Joan Walsh: Dissent Not Permitted At Salon?

A Salon commenter emailed claiming Salon editor at large and former editor in chief, Joan Walsh, appears to have taken the stifling of dissent at the site to a new level, now deleting comments and banning commenters for civil disagreement when presenting an alternate view to Walsh’s.

The post in question involves Santorum and birth control, though it’s the root of the controversy, not the back and forth, to which the commenter seems to have taken appropriate exception. Also, note Walsh had no problem using anything and everything she could to smear Republicans in the same item without referencing a link, or specific incident.

Strange bedfellows Rush Limbaugh and the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger have claimed that it’s Democrats who are making an issue out of Santorum’s contraception beliefs.

… So there you have it. Santorum and his friends have run to Henneberger and other journalists to whine about Salon distorting his views on contraception. Henneberger wrote not one but two pieces defending Santorum and citing his vote for Title X as proof he’s not coming for our birth control. But at a GOP debate – where the classy right-wing crowd booed the mere mention of contraception, the way they’ve booed gay soldiers and cheered for uninsured people dying as well as the death penalty – he tells us “I opposed Title X funding. I’ve always opposed Title X funding.”

Walsh seems to want to saddle Republicans, and specifically Santorum, as willing to do away with birth control in America. No reasonable person, including Republicans, believes that will ever happen. From there, Walsh also appears to want to cover up evidence that it is Democrats, including the Obama White House, driving this discussion. The Henneberger item at the Post Walsh references makes a solid case for that.

So did the commenter in question who emailed us, it would seem. Below a screen grab of their comment, which was subsequently deleted. Nothing in said comment seems so over the top to us as to warrant deletion, let alone a banning.

Unfortunately, from the second screen grab below, it does appear the commenter was banned  – simply for disagreeing with Walsh, will providing evidence to support their argument.


If Walsh represents some new progressive left in America, it would appear to have much in common with the old left of Europe, which employed Stalin-esque tactics to stifle and even disappear valid counter argument. It’s a shame the door of freedom and freedom of speech seems to only swing one way at Salon.


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