Monday, March 24, 2008

Another Notch in Our Belt

I wouldn't want to belong to a group that would have me as a member. - Groucho Marx

It was some 13 and half years ago now that our friend Akai Ryu introduced our to the really old school dial up WWIV Bulletin Boards. We remember him telling us one day that most newbies log on, sign up, look around, don't say or do very much, and quickly drop off. But not us... We came online like a bulldozer. It wasn't long before some of the owners of those BBS banned us and we manage to continue to get ourselves banned from various message boards even to this day.

You could say we never learn but what is there really for us learn? Anybody who knows us knows that we are not ones to follow along and be a part of the group think. There are those who claim to "tell the truth to power" and there are people like us who actually do it, regardless of the consequences. If we think you're being stupid, we're not afraid to tell you. We're like the guy who points out that the Emperor has no clothes. (We happen to think that this is our most endearing quality...)

Yet recently we pulled off something we didn't think could happen. We've been banned from reading a blog. Yep, you read that right. We haven't been banned from commenting on a blog; we've been banned from even accessing On Frozen Blog. This is sad and pathetic on many different levels. And despite the fact that we're devoting an entire post to this, this isn't even the banning we're the most proud of. That honor goes to Ballpark Guys where we got ourselves banned for repeatedly and mercilessly bashing the owner of the site when he stated that "aborting a fetus that will have a life-long genetic defect is the Christian thing to do." That kind of an abomination deserved the outrage and scorn we heaped upon it and we would not hesitate to do it again if given the chance.

So what exactly did we do to OFB that got us into hot water? Well, we simply held them to the standards they set for everybody else. We were repeatedly lectured by them in e-mail and in public about our refusal to allow comments on this blog. They continued to do this even after we pointed out that they had repeatedly "moderated" the comments we left on their blog. It would be one thing if they were "paying us back" for our policy but they have openly admitted to "moderating" the comments of other posters on their blog. We fail to see the difference between our policy and what they're doing here. We've made no bones about the comment policy here and why it exists. Furthermore the comment policy here ensures that we won't make haughty statements like the On Frozen Hypocrites have about "allowing dissenting opinions to appear on their blog." Sure, you can dissent from their Swiss Cheese logic, but if you point it out to the point that they're embarrassed and would have to possibly reconsider or retract their idiotic statements; they delete it. In other words, if you find yourself in a debate with them, don't try to win it, they won't let you. We know, they've done it to us multiple times.

But we'll be fair to the On Frozen Idiots, we're not the only ones they've attacked in their time online. They've spent a considerable amount of time lecturing professional journalists on how they should conduct themselves. They've been especially critical of the (Com)Post and it's staff. They've questioned why the (Com)Post doesn't devote more coverage to College Hockey in spite of the fact that the nearest Division 1 program is over 150 miles away. They've lectured columnists on their "professionalism" and even bashed the irreverent sports blogger for being an irreverent sports blogger. It takes a lot for us to ride to the defense of the Washington (Com)Post but each and every single one of their criticisms in those cases were patently unfair. They also attempted to bail out Ted Leonsis in his fight with Steve Czaban last summer with a laughably bad counter-factual that failed to contain any facts, just their opinion of what Sports Journalists should be doing.

Finally, the people that they were criticizing in these instances are not in a position to defend themselves. After all, they are professionals and professionals conduct themselves in a certain manner, irregardless of what other people might think. Bloggers still have a bad reputation (gee... we wonder why...) and it is pretty common tactic to ignore somebody you consider your clear inferior. The Georgetown Whats? have been doing this for decades with Maryland Basketball and that is the case here of professional journalists versus bloggers. As a matter of fact, some of the professional journalists the On Frozen Idiots have criticized in the past have thanked us in private for publicly sticking for them. A blogger really has to cross a line in order to get a professional journalist to publicly lash out at them and once the professional journalist does that, they are scorned by their contemporaries. (Think our old friend Larry Brooks wouldn't like a chance to respond to us???)

Now we understand that people sometimes get all riled up when they are told they are wrong or being stupid; it's only human nature. But mature individuals are able to take criticism and grow from it. They can admit when they've been wrong on the facts and/or have acted in an inappropriate way. However, not only do the On Frozen Hypocrites not do anything like that, they take it to another level.

In what they clearly considered (at the time at least) their crowning achievement, "breaking the news of A.O.'s contract extension in North America," the On Frozen Idiots exposed themselves for the frauds that they are and even went beyond that. First of all, through our vast network of spies and informants, we have learned that the On Frozen Idiots were NOT the only ones in the Caps Press Box to get the tip on the A.O. extension the night before it was signed sealed, and delivered. While that's immaterial to some of the larger points, it does paint a disturbing picture of people so wrapped up in themselves, they can't see what else is going on around them.

The On Frozen Idiots openly admit that they did almost nothing to chase down the story themselves and followed all the directions of the person who actually did chase the story down and gave it to them on a silver platter. While they properly gave credit to their source, they admitted to wondering just how they should handle the situation as things started getting hotter and hotter under their collars. They admitted to contacting a professional journalist seeking his advice on what to do. They were advised to talk to the Caps and after talking to the Caps, were asked by a high ranking team official to keep the story under wraps. They ignored this and in effect, ignored the very advice that they had sought out in order to fulfill the wishes of their source without questioning his motives. Yet, the On Frozen Idiots were all too willing to pat themselves on the back for their adherence to "professional journalistic ethics" without realizing what they had actually done and were actually bragging about doing.

(Just a quick note here, we would provide links from their site to back all of this up. But, as we stated, we've been banned and we don't care to install an IP Mask or sift our way through Google Cache to get around the banning. Quite frankly, it just isn't worth it. Providing links to this stuff is not going to convince those of you who think we're idiots and the On Frozen Morons the greatest things that they're the ones with the problem and not us.)

To make the matters even worse, the On Frozen Idiots wouldn't have even been in the position to "break the news of A.O.'s extension in North America" if it had not been for the amazing generosity of Caps owner Ted Leonsis. Ted has not only allowed them into the Press Box at the Phone Booth for every single home game, he's also defended to the hilt this decision to let them in. But in the case of the On Frozen Ingrates, he didn't stop there. Last Spring he gave them an all-expense paid trip to the IIHF World Championships in Moscow. It was on this trip that they met their source for the A.O. story and if it wasn't for Ted's generosity (at the very least allowing them into a place no other NHL Club did at the time), they would have never been in that position in the first place.

Now, I don't speak for Ted and I would never dare to, but if I were him, I'd be pretty ticked at how these guys repaid me for my generosity.

Woah, woah, woah there Caps Nut. "He who lives in glass houses should not throw stones." What about your post leaking the new jersey (that got you a link on Wonkette BTW) before it was officially unveiled???

Good question Chester, here's the difference:
  1. We have never at any point in time have ever considered ourselves anything but a blogger. We have never bragged about our "professional journalism ethics." As a matter of fact we came out against the idea of bloggers in the press box right away. We also note that we predicted that bloggers would use their new found powers in ways that real professional journalists would not in that post. (Real professional journalists are more interested in having all the facts right when they go to publish, not being the first. Well, the first with all the facts confirmed if you want to be nitpicky...) Now in the interest of full disclosure, we have signed up for the Caps Press releases but that usually gives us the interesting news about about 5-10 minutes after it appears on TSN.ca, so it saves us from having to press F5 all day. We also use the Google News Alerts to tell us when the phrase "Washington Capitals" appears in a news article published by a source Google deems worthy to make our lives easier. But again, we've made no bones about the fact that we're bloggers first, second, third, and last. The On Frozen Hypocrites routinely hide behind their "blogger" identity when they violate the "professional journalism ethics" that do exist (along with the ones that they've created) yet try to claim the trappings and privileges of real professional journalists in the meantime. (In other words, they insist on be treated like bloggers when it suits their purposes and treated like professional journalists when it suits their purposes.)
  2. At no point in time last summer did we contact anybody with the Caps to confirm or deny the information we had gotten before (or after) posting it. Furthermore, after the post went up and the information began to spread around the Internet, we were not contacted by the Capitals about the information that we had posted and asked to remove or edit it. Would we have removed the post if the Caps had asked us? We really can't say because we don't know. It probably would have depended upon our mood at the time and they way that they asked.
  3. It turned out that while we had some doubts, we had the facts right the first time. We we're scrambling around at the last second because the details had changed. The On Frozen Morons reported incorrect numbers and had to make a correction, something professional journalists are embarrassed to ever to have to do.
So where does all this leave us? Well, first and foremost, it still leaves us banned from reading their blog live without an IP Mask which is odd to say the least. A large part of the rationale for allowing people like the On Frozen Hypocrites into NHL Press Boxes is to expand the audience for the NHL. Yet, here they are preventing people from reading what they're producing and knowing the nature of the folks in the Caps fan base; we can't be the only ones banned from reading that blog. Is what the On Frozen Idiots doing wrong? Nope. As we've said about this blog and our comment policy "our blog, our rules" and the exact same thing applies to them.

Before you think I'm lecturing them on how they should conduct themselves and their blog, I suggest you reread this post. Only once have I suggested that they conducted themselves in an improper manner and even then that was more along the lines of being a bunch of ingrates. They can create their own rules for their blog and apply them however unevenly they wish. We're pointing it out for everybody to see ("the Emperor has no clothes"). That's the beauty of this whole thing. Both of us can conduct ourselves however we please and there's nothing the other side can do to stop it.

So what's next? Well, as I said, we're not going to bother with Google Cache or IP Masks. So the On Frozen Morons will continue on in their ignorant bliss (which brings us back to another point, if anybody thinks we're overly insulting, please know that most of the time we self-censor and either tone it down or don't bother posting anything at all. However, that is not the case in this post. We also should mention that you can say "the Emperor has no clothes" or more specifically, "yes honey, that does make you look fat" without being entirely insulting.) without us to point, laugh, and try to get them to at least uphold the standards that they expect of everybody else. Ted will continue to boost them over just about everybody else out there and might even send them on another vacation at his expense. We'll also be the "bigger person" here (we're mocking their general haughtiness BTW) and retain a link to them as long as they remain active (though they could shut it down tomorrow and we'd never know, we've been banned). They've chosen not to be a friend which is why they've been reclassified along with others who aren't currently linking to us. (We've also deleted links to other blogs that have been inactive for the past six months. If they come back on a regular basis, we will be glad to restore them as we continue the long overdue renovations around here).

Finally, they'll get the last word on this if they so choose as we've said, we're banned and can't read them and don't care for IP Masks or Google Cache searches. Though should they choose to offer a rebuttal, we request that all five of our loyal readers simply refuse to comment on that post. It would probably get deleted anyway so why waste your time...

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