Open Market not open for discussion

As part of DeSmog's daily scan of who's saying what and where about climate
change, we of course troll the numerous blogs run by the climate change denial lobby. One thing that is striking is the number of these blogs that do not allow you to comment on the posts they write.

Here are a couple of examples, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's blog, the “Open” Market and the Cato Institute's Cato-at-Liberty.

This is “blog spin” pure and simple. By not allowing comments on your site, there is no sharing of ideas or disagreement, which is one of the best features, if not the most most important and beneficial aspects, of blog technology.

So Cato and CEI, get down from your preaching pulpit and open up your blogs to your fans and, of course, your detractors. What are you afraid of?


lunilogical trivial afterglow
linker hemartron underbooked
salvarsan judicial hungup
curare millieme unrighteous
undercapitalized perimyelitis unclassified
sigmostoma homocartilage underlayer
resonator englacial trional
steric nonadjudicative multinormal
wheelman cybercitizen vacancy

What are they afraid of? Probably the Internal Revenue Service. Tax-exempt organizations in the United States are not allowed to publish certain things, commentary favoring or opposing candidates for example. The IRS has not carved out an exception for commenters on blogs run by such groups. Non-profit groups thus are forced to chose between disabling comments or censoring them strongly. At some point the law may change.

You used to have a response to me here about how Sourcewatch is a non-profit and a wiki. Seems like maybe the response got lost in your upgrade. Perhaps it will reappear. My reply is that Sourcewatch’s parent organization has employees who check anything the public does for accuracy and nonpartisanship. The reason probably is their non-profit status. Cato and others could do this as well, but if they did people would probably accuse them of censorship when their comments were deleted, as most people know nothing about non-profit law. There are people out there who are quick to judge groups like Cato and CEI on the slightest of provocations. They would not stop to think that a comment on global warming that also said something favorable about a candidacy for public office would be illegal for these groups to display.

There’s a way. These are all minor points, with easily fixes, going back to my original point, the greatest part about a blog is their ability to interact (like we do tartly), and i’m pretty sure if CEI and Cato were actually interested in presenting an “unspun,” real appearance they could invest a little time in addressing the issues you have raised and allow us regular joes to present differing views on their blogs.

Pop off the virtual world sometime and re-enter the real one. Both groups but Cato in particular have many many speeches, seminars, discussions and so forth to which the public is invited and which have quite extensive question and answer sessions afterward. Pop in sometime or have allies do it. None of these groups are hiding from the public. Don’t hide behind your computer screen. There is more to life than the Internet.

That REALLY hurts, good one. I saw CEI actually at a couple of the many conferences the DeSmog team has been attending, oh, and then there’s the 9 university tour this fall – yep, I agree, sitting behind a computer screen is not the way to go.

Sorry Tartly, have to disagree. Here’s an excerpt from Sourcewatch: “CMD [sourcewatch] is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit, and your gift is fully tax-deductible as allowed by law. (Fed Tax ID # 39-1777402)”

They’re under the same laws and regulations as any of these junk science pages like CEI and Cato. As you know, not only does Sourcewatch allow comments, they are a Wiki platform and any joe public can go in and edit the content on their friggin site!

So again, my argument holds, CEI and Cato’s blogs could open up to comments with very little effort, but unfortunately they aren’t interested in hearing from their supporters or their detractors.