Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 11:59 AM
Subject: OEN bans Grendel
I find today that my profile “Grendel” has been banned from OEN without notice. Barely a few days ago I wrote that OEN is and remains a credit to you. I posted that statement at COTO, too, without revision. But now, unfortunately, I must revise my view because the ban was executed without notice and without reference to OEN’s Members’ Guidelines. By banning my profile in this way, you have ridden roughshod over the principles of natural justice and the rule of law. You have acted in a way that no progressive can admire.
Though frequently critical and sometimes direct, Grendel never adopted a nasty tone and punctiliously eschewed ad hominem attacks. Though sometimes discursive, he was never off-topic. He neither spammed nor beat dead horses in the comments section of OEN articles. In his writing, Grendel strove – with one possible exception – to record the truth without regard to political agendas. The single possible exception was a comment comprising a single (open source) graphic, with which he semaphored acknowledgment of Keystone’s partly encoded PNAC/COTO comment on Kenny’s diary Another Sad Tale of the 9/11 Victims’ Families. Grendel sought clearly to distinguish his evidentially supported statements from his conjectures. He promptly and openly conceded errors of fact in his posts. He paid reasonable attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar and style.
Grendel submitted only one article – although his OEN author page still records that “no articles have been submitted yet”. You rejected the article for publication, as you were perfectly entitled to do. In accordance with OEN’s writers’ guidelines, Grendel discussed the matter by back-channel email and accepted your decision. I did post the same article together with the ensuing mail correspondence off-site at COTO, a site located outside the ambit of OEN’s editorial authority.
Grendel also submitted 40 comments, of which 24 were recommended. But according to Grendel’s OEN author page, the number of his comments is (at the time of writing) only 39. The removed comment responded to Suzana Megles’ diary Where’s Rady Ananda. Grendel’s comment simply answered Suzana’s question. It explained that you banned Rady from OEN along with many other COTO people; that your perspective on the matter was recorded in your diary, though other perspectives were to be found in the comments; and it concluded with the information that Rady was now to be found at http://cotocrew.wordpress.com/author/radyananda/, thereby directly answering Suzana’s primary question. The removed comment was neither abusive nor in any respect irrelevant. It was not flagged. I was not contacted.
In light of what we might euphemistically call the “new tone” at OEN, I don’t expect you to give reasons for banning Grendel in terms of the Members’ Guidelines. After all, what could you say? I was more inclined quietly to reincarnate at OEN and to try to comply with your new sudden-death code as well as the Members’ Guidelines.
But I find that I cannot reincarnate at OEN from the same IP – although I suppose I could do so via a proxy or from a different IP. Before embarking on either of those routes (which would be irritating enough to make maintenance of my customary politeness more of a challenge), I’d like to ask whether Grendel’s ban is temporary or permanent? Should you in your editorial graciousness deign to lift the ban, I will undertake to ensure that Grendel comports himself in accordance with both the OEN Members’ Guidelines and (so far as its content can be guessed from experience) your new sudden-death code as well.