• Kevin Gosztola commented on the blog post Looking for Firedoglake

    2014-10-24 07:34:20View | Delete

    CLARIFICATION:

    Nobody commenting in this thread or who has a login to FDL has been banned from commenting on any of my posts. I’ll repeat: Nobody has been banned. If that is not unequivocal enough for you, I don’t know how else to put it.

    If you are able to leave a comment here, you have not been banned. It is not technically possible to comment here and be banned on my posts or other parts of the site.

    I did not ban bloodypitchfork or Hooker Jay. Hooker Jay, you clearly weren’t banned because you left this comment.

    I do have a request for the community of people who read and comment on what I write. I think it is fair. When you comment, have it relate in some way to the content of the post. Be a part of a discussion that digs into what was reported or explored in what was posted.

    To the extent that commenting is disruptive and obnoxious and does not benefit community, I, myself, will comment and say something to another individual. I won’t censor but will call out people.

    Again, nobody has been banned or censored by me. Which brings me to the final issue…

    The Spam Filter. This website has one. I check the threads of articles throughout the day and when I see complaints about comments not appearing I go in and “rescue” the comments. One hundred percent of the time if your comment is not appearing, you can blame it on the spam filter that is some times very stingy, especially when it comes to posting comments with links.

    I hope that clears the air a bit. You are all an important part of the FDL family and I thank each and every one of you who read what is published every day.

  • Kevin Gosztola commented on the blog post Looking for Firedoglake

    2014-10-23 16:29:20View | Delete

    I remember the first time I talked to you, Peter. I did an interview when the State Department was still working to silence you for posting a link to a WikiLeaks cable. I put this post together, which I hope helped bring some much needed visibility to what you were going through.

    FDL readers may enjoy this:

    Since the publication of the book, his personal blog posting has been increasingly monitored and scrutinized. He is now a teleworker. And every two weeks his boss calls him for what Van Buren calls the “hour of pain,” where he is shown a printout of the blog posts he has put up or whatever they have been able to find that has put up with statements from him that were made without the State Department’s approval.

    “…If they see that I have done an interview, if they notice an article on Firedoglake that I’ve contributed to, it’s on the list. And they go through the list and ask me individually did I write this or did I do the interview and did I get permission. They then remind me that I have violated their rules and regulations. We go through it on a regular basis. It’s almost something that’s done perfunctorily.”

    If I am correct, you no longer have any hours of pain. Glad you can now, for the most part, express yourself without having to face routine government harassment and intimidation.

  • Kevin Gosztola commented on the blog post Looking for Firedoglake

    2014-10-23 16:23:49View | Delete

    I don’t remember the last time you commented on any post I wrote, but I promise you I won’t censor anything you write, provided it has at least some slight connection to what has been published.

  • With all due respect, Kevin, I can see that for you as a journalist, that may be just so. For the many of us who are simply bearing witness as best we can, feelings matter a great deal, imo. We can look at these events rather academically, statistically, etc., but extending ourselves in empathy, brotherhood, and love consciously includes feelings, imagination, and even a measure of self-love, including those of essential solidarity most often brought by shared pain.

    Let me clarify. The last two sentences are eloquently stated. But, I do not think I communicated what I was saying because I did not mean that feelings do not matter because I am a journalist.

    It does matter how the events unfolding in Ferguson and other cities across America make me feel (and think). I just recognize that my privilege and ability to express views should not overshadow the people who matter most – the ones most impacted by events on the ground.

  • Golf. That’s for presidents. Maybe they can form a bowling club.

  • What does it matter if anyone is shocked? This is about informing the public of what government is doing. The focus should be on this conduct, not whether we’re delusional to think this is extraordinary behavior.

  • Kevin, when you write broad criticisms of “white culture” do you understand yourself to be a part of that? If not, why not? If so, how do you conceptualize your own position regarding what’s happening in, say, Ferguson?

    To some degree, I am a part of “white culture” and can never remove myself from that culture, which is prevalent in society. For example, when I interviewed Montague Simmons, chair of the Organization for Black Struggle, I asked him if he felt like now more than ever it was easier to talk about police brutality with others. That was a question from a position of white culture that I recognized after it was recorded for my podcast. Any person of color would have had many conversations about police brutality, regardless of whether white people cared about what police do in their communities.

    It matters that I check my privilege, especially when it comes to Ferguson, and recognize that there are voices on the ground in St. Louis that deserve to be heard. They are not being given a microphone to speak on television unless Ferguson becomes the focal point of 24/7 news coverage. Even then, the young leaders may get on Up w/ Chris Hayes but Don Lemon is not going to be interviewing them. CNN will do some special with black political leaders who do not even have many roots in St. Louis and cannot speak for the community.

    I posted this open letter from protesters and allies in Ferguson primarily because I wanted people to understand how they feel. This clearly articulates the rage they are channeling into action each and every day.

    My position is largely irrelevant. However, in amplifying certain voices, I am forced to grapple with viewpoints from white people in St. Charles who support Darren Wilson. I am forced to consider what makes them afraid. I feel like mocking and satirizing to make a point because they disgust me, but I also feel an obligation to try and put them into perspective as Sarah Kendzior and Umar Lee did for Quartz.

    I don’t know if that helps you process anything. But, I would just insist that our feelings are unimportant. I have several people on the ground in Ferguson, who I follow, to figure out how they are processing developments. Their outrage becomes the starting point for what I post here.

  • This is a good question. I’m going to come back to it later this evening after I finish up a post I am doing right now.

  • Thanks. I fixed it in my comment too.

  • Welcome. You’re new to FDL. And you started by sharing a piece of writing by Ann Coulter.

    You’ll. Have. A. Great. Time. Here.

  • For those interested, my appearance on RT America discussing this topic.

  • Appreciate you taking the time to read it.

  • Definitely.

  • Fair criticism. But what you’re saying there is almost a second post in my mind.

    I was looking at how the difference in demographics of people assembled leads to different reactions to protests/rioting, etc.

    I do hint at the fact that the people in Keene were not out there for any good reason at all. They just thought they were taking on police in some cases and that was fun.

  • A thank you to the people who will make the right decision to not troll my article. I appreciate it.

  • What’s the book called? Is it by Ben Carson?

  • The judge ordered the government to come up with a plan with media organizations for their release, but the Obama administration – specifically the Justice Department – wants to appeal.

    What people could do is contact the Justice Department and demand the government not fight the disclosure of videos.

    Only issue is I do not know what phone number to call. But, in terms of action, the issue is the government deciding to still fight disclosure. They need to be pushed to abandon their challenge against transparency.

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