November 07, 2002
Who Is Learning From Whom?

The foul-tongued boy who calls himself 'Hesiod' and runs 'Counterspin Central' writes about Central Asia (10/7, 10:48:27 AM):

PRESS FREEDOM DINGS: Troubling reports that press freedom in Central Asia is under attack.

Here are some reports:

Armenia, where the enitre print run of a newpaper "mysterious[ly] dissapear[ed],"

Azerbaijan, where new, restrictive broadcast regulations are under attack from human rights and free press advocates; and...

Tajikistan has developed an interesting strategy to retaliate for unfavorable press coverage: Draft the offending journalists into the military.

I'm sure Ari Fleischer is taking notes.

Of course, it would be more plausible to claim that these governments are learning from Americans, rather than the other way around. And the Americans who have led the way in all three tactics are not Republicans but 'Hesiod' and his fellow lefties:

  1. Whole print runs of conservative campus papers have (not so) mysteriously disappeared or turned up in dumpsters at more than one American university. I have never heard of a left-wing paper being hijacked that way.
  2. It wasn't so long ago that Ted Kennedy pushed through restrictive broadcast regulations that forced Rupert Murdoch to sell either his newspapers or his television stations, because they had criticized him.
  3. 'Hesiod' himself has repeatedly insisted that webloggers who support war on Iraq must either shut up or join the armed forces. If they did the latter, they might well be silenced anyway, since military service is not particularly conducive to blogging. Too bad 'Hesiod' doesn't have the power to enforce his rule.

And too bad 'Hesiod' is too stupid to notice that he himself and his fellow lefties do many of the same things as these Central Asian and Caucasian autocrats. (Armenia is not in Central Asia.) And too bad 'Hesiod' doesn't give a damn about press freedom in Asia unless he can use it as a stick to beat Ari Fleischer with -- or rather to flail wildly at Fleischer while only hitting himself.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at November 07, 2002 11:13 PM

Typical leftie attitude - cry and whine about free speech rights, so long as the speech isn't anything that they dislike or disagree with.

I'm a veteran. Do you think it's ok with Hesiod if I support the war on Iraq, or do I need to reenlist first? Fools like Hesiod just don't have a clue. A good friend of mine said it well:

If it was not for the military and those who laid down their lives in defense of liberty around the globe in the name of the flag of the United States of America, clowns like this would be in chains in a dungeon somewhere, being eaten by rodents, at the amusement of those that they so righteously defend.

Posted by: iamcatman on November 8, 2002 01:06 AM

There is a strange thing going on in today's ultra-left, which equates being criticized with censorship.

Posted by: Dean Esmay on November 8, 2002 05:18 PM

Not so strange, really. Convinced as they are that their positions are not only correct but inevitable, that we lesser individuals, once properly lectured, will hold to those same positions, and that the quality of their lecturing is not even slightly strained - well, it's obvious someone is keeping the message from getting through.

Posted by: CGHill on November 8, 2002 08:18 PM

You know, I'll admit that Hesiod, in most of the content that he posts to his own blog, has demonstrated himself to be an outrageous crapweasel. The weird thing is, sometimes his posts at No War Blog are actually not completely stupid. I still disagree with his opinions, but occasionally he sees fit to hang up his juvenile idiotarianism in an effort to actually foster a useful exchange of ideas.

Frightening I know.

Posted by: Russell on November 8, 2002 08:39 PM

As a passing note: a) I find "Hesiod" too dumb to ever have bothered to read,and I therefor really wonder why you bother paying so much attention to him, her, or it. Me, I pay none.

b) Really, the last time Ted Kennedy passed any major communications law was, in my book, an awfully long time ago. What was it, sixteen years? Am I forgetting something? Isn't this up there with denouncing Nixon?

c) I actually agree and think that it's an awfully good idea to have, in two newspaper cities, of which there are few, each newspaper owned by a different corporation (heaven forbid they should be owned by individuals, which is disallowed in Modern Corporate Communication World, more or less), and in three or five tv station towns, each ownded by different corporations, and overall, corporations not getting to own more than say, each, a twentieth of the media in the oountry, so as to preserve that weird idea of "different points of view." (Yes, I'd probably like forty, but wouldn't go further; forty points of view: that's not too many.)

But it's probably the wild-eyed radical liberal in me acting up to make me think that, I guess. Individualism: what a "liberal" point of view. Er, since when?

Note to commenter: as ever, I find stereotypically lazy expresions about "typical rightists" or "leftists," lacking in all use. But again, perhaps that's just me. Maybe there is use in broad insulting generalizations, and I've yet to learn that.

Posted by: Gary Farber on November 8, 2002 09:20 PM

Hesiod forgot to mention the good news: in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, there is no freedom of the press, but it will soon be restored by the United States military, who are going to invade Iraq . . . wait a minute, he's agin' that.

Never Mind!

Posted by: Stephen M. St. Onge on November 9, 2002 06:03 PM


As I recall, the Kennedy legislation only affected Murdoch, and everyone in Congress knew it was aimed at punishing him for opposing Kennedy. That's just wrong, even if broader laws about concentration of media resources have a lot to be said for them. In fact, I'm not even sure the law was constitutional. Isn't a "bill of attainder" a law that fines or otherwise punishes an individual, thereby usurping the judicial branch's role?

I pay attention to Hesiod because he is still taken seriously by people who should know better. For instance he is permalinked by Eric Alterman and Max Sawicky -- not that either of them would win any prizes for good sense. Once he is treated like WarbloggerWatch -- ignored even by those on the same side of the spectrum -- I'll ignore him, too.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on November 11, 2002 09:18 PM

I don't know what should i write

Posted by: fartani on March 19, 2003 11:58 AM