Media Coordinator Update, 12/24/10

Dear C4SS supporters,

I’ll lead off with the good news, since good news is fun and since some of the good news may shed light on some of the not-as-good news. Here are our “mainstream (or close) media pickups” for the week, and we once again broke the 2.3 million reader mark!

This week I’ve submitted 8,049 C4SS op-ed pieces to 2,683 newspapers on every continent except Antarctica. I could have bulked that up to more than 10,000 before writing this update (I’ve got unsubmitted content awaiting my attention), but it seemed unwise. I’m doing my best not to hit any given newspaper more than every other day, there’s a holiday weekend not terribly conducive to political, especially anarchist, op-eds coming on … so some pieces are waiting until Sunday for submission so as to get them the best shot at “pickup” status.

Now the not-so-good news, and frankly it has me doing a slow burn.

C4SS has been banned at Alternet.

C4SS has been banned at Alternet for spurious and false reasons (when I attempt to log in to post C4SS material, I get the message “ERROR: your account has been marked as a spammer”).

Alternet is lying to its readers about the status of C4SS’s blog there (try to visit it and you’ll receive the response “This user has elected to delete their account and the content is no longer available”).

Alternet has not replied — and I’ve waited for several days — to my polite request for reinstatement of the C4SS blog and/or an explanation of the perceived problem so that we can “get right” with them.

The notion that C4SS is in any way involved in “spam,” particularly at Alternet, is false on its face. We never posted more than two C4SS commentaries a day at Alternet, and seldom posted every day. The commentaries included no sales pitches — they were the same straight poop available right here at our site and published in newspapers around the globe. They were timely, they were topical, and at no point did I ever receive a single compIaint, either directly from a reader or from or through Alternet, about them. In point of fact, I was gratified at how often C4SS commentaries were selected for “featured” status in the sidebar of Alternet’s front page.

We’re not involved in “spam” anywhere else, either. I submit op-eds to lots of newspapers — and I promptly honor requests for removal from my submissions list, even if that entails some extra work on my part. You’d be surprised at how often I get two-word, all-caps “REMOVE US” messages from addresses I’ve never sent an email to and not apparently connected to any paper I’ve submitted to, which usually means that the newspaper has merged or been bought out, the paper’s name and its domain name have changed, and the old email address is being forwarded to a new one. In those cases I ask politely for the needed information, and research it myself if necessary, to spare the editor who doesn’t want our material from continuing to receive it.

Is it a content problem? It shouldn’t be. As today’s update and previous ones substantiate, C4SS content is getting increased, and increasingly positive, attention from the political left. The Canadian is that country’s national “progressive” newspaper, with a circulation of 65,000, and they love our stuff. Australia’s Rebel News is the Sydney area’s “progressive” alternative publication. Media With Conscience has cataloged the actions of left media for five years now, and they obviously consider us among that media or they wouldn’t be pimping our press releases.

Yes, folks, I’m a little pissed with Alternet right now. From early on at my job as C4SS’s media coordinator, I’ve considered our Alternet blog to be an important interface between C4SS (and the left-libertarian/market anarchist community more generally) and the “mainstream American left.” And now we’re cut off with no believable explanation and not even the courtesy of a note to alert us or an explanation when I asked for one.

Has Alternet been taken over by Maoists? By Pat Robertson? Maybe they’re shilling for the government and suppressing us because of our support for Wikileaks? These all seem like pretty wild theories … but they’ll have to do for now because I can’t get an answer from them.

Maybe you can.

So, that’s where we’re at. If you’re celebrating a holiday this weekend, enjoy it and be safe. And if you’re not celebrating a holiday this weekend, well, enjoy it and be safe anyway.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

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