I've been a frequent denizen of the chat board for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. I've learned a tremendous amount and made a bunch of friends...and as the things we love and value disappoint us the most...it is with great regret that I note that Lyle Fass has been banned from the board. I've learned a tremendous amount about wine from reading his posts and blog (Rockss and Fruit), as well as visiting him at his shop.
Mark Squires had best remember the words of John F. Kennedy. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” As competing voices are drowned out it only reinforces the (erroneous) notion that M. Parker is trying to dictate taste in the wine world. Alice Fiering spoke on her blog of her banning. Even when snarky and condescending, as I often find Ms. Fiering's writing to be, I am drawn to it for no other reason than it is deemed taboo. I've even learned a thing or two, although I have as yet caught the disease that makes good people reject fruit as a flaw (see I can be reductive and marginalize points of view too). The more voices the better. We should not be afraid of ideas and we must always have the courage to confront our own beliefs and examine whether they stand scrutiny.
Mostly, we must fight for those that disagree with us, lest we become what we have beheld in horror. In the words of Keith Levenberg (or was it Niemöller), "First they came for Merlot and I did not speak up because I was not Merlot."