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INTERNET TROLLER ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE NEWSWITHVIEWS.COM

 

 

 

By Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
February 28, 2008
NewsWithViews.com

In an obvious attempt to smear, discredit and ultimately silence a popular conservative news and commentary web site -- NewsWithViews.com -- an Internet troller claiming to be a columnist is saturating the Internet with e-mail accusing NWV of being anti-Semitic.

The troller, who claims to be one Dorothy Margraf, a political columnist, sent out a mass e-mailing accusing NewsWithViews.com of associating with the Republic Broadcasting Network because she's angry with some of their postings. RBN is a syndicated radio network devoted to conservative-libertarian politics. Its talk show hosts include Derry Brownfield, Terry Anderson, former Green Beret John Moore, Frosty Wooldridge -- who's also a NWV columnist -- and other notable activists within the conservative movement.

In a reciprocal agreement -- which is quite common on the Internet -- RBN carries a NewsWithViews.com banner and link, while NWV carries a Republic Broadcasting Network banner and link. According to the principles at NWV and RBN, no money was involved and the online relationship is subject to review by both, NWV's and RBN's editorial boards in four months.

"This is an excellent way to increase the number of visitors to our sites," states one of the editors.

If Margraf has a problem with RBN's contents, she should contact them. While Margraf's claim of anti-Semitism involves Republic Broadcasting, she is attacking NewsWithViews.com.

"Just because someone opposes Zionism doesn't mean they hate Jews. Even some American Jews oppose Israeli foreign and domestic policies," said conservative political strategist Mike Baker.

Baker used this analogy to describe Margraf's tactics:

"Let's say you have a homeowner in your neighborhood who owns dozen of barking dogs. This neighbor is the recipient of numerous complaints about his dogs barking at all hours of the night. And let's say that one day you are seen by your many neighbors talking to this dog owner about matters that have nothing to do with the dogs barking. Would these neighbors be fair if they began to single you out for retribution because you talked to the owner of the barking dogs? Using Margraf's logic, that's exactly what's happening in this situation."

While Margraf's e-mail urges columnists to cease their association with NWV, only one infrequent contributor has severed ties with the well-respected news-commentary web site.

According to the editors at NewsWithViews.com, contributing columnists have been very supportive and say they will continue their association with the online publication. One editor told this reporter that no one who expresses anti-Semitic sentiments is -- or ever will be -- invited to contribute to NewsWithViews.com.

"They are screened from the get go to make sure before they join our fine line up of writers that he or she is not anti-Semitic." In fact, half a dozen or so of NWV's contributing writers are of the Jewish faith. Said the NWV editor.

In response to Margraf's accusations, regular contributor Lynn Stuter said, "Part of the problem with the 'it's the Jews, stupid' philosophy is that believers don't seem to be able to differentiate those of the Jewish faith from Zionists which is why they continually equate Jews with Zionists."

In a column exclusively for NWV, Stuter dissects Margraf's complaints and provides a compelling argument.

One of NWV's most popular columnists, Devvy Kidd, responded to Margraf's e-mail with:

"I know [the NWV] staff personally... and seen them as real people. [One editor and his] family came from Czechoslovakia to escape communism. He knows what persecution is all about. I've never heard an anti-Jewish slur or any other bigotry from him, nor does he publish columnists who have an agenda contrary to maintaining a worthy news/commentary site."

"The worldwide web offers its visitors total freedom to express themselves. Unfortunately there are some who abuse that freedom and fill the Internet with lies, half-truths and distortions," laments Mike Baker.

While Ms. Margraf claims to be a columnist, the name Dorothy Margraf was found on only one weblog, Constance Cumbey's Perspective. This reporter could not find anything of significance written by her on any news and/or commentary web site.

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"I would characterize [Margraf] as a troller: she surfs the worldwide web looking for items she can claim outrage her. She'll talk about Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression, but she would deny these rights to anyone with whom she disagrees," said Mike Baker.

This reporter is a regular contributor to NWV, and in all my years of working with its editorial staff I've never observed even a hint of anti-Semitism.

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If Margraf has a problem with RBN's contents, she should contact them. While Margraf's claim of anti-Semitism involves Republic Broadcasting, she is attacking NWV.