Comments: Debunking - Congressman Adrian Smith NOT blocking blogspot bloggers

Ok, I'll bite. How do *you* know that Congressman Adrian Smith is NOT blocking blogspot bloggers?

Let the record show that the only testimony I've reviewed is from the ThirdDistrict blog. And the gotroot black list.

From these sources I gather:
1) Congressman Adrian Smith is blocking referrers from

2) The Congressman has refused to respond to direct questions from a constituent regarding said referral blocking.

3) The private vendor hosting the Congressman's web site claims the practice is SOP for all of the firm's Congressional accounts. The only Congressional account the vendor admits to is Smith's, citing confidentiality. Further, accounts the vendors does admit to servicing *allow* blogspot referrers.

What fact am I not seeing? So far I see a factual assertion and a non-denial denial.

Posted by Wray Cummings at November 6, 2007 10:49 AM

Because the vendor said which third-party blacklist they use for spam, and why they do it, and looking at that third-party blacklist (the link is in my post above), blogspot is indeed there. That's the simplest, most factual, explanation.

It's not in my post above, but it's also easily findable that there are a lot of other House - not Senate - sites on that server, and other clients are on different servers, which have different policies.

I could write this up in detail, but would it do me any good? Would people say "Ah, Seth, you've explained it, I will go forth and be enlightened in the future, thank you." Or, sadly, meaning no offense, would I just be in for a lot of "How about THIS, huh? And what about THAT, huh, huh, huh?"? - As in, what supports me getting it right, rather than the cheap and easy oh-my-god, they-fear-the-bloggers paranoia trafficed by the demagogues?

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at November 6, 2007 11:13 AM

Finkelstein, you really do seem to bend over backwards in attempting to find excuses for what appear to be deliberate acts of censorship. By your reasoning, when Bush "filters" people at his speeches, it's not really he or his affiliates that are doing the filtering, it's some third party organization, sometimes acting as Secret Service Agents, that strong arm and physically remove people from areas that Bush might be in proximity of. No nefarious intentions there. Just business as usual. Free speech zones and all that.

It's one thing to carry the attitude of seeing innocence before guilt, but no one is going to jail and indications of a complete lack of innocence in these matters has long since disappeared.

As for the "bipartisan" excuse, I was reminded of something else I read today by digby at Hullabaloo -

I [Open Left blogger and Internet neutrality champion Matt Stoller] went up to Pelosi after her odd speech to ask her in person about her support for [DINO, Bush Dog "Democrat"] Al Wynn. I said 'I helped organize a fundraiser for [proposed Democratic primary challenger and progressive] Donna Edwards', and I was about to talk about retroactive immunity and ask her to take this as a sign of frustration, as well as to tell her how proud she makes me as the first female Speaker of the House. But the moment I mentioned Al Wynn, Pelosi's whole face abruptly changed, her smile melted away, and she got hostile and said in an icy voice 'I know about that.' She then turned away to talk to someone else.

You see, this is not a case of Pelosi having an abhorrence for hearing from the voice of real Democrats, but rather an innocuous "spam filter" that merely needs some adjusting. We're told they're working on the problem. I think Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein, two "bipartisan Democrats" are having Mike Mukasey check line connections to see if the problem is there. It doesn't take ventriloquist talents to type while drinking a glass of water. But what about eight buckets full?

It's all so innocent. There's a rational explanation for all of it.

Incidentally, that third party "spam" filtering service site seems to have been wiped. It's giving the Apache installed screen. Innocence prevails.

Posted by Amos Anan at November 6, 2007 08:44 PM

I rest my case :-(

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at November 6, 2007 09:14 PM

Finkelstein, you seem to bend over backwards for having some respect for the rules of evidence. Come on, you know that these times don't call for such trivialities. Viva la revolucion! Hoy!

I'll fill in the details, for those of you InfoReaders out there:

"Eric Nebraska" at Daily Kos did the testing (after hyping the story) and confirmed that 36 other members of Congress had the same problem (in "Yet Another Update" rather than as a new top-level story given the headline like "The Previous Allegations Were Wrong.")

The following websites have yet to issue corrections:

Nebraska Democratic Party
Democratic National Committee
Sunlight Foundation

The DNC story got picked up by the KXMB blog scooper (go user-generated content!). But the page does offer this helpful disclaimer:

"Disclaimer: This article is a blog post and does not represent the views or opinions of Reiten Television,, its staff and associates and is wholly owned by the user who posted this content."

Still, I'm not sure why referer spam *is* such a bad thing that needs to be prevented.

Posted by Jon Garfunkel at November 6, 2007 09:36 PM