Friday, May 29, 2009

The DLC/Progressive Muting of Liberal Dissent

(ok. I am not going to spam up your site here, but I feel the need to post this. Many of you don't know who I am. Perhaps there is a matter of trust that needs to be established. So I will put this up here in the hope that you get a better feel for who I am and my history with OpEd News.  Lets just say I was COTO before COTO was cool (catchy, huh?). The following was posted on my site after my banning from Op Ed News, Nov. 16th 2008. It shows with screen shots and quotes that Rob Kall has been systematicly suppressing "Obama dissent" for some time and removing comments that point out that fact.)

by Scott Creighton

Once proud bastions of critical thinking and informed dissent are quietly transitioning into not so subtlety regulated echo-chambers for “topic positioning” of progressive discourse. It used to be that progressive and liberal “alternative” sites would pride themselves on the free and open exchange of ideas. That was before the run-up to the election and the muting of the far left that followed directly after “their candidate” won. It would seem, that the very same people that criticized the right-wing trolls for not being capable of examining the actions of their president, are in fact suffering from the same ailment themselves; blind, submissive loyalty to “party”. The level of hypocrisy is stunning but not unexpected.

Case in point: Rob Kall, Op Ed News



(Disclaimer: I posted over 25 articles for consideration of publication to Op Ed News. Every one of them was published.

Yesterday, I disagreed with a conclusion that Rob Kall made about blindly supporting the choices being made by Barack Obama. I gave proof that this new Auto Industry Bailout Plan of his and the democrats would likely include forcing undue concessions on the United Auto-Workers of America.

After several other posters on that site left comments that agreed with me, Rob Kall erased the comment I left.

After I had contacted other regulars at Op Ed News, Rob Kall attempted to spin the removal of the labor concern comment by claiming he removed it because of spelling errors. He had also removed a comment I left in response to someone that agreed with me. There were no “spelling errors” in that second comment of mine he removed.

After he read several comments that I left on the site showing that Rob Kall was erasing dissent of his “We MUST support Obama” claim, he realized that the comment that the individual left supporting mine, mentioned my “Watchmen” avatar, and clearly stated he agreed with my position.

So, Rob Kall erased that one as well. There was no “spelling errors” in that person’s comment. He erased it because it agreed with my conclusion.

And that makes Rob Kall a liar as well.

Screenshots of all of this are located at the end of this story as well as the original text of the comment I left for Rob Kall in which I argue that the bailout is fine and dandy, but there is NOTHING that says we have to support Obama’s purely Clintonesque effort at union busting.

The UAW made concessions in 2007 contract negotiations, and there is no need for congress to hand over billions of dollars the Big Three automakers will use for bonuses for the CEOs while forcing the workers to accept less money and benefits.

If Rob Kall wanted to argue this point, he should have in the open discussion forum. Instead he chose to hide any mention of the labor issue.)

I should not be surprised at all by what transpired with Op Ed News. All I had to do was read Rob Kall’s bio on the site. It is all right there for anyone to see.

Rob Kall is a snake oil salesman. Literally.

On his bio page he states the following:
Rob Kall is executive editor and publisher of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, inventor .”

Futurehealth is a “biofeedback” alternative treatment procedure website that sells equipment, books, seminars and so forth, run by Rob Kall.

If you want to understand a little about the “science” of biofeedback treatments, read Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine by by R. Barker Bausell (Oxford 2007). I will give you a little taste of the review.
“The good news for the millions of people who spend billions of dollars on CAM every year is that most of the CAM therapies work. This is an obvious fact, of course. These treatments would have died with the first shamans had there not been a large base of satisfied customers. The bad news is that their effectiveness is weak, temporary, based on subjective rather than objective outcomes, and the evidence that they work for the reasons their advocates claim is either non-existent or very weak. They work but they don’t work any better than a placebo. In fact, Bausell argues, that’s what CAM delivers with each dose of hope it packages-placebos and a few other artifacts unrelated to the hocus pocus or metaphysical beliefs in which these therapies are wrapped.”

The fact is, yes even Snake Oil “worked”.  No better than the placebo effect, but it “worked”. The author of this work lumps biofeedback in with such medical marvels as healing touch, homeopathy (water and massively diluted elements), guided trance healing, and so forth. But be my guest and look it up. Apparently it is so “scientific” that even Dr. Phil ran a “biofeedback” clinic for a while.

The other dead giveaway on Rob’s bio page is the second quote I took from it;
“He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates.”

Now what does that mean?

It means he claims to be an expert at “positioning” issues by directing narratives to certain audiences. In short, he lies or omits parts of stories that don’t support his agenda.

His bio links to a site called www.StoryCon.org , a place, again run by Rob Kall, where you can buy CDs and tapes (for $100 a piece) of a conference they had where they taught people that the most important thing for a politician is “story”.

I shit you not.

Not the truth. Not transparency. But “story”. There is even a part on there that seems to give Bush credit for his use of “story” to manipulate the masses.

So, this is what Rob Kall is; a snake oil salesman who feels the need to “position” the stories and comments on Op Ed News to support Barack Obama’s rather unprogressive recent actions.

I tell you all of this because I want you to understand the nature of curbing informed dissent. When Rob Kall behaves in this manner, when he betrays his base of regular contributors, he is in fact doing exactly the same thing that Fox News does when it “conforms” its stories around its policy objectives. He is doing the exact same thing that corporate news does whenever it promotes corporate agenda over integrity.

There is no difference.

Fox News contributors do what they do for money, and so does Rob Kall.

Rob Kall does not think he is doing what he is doing for “the right reasons” though he will often say that is what he is doing (like Tucker Carlson).

Mr. Kall is using Op Ed News to position himself to make a profit; just like he does with his other 2 websites. He asks almost everyday for donations at the bottom of his daily news story emails, and he sells advertising space on the site. He also puts his bio, complete with links to his marketing sites, at the bottom of each page of the few articles that he himself writes for Op Ed News. I don’t think he allows other contributors to advertise for their personal gain in their bios.

So what does all that mean? It means that Rob Kall has been using his contributors for years to make money. He would hardly receive any attention at all were he to only publish his own work. But he has figured out that if he makes people think that they are contributing to something by submitting their hard work for publication on his site, then he can increase his page views, sell more advertising, and eventually even position himself as some kind of progressive news source. Which he has achieved, to some degree.

But of course it does no one any real good, except Rob Kall.

Why do I take the time to write this? Why do I care? Hell, my far-left leaning rants have gotten me banned from more sites than I care to recall. So why do I care enough to write about this one? Because times have changed.

There was a time in this country, not too long ago, when real change was in the air. People were angry, one both sides of the imaginary fence.

Things like the occupation of Iraq and Paulson bailout swindle had Americans up in arms, pissed that their wishes were being ignored.

What Mr. Kall is attempting to do is to silence that dissent in the remaining few who still feel that we must continue to hold this administration accountable, and that we must be ever vigilant to guard against the next one continuing in the same 20 years old traditions. Mr. Kall is attempting to show someone, somewhere that he can “position” the stories on his site in order to control public opinion.

Another individual who runs a different progressive site, once called a respected leader of the 9/11 Truth movement, a charlatan. That man posts regularly on Op Ed News.
A charlatan (also called swindler) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretence or deception.”  Wiki

David: Dr. Griffin is not a charlatan. Rob Kall is. By definition, Rob Kall is a snake oil salesman and a charlatan who is attempting to deceive well meaning progressive writers into helping him gain money and fame, and at the same time, attempting to undercut the truth about the incoming Obama regime and silence their efforts to affect real change in this country.

True progressives don’t try and sell worthless medical treatments to genuinely sick people, just to make a buck. And they don’t hide information simply because it might make their candidate look bad.

Stop submitting articles for Rob Kall to make money off of. Op Ed News is not helping the truly progressive agenda any more than pretending that Obama is living up to his promise to us is. Or the Democrats in congress for that matter.

The Business Party is running this country, and that is who we must be speaking out against. Whether they wear red or blue makes no difference.

When we find that certain sites have sold out to that influence we must stop supporting them, else we make it easier for the next owner to make the same choice. There must be a price paid for such deception or there will be no dissent left in this country at all.

The following is the comment that I left on Rob’s “River wash” article (yes, it contains spelling mistakes, like many comments that are on the site right now. But more importantly, I feel, that Kall removed the comment either because it was critical of him, or this new legislation that will contain forced concesions for the United Auto Workers of America.)
“Here we are again. Main headline story, by Kall, and what does it say? “Support Obama With You Blind Obediant Faith”. Just like the one last week that tried to claim Pelosi was making a “progressive” shift to the left, with the supporting evidence being that she appointed one NDC/DLC rep with another one. 95% of the responces to that brilliant work were completely negative toward the author’s conclusion and yet, Kall hung in there and insulted several of his regular contributers, with no examples to back up his claims, and I was one of them.

You told me Rob that you were getting sick of hearing people (liberals) complain about the direction this transition was taking and Pelosi’s actions.

Let me tell you what makes me sick.

What makes me sick is someone coming out for this 25 billion dollar bailout plan who doesn’t know the first thing about it. Oh it’s great that you know something about Greek mythology. And maybe those party zealots over at ThinkProgress and Huffington Post and DailyKos will give you great props for writing something so lofty and pious.

But the reality is, that the mythology analogy is apt. Because this is a myth.

The auto bailout is nothing more than a milestone effort to break the backs of the labor union in this country, the UAW to be specific. There is a definate plan they want to use here. And that plan was first developed by the Clintonista team back in 1998 and then implimented when Ford took their plant and moved down to Brazil. They set up the modern model of efficiancy down there and you can read all about it on my site in this article.

And that is the same model they are proposing here. Now, here is what they are going to get.

A private company is going to get the U.S. taxpayers to build them a new plant (after they pay out some bonuses for the failed year selling gas guzzling SUVs and massive trucks no one wants) so they wont have to use their capital to do it, and at the same time, the Congress is going to use it’s power to help force labor unions into making concessions like lower wages and benifits, in order to, as Pelsoi stated, “help compete on a global market”.

Now Obama, the pitch-man for this plan, is going on 60 Minutes tonight to help sell this to the American People. How nice huh? Another infomercial, just like the one right before the election.

The MSM are doing their part as well.

And now, we get Rob Kall, doing his part to help sell the idea to his group of “progressives” over here. And I am sure Rob slammed this up on other sites as well.

” And we the American people must be ready to support him, to be open to such big ideas and actions. Anything less will hold Barack Obama back from doing what we was elected, by a landslide, to do.”

Breaking the backs of the United AutoWorkers of America was NOT what Barack Obama was elected to do. Nor was he elected to hand over 700 billion dollars to glabalist bankers. But that is what he has done, and is doing.

And don’t you dare suggest that Barack had nothing to do with the bailout bill. On my site is a video of the Kashkari hearings where a representative says that he was voting against the second incarnation of the bill till Barack called. So we know he worked behind the scenes for that.

So in the end, what you are calling for is more blind, unquestionable support for Barack, no matter what he does. You suggest this is what we MUST do.

There is no issue closer to the true nature of the liberal heart than that of the workers right to organize and to collectively bargan for better conditions. Without that right, we literally are at the mercy of greedy corporations that have already proven they don’t give a damn about us.

And now, Rob you suggest we “must” give in to Obama’s demands on this bill? how wrong you are. I hope that many other regulars on this site see this for what it is, and do not hesitate in telling you so. This is betrayal, pure and simple.

We do not HAVE to support this legislation. We can support legislation that doesn’t cripple the labor union in the process of handing over free billions of tax-payer dollars to big business.

This is truely a sickening day, to see this kind of complicity, here of all places.

by scott creighton on Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 2:35:11 PM

That was the comment posted on Op Ed News. Here is a screen shot of that comment after I posted it (Rob and I have been round and round a few times recently, yet he had never removed a comment of mine. Something told me this might be different, so I took a screen shot of it.)





As you can see, my comment was directly after the one with the orange background. The next image is from Ferdinand and he agrees with me completely. He also mentions my Watchmen avatar. Ferdinand’s comment was removed after Rob realized that someone agreed with my statement. That proves that he did not remove my comment like he claimed in his email to me for bad spelling. If that had been the case, he would not have removed Ferdinand’s follow-up comment.



As ou can see, now Ferdinands comment is under the orange one, and mine is gone, but he is clearly talking about my comment based on the fact that he mentions my Watchment avatar. This comment was removed as well.



And now we see the same orange comment on top, and the Ferdinand comment is gone as well. Proving that removing my comment had nothing to do with spelling and everything to do with content. The same reason Kall removed the Ferdinand one.

The following is the email sent to me after I started complaining on the site that Rob was removing comments he didn’t like.

This has nothing to do with spelling, else Ferdinand’s comment would still be there.
We’re tightening up the quality controls on the site.

The spelling in your comments is atrocious and not due to typos.  Your comments, with all the obvious spelling errors, reflect poorly on the site. This is a warning. Clean up your spelling. Run your comments through a spell checker. Seriously. You are not making typos. You don’t know how to spell a remarkable number of words. Failure to do so will cause comments to be deleted. Even one misspelled word that is not a typo will cause deletions. Keep it up and we’ll have to take away your posting privileges.”

The red background comment that is still there now, I have copied as written and I post below here now. It is FULL of spelling errors. Yet, Rob Kall has NOT removed it. Therefore, he is a liar on top of all of this.
“ i agree

we should not bail out any of the car companies-or it would be discrimination —many companies need a bail out, why them-another to big to fail??? i say defalt on all of owr loans and start over–what –is everybody afraid of? the chinese will not borrow us any more money ,thats why we are trying right now to borrow from the arabs,2 trillion for next years budget–or i should say theft—-it is time to tear it all appart for we have reached the time when the problems of the world are ahead of our intelligence–we -nobody can solve the problems we face so be resigned to watch it all fall apart which is only right,for we got way ahead of ourselves this time

by ——-(0 articles, 0 quicklinks, 0 diaries, 147 comments) on Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 6:49:59 PM “

The following is a comment left by another poster at Op Ed News.
to Scott and Rob

I did an archive save when I first read your initial posting .. just to see…

and read it again in comparison to the current version when preparing to go to the office and perform a forensic evaluation on a patient. So I thought I’d take a moment before heading out the door to comment regarding what the new version of the oped reveals.

Unfortunately, Scott, you are entirely correct. And I have to ask Rob, what possible purpose does it serve you to act in such a manner? It only serves to discredit you and the site, which must now suffer the tarnished pallor of extreme censorship.

And now, even the second incarnation of the oped has disappeared into the ether.

Rather sad. And terribly revealing.

dr.—————–.

p.s. I imagine this version of the oped will disappear as well.



by ________ (0 articles, 5 quicklinks, 2 diaries, 854 comments) on Monday, November 17, 2008 at 8:15:08 AM

17 comments:

  1. "Spam-up??" Thees isa no spam. And I followed the link to your most outstanding website.

    Now the usual yowzuh-massah-boss butt-lickers and flunkies are queuing to plant one on snake-oil's bum. That's my last click for OEN.

    Gonna be reading a lot more willieloman.

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  2. "That’s my last click for OEN."

    you and me both. Fuck Rob Kall.

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  3. It's a little glimpse into his character, you know? I agree; if he wants to ban dissenting opinions, I guess that is ok, but I don't think he is that thin-skinned. He didn't want to lose "control" of the message; he was (and is) acting as a Gatekeeper. And it is apparently important to him to keep that little tidbit under wraps.

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  4. Ahhh Scott.. NOW I recognize you ! I agree. Rob always reminded me of a used car salesman who sells snake oil on the side. I never liked him or his comments. So sad, he's a philly guy too... oh well.

    What a lame excuse for scrubbing your comment for "spelling." As if that was even a consideration. If that were the standard than there would be very few comments showing up at oen.

    You know, I'm glad you mentioned the money thing. I always thought it odd that he asks the
    "little people" to post articles while he rakes in the cash they send him to run the site that they are doing all the heavy lifting for in the first place. What a slick operator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah, it's good work if you can get it, huh? He runs around attending "functions" because he has so much clout with Op Ed News, while people like Rady and all the other admins, editors, and contributors slave away working at the site.

    Kinda like a "free enterprise zone" where the owner jets in and attends the meetings while the indigenous population slaves away for next to nothing. Of course the owners always think they are entitled to it, because they are so much smarter than everyone else.

    I think I will call that the "Progressive Free-Trade Zone of the Blog-o-sphere". To be honest, like Huffington, I seriously doubt Rob has ever really been a liberal or even a democrat for that matter (or any more of a democrat than Liebermann).

    I bet he just saw an opening and a "market", like Huffington, and molded his "story" to fit the need. He's just an opportunist. I'm glad you remembered me. In fact, I could be wrong, but I think you sent me a sympathetic email after I got scrubbed... no wait... I think you stopped by my site and said something. It was nice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well now that you are here, I will be visiting your site on a regular basis. Especially now that oen is so dead to me! lol I like your style willy ;)

    Btw, I never contributed a dime to oen for the very reasons I stated above.

    As for clicking on oen. I will only click on rob's hit piece on us to check out the comments. I can't help it. I'm so weak....

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  7. Dear God inn heaven..

    ThANK GOD I DID NOT GIVE ANY MORE MONEY TO OEN..

    Man oh man..

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  8. Nice presentation. Very revealing. This exodus is good as if Rob was able to sabotage individuals for personal reasons he could continue to be stealth.

    But now in this broad action we have a consensus that reveals his hidden essence. Not very impressive. I really thought his interviews were weak. How about you all?

    I'd like to find Steven Leser's Fox video. He's a namby-pamby liberal enabler.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That is exactly what I thought. He is a weak version of the same types that were coming out of the woodwork in 2002 and 2003 to prop up the assorted lies about WMDs and connections to al Qaeda. As bad and as thin as their evidence was back then, they still came across stronger than Steve-O did in his interview. I mean, it's like he went there to be used as a punching bag. I guess that is one way to make sure you get to come back and get another check. Just so long as he doesn't go after the real issues and he puts out that "mushy limp" liberal vibe, he did exactly what they paid him to do; he reinforced the republican's feeling of superiority. (just like ManCow did on Countdown when he admitted waterboarding was torture.) It's all a stage play, to me. Steve played the fool in hopes to get a ticket to the big dance.

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  10. Rob's radio show is LAME.. can I say it again.. LAME..I was embarassed for him when I listened to his interviews.. hard hitting he is not yet he promotes his site as tough, liberal.. progressive.. ummmmmm I dont' think so...

    Leser's fox vid?.. why would you want to torture yourself that way Patrick? If I had to choose my own method of torture I'd pick waterboarding over watching Steven the Leser again on the teevee....

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can walk you through removing a LINK, but I can't do it... I don't have that level of access.

    1. go to your dashboard (cotocrew)
    2. click on LINKS on the left
    3. you will get the EDIT LINKS page
    4. scroll til you see the OpEd link
    5. place your cursor over the name "OpEd" (one the left side)
    6. "Edit" and "Delete" will appear below
    7. Click "Delete"
    8. Box will ask if you are sure...

    and tahdah! OpEd news is out of your life..... enjoy the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  12. [...] The DLC/Progressive Muting of Liberal Dissent « C O T O. June 3rd, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | [...]

    ReplyDelete
  13. theprogressivemindJune 3, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Scott,

    All of this is making Rob Kall look very bad.

    I have been promoting his site for quite a while now, since it is one of the very few left sites that would permit 9/11 Truth comments, let alone publish articles.

    I have become very dissatisfied with guys like Kall, Lesser, Moffat, Nelson, and others, let alone guys like Tremlatt.

    Is it time to abandon him? I don't know yet. There is still good content, and some informed commentators are still posting. If 9/11 Truth gets fully marginalized, that will be a strong signal to me that it is time to ignore the site.

    Regards

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  14. PM;

    You know, what I wrote then and my contributions to this site, these things aren't about making Rob "look bad". I don't think most people here really care about making the man look bad or causing OpEd News any real harm.

    If you work for someone or with someone, you have to know who that person is and what their agenda is. And if it turns out that his agenda may very well be different than what they profess, then the sooner you know that the better.

    Then you can make your own mind up. I write about all kinds of phony "progressive" pundits and talking heads. One of my biggest targets is Keith-O. I don't wish 'em any harm I just do it so that people will understand a little better, exactly what role these professional pundits are playing in the gathering storm.

    "Truth" articles have been marginalized at OpEd for some time now. You will notice that certain types of Truth topics don't get accepted while another type, like say the Jon Gold or the LIHOP threads do. If you want a Truth paper published at OpEd, just make sure you mention that Muslims of one sort or the other flew planes into the towers.... you start talking about Neocon/Zionist Dov Zakheim and his company that made remote control flight systems and his connection with The Vulcans and you won't get published.

    I don't think he will ever completely marginalize Truth topics because if he were to do that, he would lose too many readers and he would lose the ability to help control the "story", which is something he really prides himself on doing. You can't serve as a Gatekeeper if you slam the gate completely shut.

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  15. These are good observations Scott. I had not thought about it quite way. I was just so darned pleased that we could get some truth articles up on OEN. I did not realize people were having their submissions rejected. I thought that I had submitted one by my friend Elizabeth Woodworth, but don't see it. Perhaps it was on 9/11 Blogger.

    The hit piece by Dr. Moffat, although well debunked, made me start to really re-evaluate OEN by the way. In any case, OEN is still a forum for parts of our message, and there are still lots of good writers of comments there.

    I have noticed you placing comments on articles on various other sites. I don't remember a case where I have had a significant difference of opinion with what you have written. This commenting on articles is probably a highly effective tactic, as there are surely many comment junkies out there, who read the comments as often as they read the articles.

    I seldom comment on 9/11, since my grasp of and memory for the details does not put me into the heavy-weight category. There are already so many half-baked comments out there. Also, a piece of commentary the size of this one takes me at least an hour, time I would prefer to spend tracking down material for my site.

    Most people do not rate comments on OEN, perhaps they do not read them. However, the entrenched faux progressive crew at OEN often does not seem to get many positive ratings, at least in the posts I have been looking at. My tastes are not representative of the broader readership I suspect.

    If OEN did not have a fairly wide readership, the discussion would be academic. We still can use them to promote 9/11 research. They have a fairly large readership but it appears nowhere near as large as Alternet (for instance). We can also catch the attention of a different (larger ?) group than we can with 9/11 specific sites.

    I have an aggregation site, like Information Clearing House or a leftish WRH. My site has been up for years, and has at least as many articles as Information Clearing House every day, but has never gained much of a following.

    The COTO site will have the same trouble growing its readership in a saturated market. It could be that there are those here who are more sophisticated than I in marketing a site, so I will be proven wrong. Perhaps the presence of a number of strong and interesting personalities, more well connected than I, will drive up the readership. I hope so.

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  16. Methinks the emphasis should be more on content with fewer worries about the size of the site or its traffic. Similar to what has sunk US business... being "profit" oriented instead of "product" oriented.

    We have all heard the usual realpolitik rationalization the biz-porks use: "without profit there would be no business... and no product." Somehow "without product, there would be no profit" got kicked to the gutter.

    Because it's true: if you depend on extortion, bribery and accounting flim-flam, you really DON'T need a product to generate profit. Generate the content... and they will come. Or not.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am glad I found these back pages from a past I missed out on.

    The timing of getting banned from OEN and my computer getting whacked by the....I can only speculate...so I will leave it unsaid. At any rate I missed the very beginning of the COTO premier, except for a couple of notes on another's computer...

    I haven't even thought about visiting OEN since the purge.

    But it is always fun to read about the asshole PR hack Rob Kall.

    For me, this page is the Wayback Machine...{grin}

    \\][// - aka William Whitten on the Stalinist site.

    ReplyDelete