Revisionist History by Omission

July 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm 9 comments

by Loraine Ritchey

There are many hundreds of thousands of blogs on the internet, some are written by professionals, some by gifted amateurs, some by the not so gifted and some by nutcases.

Mainstream media has long held the argument that blogs should not be relied upon for their accuracy, to be unbiased and objective, balanced in their reporting , in fact their lack of journalist integrity and accountability has long been questioned.

Another blog has died in this City of Lorain- for many reasons already covered. This blog and its first incarnation had thousands of “blog posts and comments”. The blog owner espoused freedom of speech, factual posts and ideals of ““honesty, openness, and transparency”- a mantra that he expected his contributors to follow.

The blog is no more and really does it matter? The articles and posts pulled from the internet or blocked-

So what? It is just a blog!

Well it does matter because this ( at one time) well respected blog did a lot of source reporting- uncovered many aspects of Lorain that weren’t being covered in the mainstream media. Those facts and writings have now disappeared. Does it matter ?

Yes, it does! not only can mainstream media say:

“look we told you so there is no accountability , no paper trail , a blogger can pull the plug and take his articles , words, opinions and thoughts and go off into never land along with the rest of the “lost blogs”.

But even more worrying is that “history of behaviour , information and holding one accountable for their writings has also been expunged from the public view “

I wonder what the “transparency police “would have to say about that if the tables were turned and articles in the MSM were allowed to “cut” and “delete on a whim ?

Case in point – Word of Mouth – back in September 2006 I broke the news that then Mayor Craig Foltin , who wrote a post for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s “Open Mike” made an announcement the Ford Plant had been sold. I immediately sent emails and called City Hall – they were aghast- the deal had not yet been brokered and Foltin in his rush to pat himself on the back ( he was running for Congress at the time) had let the cat out of the bag.

Mayor Foltin, made aware of my questions, then went back to his blog post and “deleted his words” – something he could not have done in print.

The comment was gone – I was accused of making the whole thing up – only I had printed out and saved a copy of the original post- so Foltin the Plain Dealer Blog were exposed and embarrassed.

The articles were written but NOW they have disappeared once again thanks to the decision of the blog owner on WoM

You can try and get into the series of articles from the discovery of the “disappearing act” from Foltin but it won’t do you any good because like Foltin the owner of the blog too has “wiped” the slate ( and information) clean.

You can access the headlines on the Buckeye State Blog at the time- don’t bother to follow the links in the Buckeye State Blog – they have “left the building”

Ironically the same blog owner ( Scott Bakalar) who has done some wiping himself now” at the time left a comment on the situation

Foltin is just a cavalier blogger
Submitted by scott bakalar on Fri, 09/22/2006 – 4:11pm
Mayor Foltin was invited by the PD to be a part of their OPEN MIKE series.

Early this morning in his second OM entry he disclosed that the now closed Lorain Ford Plant had a buyer, and that the property was indeed sold.

Good news for Lorain, Ohio! Jobs! What a coup for Foltin!

When we questioned City Hall early this morning on this new development – all references to the Ford Plant being sold were WIPED from the OPEN MIKE piece.

Fortunately we saved a copy of the original non-edited post and were able to reprint it for comparison purposes at WoM.

The question persists and remains unanswered – Why the edit?”

Cavalier??? himself , (imho )becoming what he once railed against. It makes no matter because mainstream media now have had yet another confirmation of “the blogs and bloggers” and their lack of accountability and I agree with them- a fact brought home to me this week .

And I have a lot of work ahead of me. You see, in some aspects of my writing I have managed to keep some of the important notes and information in hard copy and notes ( having written for the print media old habits die hard) .

So although WoM may have “wiped” there is still some tell tale tissue left behind and to that end I have started an archive blog.

I have stated in more than one of the “lost” articles:

“For those of you that have followed my articles you will know that I have promised to treat these blog articles in the same manner and standard as if writing for the print media.

To that end I have a lot of work cut out for me- downloading what notes and articles I have to substantiate and keep alive what was previously written by myself and others.

You can find “some”( not all) of the Foltin Follies here.
Foltin’s original Blog post

One of my WoM posts on the subject
Scott Bakalar’s take at the time

And instead of linking to the “lost Wom” I will over the course of time be uploading the material from the archives to articles previously written that were linked to WoM- that is unless the owner unblocks and leaves the information on line.

And I never thought I would be doing this but :

The Owner of WoM and wordofmouthblog – Scott Bakalar now gets the
Notorious Opponent of Exactitude Award for “WIPING”



Entry filed under: AMNT, blogs, Brit take, media, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: , .

Paula is at home- with the Coast Guard I think therefore I am – I think?

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian  |  July 11, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Why are you complaining about something that isn’t yours? Who are you to tell someone else what to do with their property?

    I can understand that you may feel that you have some “ownership” because of your past contributions to the WOM, but there is both a financial cost along with an investment of time that the owner you scorn has committed to our community for the time it was SHARED with the rest of us.

    In 18 months had you the inclination to feel that your information, or anyone else that wrote for the was that important to historically save it, why didn’t you upload it onto your blog and pay for the storage space?

    I don’t get the reasoning behind this post, nor the last one on this subject. What is the purpose? What does it have to do with Lorain?

    For someone who didn’t take the nome-de-plume comments seriously on many to most occasions, what differance if their comments are forever lost?

    For someone who didn’t want to have anything to do with the WOM, it’s gone, toast, buhbyes, farewell, shalom, and may your spleen never transform into a solution to the European Union’s impending energy crisis and become a battlefield for an upcoming war to end all wars.

    Have you even bothered to call Scott and ask him for your stuff instead of posting innuendos and derogatory comments about him?

    If the fate of the WOM wasn’t sealed before, these stories that are posted here might as well be the last nails in the coffin.

  • 2. Brian Hazelett  |  July 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    “Another blog has died in this City of Lorain- for many reasons already covered.”

    What are those fact based reasons again and are any of them confirmed??

  • 3. Paula  |  July 12, 2009 at 2:17 am


  • 4. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 12, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Mr. Hazelett- The writings that have been deleted are mine.I own them I never gave up ownership…. so I have every right to complain..I have contacted WoM through one of the contributors. I will not be responding anymore to your comments , although YOU may continue to comment – as I am getting on with my life and don’t have time or inclination to deal with you . Loraine

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  July 12, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Paula thanks for the 🙂

  • […] to Mark Teleha of the Lorain County Photographers Blog, who saved, there is the “beginning” of a process that has taken months and months . […]

  • […] On-line not so much- as I have experienced with then Lorain Mayor Foltin and the Ford issue as he wrote for “Open Mic” in the Plain Dealer words can be can be changed -(decidedly had to rethink trust in the “word” on-line after that happenstance ) […]

  • […] , my unofficial official photographer and chronicler of all things in this neighborhood since the days of WoM has photos and […]

  • […] As I researched through those files, I came across a post from the now defunct WoM Blog. […]

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