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   Copyright © Ric Einstein 2009





Wine Forum Moderation or Blatant Censorship? – You Be the Judge

As this is now germane to this Short Comment, the reasons and history as to Why I was Banned from Squires/Parker Forum can be found here.

Here are the facts and nothing but the facts; (there is one gratuitous comments by me which is there for the purposes of clarification of the facts).

On the Auswine Forum, Mike Pollard opened a subject for debate and posted a link to the Mark Squires forum, which is hosted on the Robert Parker web site. The Auswine board owner, Gavin Trott is confident enough in the strength of his board to allow links to competing wine boards if the topic is relevant.

The subject “Why have (Australian) Shiraz sales declined?” had came up in a thread on the Mark Squires wine board and I clicked on the link to read the topic on Squires site.

After a few responses, Bob Davis posted this (in answer to the topic originators question):

"Post By Bob Davis  - 09-01-2006, 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by Rick Nelson

Since I'm fairly new on the BB, I checked for previous threads addressing this topic but didn't discover any . . . I'm ITB and have noticed a sharp decline in Shiraz sales over the past year. Why? I've read occasional comments on the BB that Shiraz is "monolithic", "flabby", and "difficult to pair with food." What do you think? I wonder that with so much of it being imported, maybe the market is just too saturated or people are OD'd . . . I thank you in advance for your feedback.


Check out these 2 threads (if this post doesn't get deleted first). Make sure you read the articles Ric wrote that are linked off the page. This got discussed at length."

As twenty fours hours had passed and many more posts had been made in the thread, I thought that Mark Squires had decided to let Bob’s post (with its links) stay, so I sent him an email. Here is what it said.

“Hi Mark,

I  know we have had our differences in the past, but I just wanted to thank you for not deleting that post by Bob Davis (in the "Why have Shiraz sales declined?" thread) that linked to WCWN and subsequent links to my site.

Leaving it there generated a lot of useful debate on your site and helped highlight a massive problem facing the Oz wine industry.

Congratulation on your new role with the WA.  

Cheers Ric”

After sending that email, within a very short period of time, Bob’s post was deleted, but that’s not all. An entire post by David Glasser was also nuked because he had mentioned my name. David’s post said…

“Those were interesting articles Ric Einstein wrote.

I'd been buying and enjoying small quantities of Australian Shiraz for years before the '98s come out. I bought heavily into the '98s, based on my past experience and RP's enthusiasm for that vintage. Over time I simply lost interest in the bulk of those '98s. Most of it was fun, fruit-forward stuff on release, but it got too boring and repetitive to want to keep buying in quantity. And most of it isn't turning any more interesting with age - at least so far. So now I buy a few of the more interesting ones for near-term consumption, but nowhere near the amount I used to.”

 Without having seen the previous posts that had been deleted, Mark Dignam wrote…..

some of you may be interested in reading about the same issues in a local blog,

There are many reasons why there are problems with the medium to higher priced wines, viz:

·         Failure of the Aust industry to market the entry vs. super premium wines separately

·         Too much reliance on Parker Points as a marketing strategy (or an excuse for one) ……Etc etc ……"

The introduction to Mark’s post was deleted too.

And this was where I had originally ended the snippet (except for the last line), but it gets stranger and stranger.  Mike Goldberg posted this post:

"I can't believe nobody else has mentioned these articles on the same subject.




Some good articles on this subject that are right on point."


Notice that the the system software doesn't allow the letters TORBWINE to appear, and the links don't work.


Chuck Haywood then wrote:

"For more opinions on this topic, also check Jeremy Oliver's interview with Paul Henry, the new director of the Australian Wine Export Council, on his website as well as even more extensive writing from an Australian perspective by Ric Einstein on his ******** website which also has many of the comments that John Gorman has discussed. I recently spoke at the Shiraz Alliance in the Barossa Valley a few weeks ago about this very topic and will get my presentation up for others to read very soon."



Mike Goldberg posted another post asking why the software edited the the text and would not let him post the links.  This was Mark Squires Response.


"Originally Posted by Mark Squires
Sorry, but some websites the board software is programmed not to permit mention of.

This one in particular is run by a banned board member who has spent his career attacking me and Robert Parker. I see no reason why on a board I own that Robert Parker pays for should give him advertising."


The above text in Chuck Haywood's post was deleted, leaving a meaningless one line of text. Mark Squires a little later the deleted Mike Goldberg's posts as well as his own response.


For the record, I have hardly "spent my entire career attacking Mark Squires and Robert Parker." What I have done, and will continue to do is two thing. Firstly, continue to write balanced opinions about Robert Parker, and if that includes criticising Mr Parker  from time to time because I disagree with him, then so be it. There are numerous articles on TORBWine, including this weeks article that readers can read and see for themselves if I am expressing a differing viewpoint or Parker bashing. Secondly, all I have said about Mark Squires is the truth, and if Mr Squires thinks telling the truth is bashing, then so be it and I am guilty as charged.

The facts speak for themselves and readers can judge for themselves too.

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This thread is continued here.

Copyright © Ric Einstein 2006