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.
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