As soon as the webmeister comes back on line, Mr. Michael Lewis is banned from this board.
I have no problem with his message. I do have a MONSTER problem that in the middle of an interest-provoking thread on something of current interest in the track world he chose to insert a long, completely unrelated screed on drugs. Here's his post, just so neither he nor anybody else think I'm concerned with whatever point he's trying to make:
<< "Now we should write an explanation for every time we have to toss some trollism."
You sound like a kid who says "All you ever do is tell me to clean up my room!" No reasonable person expects you to have to justify all the trollism you expel and God knows there is some serious crap that makes it onto this board. But just what was the so-called trollism in this case? I'm curious because we've locked horns over this before and I had a post yanked on this thread. I have been told by you that saying Ruth Fuchs publicly admitted to using steroids was hearsay and basically bullshit. I don't know that my post got yanked this time and I won't assume it was until I know otherwise. However, since you're the editor of the Bible of the Sport, it might behoove you to at least know that your athlete of the decades for the 1970's HAS publicly admitted to steroid use. I contacted Dr. Werner Franke, the German Parliamentary investigator into East German secret police files detailing sports drug abuse. His reply was as follows:
Dear Mr. Lewis,
thank you for your e-mail inquiry about the specific case of Ruch
Fuchs (SC Motor Sport Club Jena, DDR). Perhaps you know that
she has been, after the reunification of Germany, a member of the
German Parliament (Bundestag) from approx. 1990-1998. She is
one of the few who have publicly admitted, to the press and also in
at least 1 television talk show, where I was also present, that she
had been taking the anabolic steroid Oral-Turinabol practically
throughout her major career, certainly during the time of the 3
participations in Olympic games. If you would need detailed
documents please let me know.
Werner W. Franke
I am forwarding a copy of his email to you Gary so hopefully there won't be any further dispute over this point of fact.>>
I and perhaps others are thoroughly confused here Garry.
I do not know what Michael said, etc., but I do know that although he sometimes has been acerbic in his comments he was thoughtful, and showed a thorough knowledge and love for the sport, and made many good contributions to this message board. He will be missed at least by me.
Why don't you ban EVERYBODY and then you'll have no problems.
It's called excessive censorship. That's my view anyway for what it's worth.
>I and perhaps others are thoroughly confused here
I do not know what Michael said, etc.>>
OK, I'll copy againa the start of the initial posting of mine:
<<I have no problem with his message. I do have a MONSTER problem that in the middle of an interest-provoking thread on something of current interest in the track world he chose to insert a long, completely unrelated screed on drugs.
Here's his post, just so neither he nor anybody else think I'm concerned with whatever point he's trying to make:>>
The thread (which I negelcted to mention) was the one on who should rank No. 1 in the m100 this year. He inserted a long post about a 30-year old drug case. I'm perfectly willing to address the Fuchs case, as I said at the top. The board will not tolerate,however, people polluting perfectly good current-events threads with unrelated drug talk. That's just not acceptable.
I was,however, precipitate in saying Lewis is banned. He's only partially banned. If he wishes to carry out the Fuchs thread, that's fine. But he is not welcome anywhere else on the board.
Although I don't want to "take sides", I hope that a little "cooling off" period might be the best tact before making any "final decisions" to permanently ban (partial or otherwise) a knowledgeable and passionate contributor. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this forum is an appropriate place for them. Some "toning down" may be in order, however. Rational people (the great majority of posters on this forum and the moderator) can work out their differences. Thanks
>Although I don't want to "take sides", I hope
>that a little "cooling off" period might be the
>best tact before making any "final decisions"
>to permanently ban (partial or otherwise) a
>knowledgeable and passionate contributor.
>Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this
>forum is an appropriate place for them.>>
GH has stated his position twice and you still don't get it. He has no objection to Lewis's opinion; he's pissed off because the idiot ruined a perfectly good topic with material completely irrelevant for the discussion and it was on everybodys favourite topic drugs.
I hope management bounces everybody no matter how "good a poster" they are if they turn non-drug topics into them. Got over and play on the THG forum if that's your thing.
Perhaps I still don't get the point. It sounds like Mr. Lewis may have placed his entirely appropriate comment in the wrong thread. A boo-boo, but not a major offense, it seems. Perhaps just asking him to try to stay on-topic within the context of a thread is plenty response.
And if I read correctly, Mr. Lewis is claiming that "I have been told by you that saying Ruth Fuchs publicly admitted to using steroids was hearsay and basically bullshit." But it seems that in fact Mr. Lewis has documentation proving that he is correct on this point. If that is so, he deserves an apology from you for falsely accusing him of making a hearsay accusation.
So, OK, maybe a mild reprimand for misplacing his post, but certainly an apology from you for your false accusation against him. Banning him from this forum in any way seems totally out of line.
Maybe you guys should program in a feature that lets you split threads. I find that feature really useful on my board. Sometimes people make good posts that are just way off topic, but have validity in and of themselves. In the interest of keeping things organized I split them off into their own thread.
"He has no objection to Lewis's opinion; he's pissed off because the idiot ruined a perfectly good topic with material completely irrelevant for the discussion and it was on everybodys favourite topic drugs."
It was hardly irrelevant to the thread when several people myself included were asking why several posts disappeared without any explanation. Gary's response about trollism was in my opinion a non-answer which you can get by reading what I posted. And to say he has no objection to my opinion makes an idiot of you because you haven't a clue what's gone on on this board surrounding the real issue here, which is what constitutes hearsay and bullshit and what doesn't, and therefore what is proper grounds for yanking a thread.
I totally see both sides, but perhaps the bottom line is that, given T&FN's overtly stated position on drug posts, that Mr. Lewis's post belonged on the 'drug' forum, not the Current Events forum, even though it was in response to a thread on the CE forum. It is obvious now that almost every post that contains drug references needs to be on the THG side. I would like to say that perhaps that was not as clearly stated as it might have been, and that we declare a mistrial and set all positions back to zero. Just to be even more wishy-washy: I am totally with Mr. Lewis on the Ruth Fuchs (and Koch) thing, but gh et al have made it pretty clear to all that drug threads are persona non grata unless there is incontrovertible evidence.
>> you haven't
>a clue what's gone on on this board surrounding
>the real issue here, which is what constitutes
>hearsay and bullshit and what doesn't, and
>therefore what is proper grounds for yanking a
Allow me to quote from the guidelines everybody should have read before signing on here:
<< 3. The definition of "objectionable post" rests solely with T&FN.>>
You seem to think this is some kind of democracy. It's not, nor should it be. TFN is providing you with a free service. If you enjoy it, go with it.
My take on it was that Michael was deliberately trying to push GH. He knew the rules, its not the first post he's had pulled and he still kept pushing like he's fighting some life or death cause. Well, he's not, and he succeeded in pissing GH off. I totally agree with GH. It's his board and his rules (which are really hard to break) and he can kick off anyone who he feels breaks them.
Maybe if Michael apologized and agreed to exercise some self-control on his posts, GH would be a mensch and let him back on.
I too would be very disappointed to see Mr. Michael Lewis gone from this forum. I can't see what is so unacceptable in this situation that merits a ban of this nature. Most people who post on a regular basis occasionally may write something they wish they could instantly take back but it stands on the messageboard for all of us to see. I've been very impressed lately with the courage of Track and Field News to deal with the recent developments so openly and provide a forum for fans to meet and discuss issues. I really hope they make right desision in this case as well and let one of their fans continue to post here in goodstanding.
Go GH Go.
I had let my subscription to TFN lapse some time ago, I will renew it. A man with balls to stand up for what he believes in.
You guys slay me. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Good thing your not into wrestling.
Had I come across your post before GH did I would have zapped you immediately. Since GH has in the interim seen fit to give you a reprieve, that's fine, for now.
As GH (and other posters as well) said, it's the way you're going about it presenting your message, not the content of the message.
I was damn close to banning you more than a month ago for posting across threads and spinning other's statements. What you're doing and have been doing, from time to time, is no better than Eddie and his cohorts. You're using the message board format to dominate and manipulate discussions, seeing your "cause" to be the only valid one. I enjoy your regular postings. But, I've got multiple notes where I found this "playing the board" behavior from you. It is insidious and disingenuous.
Here is one of the postings where I reprimanded you for this behavior in the past-
<< Re: drug offenses
Posted by bhall, on some date Sat Sep 13 16:53:00 EDT 2003
I'm leaving this up for a few minutes and then taking it down. You can move it back to one of the other threads already started on this issue. But it doesn't belong here.>>
We hate to air this dirty laundry in public, but your repeated actions have left us no other choice.
Casual Observer, you sort of bawled me out for playing "unofficial moderator":... I accept your criticism. But it is too easy for all of us, and very certainly myself included , to dance those fingers on the keys. I for one promise to think twice,then type once.
So hang on... let me get this straight - say if Michael Lewis had posted the exact same message, but had started a new topic for it - would it be OK then...?
I can see it from both sides, but I must say that I found Michael's post very interesting (the fact he contacted Werner Franke must be commended). OK, so it didn't '"fit" into the topic in which it was posted, but surely you could just discreetly delete it without creating a big hoo-har out of it all?
"As GH (and other posters as well) said, it's the way you're going about it presenting your message, not the content of the message."
"I was damn close to banning you more than a month ago for posting across threads and spinning other's statements. What you're doing and have been doing, from time to time, is no better than Eddie and his cohorts. You're using the message board format to dominate and manipulate discussions, seeing your "cause" to be the only valid one. I enjoy your regular postings. But, I've got multiple notes where I found this "playing the board" behavior from you. It is insidious and disingenuous.
Nonsense. And now you're only thinking of mentioning these claims to me? I've got notes where my posts were yanked on Fuchs and Koch and I was told rudely by gh to cut the crap. I was told that material from t&fn 92 was ancient, then provided more from 98 and you just ignored it. Gary doesn't want to discuss Fuchs with me and has gone out of his to avoid it. Don't sit there and tell me you suddenly have no objection with that. And you still never answered the question, "what was the trollism involved in this case?" for the several people wanting to know why. There is still a post over there saying don't rank until all the drug tests are in? (MJR) How is that different from what I posted? (since the thread was truncated at my post)
Without taking sides, I must say that the constant drug talk on these boards brings me down. Michael - do you really think knowledgable track fans don't know drugs were a huge part of the sport up until the late 80's? Are you really adding anything interesting (or positive) in pulling out old drug stories (or proof)? It's actually boring.
It's not our board - it's T&F's board. They don't have to play by any rules - and if they do play by rules it's likely to keep the MOST people possible coming here to enjoy themselves. The negativity on these boards can chase good posters away. I for one like the seperate drug category, and would support any decision to boot those who post about drugs in the current/historical categories.
I have only been on this board a little while and am not familiar with any previous scrapes Mr. Lewis might have gotten into, but since Ruth Fuchs seems to be at the center of it, I simply did a search for "Fuchs" on this forum. Reading this thread is rather instructive. Then make your own judgements.
Me again: there was also a second page in the Fuchs search and it turned up this post by Mr. Lewis on 15 August:
<<The IAAF has more than ample proof that the East Germans, including Marita Koch, were using drugs. Koch admitted as much in some correspondence found (in STASI files, I believe) after the collapse of the DDR, in which she was whining about rival Barbel Wockel getting more/better drugs than she was receiving. The IAAF's VERY hypocritical stance on this issue was to allow her, to this day, to retain the world 400 record. However, she isn't the German national record holder, because the German Federation, to their credit, threw out all the contaminated performances made by DDR athletes prior to reunification. Ruth Fuchs, Olympic javelin gold medallist in 1972 (and 1976?) admitted publicly to having taken drugs. She never had to hand over her medals. Canadian sprinter Angella Issajenko admitted to taking drugs and had her named erased from the list of medallists at the world indoor championships, and lost her world indoor 50 metre record. The IAAF doesn't apply its "rules" consistently or fairly, and it's pretty hard to take them seriously anymore.>>
So it's not exactly like everything he has written on the subject has been squelched. Was there more?
We've veered off the point again. The Koch/Fuchs info is old news and if gh declares it inappropriate to rehash it in the middle of another (albeit related) discussion, that's his call. We are all tired of the drug mess, so let's keep it all on the 'drug' forum and try to stay on task here and there.
Bottom line: Michael, if you don't like the board's (ergo owner/moderator's) rules), you gotta go elsewhere. As far as I am concerned, this is the only game in town that I enjoy playing, so it's play by the rules or play in a different game. I have been scolded also - I apologized and moved on.
>Nonsense. And now
>you're only thinking of mentioning these claims
No. As you can see from my post on this thread I posted warnings to you on the board. I did the exact same thing at least two other times. The fact that you missed them because I posted them in response to one of your messages that I would temporarily leave up, with the hopes of your seeing it is not my fault. At the time it seemed like you were posting frequently enough that you'd see a message from me if I left it up for an hour or so.
One general note- GH and I usually monitor the board but Sieg and Dan do too and while we try to be consistent and communicate about decisions about pulling threads, we don't always succeed.
That is the nature of the beast. We're about to hit 25,000 posts and I've read probably 98% of them. We've ripped through 1600 new messages in the last week. So sometimes a little wheat goes out with the chaff and hell if we can remember exactly what and why. If there is a trend to the abuse I start to make note of it and follow it more closely.
We try to post explanations when the message is borderline or abnormal in some way but that cannot always happen, nor should it be expected.
I just remember when a certain Arkansas alum was being borderline trollish back on the old track email newsletter in the mid-nineties. I stuck up for him, for his right to voice his opinion, free speech, etc.
Without limits, the guy turned into a first class jerk. His likeminded diciples still haunt letsrun.com, ruining that board.
Never again. Call'em as you see fit, boys. If you're wrong, you're wrong. We can all live with it. The alternative is too horrible.
Hey thanks to the folks like Steve, Natasha, Jon kuha1 and others who aren't intimidated by gh and who have offered support.
Gary, you've proven yourself to be someone who will say what he wants, when he wants, to avoid dealing with issues he doesn't want to hear about. You have yanked posts I made on Fuchs, and you did call it hearsay, regardless of what may still be on the board. I'm glad you at least haven't denied that (so far). The condescending and highhanded way in which you dismissed my allegations only made me more determined to provide the proof you said was missing, so I posted something from T&FN 1992 about DDR drug use. Then you said that was ancient and "nothing more came of it. End of story". Do you really expect people to believe you, the editor of Track and Field News, are so ignorant? Rather than take your insulting response lying down, I referred you and interested readers to March 98 p.74 "More East German Doping Allegations." Nothing more ever came of it? Sure Gary. You just "forgot" about all that ever came after 1992. What a crock. And you knew nothing about Fuchs either. And by the way, her admission was 5 years ago, not 30, and she was your athlete of the decade 23 years ago. The only time you have given a damn about what I've said about Fuchs was yesterday because you finally couldn't just dismiss it as untrue, anymore.
I know I can be cocky and acerbic, and yes I was asked by YOU to tone it down a few months back. Despite seeing your own genteel manner de temps en temp, such as "Shut the fuck up and go away. (Was I really that blunt?)", I have been scrupulously careful over the last few months to monitor my tendency to be pedantic/sarcastic. But then, how could I expect you to notice when you and Ben have so much to wade through?
Ben, comparing me to Eddie only reflects on you. Like I told you when I forwarded Dr. Franke's message to you yesterday, you can't save your face and your ass at the same time. Clearly from the support you can see on this post I am no Eddie and to be compared to him/them/whatever is a pathetic and desperate mischaracterization on your part.
And perhaps most interesting of all, you STILL won't show what was, in your words, "trollism". Because if you did show what was yanked, it would show how rudely innappropriate your language is to describe the person's post.
Go celebrate. You won't have to put up with my dreadful nagging questions anymore. At least I can leave this board having proved that you either are one major ignoramus for an editor of a Track and Field magazine, or a sleazeball who doesn't want certain truths to "inconvenience" him and his current drama.
I am sorry to see you go, but when you bid adieu with statements like:
"you either are one major ignoramus for an editor of a Track and Field magazine, or a sleazeball who doesn't want certain truths to "inconvenience" him and his current drama."
you disserve your own cause. Obviously he is not an T&F ignoramus, which leaves only sleazeball, who doesn't want to be 'inconvenienced.' That makes no sense either. He and Ben have gone out of their way to explain their position with facts. That's not the work of someone who doesn't want to be inconvenienced by the truth. What are you so mad at? A public scolding? Big deal. You did not abide by their 'rules' and that's all they asked. When you posted in the first place you knew it was their board, their rules.
I think they would have let you return, but now you've made that impossible. Your loss. Our loss. Even gh/bh's loss.