Steve Ralls

Slapped Around Over Cynthia McKinney

Filed By Steve Ralls | August 09, 2007 10:36 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: censorship, Cynthia McKinney, Daily Kos, freedom of speech, steve ralls

Freedom of speech is dead.

After I recently posted about former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s potential Green Party presidential run, Alex decided to cross-post the entry at a number of other sites, including Daily Kos. And while I braced myself for some harsh reactions, I never imagined I’d be threatened with banishment for pointing out McKinney’s possible candidacy. But, lo and behold, we found this in response to the McKinney posting at MyDD.com (motto: “Direct Democracy for People-Powered Politics”) :

mydd_shot.JPG (Click to enlarge)

So there’s apparently no room for open political dialogue in America anymore . . . even if it’s on the left. And while I understand that MyDD.com is a privately owned site that can regulate itself however it wishes, it’s shameful that people who label themselves proponents of ‘direct democracy’ have taken up the censorship tactics of the right. After all, I didn’t even come close to endorsing McKinney; I only pointed out that she has a progressive record and has been hinting she may seek the White House.

That seems more like information than commentary, and the reaction from MyDD.com seems like something out of a playbook from FOX News. Their whole “say what I say or shut up” mentality seems more Soviet than American, and their strong-arming techniques would surely make the Bush FCC proud.

I’ve always been proud to label myself a progressive and a Democrat, in part because both strongly believe in, and defend, the constitution. The people over at MyDD.com, however, seem to pick and choose which freedoms really mean something, and which can just be thrown to the side. That’s truly unfortunate, because in killing free speech they are also muzzling important debates that move our country forward.

This blatant censorship is outrageous and their actions only reinforce why having an outspoken liberal like McKinney in the 2008 race would be a good thing. Of all the things you might be able to say about Cynthia, you’d never be able to say she was a hypocrite. If only the same were true of the people behind the “People-Powered Politics” of MyDD.com.


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Steve,

awesome column. Cynthia McKinney was a breath of fresh air in DC among a lot of hot, stale air. I miss her and welcome her reentry into politics wherever it may be.

Jen Jorczak | August 9, 2007 11:12 AM

That sucks! with friends like this, who needs Bill O'Reilly?

beergoggles | August 9, 2007 11:21 AM

DailyKos did the same thing when Cindy Sheehan and her supporters wanted to announce her candidacy for office as an Indy.

It has nothing to do with freedom of speech, these aren't government run sites and their stated mission is to put Democrats in office. If they want to run, they can run as Democrats, even against other Democrats and it will be fine to post such information on those sites and I for one see nothing wrong with that. After all, you don't allow opponents of gay rights to post on this blog, so why should Democrat affiliated sites allow their political opponents post on theirs?

I'm not surprised by MyDD's reaction. You should see some of the hate mail from Democrats the Draft McKinney 2008 page on MySpace has gotten!

Sorry Steve and those who agree with him, but not only is Beergoggles correct as a matter of law--this has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of speech, which applies only to government censorship--his other points are eminently reasonable. If I establish a blog that is devoted to advancing a particular political party or point of view, I have no obligation--legal or moral--to give equal time to those who are attempting to promote unrelated or antithetical points of view.

(And I should note that Cynthia McKinney routinely engaged in behaviors detrimental to the Democratic party of which she was nominally a member. She was hardly "a breath of fresh air" OR a liberal. She often spouted anti-Jewish rhetoric, and exhibited other behaviors that can only be characterized as bizarre.)

Steve Ralls | August 9, 2007 3:05 PM

Sorry, Sheila, but you have a LOT of things wrong here.

First, Cynthia McKinney never personally attacked the Jewish community. I'm part Jewish, and I was never once offended by anything she said. In fact, what McKinney did was dare to suggest that maybe, just MAYBE, the Palestinian people have as much right to exist as the Jewish people do. That seems pretty reasonable to me, and a position any champion of human rights should take.

She did not, however, personally make any anti-Jewish or anti-semitic statements. Go ahead and try to find them on the record; they're just not there.

And secondly, I never said MyDD did anything illegal; I said they did something that doesn't further the interest of open political debate, and that is to the detriment of the process.

But if you want to, go ahead -- defend their action -- be my guest. BUT, when Bill O'Reilly invites Lou Sheldon onto FOX News to gay-bash, and doesn't give anyone on your side an opportunity to speak up, don't complain about it to me. Because O'Reilly also has "no obligation--legal or moral--to give equal time to those who are attempting to promote unrelated or antithetical points of view" either. It'd just be the right thing for him to do so . . . and that's my point here.

To me, this is all a matter of what you are first. I'm a progressive first, then a Democrat. Some people think that Democrats are our friends, but I'd ask them who signed the DOMA, and thought up DADT? In Indiana only 7 Democratic senators voted against the marriage amendment. Someone from the Indiana Democratic Party tried to smear Mitch Daniels in 2004 for meeting with leaders from Indiana's GLBT community.

Progressives are our allies, but not all Democrats are. If the Democratic Party is so progressive, why did Jeff Soref step down from the DNC in 2006?

Always remember that the party as a whole aren't our friends, they aren't our enemies either, as a whole. Until they support full marriage equality, hate crimes, and ENDA, the should be looked at with a watchful eye.

beergoggles | August 9, 2007 5:12 PM

BUT, when Bill O'Reilly invites Lou Sheldon onto FOX News to gay-bash, and doesn't give anyone on your side an opportunity to speak up, don't complain about it to me.

Umm worst example ever because:
1. He's pulled stuff like this before and nobody utters a peep because he just preaches to the 34% that still support Bush and I find it unlikely they'll be the same people who'll be swayed by having an opposing viewpoint on his show.

2. After the recent spat he had with bloggers, I think it's been made very clear to FOX advertisers that his is a slanted political show and now 'news', as much as he wants that word to mean what he thinks it means.

3. You know it, I know it and the non-34%ers know he's not 'fair and balanced' and do you think any complaint from any of us would actually made him put someone with an opposing viewpoint on his show? Not unless it boosts his ratings.

Mi amigo you're just now discovering what I and many others have experienced for a very long time now. I started a blog just to talk about the Regressives that run sites like DailyKos, DemocraticUnderground and MyDD. Check out my MyDD horror story at "JamBoi In Exile v The Surrender Monkeys" and for more on how many patriotic freedom loving liberal minded people have been abused and 'tombstoned' from of unDemocratic Underground see "DU Boothill".

If anyone wants to participate in holding these clowns accountable let me know and we can do some blogging on it. :-)

JamBoi