because Vote.com does have an editorial bias. A bias to the left. A bias enforced by your own staff.
If the man who was punished by your CTO had been telling lies, others on the discussion boards could counter them with the truth. Instead, he had been telling the truth, albeit an uncomfortable one, and was rewarded with censure. Your organization, for all its declaration of impartiality, is taking the same left turn that has occurred in the new media that you excoriated in your article.
I understand fully that freedom of speech does not mean license. However, I also understand that all must be given a voice, or no true voice is heard. If you want your site to be a vox populi, then you must allow all populi to vox things that even when true are sometimes hurtful to a small minority of the overly sensitive (see also: lib/dem/soc/commies). When things are lies, however, such as the lib/dem/soc/commie penchant to refer to conservatives as ''nazis'' (where in fact that political ideology is much more far left wing than right), these should be challenged.
I would ask you, as the founder of Vote.com, to help correct the situation brewing in your own organization. You can establish a board of users, from every political spectrum, to determine when and how a user should be punished for offences. You can allow more internal control over board administration, to ensure that staff are accountable for their actions. You can provide better and more descriptive terms and conditions on what is and is not acceptable on your board.
Or you can do nothing. And let Vote.coms discussion area devolve into another democraticunderground.com, where all dissent is punished by banishment.
The choice is yours, sir. I hope youll make the right one.
Many thanks, Doc Farmer
Dick Morris' article on media bias, can be read at: http://www.hillnews.com/morris/081303.aspx Doc Farmer currently resides in Doha, Qatar. He receives e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally posted on ChronWatch at: http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=3974 www.chronwatch.com
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