The December 17 issue of the Daily Planet featured a letter from DP advertiser, Vladislav Davidzon, owner of Common Circle Education. It begins with these words:
As an advertiser, I am writing to reaffirm our support of your paper. My company has been threatened by the so-called “East Bay Citizens for Journalistic Responsibility” and I am writing to clearly state: we will not be bullied.
The Daily Planet has very few advertisers. Those that remain are mostly loyal because they are ideological fellow travelers. Looking at the fate of such cornerstone past advertisers as Elephant Pharmacy and Green Motors, both now dead and gone as ongoing concerns, it cannot be because of all the good of advertising in the Daily Planet does for business. Remaining advertisers include Urban Ore, Ashkenaz, La Pena, and a Marijuana Clinic. Normative Berkeley businesses have almost all forsaken the paper.
So who is Vladislav Davidzon?
Vladislav Davidzon maintains an extensive blog, including many kooky rants on a wide range of subjects. If you search "Palestine" on his blog you get very many entries, including ditties like this:
These are all lies. They are simply not true. I am here today to tell the real truth about what is happening, and to make the case that the reason the terror attacks continue to occur in Israel is because it is in the interest of the Israeli government who is directly guilty of murder of their own Israeli citizens in order to allow for theft of land under the guise of the occupation. (http://www.vladislavdavidzon.com/2003/10/23/israel-has-the-military-might-to-wipe-out-its-enemies-easily-why-doesnt-it/#more-95 )
So has anyone actually threatened Davidzon’s business as he alleges? Printed in the same issue of the Daily Planet is a letter from Matthew Taylor that claims that our editor, John Gertz, is the culprit. Taylor brings this he-witch to ground with these biting words:
Your [Gertz’s] campaign against the Berkeley Daily Planet and acts of intimidation, false accusations, and disinformation is not only ultra-right-wing, it is also morally wrong.
But Gertz has never set foot on the Davidzon’s premises, and DPWatchDog has not called for a boycott of his business. Nor has Gertz called or emailed Davidzon. Nor has Gertz visited any other Daily Planet advertiser, except perhaps to buy some good or service.
We threaten no one with anything more power than our word processor. We are a source of solid research that is made freely available to all. No doubt others in the community point advertisers in the direction of our research. We take no issue with that. We stand by our work. If advertisers then, of their own free will, and without any coercion, choose to disaffiliate from the Daily Planet, is that any different than when any of us chooses not to buy Sarah Palin’s memoirs? It is Palin’s right to publish whatever she pleases. It is our right to hold our noses and spend our hard earned dollars on other literature. It is the Daily Planet’s right to print all the deranged conspiracy theories they please. However, it is not their right to browbeat advertises into paying for it by screaming “First Amendment” and “Censorship” all day long at the top of their lungs.