Today is

Friday, November 19, 2010

Newspaper: It's Not Censorship When We Do It

cen·sor·ship noun \ˈsen(t)-sər-ˌship\
Definition of CENSORSHIP
1a: the institution, system, or practice of censoring
b: the actions or practices of censors; especially : censorial control exercised repressively
2: the office, power, or term of a Roman censor
3: exclusion from consciousness by the psychic censor

What is censorship?
Censorship -- the control of the information and ideas circulated within a society -- has been a hallmark of dictatorships throughout history. In the 20th Century, censorship was achieved through the examination of books, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other forms of communication for the purpose of altering or suppressing ideas found to be objectionable or offensive.

Encarta Censorship Definition:
1. suppression of published or broadcast material: the suppression of all or part of a play, movie, letter, or publication considered offensive or a threat to security
2. suppression of something objectionable: the suppression or attempted suppression of something regarded as objectionable
3. ancient Roman office: the office, authority, or term of an ancient Roman censor
4. psychiatry suppression of memories: the suppression of potentially harmful memories, ideas, or desires from the conscious mind

Janesville Gazette editor's view of censorship:
"Censorship and the First Amendment apply to government restricting the speech of people. They have nothing to do with a private business making strategic and sensible decisions." - S. A.

Sure, the editor mixed in the 1st amendment with the act of censorship, but censorship stands on it's own accord - it's not captive in and only of government or public usage. Censorship is the deliberate withholding of pertinent information as a strategy with a specific goal in mind - be it private, social, political or the bottom line - it is their newspaper. But hey, at least they admit to the strategy.

Editor: We (including advertisers) think keeping public opinion down to a minimum is a good thing.
"It's not just about traffic. Our numbers have been and will continue to be more than adequate to support our advertisers and justify what we charge. It's also about the content and credibility of the site. We know that some advertisers and potential advertisers weren't thrilled about being associated with the negative comments that we have now minimized. We and they think that's a good thing." --S. A.

I've been reminding my readers for some time now that the Janesville Gazette, like most newspapers, is entitled to their own opinion, control and direction of their product. They are market based first - not some kind of beacon of local knowledge, information or government watchdog - not even close. In fact, I would go as far to say that the Janesville Gazette hides more information than they release - probably by a two to one margin or better - and as long as you're buying it, that's all that counts. It's high time that readers and subscribers drop whatever Fourth Estate idealism they might still harbor for newspapers. They're finished in that regard - stick a fork in it - the mirage of the Fourth Estate is done.

Today's newspapers remind me of the taco encrusted artificial cheese pizza sprinkled with peanuts and apple slices. It might actually taste good, but it's not pizza.

On a related note. Last night I heard Sean Hannity become nearly unhinged on his show claiming how Liberals absolutely hate free speech because they try to apply pressure on his advertisers to drop his show.


Becky WJ said...

I really don't see this as censorship as they are not choosing which comments to publish, simply limiting all comments on certain subjects.

Lou Kaye said...

Whether the Gazette is doing is pure censorship was not something I am disputing. The Gazette is a private business enterprise, so I leave it up to their customers on whether or not they feel censored.

But my main point here is threefold; that the editor stated he believes censorship is a strategy to control information that only the government can apply, that he admits to allowing boycott style pressure from his advertisers to play a role in what can be publicly discussed - after repeatedly claiming previously the newspaper is beholden to no one, and that because they made this strategy to control content/discussion public, somehow means that they are honestly above-board, that they haven't strategized steerage in the past - it's sort of a evidence of absence, logical fallacy straw man argument if I may be so obtuse.

Anonymous said...

Just because the Janesville Gazette decides to restrict online comments on certain articles means they've lost all credibility? Other newspapers have been doing this for years already. You're nitpicking as usual.

GadgetmanPrime said...

Hello, and thank you for your efforts at uncovering what has been so well hidden.

My name is Ron Hatton, developer of what is now known as "The Gadgetman Groove", a simple modification to a gasoline engine that is proving time and again to increase combustion to unheard of levels.

I caught an NPR affiliate out of Little Rock, AR (KUAR) red-handed at censoring the news. Since you are interested in these overt acts of suppression, I thought it might be of some value to you. Of course, spreading the word will only help to make more people aware of the technology, too!

I invite you to visit my YouTube channel, where the article in question is aired in its entirety. It is located at

Once again, thanks for your attention on this matter.

Ron Hatton

Lou Kaye said...

Hello Ron, at first I thought your comment was spam, but after listening to your video and being a "student" of technology - among them performance modified automotive technologies - I think you might have something there. Your apparently simple modification to the throttle body to produce a "smoke-ring" type air/gas mixture pulse should create a better "gulp" to help feed an engine's pulse-demand cylinders. It seems far more plausible to work in theory than the vector-type-tornado air cleaner inventions which attempt to direct the air-only portion (before the throttle-body) into a seemingly useless twirling pattern.

Being based in Janesville, this is where GM used to make those full-size throttle bodied V-8 SUV's so hopefully some of my local readers will spread the word on your invention. At today's gas prices - this should be worth a try.

You can visit Ron's blog here or listen to his narrative at Youtube here.

Post a Comment