Of course, anyone who has blogged or who reads blogs knows that a blog can be a forum if its writers allow it. Certainly, if you permit comments to be posted and don't post a policy that defines your commenting policy, that is the impression you give your readers. If you aren't interested in feedback or interested in a particular perspective or view, simply get rid of the comments or make your readers aware of your commenting policy, right?
George takes on this subject to defend babalu's well-known practice of banning certain commenters. babalu's ban list includes, as George so eloquently puts it, "malcontents, imbeciles, idiots, liberals, leftists, commies, dialogueros, infiltrados, and general all-around a**holes [-Ed.]." Of course, these people are defined as such by the folks who write babalu, much like the threats to the Cuban government are defined by the Castro regime. Let's just say it's very subjective.
So, George says, because they are a blog where, by definition, open discourse and expression of ideas is not really present, it is technically impossible for them to censor anyone. In fact, George says, "We cannot censor anyone, only the Government can."
Well, which leads us back to Webster's, Moneo's Bible for blog conduct...
1: a person who supervises conduct and morals: as a: an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter b: an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
Or, my favorite, Dictionary.com...
1. an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.
2. any person who supervises the manners or morality of others.
3. an adverse critic; faultfinder.
Hmm. No mention of censors only being government employees. In fact, the Dictionary.com version uses the verbiage "any person."
So let's review.
By opening up babalu to commenting and by not making readers aware of their restrictive commenting policy, babalu certainly appears to the first-time visitor to be a place, indeed a forum, where their comments are welcomed. And they are, as long as the commenter agrees with the babalu message. If they don't and they post an "objectionable" comment as determined by one of the people supervising and examining babalu's comments, that comment is deleted and the commenter is banned.
That, folks, is censorship in it's purest form. And it's been practiced throughout history by tyrants and intolerant men who believe that their message is the only one that should be heard.