The right wing blog I read has banned me once again. I was banned a few years ago when I commented under my real name. Then when I was banned, I started using an alias and a different email to be able to register to comment again. During the entire time I’ve commented over on PowerLine, I’ve been told that I am unpatriotic, that I hate America, that I am an anti-semite, and that I hate Jews. I have also been accused of making up the Jewish heritage of my wife and kids to try to avoid the anti-semite and Jew-hater charges.
Other liberals and moderates who comment there get the same treatment. And none of the right-wing commenters who make these kinds of juvenile name-calling allegations are ever banned. Oh, and by the way, the blog which has four primary authors, regularly post pieces that include the wonderful phrase, “liberals hate America.” Not “some liberals.” Not “most liberals.” Nope … “liberals hate America.”
So … over the last year or two, more and more commenters have suggested that it’s time for America to split. Some suggest it is time for armed warfare between them and us horrible lefties. And these are the people who have the gall to call me an America-hater.
One of them in particuliar, ever since Biden was elected, regularly comments on posts critical of the left or of Biden, and calls out me and the other moderates/liberals to defend what is described in the post. I did once, substantively, and got more playground insults thrown my way. It was then that I realized that this commenter was actually the America-hater because he regularly agrees with those who believe it is time to consider secession. And I started responding to many of his comments, particularly when he referred to me in a thread I wasn’t even participating in, by pointing out that he was the real America-hater.
And a couple of days ago, I was banned from commenting. No warning, no reason given. Just banned from commenting on the blog. This morning, I sent them the following email:
What’s particularly funny about this is the following … if I remember correctly, Scott is the one who moderates comments. So, I’m guessing that it’s Scott who decided to ban me. The same Scott who has posted a series of pieces about the social media and tech giants unfairly going after conservative voices. So, let’s review the facts here … I was banned, without warning and without a stated cause. I can think of only two things that might have got me banned — (1) calling a commenter an America-hater; or (2) a comment I made about somebody else’s comment being the kind of bias PLers could get behind. So, with respect to #1, PL authors and commenters regularly refer to all liberals as America-haters, but I guess that’s ok. Also, I have been called an America-hater, an anti-semite, and a jew-hater more times than I can count, but I guess that’s ok, as long as it comes from right-wing commenters. Regarding #2, it was a relatively harmless comment and again, given all of the posts and comments about Dems and liberals and progressives, and myself, being racist and prejudiced, etc., it’s hard to believe that my comment was worse.
Which leads to the only conclusion I can reach … cancel culture is alive and well on PL just as much as it is in other forums. I was banned, not because of any thing I said or did. I was banned because you don’t approve of my opinion.
So … prove you’re better than those you criticize. Why was I banned and why aren’t conservative commenters who say far worse about me and the other moderate and liberal voices never banned?
I got this response:
I banned you but I didn’t note why. Your comment doesn’t fall into any category that calls for it.You presume “facts” that aren’t so and make analogies — such as between us and Big Tech — that do not apply. I take great pleasure in banning idiotic jerks and have done so (infrequently) both to idiotic conservatives and stupid leftists. I couldn’t care less about your stupid politics and have reinstated you despite your gratuitous incivility. You could learn some manners too.
To which I replied:
If all of that is true, most of the commenters should be banned. You banned me because of my politics.
Please do not reinstate me. I’m moving on from the sewer that is Powerline. But thanks for acknowledging that you did it out of pique rather than any informed judgment that I violated your commenting rules. You are such a massive hypocrite, it’s ridiculous. Manners are something you and 99% of your commenters don’t know anything about.
It is just stunning what he, Scott Johnson, said in reply to me. I won’t deny that I’ve engaged in verbal warfare with commenters that isn’t exactly mannerly, but what I’ve said and done until recently pales in comparison to what has been thrown my way for years.
But it’s all good. As I stated in my last email to PowerLine, I’m ready to be done with the place. One of my missions for 2021 is leave the sewers behind. This is a good first step. Bye, bye, the hypocrites and playground bullies of PowerLine who never grew up. You will not be missed.