By Rady Ananda
On May 24, 2009, the literary bloodbath at OpEdNews.com began. Over 30 popular writers and commenters, including this Senior Editor, were banned en masse over the next month. Anyone who identified as or agreed with COTO* suffered. Trusted author status was removed, articles were pulled off the front page, comments deleted, links jinxed.
The reason given for my removal was that I was too “extreme.” You know, those extreme views in support of the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights; those extremists decrying the suspension of 800-year-old habeas corpus, those extremists who want open government, an open Federal Reserve, independent investigations into war crimes, 9/11, torture, bailout fund use, resource wars; those extremists who demand accountability and punishment.
That top-down decision was immediately followed by the loss of 52,000 readers in June. OEN’s zenith of nearly 281,000 unique visitors in September 2008 contrasts sharply with its June 2009 nadir of 130,000. In the next month, OEN recouped only 15,000 readers – a net loss of 37,000 in the two months since the purge.
Without a radical Left populist response to the radical Right militarism of the past nine years, the “Center” moves further toward military coup and dictatorship, as we saw when the US invaded Pakistan and Honduras this year. Obama represents global elites who shoot people from helicopters – from South America to Africa to the Middle East. That’s how a radical populist sees it or experiences it. That’s not how mainstream media frames it.
But, journalists don’t serve as stenographers, Jeremy Scahill reminds us; especially not citizen journalists.
Robert Jensen describes** radical analysis this way:
“Radical analysis goes to the root of an issue or problem. Typically that means that while challenging the specific manifestations of a problem, radicals also analyze the ideological and institutional components, as well as challenge unstated assumptions and conventional wisdom that obscure the deeper roots.”
The “deeper roots” of “ideological components” can be expressed more simply by radicals than all the Burson Marsteller psyops agents in the world: They want our land that we’ve lived on for hundreds or thousands of years, and they will poison it for centuries while extracting marketable resources.
OEN wasn’t alone, btw. Other key “alternative” media sites followed a coordinated shut down of specific topics, writers and whistleblowers over the past year. This happened across the world, too.
More to come… I thought I’d provide all the COTO folks with some eye candy for Labor Day weekend to salute the idea that without Labor — that radical socialist idea that workers ought to unite for their common good against corporatists — nothing gets done.
*COTO = Coalition of the Obvious, alternatively known as red pill folks, or those who see past the propaganda.
**Robert Jensen, “Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream,” Peter Lang Pub. (NY), 2001.