Left Establishment Censorship in the Age of Obama by John Halle

John Halle is a former Green Alderman from New Haven, Connecticut.  The full piece, excerpted below, appears in Dissident Voice.

Counterpoised to these brute force tactics, a more traditional and effective means of information management is to prevent positions judged unacceptable from finding their way into print in the first place.  In its internet variant, this takes the form of editorial decisions with respect to the content of front page postings at the major left websites.  Central among these was the topic of the open letter; namely, the maintenance of “critical support” with respect to the Obama campaign and subsequent administration.  Those who viewed the Obama phenomenon with grave suspicion both for its stated  policies and for its likely effect in undermining opposition movements, almost never found their positions represented on the front pages of any but the most marginal internet outlets, and, for that matter, in left print publications.

It is true that the far left spectrum of the internet represented by Counterpunch allowed challenges to this conventional wisdom.   But even here, leftists such as Norman Solomon, David Michael Green and others could be found making the case for “critical support” and in some cases expressing unbridled enthusiasm at the prospect of the nation’s first African American president.  In the months after the election, as predictions of even Obama’s most unenthusiastic supporters collided with the hard right reality of the Obama administration, pieces stating the obvious fact of the matter — that virtually the entirety of the mainstream left and much of the so called “radical left” — got it wrong remained hard to place.   Again, speaking from my own experience, what I regard as one of my better pieces “Who Got it Right” was consigned to the far fringes of the web, having been rejected for publication from the all of the major left sites I sent it to.

It is obvious that no single rejection by itself, or, for that matter, a boxful of them, constitutes censorship.  As stated earlier, articles can, and should, be rejected based the quality of the expression, factual accuracy, logical consistency and relevance among other factors. Proving censorship requires demonstrating that a piece meeting normal standards for publication was rejected purely on the grounds of its content having been considered as outside the bounds of acceptable discourse, which meant in this specific case challenging what had become a widespread left conventional wisdom with respect to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign.

6 thoughts on “Left Establishment Censorship in the Age of Obama by John Halle

  1. Opeach Obama, I mean, is this the best we can do? [Lake]

    Well, Yes * ——— but lots of (so called) left of center types absolutely despise the water carrier of George W. Bush’s third term.

    Bush’s Bob Gates STILL at DoD, and the same story at Treasury ……… The only ‘change’ many [left, right, center] see in Obama [my Yokohoma Momma] is the coinage in the sofa cushions.

    * [a] Don Lake (Tish Firmiss, Musetta O’Hare, Heather O’Hara, John Dennis Coffey, Josie Munez ………) did not vote for the jerk

    [b] any one for ‘Opeach Obama’ stickers?

  2. Darcy G. Richardson

    Don Lake’s description of President Obama as “the water carrier of George W. Bush’s third term” might be the most profound comment posted on IPR in recent memory.

    “Opeach Obama” bumperstickers aren’t necessary; the New Hampshire primary is only a year away.

    The dwindling and eroded middle-class — the victims of reckless, government-sanctioned Wall Street greed — will have its say then.

    Taking full advantage of the Great Recession, Corporate America’s newfound avariciousness — punishing U.S. workers while investing most of its profit-swollen balance sheets overseas during the past two years — will be felt at the ballot box in 2012…

    Every incumbent will be endangered…

  3. Michael Cavlan RN

    Well THAT may not be an example of “left wing censorship but………

    Myself and countless others were banned from “Tough, Progressive, Liberal” site Op Ed News. Our crime was daring to point out the truth about Obama BEFORE and RIGHT AFTER the (s)election. We were called COTO or Committee Of The Obvious. It included the managing Co-Editor Rady Ananda.

    Also I was banned from posting comments on Common Dreams. My crime. Pointing out the truth about Obama BEFORE and RIGHT AFTER the (s)election. I have found out on TruthDig (which does not censor discussion) that there are an unknown number of posters who have had it happen to them on Common Dreams.

    Daily KOS? Are ya frigging kidding me? Why even try there. They scrub posts on a regular basis. especially those who tell the truth about the Dems naked complicity in, well everything.

    I am far from done.

    I was banned from posting, for a while on Green Party Watch. When I was a GP delegate, myself and a large number of others were banned and thrown off of the GP discussion list.

    I have been thrown off of various “progressive” listserve sites and various “e-democracy” listserves.

    It must be my loving personality. LOL

    ORRRR maybe my motto

    Comfort the afficted and afflict the comfortable.

  4. Catholic Trotskyist

    Comfort the afllicted and afflict the comfortable. Also the motto of the Catholic Trotskyist Party, which you advocate the sensoring of. But I have realized that Obama, while still the best President we could hope for at this time, is not the perfect leader I thought, and is unlikely to be prepared to announce his support for Catholic Trotskyism until the end of his second term.
    I don’t like sites that ban posters in general. But your problem was advocating that people not vote for Obama, which directly would have led to a McCain and possibly Palin presidency by now. You should instead join an alternative system like the USP.

    We don’t have to be enemies; we can work together.

  5. paulie

    But your problem was advocating that people not vote for Obama, which directly would have led to a McCain and possibly Palin presidency by now.

    SSDD

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