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My Take on Covering Potentially Taboo Topics Like Bristol Palin's Baby on OEN

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I was out looking at the hibiscus we have on our back porch. There are no flowers on it right now, though the leaves are in great shape. I noticed that all the spots were there had been beautiful flowers now had empty stem ends. Flowers come and go. Matter of fact, with many flowers, one flower has to die for another on the same stem to reach full bloom. It's a floral hormone thing. The live flower releases hormones blocking the others from blooming. And so we lose a writer today-- maybe forever, maybe for a short time. We have one writer who threatens to stop posting to OEN every time an article doesn't get headlined.

This time, OEN covered a story that a writer disagreed with-- that a sizable percentage of readers disagreed with the decision to cover it.

I was talking to one of our senior editors and said, "If we haven't offended or driven at least one or two readers away from the site because we've posted something they didn't feel we should have posted, then we're not pushing our edges far enough."

That's the way we're going to do things. Part of our vision is to be a tough progressive media site. That means not flinching at covering stories or issues that the other media avoids. That means taking risks-- with subjects, with writers, with news and stories. That means making mistakes.

If you disagree with one story or one subject OEN covers, including the Palin baby and Bristol Palin, you always have the choice of kissing OEN goodbye. But I invite you to consider that being progressive, being an alternative media site that aims to cover what the mainstream don't cover almost requires us to go out to the edges in covering the news and the stories that are out there. We would not be doing our job if we failed to cover Sarah Palin's potential attempt to hide her daughter's unwanted child, by claiming it was hers.

Do you disagree? Fine. We've headlined Mikel Paul's article expressing disagreement. We headline articles we disagree with all the time. Do you leave because you disagree? That might make you a one issue decider. I invite you to consider that the issue we cover today, that incenses you is on the site because of what you value in the site-- our willingness to cover what the mainstream media fails to cover.



We're not going to back down. We made a mistake, which our editorial board regrets now, deciding not to cover the John Edwards affair. We should have covered it and we didn't. If we had covered it, we would have been roundly criticized. Well, now we face the fact that getting that kind of criticism is part of the territory... and it's okay for you to criticize. We won't tolerate name calling, just as we don't tolerate as a general site policy.

So, if you disagree. Speak up. We do listen. We don't always agree and at least, we provide a place where disagreement is allowed.

BTW, yesterday was the highest traffic day OEN has seen since January-- 98,000+ page views. Today is on track to break at least 80,000, and the newsletter, to 15,000, has not yet gone out, just in case any of the OEN haters out there are hoping the controvery here has hurt us.  For you techies, the strange thing is, for the past two months, every time we hit peak traffic highs-- at least the past five times, alexa has show the high traffic days as low traffic days. Fortunately, the site metrics that count, google, quantcast, do a better job. 

Some notes from our senior editors:

We offer the opportunity for full debate with our comments feature.  OpEdNews offers this feature so that readers and participants can expand their knowledge and understanding.  But lately, many posters have abused this feature by debasing civil discourse with hostility, disrespect and name-calling.  Any and all comments that contain ad hominem attacks will be removed.  Stick to the facts, debate the conclusions, but don't guess at people's motives and don't call them names.  Repeated violations of this policy will result in loss of privileges.  Let's keep the debate civil, folks.

and

Name-calling, nasty attacks, mean-spiritedness, etc., against fellow writers, readers or editors have no place on OEN --  If you think OEN is a "joke" and compare it to Karl Rove, move on, know one forces you to read it, let alone post on it.  

 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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Fight LIAR with FIRE!  It works.About the LIA... by meremark on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:16:22 PM
the Jerry Springer Party.... by Mark Watterson on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:12:26 AM
I think you're dead right about Tom De Lay bei... by Larry Retzack on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 6:09:06 PM
I am not avidly following the stories about babies... by John Kusumi on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:18:48 PM
You say, "But with the campaign now being upf... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:58:38 PM
Obamas VP choice thinks he was right about the Ira... by pft on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:14:54 PM
A mother will lie to protect her child, but would ... by Martha Rose Crow on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:41:18 PM
that there are different degrees  going on he... by Meryl Ann Butler on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 3:22:22 AM
"The "wrong" (story) was that the n... by Richard McGinn on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:00:54 PM
"I was talking to one of our senior editors a... by Ed Encho on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:51:14 PM
OpEdNews should most definitely NOT back down from... by P. Orin Zack on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:51:28 PM
The Rude Pundit has a trainwreck up, "Bristol... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 4:55:13 PM
And an overrated one at that, probably COINTELPRO ... by Ed Encho on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:09:27 PM
to get the stakes right.  And, you can keep y... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:11:45 PM
Rob-- first to the larger question, anyone who wit... by crystal haidl on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:08:32 PM
Are you saying we need to find out if a thought cr... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:13:29 PM
But I don't think she meant "thought crime." In r... by Oh on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 8:11:07 PM
You say: "If you disagree with one story or o... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:14:53 PM
and it is a STRUGGLE to read everything worthwhile... by meremark on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:09:15 PM
First of all, diaries are unmoderated.  Diary... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 6:34:21 AM
My take on this is that Mikel Paul's article r... by Robert Knowles on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:17:35 PM
All we want is the truth! Not just accepting what ... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:19:58 PM
In principle, I have always agreed with the basic ... by Frank J. Ranelli on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:21:30 PM
The only problem about "fighting fire with fi... by Mark E. Smith on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:24:48 PM
I've noticed that phenomenon, and I don't ... by Aurora on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:34:31 PM
Thanks for a very thought provoking comment, with ... by Richard McGinn on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:44:26 AM
As a Canadian, watching this all from the sideline... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:01:54 PM
Please don't back down and don't back off.... by Judy Swindler on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 5:34:28 PM
But I went to Meryl Ann's piece first.  ... by Margaret Bassett on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:00:43 PM
Sheer distraction from the larger issues of the da... by pft on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:07:12 PM
This Palin question is no different than the heap ... by gordon nelson on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:12:43 PM
...and go home. Such quiters join the PUMAs, Liebe... by James Cordray on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:26:33 PM
I'm sorry, "Join ... McKinney ... in the ... by B. Ross Ashley on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:42:20 PM
Pull your head out of whatever you've stuck it... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:08:28 AM
I don't know about anybody else, but THAT is E... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:32:10 AM
Why was it proper and considered good reporting fo... by Judy Swindler on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 11:52:39 AM
I need to know if Sarah Palin has provided the cer... by Jane Schiff on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:26:46 PM
Imprison them.  Contempt of court of public o... by meremark on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:20:12 PM
Not all that interesting to me personally, to be h... by Deborah Emin on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 6:45:30 PM
"We would not be doing our job if we failed t... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:01:58 PM
Yepperroo. Why, you rightwingers know better than ... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:37:36 PM
"former reader has approached one of my kids.... by Aurora on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:01:24 PM
"Yepperroo. Why, you rightwingers know better... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:09:53 PM
I was yukking it up a bit at the beginning, Tom. T... by Rob Kall on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:19:48 PM
I saw the grin and appreciated it.  My concer... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:48:43 PM
"Personally, I'm not a big fan of marchin... by kwalsh on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 10:32:38 PM
I agree.  Both analogies have their merits.... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 10:46:52 PM
Mr. Murphy’s above wanderings, mental acroba... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:18:20 AM
Palin Vetted Just One Day Before Announcement by M... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:27:39 AM
As a big fan of Op-Ed News, I say:  Ditch the... by Kathy Callan on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:07:52 PM
This PDF file is a 63-page database compiled by he... by Frank J. Ranelli on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:14:29 PM
i was going to read this, too!  What happened... by Martha Rose Crow on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:57:50 PM
The McCain camp had it “scrubbed” from... by Frank J. Ranelli on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 8:27:02 PM
Thanks, Frank.  First time was a no go; ... by Aurora on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:03:21 PM
"The McCain camp had it “scrubbed&rdquo... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:30:32 PM
Tom,  I don’t recoil from my progressiv... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:16:55 AM
"You call it a hit sheet; I call it an accura... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 11:30:58 AM
She deserves the privacy the rest of us get (which... by Martha Rose Crow on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:31:48 PM
As a former public figure who was what I called &#... by kwalsh on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:43:27 AM
You and all America should be sick! Over the last ... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:34:57 PM
It's not about scandal, it's about lies! &... by Martha Rose Crow on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:23:15 PM
is the title of this unique site.  It is my o... by Ed Martin on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 7:43:06 PM
Here's a question for you Moms and Dads: Suppo... by Greg Purcell on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 8:19:21 PM
I'm going to answer your call, Rob! Count on t... by Dean Powers on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 8:39:00 PM
WHAT That is all this election is about now. Wak... by Markageloo Breza on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:25:58 PM
"But we could ship the young girl to Iraq to ... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:38:13 PM
Here are few of the “sacred” Christian... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:01:43 AM
"Here are few of the "sacred" Chris... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:46:33 PM
Mr. Murphy, you might wish to study the history of... by WML on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:54:53 PM
Jews are saved as a nation, whereas Gentiles are s... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:41:14 PM
To the contrary, I have an erudite and academic un... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 6:56:55 PM
"So, if you want to quote Jesus and claim tha... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:07:19 PM
The Early Church "forbade membership in the m... by tim bristol on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:36:56 PM
Tom,  You did exactly as I expected any follo... by Frank J. Ranelli on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 6:17:48 PM
"You did exactly as I expected any follower o... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:52:34 PM
Is that Jesus dies on the cross to save us all fro... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:16:25 PM
To interpret the quotation from Mark to mean (in t... by tim bristol on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 1:07:14 AM
Also, today The National Enquirer came out with an... by Sheila Samples on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:33:05 PM
The National Enquirer also claims that Jamie Lynn ... by Tom Murphy on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 9:46:09 PM
which makes the National Enquirer look quite sedat... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:38:15 AM
Now the Zoey 101 star  is being blamed for a ... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:56:16 AM
And go ahead, post it as a regular quicklink. Why ... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:11:08 AM
     My thanx to OEN. What we ... by mikel paul on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 10:03:27 PM
But I love what you bring to the table. Keep raisi... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:37:05 AM
I posted something like this before and it is not ... by William Whitten on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:54:31 PM
for the wave of all Bristol Palin all the time cov... by steve scheetz on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 10:04:36 PM
HOW DARE SHE try to protect her daughter's rep... by JC Garrett on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:12:04 AM
You miss the point completely! Bristol's pregn... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 8:29:38 PM
When James Buchanan was President of the United St... by vidiot on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 11:05:55 PM
The GOP and the evangelical wing of supporters fin... by C.Bid on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 11:06:24 PM
“Which brings us back to Obama. Do you think... by scott creighton on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 11:45:14 PM
 If you think casting aspersions on people be... by meremark on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:01:07 AM
First of all, I am Waaaaaaay farther left than you... by scott creighton on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 4:55:17 AM
although I am slightly doubting we could agree on ... by meremark on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:57:24 PM
However much you would like, Scott, to set apart m... by meremark on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:24:50 PM
uhh... OJ was found innocent in the criminal trial... by tim bristol on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 1:32:43 AM
but you should have driven home the fact that John... by Ron R. on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:04:49 AM
Are we nit-picking flyspeck? There's much bigge... by Cinderfella on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:48:24 AM
How can America trust this woman to protect their ... by dotmafia on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 4:15:25 AM
Everywhere, the dominant class hold the dominated ... by francine on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 5:48:59 AM
Thank you, Francine.You made the point much better... by C.Bid on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 10:16:10 AM
All you have to do is stand up.  Standin... by kwalsh on Tuesday, Sep 9, 2008 at 9:30:30 PM
As Anna Nicole said, "All publicity is good p... by Bernard on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:45:20 AM
Books in the library being considered for deletion... by Blacktiger on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 8:52:35 PM
I just wanted to express my appreciation for the O... by Jeremy Haumann on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 7:59:08 AM
an adjunct, albeit innocent bystander. There are, ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 9:25:16 AM
I applaud your courage.  The "please respect Bris... by L Dixon on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 10:55:40 AM
....that caused you to delete my post?... by William Whitten on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 12:33:13 PM
As i once shared with an editor after i submitted ... by mikel weisser on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 2:03:49 PM
I was just reading elsewhere and decided to bring ... by Blacktiger on Wednesday, Sep 3, 2008 at 11:26:00 PM
“Mayhap [sic], this God can be supplemented ... by Frank J. Ranelli on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 2:43:07 AM
You opened the door for me. LOL In many ways I hav... by Blacktiger on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 3:20:33 AM
Thanks? I am not sure exactly what you are suggest... by Frank J. Ranelli on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 11:44:05 PM
"The Faith Gap has a Credibility Problem"... by Tom Murphy on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 2:42:57 PM
Tom, I must confess your dutiful, submissive,... by Frank J. Ranelli on Friday, Sep 5, 2008 at 12:48:57 AM
"Tom, I must confess your dutiful, submissive... by Tom Murphy on Saturday, Sep 6, 2008 at 12:08:14 AM
Tom,If this was a courtroom, I image you would ass... by Frank J. Ranelli on Saturday, Sep 6, 2008 at 4:08:26 AM
And I'll leave you with a quote from what coul... by Tom Murphy on Saturday, Sep 6, 2008 at 10:20:36 AM
and that's understandable.  But if you... by tim bristol on Saturday, Sep 6, 2008 at 11:32:02 AM
Comment from Ratings:   Since her mother... by Blacktiger on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 5:03:05 AM
Comment from Ratings:   Rob, Bravo to yo... by Chuck Simpson on Thursday, Sep 4, 2008 at 10:19:43 PM
"falsely tying me to quotes that I never made... by tim bristol on Friday, Sep 5, 2008 at 5:38:32 PM
How disappointing, Tim. An ad hominem attack. Is t... by Frank J. Ranelli on Friday, Sep 5, 2008 at 9:39:34 PM
You just can't see me.But I'm right here -... by tim bristol on Friday, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:26:09 PM