Steve G.

New TPW owner revokes libertarian contributors’ convention press credentials

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on May 20, 2008 at 12:29 am

The following was posted on Third Party Watch today:

Over the weekend, Third Party Watch was acquired from Stephen Gordon by Richard Viguerie.


Richard Viguerie, is known as the “funding father” of the modern conservative movement and is the co-author of America’s Right Turn and, more recently, author of Conservatives Betrayed.

Also today, Stephen Gordon received an email from Andrew Davis, saying that Viguerie had requested that Libertarian Convention press credentials be revoked for three libertarian writers, who coincidentally all dared to speak out against Bob Barr: Tom Knapp, PaulieCannoli, and Michelle Shinghal.

Welcome to my world, guys.

Paulie and Miche are also LFV Contributors, of course, and they were caught completely unaware; they didn’t even know that TPW was for sale, much less that it had been sold. One would think that Steve Gordon would have mentioned that to them, but apparently he didn’t, and they didn’t know anything about it until after the deal was done, and their press credentials had already been revoked by the new owner.

From: Andrew Davis [mailto:[email address redacted]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 9:19 AM
To: Stephen Gordon
Cc: Shane Cory
Subject: Press Credential Removal

At the request of the new owners of Third Party Watch, I am removing three writers from your credentials request:


Because the original request for credentials came from you, I am leaving it as your responsibility to notify [the contributors] as to their removal from the credentials list.

Thank you.
Andrew Davis
National Media Coordinator
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
[email address redacted]
Office: [redacted]
Cell: [redacted]

Incidentally, notice that Andrew’s cell phone number was in that message, but I redacted it.  He’s lucky he’s dealing with a principled libertarian, and not a fellow “radical Republican”, since they would not give him that consideration if they had the same valid complaint about him that I have.

At any rate, I can only just shake my head in amazement, not only that Vigueria revoked their press credentials so quickly, but also that Steve didn’t even let the contributors know the site was for sale, or even that it had been sold.  I have a lot of respect for Steve Gordon, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt in this situation.  I’m not especially inclined to do that with Vigueria, though.

As if all that is not bad enough, Vigueria is already deleting articles which are not supportive of Bob Barr.  Though Steve Gordon is on Barr’s staff, he never deleted others’ articles, even if they were critical of his candidate; and that action by Vigueria shows that he refuses to cover the convention and its candidates in a fair and impartial manner.  That being the case, why does TPW even still have press credentials at all?  I cannot help but wonder why their credentials were not revoked as soon as Steve Gordon sold the site.

I was told today that Andrew Davis is just trying to keep his job, and that is why he refused to give LFV convention press credentials; after all, we are highly critical of Bob Barr, and Bob Barr sits on the LNC.  Of course, if Andrew Davis were really a libertarian, or if he even had principles, he would do the right thing in this situation no matter what the personal consequences.  Instead, he allows a site which is now nothing but another Bob Barr campaign site to retain its credentials, while refusing credentials for a site which actually earned those credentials by doing real journalism, even beating the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the disclosure of the very serious problems with Bob Barr’s PAC.  For all anyone really knows, given that LFV is in the top ten Google hits for “libertarian convention”, the AC-J actually got that information initially from LFV.

But, I digress.

Obviously, Miche and Paulie are more than welcome back home here at LFV, and displaced libertarian writers (and readers) from TPW are, of course, more than welcome to make LFV their new home.

  1. Wow…

    Needless to say I will never visit TPW again.

    The LP has a real funny way of treating their own DUES PAYING members.

  2. And before Jeff comes in with his pro LNC spin, save it. I realize they don’t “have to” issue press credentials. However, its bad business to piss off some of your most dedicated activists.

    Wonder if Andrew will appear on LFV Live? I doubt it.

  3. I am a conservative writer and have never had my credentails yanked by the Democrats even when I am polar opposite to their views. If the LP did this for the reasons you stated it is a 1st Ammendment issue. I though the LP wanted government out of our lives what would yanking credentials say about the party?

    I formally a Public Relations guy for the Georgia Republican Party. I wouldn’t ever think Barrs people would do such a thing. Sure it’s about the content of your blogging?

    Albert Milliron, Iron Mill Interactive Media inc Politisite

  4. That doesn’t explain the TPW credentials being pulled.

  5. Sorry, meant to say “Pro LPHQ” spin. My anger doesn’t have spell check.

  6. I’m a displaced reader of TPW. I’ve visited this site before but never hung around. This Barr stuff is a joke, and his candidacy could destroy the LP. I think this may be a good thing in the long run.

    Keep up the honest reporting…

  7. Well, it’s not a “1st amendment issue” since, properly understood, the 1st amendment only applies to the federal government, and while Gordon and his paymasters may be thoroughly statist, they have not yet become one with that dreaded beast. Give them time.

  8. Maybe the reason this site’s media credentials were denied is because the writer takes no care to spell the name “Viguerie” properly. Note that is currently spelled “Vigueria” twice.

    Perhaps it is because the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is referred to as the “AC-J.”

    Perhaps it is because this site uses a category called “Complete Fucking Stupidity.”

  9. Maybe because someone was in a hurry. Teachers get in a hurry sometimes which is maybe why most come from the bottom third of the college graduate ranks.


  10. MHW, did I see you earlier at my local Ace Hardware store? I wasn’t certain. I do distinctly remember a sign saying something about “tools”, so I guess it is possible.

  11. Oh, and by the way, G.E., the 14th Amendment extends the 1st Amendment to the states; therefore it does apply to both the Federal Government and the states.

  12. I heard there is a call for a petition to get this Andrew Davis jackass fired. He is a worthless piece of crap. Where can I sign?

  13. I don’t know anything about a petition to get Andrew Davis fired. Just out of curiosity, where did you hear that?

  14. I’m pretty sure the LP is not going to listen to the opinions of people who post comments on a blog that they don’t consider worthy of convention attendance when it comes to their personnel decisions, but by all means, circulate that petition. Maybe we can read some posts about the petition on this blog! That’ll get everybody excited!

  15. Guys, Andrew Davis did not take away the credentials. TWP yanked them. Andrew was honoring the request which is his job.

    Love Steve Gordon to pieces but you are really letting him off the hook here. Steve should have informed everyone involved in TWP about the sale before they read about it in the press. Poor form on Steve’s part. Very poor form.

  16. Have any of you guys actually met or talked to Andrew Davis?

  17. These three bloggers weren’t extended press credentials by the LP on an independent basis. TPW is given press access as an organization, and has the right to designate which individuals can have credentials in the capacity of representing that organization. Blame TPW, not the LP.

    That said, I agree that TPW’s move was pretty fucked up (and yes, I’m a Barr supporter).

    THAT said, the habit of any bloggers (even TPW) referring to themselves as “journalists” in the first place is even more fucked up. 🙂

  18. Mr. Chad:

    I have met and spoken with Andrew Davis. He is a very serious objectivist and without the teachings of Rand, the libertarian movement might not exist. Davis is a hard worker who is trying to do a very difficult job. I believe it was Davis’ idea, an excellent and long overdue one, to have a blogger’s row.

    In addressing, Mr. Perkins’ comments, TWP was very smart in revoking Knapp’s credentials. Would you allow a pro like Knapp to take on the Richard Viguerie machine? Viguerie would be a fool to allow it.

  19. For what it’s worth, I’ve no real issue with the revocation of my TPW press credentials as I didn’t plan to be at convention in a press function. I’ll be there as a delegate from Texas and a Restore ’04 signer. The new owner of TPW can and should control the content of his site and I harbor no ill will toward Mr. Davis for honoring his request.

    That said, it is cutely convenient that those of us who blasted the ridiculous Corey press release on Ruwart were the ones shown the door. Stephen and I are friends and while my “employment” at TPW was largely due to the reciprocal nature of that friendship, I agree with Angela that he could have given a heads up. When I learned about the sale this morning (from Stephen, by telephone), I was told that the new owner wanted it kept quiet.

    My feelings certainly aren’t hurt over the situation but I do believe that it was timed the way it was to send a message. Nonetheless, Stephen, Deb and I are sure to enjoy more than one cocktail together at convention.

  20. And, I should point out that I didn’t blog at TPW. I merely handled the ad sales.

  21. Well, good for Steve Gordon and the rest of the gang I suppose. I hope the site retains some of it’s original mission and flavor.

  22. This entire ordeal is messed up. I’m praying that the LP makes it through Denver – Restore ’04!

  23. Austin – Don’t bank on it. I’m starting an alternative,, to restore the Cassidian flavor of the late, great TPW.

  24. Richard Viguerie is NOT a libertarian. He should not be considered a conservatives either. He is a member of the New-Right, and as such, should not be given any slack. The New-Right are antinomian ends-testers. Viguerie loves to claim he is a part of the principled conservatism of Goldwater, yet is vehemently oppositional to many things that Goldwater firmly believed in. Goldwater was a proud card-carrying member of Planned Parenthood, stating that fighting for a woman’s right to decide whether or not to terminate a pregnancy was the true conservatism path of getting the government out of personal lives. After he retired from the Senate, Goldwater became a gay-rights activist, for the same reason, it is the true conservative point of view.

    Viguerie claims to have left the GOP after their ’76 Convention, because Ford withstood the Reagan press for the nomination, yet Time Magazine from that time stated Viguerie was a fundraiser for Wallace in the AIP in ’75, and was a candidate for National office for the AIP in ’76.

    Viguerie’s claims of being a self-made businessman are even suspect, as he was bailed out by Rev. Moon in the late ’70s.

    Viguerie bought TPW, and with it comes its search-engine ranking. If Richard Viguerie’s attempted take-over of the LP is troubling to you, STOP LINKING to TPW. Every link to the site, confers a bit of extra search engine JuJu.

  25. Steve,

    You write:

    “THAT said, the habit of any bloggers (even TPW) referring to themselves as ‘journalists’ in the first place is even more fucked up. :)”

    You may have a point there.

    On the other hand, I’ve done “journalism” — I started writing community announcements for my local daily newspaper when I was 11 or 12, wrote for my junior high, high school and college (during my brief college career) newspapers, sat as the libertarian community representative on the editorial board of a daily newspaper with a circulation of more than 60,000, often doing pro/con editorials with the editors, and stopped counting my published op-eds and letters to the editor at 150 (under my own name — I’ve ghosted for others as well) — and blogging, at its best, has the opportunity to be more honest than “traditional journalism.”

    Facts are lies when they’re added up … you have to add up the facts in your own fuzzy way, and to hell with the hired swine who use adding machines. — Hunter S. Thompson

    “Journalists” — a few of them, anyway — will report the outcome of, and a few assorted facts concerning, the LP’s national convention. Those who want to know what the hell happened will find out from the bloggers. Let a thousand Gonzos bloom.

  26. Don’t get the wrong idea, Knapp… I was referring to a question of size, not quality. I consider the staff reporters of some rural small town newspaper to be “journalists”, but they wouldn’t get press credentials to a political convention. Likewise, there is some online-only media (e.g. that IS large enough to warrant press credentials.

    The issue with blogs is that anyone can setup a WordPress or Blogspot account, and become a self-proclaimed “journalist” in under 30 seconds. Then, it’s easy to cook up metrics for making you sound more important or prominent than you are (e.g. we show up in the Google results for some very narrow search terms). While specialized relevance is important, the number of raw eyeballs will always be the most driving factor. For what it’s worth, though, I don’t think TPW really crosses the threshold any more than LFV does.

  27. Damn, and I was soooo happy when some small newspapers in Texas mentioned my blogposts (not here) and called me a journalist. ;o)

  28. Actually, I WOULD consider Shinghal to be a “journalist” for all practical purposes (been a fan since the Hammer of Truth days, and started reading this site mostly due to her and Stuart). She puts enough research and verification into her articles to be at least as credible as most print journalists.

    However, it isn’t so much a question of the “journalist” as it is the underlying “journal”. You have to reach a certain critical mass of readership before the public will heed the credibility of the underlying content (as mentioned above, “size, not quality”). Even super-prestigious publications like Yale Law Review would have a hard time getting press credentials to an event alongside major media outlets, because their readership is so small and narrow.

    Again, though… I don’t think TPW really satisfies this threshold any more than LFV does however.

  29. For Steve:

    Now I am blushing. ;o)

    Just curious but what do you think about the HIV+ spitter’s conviction and 35 year sentence? Legally, I mean.

  30. Well, I haven’t taken the bar exam yet, so in case any Character & Fitness Committee members ever read this… DISCLAIMER: I AM *NOT* A LAWYER! THIS IS *NOT* LEGAL ADVICE!

    I did read a couple of CIVIL cases in Torts class that touches on this (e.g. a dentist was sued for not informing his patients that he was HIV-positive). The general elements for civil assault or battery are a pretty low threshold… just act with intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact (and for battery, actually make contact). If this does satisfy that standard, there’s still no telling what damages (if any) a jury would actually award.

    There are also civil causes of action for intentionally inflicting emotional distress… although I speculate that this would have had a greater chance of success back in the 80’s rather than today, when knowledge about HIV is more widespread.

    As for CRIMINAL law, I don’t know. States are all across the board as to what they criminalize (and I’m too busy/lazy to go research Texas specifically right now!). A statute imposing 35 years for HIV-positive spitting might be challenged under “cruel and unusual punishment” or some other Constitutional grounds. However, if there’s one thing I learned in Con Law class, it’s that courts seem to pretty much make this sort of thing up as they go along.

  31. All the hottest asses post at Last Free Voice. Third party watch is assless. WE NEED ASS!!!

  32. I was thinking cruel and unusual too. To everyone else, sorry about the threadjack.

  33. […] It gets worse: Also today, Stephen Gordon received an email from Andrew Davis, saying that Viguerie had requested that Libertarian Convention press credentials be revoked for three libertarian writers, who coincidentally all dared to speak out against Bob Barr: Tom Knapp, PaulieCannoli, and Michelle Shinghal. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Screw you, Jim […]

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