Comments Alert


Greetings readers. Well, have to get back to monitoring again.
I have just banned a couple of prominent commenters — sorry, but just had to. I’ve warned too many times — and given that this is a blog that covers a ton of different topics, I don’t like the climate here when someone tries to hijack the section to always be about Israel issues. As I’ve said before, I love debate and learn much from the comments — but anyone who thinks they have the right to dominate the tone of the blog, its subject matter, and to bully others (and me) can really go elsewhere or start his or her own blog.
There is also a guy in Manchester, England — that’s right, I know where you are — that continues to post ugly, profane, slurs of prominent people. I’m having trouble banning his ISP.
So, that means I have to put the comments on a review period for a time as I want none of the banned commenters back.
When we have order and reasonable discussion back in play, I’ll remove the restrictions. That’s the way we have to play this game unfortunately.
I’m on a plane back to Washington, DC from Vienna in about an hour — so be patient with comments over night.
All best — and thanks for your patience,
— Steve Clemons


19 comments on “Comments Alert

  1. Kathleen says:

    Look at the comments section for the next four post not much. Wondering if this is the response to regular participants being banned?


  2. Kathleen says:

    “Have no idea what your world is really like except that it appears to be rather disconnected from real working class people”
    This is statement is not specifically pointed at Steve but those who often say “the American people think this way or that way” Have heard Joe Scarborough, Mika Brezinski (sp) Peggy Noonan says this all of the time. I always think how in the hell do you know what real working folks think. Certainly does not seem like she is the type to go mix it up.


  3. Kathleen says:

    Clemons “The irony of this is that I really don’t have much time to read the comments and barely read what POA and others have offered. I am just too busy — and when these comments are unmonitored, I have to essentially trust the regular commenters here to respect my wishes and respect each other and their differences of opinion.”
    Steve it is understandable that you are far too busy to read comments here. But keep in mind as you go deeper into the world that you are all ready deep into the more distance between you and the peasants out here. I think that is one of the biggest problems for journalist, etc within and without the beltway. Finding out what working class folks are thinking experiencing etc. One thing that I noticed about Chris Matthews (and do not agree with everything that he says) out at the MSNBC stage at the Dem Convention in Denver. Is that Chris would come out and mix it up with the peasants, bring out his microphone, ask them questions, give them some time, seemed genuinely interested. Maddow and Olbermann never did anything like this. Kept their distance from the masses. Stayed on the stage. Thought this was telling. Met Matthews at the Libby trial. Totally approachable. Even when I challenged him on several issues.
    Keeping plugged into what the peasants are thinking is an important dimension to keep in touch with.
    Can not stand when I hear pundits say “the American people think” when they do not have a clue.
    Have no idea what your world is really like except that it appears to be rather disconnected from real working class people
    I would use this site to keep my feet on the ground


  4. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Unlike Obama, if I were AntKnee, I would hang in there till we see what Larry Flytn rakes up…heaven only knows what’s out there in Twitterdom…but then, I would never find myself in Weiner’s spot…for starters I think Twitter is for Twits…who the hell has time for all that trivia exchange? I have a real life, so I’m saving Twitter for the old folks home….TWN is as virtual as I get…
    I don’t know which is more obscene…Weiner’s, shirtless, towel-wrapped. Yank the Frank Prank, in the Congressional gym, or the fact that Congresscritters can leisurely enjoy a Cogressional gym while many Americans are having to chose between food and meds or heat and rent, etc.
    So where’s Weiner going for sex treatment….Hugh Heffner’s pad? The whole Playboy phenom is alive and well in busiessdom…..all this faux shock is like high camp.


  5. Kathleen says:

    Carroll agree. Poa’s passion. Hope she comes on over to Race for Iran, Mondoweiss for new and accepting forums. Not that that is not happening here. Just more boundaries and sounds like others complaining.
    Steve have you ever thought about hiring a moderator for your place? Create a job!
    Poa go one over to Mondoweiss you will find support and open dialogue, info, and action on some of the issues that seem very important to you. Now there are a few individuals at Race for Iran that have said they were booted at Mondoweiss. Really do not understand that because I have found both of these other sites really open to different opinions. Oh and Glenn Greenwalds over at Salon also.
    Understand this is Steve’s place even though I do not agree with all of the above. Respect his intellect and general openness.


  6. Kathleen GBrassso Andersen says:

    Carroll….I was wondering where you were…I’ll miss POA and his colorful spicey take on things…wish he had taken my suggestion to relegate Nadine to “Scroll over country” and not feed the trolls…in a way, Nadine succeeded in silencing POA by goading him into the ongoing taffy-pull, shaggy-dog, tongue lashings…
    rc…good idea…POA can do The Marginal Note.
    Incdentally, I did clean up my Weiner comment because of the new order….when I saw the entire front page of The New York Daily News quoting Weiner in bold print…”I’ll stick it out”,(unfortunate choice of words) I thought, boy, talk about flashing your junk…..
    On further consideration, one could say that many commuications from many Cogresscritters could be considered a “virtual f**k”, so to speak.


  7. Carroll says:

    Well…I guess I missed the excitment or ‘incitment’ again.
    I don’t comment much anymore because I have already said everything I wanted say and would only be repeating myself, so now I just observe and wait.
    But I will also miss POA’s passion and cutting to the heart of many matters.


  8. rc says:

    I understand SC’s position but I also will miss the voice of POA — too bad he’s now drifting around out there in reader-only land like a neutered Jack Nicholson at the end of the Witches of Eastwick watching the kids play from inside the TV set.
    But look there is an easy win-win if POA wants to play ball — create a simple free blog (e.g. google blogger) and use the POA as a keyword.
    Then those who feel the need for a more pungent under-arm experience can google both “POA” and “TWN” (for example) and find it — and by doing so, and saving it to the browser, get to read the POA sub-commentary to each TWN blog posting as it appears.
    And if he’s game, he can even allow comments — and ban Steve Clemons!


  9. JG says:

    Good going Steve, I for one had stopped visiting TWN because of those two (Nadine and POA) and how jarring their comments were. You really don’t need that kind of adolescent behavior in such a nice forum.


  10. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Meanwhile, back in the halls of Congress…a day in the life of an up and coming Congressman… Suddenly everything is a pun as the Weiner Schnitzel Caper continues…”I’ll stick it out”, says Weiner…is he kidding? WTF…is that some kind of Freudian slip or what? I will say this for Weiner, he’s been a boon to comedy…I haven’t laughed at the news this much since the first time Larry Flynt offered a million bucks to anyone who could document shenanigans with anyone in Congress. The abject double standards of the GOP Family Values “C” Street crew is so starkly underlined when it comes to personal conduct…jawdropping from any angle.
    To be continued….


  11. Maw of America says:

    It’s interesting. I moderate a monthly discussion group and a firm hand is tolerated only because it is so necessary with the incendiary nature of our topics, which people can see firsthand because we meet in person. BTW, it’s Deep Thinkers at and Facebook.
    It’s a familiar adage (and butchered by GW), but it holds true:
    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
    You have my full support.


  12. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks much Kathleen. I’m not done writing about I/P issues. I think that they are hugely important and I’m disappointed in the tack the administration has taken on these issues. I’ve launched program after program on these issues, written about them, spoken about them all through the media — but I have other interests too. And I’m not going to stand by and pay the bill for some commenters to get their thrill by constantly harassing me for what subjects I cover or don’t cover. They see a conspiracy behind what I write about one way or another — and that’s idiotic and uninformed, and an insult I won’t host here. Let them get their own blog to do that. If folks want to challenge me in a constructive manner, or the ideas I propose, love that and want that. But I won’t have my integrity challenged because I haven’t elected to write something that someone who has mastered the art of bulldozing and bullying wants me to write.
    A lot of folks liked the electricity of the flaming comment wars here — but believe me, they turn off far more readers than they attract, and I just won’t have it any longer.
    I got a screed from one of the individuals responding to my points — arguing that I have engaged in an epic hissy fit. So be it. That reinforces my decision on the ban — as I want and demand a constructive, civil tone here — and anyone who refuses to cooperate on that front will not be welcome to post here.
    The irony of this is that I really don’t have much time to read the comments and barely read what POA and others have offered. I am just too busy — and when these comments are unmonitored, I have to essentially trust the regular commenters here to respect my wishes and respect each other and their differences of opinion.
    But those who comment here sometimes feel they are writing to me, with me constantly aware of what they are writing. It’s only the flaming, outrageous remarks of a few people challenging my integrity that drew me into these comments again. Had they just stuck with issues and stopped with the personalization of their foibles and fantastic conspiracy theories, they would be enjoying commenting today.
    I have very little time — and I do not want to be writing notes such as this and really don’t want to be involved in the comments section. Those who take too much of my time here — particularly ones who cannot behave in a responsible, reasonable manner are simply banned from the zone.
    Really sorry that I had to do this as it is unbelievably frustrating to me to clip the wings of anyone — but I will not host people who engage in rude, brutish behavior.
    I’ve had several on both sides of the Israel/Palestine issue — Nadine and POA are the best representatives on both sides — who refused to follow my rules and repeatedly, personally attacked me for my decisions on what to post, from different sides of the coin.
    They are both gone, and it’s too bad. Both are smart, capable — but they are intoxicated with their own rage against things and refused to follow my requirements which frankly are pretty simple.
    End of rant. All best, steve clemons


  13. Kathleen says:

    I know this is your place Steve. But always curious about different approaches. Glenn Greenwald/Salon allows so many different views ot.Seems to flow.
    Your place.So sorry to hear about POP
    Mondoweiss and Race for Iran could be some new places for her
    I think this push for discussion on the I/P issue is because it is so completely closed on the MSM. Ok a few tiny cracks but that is it


  14. Steve Clemons says:

    Thanks Paul & Kathleen:
    I too will miss POA, the POA who was brilliantly informed and would occasionally punch through conventional wisdom to other issues. But he engaged in serial harassment of people and bullied them — and became obsessed with my red lines for commentary rather than becoming obsessed with generating a constructive, engaging tone on this blog. He chafed at the controls I required here. It’s too bad.
    It is an interesting phenomena that some commenters believe that there is some kind of cosmic calculation that I make in what I cover or don’t cover on this blog — that if I say something nice about Senator Ben Nelson that I am a sell-out, or that if I don’t write about the recent violence at Israel’s borders that I must be someone’s pawn, or lack integrity, or am trying to get along with the Likudist establishment. These are all ridiculous assertions, and while POA has the right to express himself, I don’t have to be the one paying the bill for falsehoods and wrongful accusations. My blog is for my own thinking — my own R&D. Sometimes I have time to write about what appeals to those of you who comment most here – -and then other times, I want to write about America’s infrastructure deficit, or economic policies, or backward relations with Cuba, or China — or my dogs. I may be busy or may feel that some subject, like the one about Israel’s border violence, is something I don’t either have my own angle on yet or something I don’t feel I have enough knowledge (yet) to comment on.
    There are lots of reasons behind what I cover and what I don’t — but I’m not going to allow the ocmments section of this blog to become dominated by people who engage in adolescent, obsessive compulsive taunting and manipulation. That is a violation of my rules. I don’t mind hard fought debates here — but I require a spirit of good will here. I demand it.
    POA knows what he has to do to ever come back here — and I doubt he will do what is required. It’s up to him if he wants to be unbanned.
    End of subject for me. I don’t want to discuss this matter again.
    All best to those of you who can argue, debate, and play well with others.
    Steve Clemons


  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Your post below this one – about Hossein Derakshan – raises an important point that is relevant beyond Iran – and you
    deserve kudos, Steve, for your awareness of the fatal consequences of certain statements within societies with rules
    different from ours – consequences most of us can’t even imagine – although I’m sure Mehdi Khalaji is fully aware of these
    And this issue is of course different in so many ways from you banning PissedOffAmerican, who’s been dancing on your
    red line for a long time now. I can understand that you get pissed off, Steve. But I also have to say that if POA is banned
    from this site, I’ll miss him very much.
    I often criticize his views and his approach. But the fact is that there is no one like POA, and The Washington Note will
    never be the same without his voice.


  16. Bill Pearlman says:

    Not me guys.


  17. Kathleen Grasso Andersen says:

    Well daaaarrrnn…TWN has been such a haven of free ideas, interesting posts, reactions and analyisis….it’s a pity some could not mind their manners a bit and be considerate….I hope TWN does’t change too much when it blends with The Atlantic…TWN is unique.


  18. Steve Clemons says:

    In the past, Ben, the comment review has generally done away with some of the most toxic stuff — but we have a few folks who don’t get that what I care most about in this comments section is the tone of respectful, constructive, if passionate and compelling debate. People here are trying to test my boundaries — and that just shows they don’t get it.
    I really want to stay out of the comments section — but the taunting that comes toward me from some commentors is incredibly distracting and adolescent. They have refused to grow up — and thus must go. I really have no more time to think about them.
    As the blog moves to The Atlantic, a new screening system will be put in place.
    all best, steve


  19. Ben Rosengart says:

    It doesn’t seem that these periodic comment freezes have any
    kind of lasting effect, or at least, not the intended effect. Not
    that I have any better idea.


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