Friday, April 1, 2011

Kicked Off Zero Hedge for Interposing Perception with Reality

Following the release of today's non-farm payroll for March (+216,000), the level of insanity at the usually-nutty-anyways Zero Hedge blog went over the edge as the site's operators simply could not stomach the idea that maybe the government can fudge statistics enough to "match the policy" (a term made popular during the Iraq War) with seven posts covering all angles on the NFP data.

Naturally, being that Zero Hedge is a hangout of gold bugs, canned food hoarders, survivalists, anarchists and iconoclasts of every stripe, the perception that 216,000 new jobs were created in March could not go unchallenged, so every attempt was made to discredit the government figures.

I applaud the efforts of Zero Hedge. They usually are pretty good at picking up on the daily failures and fabrications of the military industrial complex, and no doubt, CNBC and the shills for limitless stock buying (Perma-bulls) offer up an endless stream of material for their usual antiestablishment agenda.

But, I was surprised that upon posting some comments that drifted from the company line (government evil, bankers evil, Fed evil, gold and silver good), trying to rile up the assembled loonies, that my posting privileges had been summarily denied, my username deleted. When trying to post comments, I was met, not with a login prompt, but with this:
The username Fearless Rick has not been activated or is blocked.

Now, I've been booted from message boards before, most notably on eBay, for disagreeing with policy, but getting kicked off Zero Hedge is another story altogether, because of what they are supposed to represent: an alternative view, a departure from the norm, a counterbalance to the mainstream media.

I normally like the site, generally get good ideas from their articles (mostly reprints or excerpts of stories posted elsewhere on the web) and post my own comments often. Being banned from posting there really gave me pause, though.

A couple of comments by me not in the general spirit... here's two:

Where's Harry Wanger! He's kicked the crap out of most of our resident geniuses by picking stocks using the tried-and-true "throw darts" method.

Wall Street is laughing its ass off at ZH. Time to get back to work, serfs!

Over: 7 articles related to NFP. Number of typos in headlines: 2. TD needs to add +1 to the NFP data by hiring a proofreader.

Now, where's that CogDis guy? Zero Hedge readers are suffering from CD by not believing that government can create statistics to "match the policy." Now where did we hear that term before?

That little bit of taunting was, I suppose, too much criticism to accept by the mongolian editorial board at Zero Hedge. One must not bite the hand that handles the daily propaganda feed. The politburo cannot be criticized and in no way can their secrets be exposed. One must drink the Kool-aid, no matter how distasteful the flavor.

I broke the unwritten rules. C'est la vie. Que sera, sera. I was banned.

The episode gave me pause to reflect upon exactly what Zero Hedge - modeled after the fictional movie Fight Club - actually represents. Capitalism would be a good start. After all, the site actively solicits donations in addition to running the maximum allotment of Google AdSense ads on their page(s).

They are no more anti-capitalist than the Wall Street Journal or the United Way in that regard. They need money to operate, just like the rest of us.

But banning from comment those who disagree or at times are critical - like me - effectively negates all of their very own Fight Club creed and substantially reduces their level of credibility to that of outright hypocrisy.

Maybe I missed something in the movie, something about the need to follow orders and obey, obey, OBEY! I'll have to watch Fight Club again, I guess, and search for more hidden meaning.

Or maybe Tyler Durden can enlighten me.

Somehow, I doubt that, because prosperity, whether imagined or real, is anathema to the Zero Hedge business model.

Fight Club should rename itself Punk Club.
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