Thursday, June 22, 2006

HotAir Cleans House, Throws Yours Truly Out With The Bathwater

Apparently I am just too clever for my own good. As a result, I find myself banned from posting comments on Hot Air (something that I kinda enjoyed doing, and it added a trickle of traffic to Wambulance too). The sad part is, its all just a misunderstanding. That is, I would prefer to believe that it is a misunderstanding rather than a case of HotAir's AllahPundit being too dense to comprehend nuanced irony when he sees it. Here are the facts...

On June 20, 2006 HotAir's AllahPundit posted this item regarding the tragedy of the 2 US soldiers who had been kidnapped and whose brutally murdered and horribly mutilated bodies were later found. Understandably, the overall reaction in the comment section to this atrocity was heated, to put it mildly. Some commenters expressed their frustration by calling for massive retaliation in the form of carpet bombing the areas of insurgent activity. AllahPundit challenged these assertions, which the commenters then vigorously defended. After following the thread for awhile, I crafted and submitted my own comment:

In the struggle to acquire the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, the only option for success after carpet bombing is to use a sponge and a mop.

inmanjh on June 20, 2006 at 5:04 PM

Is this statement that hard to understand? All I meant was that carpet bombing would kill innocents and eliminate any possibility of support from the Iraqi population. My wife understood what I meant immediately (one of the reasons I married her), as did anyone else with whom I discussed this matter. Hey, I'm obtuse but I'm not that obtuse!

After posting this comment, I went on about my business and didn't give it another thought. The next day I was perusing HotAir and noticed that, instead of a text box for me to enter my comments, it merely stated "You are not allowed to leave comments." Hmm?

I sent an email to AllahPundit inquiring whether my posting privileges had been revoked, and he responded:

"Yes, Jay, it's been revoked. We appreciate your participation but
we're trying to change the tone in the comments section. No hard

No hard feelings? Thats easy for him to say. WTF is this all about? I mull it over while I continue to browse HotAir until I find this comment from AllahPundit in this item (emphasis added):

See-Dubya — Yeah, in quantity. But if you want to kill thousands of Kurds, you could also carpet-bomb them the old-fashioned way. Are the chem shells that much more lethal?
You know, like some of our (ex-)commenters want to do to the Iraqis.

Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM

Ok, now that rings a bell. I go back to the post in which I left my "sponge and mop" comment and read further down into the comments section. Patterico weighs in (emphasis added):

I haven’t read all the comments here, but I have read enough to get the idea that some commenters would like the United States to carpet-bomb civilians, or randomly kill civilians.
You should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. We’re there to help the Iraqis — now you want us to randomly slaughter them like the terrorists do to us?
I shouldn’t have to say this, but that is despicable and outrageous.
I think it comes from you seeing all Iraqis as less than human.
Have any of you met Omar and Mohammed, the folks who run Iraq the Model?
Well, I have. They are inspirational people, fighting for freedom in a land that has known far too little of it, for far too long.
The actions you advocate could kill them. Indeed, you suggest *targeting* people exactly like them.
If you had met them, you wouldn’t be saying this.
I hope that the commenters making suggestions like this get banned.
Patterico on June 21, 2006 at 1:07 AM

This is immediately followed by AllahPundit:

A bunch of folks who have commented in this thread will no longer be joining us in the Hot Air comments section. It’s been a long time coming, frankly; Bryan and I have talked with Michelle about the tone of the comments at some length in recent days and none of us are happy with it.
I’m not going to lecture anyone. You’re all entitled to your opinions, but you’re not entitled to use our space as a platform. There are a million other conservative forums out there.
Registration at Free Republic is indeed free, and they seem to have a higher tolerance for this sort of thing.
Thanks all for your contributions, and best of luck in your new digs. To the rest of you guys: I mean what I say about changing the tone here. If you can’t muster anything except “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT,” you have two choices: (a) refrain from commenting until you have something substantive to say or (b) sign up for one of those Freeper accounts I mentioned.
Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 1:08 AM

Now, I can assure you, gentle reader, that your humble correspondent has never wasted his time posting anything as inane as “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT.” I pride myself on my measured, carefully crafted posts. So what gives here? Why have I been lumped in with the type-before-you-think-and-then-don't-even-think-that-much-anyway crowd?

I traced it back to my "sponge and mop" post. The only conclusion I can reach is that AllahPundit cleaned house with a very broad brush and swept away more than perhaps he should. Or maybe I'm just deluding myself regarding the quality and content of my own writing. That is a distinct possibility.

At any rate, I will continue to believe that I was unjustly revoked from posting on HotAir until somebody convinces me otherwise. Any takers?

If you should happen to read this post (and I readily concede that not many will) and you feel that I have a legitimate beef, drop AllahPundit a line and give him what-for in my behalf. He isn't answering my mail any more.

P.S. - Like my graphic, above? Nothing inspires like righteous anger, ya know.


The Monster said...

The word "unjustly" is inappropriate. Michelle can run Hot Air as she sees fit. She is the ultimate judge of what content is appropriate on her site. She's hired Allahpundit to help her do so. You have no more "right" to contribute to their web site than I do to yours. It is just that you may ban me as they have banned you.

Get over it.

JayI said...

You are absolutely correct, but you miss my point. I was banned because Allahpundit thought, mistakenly, that I was calling for the carpet-bombing of civilians, and I wasn't. And I am "over it," its just that I have to post about something on this damned blog and that was handy.

thanks for the comment.

Ian S. said...

Allah's one of the folks with George W. Bush disease - he thinks if we make nice and play pattycake with the Marxists and Democrats then there'll be a sparkling new world of rainbows and unicorns. In reality that just gets you an education bill written by Ted Kennedy, no border security, and occasional transparently stupid statements about the "Religion of Peace".

JayI said...

Well, I will admit that Allah does appear to be somewhat preoccupied with Ann Coulter, tch-tching her rhetorical style any chance he gets, while the vast majority of HotAir commentors support and approve of Ann. Similarly, I get the sense that his conservative convictions sometimes seem to be a bit strained, like there is a touchy-feely inner Allah that wants to get out but is held in check with some difficulty. Of course, it depends on the particular topic at hand, for I have seen him championing other conservative issues quite forcefully.
He's just complex, thats all.

defiant_infidel said...

Ha! Jayl, this is yet another of those who were "swept out the door" with the same seriously "broad brush". I enjoyed the posting opportunity as well, stated so frequently, always was respectful when my opinion differed with "Alotofpundit" and yet was tossed without exclamation (or reply when I inquired). Jeesh, at least he "explained" the divorce to you... I am not worthy apparently.

To quote that favorite nineties response... "whatever".

I like your blog and appreciate your wisdom... even better now that I 'recognize' you.

I started my own blog as well, (from which I cannot be unceremoniously ejected) and your are proudly linked on it.

Good luck with your efforts and refusal to be squelched. (HP_1st)

PS: LOVE the graphic!

JayI said...

I appreciate the kind words, DI. I won't ban you if you don't ban me!

defiant_infidel said...

Well, OK, Jayi... I promise I won't then... (as long as you don't say anything I don't agree with!)

defiant_infidel said...


Jayi, did you happen to catch Patterico's comment (on Michelle's site) referring to his tacit agreement with Ann Coulter's old quote suggesting that Timothy McVeigh should have instead selected the NYT's building for his insidious deed? It was posted during the ensuing furor that accompanied the Times article disclosing the secret banking data program.

Now don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy Patterico and his comments/insight (he is linked from my site). He does an EXCELLENT job and makes very deep and thoughtful commentary.

But I thought it was a superb example of hypocrisy for Michelle, Bryan and Allah to not view that statement as an "ostracism opportunity" given their objection to your words (perhaps even mine, whichever it was I made that they found so abhorrent).

Oh well, certainly not the first time such selective censorship has been witnessed. It was just unusually disappointing given the otherwise well respected sources.

Simply an observation, which I now have the chance to make without concern over possible "punishment". HA!

JayI said...

I didn't catch the Patterico comment you referenced, but it doesn't surprise me. To him and other similar critics, the NYT and LAT are, for the most part, huge bastions of liberal sedition who are treated like some kind of many-headed malignant organism. Its easier to pour your derision on a faceless entity. When Patterico (rightly, IMHO) objected to the HotAir commenters who called for indiscriminate carpet bombing of Iraqis, he equated that with killing his friends Omar and Mohammed at Iraq the Model, or "people exactly like them." The real difference is revealed when Patterico then says, "If you had met them, you wouldn't be saying this." And thats what it comes down to here-- does the adversary have a "face?" Knowing faces changes attitudes.
Contrast that with the average commenter, who has no face, and whose character must be gleaned from short snippets of comment left on a given post. To the "big bloggers," the commenters are just a horde of potential ad clickers whose presence and voice is something to be tolerated, if not exactly welcomed. Allowing comments does often yield an interesting point or two, but by and large comment sections are allowed to increase traffic and to show how "open" the big bloggers are to opposing viewpoints. Just don't oppose too often.
Pardon the cynicism...