On Wednesday, April 4, the blog Three Sonorans disappeared from TucsonCitizen.com, setting off a flurry of Facebook posts, interviews and discussions about where online-media provocateur David Abie Morales would end up next.
TucsonCitizen.com editor Mark Evans seemed to have simply had enough of Morales' antics, but that didn't stop the outrage machine from ramping up. Morales' Facebook page was full of supportive messages (somewhat predictably, I suppose), and many of the responses claimed Morales was being "censored"—which is exactly the wrong thing to think.
There are people around the world truly suffering from censorship—entire nations that can't get to the Internet as we know it, and places where certain types of speech could mean imprisonment or death. It's wildly insensitive to start throwing around that term when the manager of a website that collects newswire stuff and offers a platform to Tucsonans who think they have something to say decides to send an unpaid blogger packing; after all, that blogger has the ability to set up a new blog for free nearly anywhere.
Morales could not have been all that surprised that Evans sent him packing, especially since Three Sonorans often toed the line between "extensive coverage of the ethnic studies controversy" and "unhinged rants with a loose connection to factuality." Morales will be just fine with his new platform, although both he and TucsonCitizen.com will likely lose traffic in the process.
His departure from TucsonCitizen.com may or may not have been "fair"—but it definitely wasn't censorship.
Comment of the week
"Wow, what a shitty comment about vegans. That was completely rude and unnecessary."
—TucsonWeekly.com commenter "Amanda" didn't appreciate Dan Gibson's remark about the world not needing another vegan tamale ("Vote for Tamale Innovation Today," The Range, April 5).
The Week on The Range
We kept up with the latest involving local blog Three Sonorans, specifically the drama involving Daniel Patterson, Gannett and the blog's eventual removal from TucsonCitizen.com; put up with another week of Patterson news; grimaced as Michael Hicks embarrassed himself and Tucson on The Daily Show; scolded Senate President Steve Pierce and his bad emailing form; admired Ron Barber's fundraising skills; agreed with John McCain, surprisingly; asked for your texting-while-driving-ticket story; and discussed the highlights of this week's political events with Carolyn Cox and Jeff Rogers on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.
We kept you in the loop regarding the latest food-truck roundups; suggested a few restaurants for those heading to Coachella; laughed at robots making sushi (even if they'll eventually have the last laugh); recruited local foodies to try The Great Food Truck Race; asked you to vote for a new tamale; pointed out a new boba-tea outlet; and met Billy Elliott, who's opening a new restaurant on Congress Street.
We tried to help you get around downtown Tucson in the midst of the streetcar construction; mentioned that former Tucson Weekly film critic James DiGiovanna has an affordable e-book out now; shared a contemplation from local musician Ricky Gelb; shared next week's Club Crawl® lineup; suggested you watch an awesome pitch video that Jim Henson made for the original Muppet Show; wished a happy birthday to Merle Haggard; ate hobo pies with local musicians; tried to figure out why more people don't add drum machines to the national anthem; watched pugs rapping; got out our copy of Viva Hate in advance of Morrissey's show in Tucson; started getting our summer mixtape together; and reminded you to speak your mind via our Best of Tucson® ballot.
Best of WWW
There's a lot going on in Tucson this April, so we're making an effort to help you enjoy as many events as possible before the sun bakes us all to a crisp. Our Spring Club Crawl® will take over downtown on Saturday, April 21, and The Range will preview some of the bands you'll be able to check out. The Weekly will also be represented at the Tucson Taco Festival, on April 28, and we'll have information about the inaugural Tucson celebration of the beloved food item, including a look at who will be competing for trophies and cash prizes. Try to enjoy the outdoors while you still can, and keep an eye on our site for suggestions of what to do.