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Joe Ligotti leaves theguyfromboston.com. He is a price of a robust First Amendment

Mar 20, 2008 Joe Ligotti leaves theguyfromboston.com. He is a price of a robust First Amendment

A price of a robust First Amendment is protecting Joe Ligotti’s rants. (Bill of Rights image from the public domain.)

Last December 21, I blogged about xenophobic (at best) Joe Ligotti, who posted his rants every Wednesday on www.theguyfromboston.com. He can be very engaging and entertaining, which makes him all the more scary.

Maybe he is not as scary as I first thought, now that he no longer is on theguyfromboston.com, which apparently is a change that happened within only the past one or two weeks. A new character is delivering weekly rants there, and he is rather lackluster when compared to Ligotti. On March 20, I got the following quick reply to my following e-mail about Ligotti’s whereabouts:

My question to Info@theguyfromboston.com: "I’m asking the same question you probably keep getting: Why isn’t Joe Ligotti on this page any longer? Where are his archived videos? Might you consider putting these answers on your website?"

Response from Info@theguyfromboston.com: "The actor that previously played ‘The Guy from Boston’ for us decided to go in another direction. Our web site and its message continues, and as always we hope you enjoy it." The actor? Does that mean that I was not off the mark last December when I wrote "I wish to learn that Ligotti is no more real than Borat, but am not holding my breath"?

On the same day that I posted my above-listed inquiry to theguyfromboston.com website, a story appeared online that Ligotti had signed an exclusive management publicity deal with Balboni Communications Group, LLC.  A report on BusinessWire says "YouTube pulled down more than 100 of Ligotti’s videos citing ‘inappropriate content.’” However, not all his videos are YouTube-banned, unless YouTube is currently on a search and destroy mission against them; many are currently on other people’s YouTube account pages, including here.

Keep in mind that YouTube got taken over by Google.com last year, the same Google that — along with Yahoo and Microsoft and Cisco– has kowtowed bigtime, at least in the very recent past, to the Chinese government. Does that help explain how Ligotti’s YouTube account got yanked? Or, did Ligotti yank it himself and then claim that YouTube did it to him? On the one hand, the Ligotti YouTube video that I uploaded to my original Guy from Boston post got yanked at some point. On the other hand, I applaud Google for apparently doing less stringent self-censorship of its Chinese site today than it did when this PBS story ran, at least with respect to a Google image search today for "Tiananmen Square", which results in Tank Man images for both the English and Chinese Google sites (see here and here), where before that was not the case.

For at least several months, if not more, Ligotti has been appearing on local and national television, clearly more toned-down than his F-bomb laden self-produced videos. Does anybody know if Ligotti left theguyfromboston.com because he sold the site, because he thinks he found bigger fame on television, because YouTube yanked his account, or because his character really was no more real than Borat? I prefer to learn that his fifteen minutes of fame are over. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM: Although I would prefer not to spread Joe Ligotti’s name any further, having asked readers in the last paragraph above about Ligotti’s status with theguyfromboston.com, and having gotten the following information, I provide it here:

– Fred Balboni (fbalboni@balbonicg.co ) from Ligotti’s promotion company confirmed to me by email and phone last Friday (thanks, Fred, for taking the time to speak with me, no matter the extent to which it was just to help Ligotti) that Joe is the real deal and no actor. Fred emailed me in pertinent part: "I have attached a copy of the Cease and Desist letter [which Underdog omits here, lest I get in the middle of the reliability of the allegations contained therein] that was delivered this day to the person that was operating the .com site for Joe… Please note that Joe’s new Web address is: theguyfromboston.net. He will be appearing on FOX & Friends on Monday morning not necessarily on this issue but notice will be given as to the new site. Thank you for your interest counselor! Fred Balboni"

– Theguyfromboston.net is up and running since March 24, but was not running on March 23. The site suggests that a video rant is coming this Wednesday to respond to Ligotti’s loss of access to theguyfromboston.com.

– As an aside, it is beyond humorous that American Express as of today is promoting itself with an advertising link on the f-bomb-connected guyfromboston.com. Is American Express loosening its advertising selectivity in the hunt for the almighty dollar, or are the heads of the company not up to date on the activities of its front-line advertising people?

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