Diary

When New Media Goes Bad

The world of the New Media can be a treacherous land to navigate. People would be excused to wonder what it’s all about and to approach it in confusion. You have the funny, the profane, the boring, the absurd. You have many political sites like DailyKos and DemmocraticUnderground that aren’t at all interested in truth or balance. But, with most of those types of sites you know right off that they aren’t to be taken seriously. Yet still, they are all as easily found as the news sites like ABC, CNN, Fox News or The New York Times.

It’s one thing to know when a site is not to be taken seriously. DailyKos and the like are obvious for the over-the-top silliness. One knows at the outset that some sites are not serious news outlets. But, it’s the ones that pretend at seriousness of which one must be wary.

One such site is AmericanChronicle.com. The Amer. Chronicle site seeks to be a place of reasoned debate, serious opinions, a place where readers can trust the “news” presented. The folks there tout their work as “an online magazine for national, international, state, local, entertainment, sports, and government news.” So, they mean to be taken seriously.

To assure that status they seem to feel they need to warn possible contributors, though. Amer. Chron. warns that they offer a place that seeks “articles that promote diversity and tolerance.” And I say warn because this isn’t an affirmation made in a positive manner. It is one made to scold.

We have a strict editorial policy and affirmatively seek articles that promote diversity and tolerance. We are not a forum for articles that promote hatred, racial or ethnic strife, homophobia, or intolerance of any kind.

Right away we get the feeling that they are activists for their own brand of “tolerance” and not merely looking to keep smut and actual hate off their site. If it was a merely perfunctory stance, they’d have said something more leagalease. Such as “we reserve the right not to publish any submission.” But, no, they went out of their way to scold possible writers about their policy. One immediately wonders how PC this crusade to exclude “hatred, racial or ethnic strife, homophobia, or intolerance” will be?

Still, when one views the opinions page, one does see a wide gamut of political views, right, center and left. But one is also struck by the obvious fact that the right side of the political spectrum has decidedly fewer examples offered.

One wonders why the right is so underrepresented. It is almost as if they grudgingly allow but a few conservatives to show that they aren’t as partisan as they’d rather be. Well, it turns out I may have found the answer to that question.

A former Amer. Chron. author recently contacted me to offer one explanation as to what is really going on at AC. This conservative author was contacted several years ago by the folks at American Chronicle to add her work to their site. She had never heard of them before they contacted her, but she agreed to submit her work regularly. For several years her work was reviewed in a timely manner, rarely edited and quickly posted.

Then came Obama.

After the current presidential cycle began and my author friend began to write pieces not friendly to the Obama candidacy — as a good conservative must — the site editors suddenly found her work problematic. The time between submission to posting began to lengthen. Then pieces regularly began to be rejected. It got so ridiculous that my author friend decided just to bag it and stop working for them. She also contacted American Chronicle and asked them to remove all her work from their site.

The letter she got back was something of an enigma at first blush.

First of all, I must say that my writer friend is a serious person. Not one apt to foolishness, off-handedness, or outrageousness. She always strives to be taken seriously and never uses intemperate language. In fact, I host her work often on my own site, Publius’ Forum. She is as far from a person that would foster “hatred, racial or ethnic strife, homophobia, or intolerance” as one might find. Yet, this is basically what she was being accused of by the folks at American Chronicle.

In their reply, the AC folks told my friend that they had been getting nothing but “vitriol” and “racism” against Barack Obama and that it all made them “want to vomit.” Then they went on to accuse the McCain campaign of encouraging this racism. The AC folks told her that McCain refused to “suppress the racist fringe elements that form a large part of the Republican base.”

So, according to these Obamatons, the large part of Republican voters are racists?

Needless to say, my friend was taken aback.

There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from all of this. The folks at American Chronicle had for a time allowed a small number of conservatives to donate their hard work in order for their site to seem unbiased. But when it comes to electing Obama, they’ve tossed aside all pretenses at balance and decided to censor any articles that might denigrate their chosen candidate.

Now, of course they have every right to do this. It is, after all, their site to do with as they please. But, to get back to the question raised at the very start of this piece, how do readers know for sure that the site they are visiting has sold its soul to a single side of the political debate, yet pretends to be unbiased, even balanced?

It is a question that cannot be easily answered. If a site wants to as much as lie to its readers, one might invest an awful lot of time and effort into that site before a clear picture is formed. Sadly, one must roll the dice and hope for the best.

Now, Barack Obama himself has exhibited a fascist tendency to try and shut down his opponents’ free political speech throughout this campaign. He has tried to have radio hosts silenced, he’s asked District Attorneys to silence political dissent and his workers and supporters have sternly warned everyone that any nay saying of Obama is to be deemed “racist.” Obama has used the race card liberally in this campaign as a weapon to eliminate political discourse. When once he claimed to be rising above race, he has proven to mean the opposite.

So, one thing is true. Barack Obama has brought out the worst, most fascist tendencies in the left. And unfortunately, it seems that American Chronicle has succumbed to that tendency.

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