Every Sunday, local website Cleveland.com picks an editorial they agree with and saves money by having a reader do the work of a reporter. Rarely do they chose editorials that they don't agree with. So today I was reading the article Vulgar comments highlight #MeToo issues at the Ohio Statehouse: Scott Peterson (Opinion) I read the article and didn't think too much of it. Bill Seitz must be another scumbag politician, I thought, and then I moved on. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered who Scott Peterson was. Was he a normal citizen? Was he a blogger, like me? According to Cleveland.com, Scott Peterson is the executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative blog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public.
That sounds real important. But I can make myself sound important too. Fred Hunt is the Executive Director and Creator of Beacon of Speech, a free speech site that reinforces the Constitutional Parameters of the First Amendment. (See how easy that was?) So I went on over to the Checks and Balances Project and found a well run and informative website. I also noticed, right away, that there was a Bill Seitz SECTION. And, well, this is what I wrote to Cleveland.com....
The Checks and Balances Project has only posted 10 stories this year and 5 of them have been on Ohio House Majority Leader Bill Seitz. To me, that seemed like a disproportionately high number of stories aimed at one specific person. But what do I know? Maybe Bill Seitz is the devil.
Within 3 minutes, my content was disabled. I was in disbelief and took a screen shot. I didn't think I had crossed the line of community standards.
I thank Cleveland.com for illustrating one of the core beliefs of Beacon of Speech. Speech is restricted in America in a lot of ways. Some publications don't even have Comments Sections anymore. You can re-read the screen shot for yourself. Do you think I crossed the line? Where is the line and who decides it? It's not just the comments section. PC Madness is running rampant in this country and so is corporate uniformity. Who decides the levers of speech in America in 2018? Who has the access to the freedoms provided by the Founding Fathers?
Now I can huff and puff all I want, but I guarantee you that cleveland.com didn't give my response a second thought. Maybe it's because I used the specific word scumbag that I got myself disabled. Maybe the comments section runs on a computer program that trips on that specific word. Maybe it's because of my questioning of a well-respected website.
It doesn't matter. Now I have new content for BOS. I know if I wrote the Plain Dealer Ombudsman, I would get a response similar to this "if you're so upset, write your own Blog." Okay, well, here ya' go. Instead of writing about March Madness, I'm asking rhetorical, answerless questions.
Fred Hunt is not an empty suit. For all I know, I incorrectly used the word their instead of they're and that's what got me banned. So I reiterate my original question here, not knowing the answer, but simply asking the question. But I do admit there is a certain degree of sloppiness and lack of focus in my Blog. But this is my Blog and as of now I don't have any personal vendettas against people, just a questioning of people's writing style or writing perspective. I try not to dwell on one subject and pride myself on my range. I frequently go to comments sections of multiple publications in order to hone my writing skills. There is something about writing with a clock ticking in your ear and the risk of public scorn to keep you sharp.