If anyone's still wondering why newspapers aren't doing so well, did you all notice Gannett Blog reports 25 of its impartial journalists working at Wisconsin papers violated Gannett's Principles of Ethical Conduct for Newsrooms by signing petitions to recall Governor Scott Walker? We're shocked, aren't we?
Add to that our own Bloomington Herald Times banning Scott Tibbs for doing precisely what Editor Bob Zaltsberg demanded he do. The issue was the paper's paper-thin sensitivity about precisely how its readers would be allowed to refer to the slaughter of unborn children carried out just up the street from Zaltsberg's office, at Planned Parenthood's abortuary. So they gagged Mr. Tibbs for a time, then restored his commenting privileges this weekend sending Mr. Tibbs the following announcment that his punishment was over...
Subject: Important notification from HeraldTimesOnline.com
Date: Mon, March 26, 2012 2:42 pm
Dear SCOTT TIBBS:
This is notification that your commenting privileges on HeraldTimesOnline.com have been automatically restored.
To which Mr. Tibbs responded:
Dear Herald Times Online Staff,
OK, my suspension has ended and I am allowed to comment again.
I have a serious question and I think I deserve an answer. As a matter of fact, I think all of your readers deserve a public answer to this question.
Is it or is it not permissible for me to refer to abortion as "killing" an unborn child?
Mr. Zaltsberg said the following in an email to me last year:
Killing is not the same as "murdering." While there still is some debate about whether PP is killing babies, that's not the point here. If your post said, "In other words, stop killing babies and you can have the money" it would be left up.
Yet when I used that exact terminology in this thread, my post was deleted and I was suspended for two weeks.
So which is it? Am I permitted to say abortion is killing or not?
Frankly, Herald Times Onine comment "policy" leaves a lot to be desired. The fact that even quoting articles published in the Herald-Times will get a comment deleted leads one to believe that moderation is not based on "policy" but on the whims of the moderators.
I wonder whether newspaper publishers in Nazi Germany allowed readers to refer to those paid to slaughter Jews for pay in the Third Reich's concentration camps as "killers?"
Seems likely not since such radical language might have led to citizen's questioning the newspapers' impartiality, and possibly even to some of Hitler's "little people" questioning whether Jews may, in fact, have been real people under the law. Dangerous stuff, that.
No wonder the Herald Times is so very careful. Can't have anyone thinking Jews, slaves, and little babies are persons under the law with all the rights to life, liberty, and happiness recognized as properly accruing to those real persons who, for instance, have a degree from the Indiana University School of Newspeak. (TB)