|May 18, 2006||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Lead Progressive Blogger Continues to Justify Posting Deceptive Telecom Ad Aimed at Undermining the Internet, According to BuzzFlash Reader
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
As anyone reading BuzzFlash lately knows, we have been on a crusade to help save the Internet from the predatory legislation sponsored in large part by the Telecom Industry that would, in the end, take away democracy from the Internet.
We have posted many articles as well as two editorials this week (here and here) about the issue. One of the key astonishing discoveries that we discussed on Monday, May 15, and Wednesday, May 17, was that many of the most noted progressive blogs are running an ad by the falsely named "Hands Off the Internet Coalition," which is a front for the Telecom industry efforts to become the traffic cops of the Internet, for their own Telecom profit.
Most of the major progressive blog sites -- with the exception of Alternet and Daily Kos and perhaps a few others who have removed or not run the ad -- have refused to budge, however, and are continuing to post the ad. Not only are they continuing to run the ad, but most of them are not running the free ad for the true "Save the Internet" coalition, which you see at the top of BuzzFlash.
Reportedly, we are told that the big progressive blogs who have accepted the money for the huge ad buy by the "take over the Internet coalition" led by the former Clinton Press Secretary and sell-out Mike McCurry. As we say in a current BuzzFlash headline, McCurry is the DLC turncoat who sold out to corporate wads of cash and has masterminded a fraudulent campaign to privatize the Internet.
Why many of the lead progressive blogs are acting defiant about upholding the "sanctity" of running a fallacious ad that misleads their readers and whose end-result would threaten their very existence remains one of the big mysteries of the net. These are generally top-notch blogs, but now they are sounding like the DLC in justifying corporate money flowing into their coffers -- and, in particular, this one ad that threatens everyone who uses the net for exercising free speech.
We were tipped off about all of this, as we most often are, by a BuzzFlash reader who had written five of the leading progressive blogs last week to ask them why they were running the "poison pill" Internet ad. He never received a response.
He wrote them again. He never received a response, again.
So, we began to poke around, viewed the ad, investigated who was behind it -- and found the lacerating dissection of the ad's deception and lies on "SavetheInternet.com."
Meanwhile, many, many other Internet users have written BuzzFlash indicating that many of the lead progressive blogs refuse to take down the ad.
Following is a telling example of an exchange that an Internet reader had with Josh Marshall, the brilliant investigative journalist but clearly shortsighted Internet advocate:
We know that this is an accurate e-mail, because Josh Marshall sent us one with a shorter, but similar "excuse." What ensued then was a contentious back and forth exchange of e-mails between the Publisher of BuzzFlash and Marshall, the Publisher of TPM and a couple of other great sites. We offered Marshall an opportunity to post an unedited commentary on BuzzFlash.com, but he declined. The details, charges, and counter-charges in the e-mails, Marshall asked to remain confidential. We can say, however, that he did reveal that he had, indeed, turned down two ads in the past, but was clear, for the kind of convoluted reasoning the post office gives you when you ask what happened to an important piece of mail, that he was going to keep the deceptive ad up, not debunk it, and not run a free ad from the actual SavetheInternet.com coalition. (BuzzFlash waives confidentiality and grants Marshall permission to post the exchange of e-mails at any time, including the one where he accuses the Publisher of BuzzFlash of being "unbalanced" and all our typos.)
What struck me after e-mailing Marshall back and forth and appealing to him on behalf of the Internet to drop the ad was that this was a story Marshall would be pursuing, as a superb investigative reporter, if it weren't about himself.
We really have no beef with the major progressive blogs running advertising -- although BuzzFlash doesn't -- other than that they are running an ad that, if successful, will ruin the only vehicle we have for offering information and commentary not controlled in one way or another by the Republican propaganda echo chamber. All they have to do is tell BlogAds, the ad broker, that they aren't going to run that one ad anymore, or any ad that is aimed at decimating "net neutrality."
That's it, and then we'll leave them alone, because they do vital work otherwise.
As we've noted, and the original reader who made us aware of this stupefying betrayal, would the NAACP run an ad for the Ku Klux Klan? Marshall should be aware that all publishers and television execs refuse to run ads for different reasons, and Marshall has admitted exercising that option himself. There are some ads, particularly deceptive ones that lie, that are so egregiously inappropriate for a publication that they are turned down. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
Would Josh Marshall accept an ad from the Aryan Nations calling for all persons of Mexican descent being deported going back two generations? Would he accept an ad from David Duke promoting a book claiming that Jews run the world and the "Elders of Zion" is a true document?
The progressive blogs, as we said in an earlier editorial, have done an incredible job in galvanizing and energizing an informed base of pro-democracy, anti-Bush failure Americans.
The mystery remains as to why they insist on posting a dishonest and insidious ad that would help bring down the Internet as we know it, paid for by Telecom companies who are up to their ears with NSA spying to boot.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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