Absolute Moral Authority

Because plain old moral authority just wasn’t good enough — a mesablue production

Free speech according to the L.A. Times

Posted by mesablue on October 14, 2007

Not so free, after all.

L.A. Times Censors Blogger — Then Censors His View on Censorship — Patterico’s Pontifications.

On Thursday night, L.A. Times political blogger Andrew Malcolm wrote a post about John Edwards’s denial of an extramarital affair. When some commenters complained that the story was unsupported tabloid trash, Malcolm replied in parenthetical remarks appended to the comments, saying that it was a legitimate topic because of Edwards’s denial. If the L.A. Times were to avoid discussing it, he said, that would be “censoring” a legitimate story.

How did the L.A. Times react?

Shortly thereafter, the L.A. Times censored the post.


I wrote a post about the L.A. Times post on Thursday night. One of my readers reported at 5:05 p.m. PDT on Friday that the post had been taken down. (Since Daylight Savings my timestamps have been one hour earlier than Pacific time.) There was no explanation — or even an acknowledgment that the post had been removed. Last night (Saturday) I decided to check to see whether the post was still down. It was — over 30 hours after my commenters had reported it had been taken down.

Problem though, many people had seen the original post. Patterico sent an email to the blog author.

At 11:40 p.m. I sent an e-mail to Andrew Malcolm, the blogger whose post had been removed, asking him what had happened.


Although the post had been down for more than 30 hours, a shorter version of the post appeared within nine minutes of my e-mail to Malcolm. The re-emergence of the post was reported by commenter Itsme at 11:49 p.m. PDT. The post was shorter now, and contained this explanatory note:


(This item was originally posted Thursday evening, Oct. 11. It was removed by an editor Friday but was reposted Saturday in a shortened form.)


What was different? Not much. They simply chopped off three paragraphs at the end of the post, which had set forth details from the National Enquirer story.

Another problem, there were already comments in the original post thread. One that the blog author had responded to.

What to do?

Malcolm’s comment about not “censoring” Edwards’s denial is gone, without any hint it was ever there.


In other words, they censored Malcolm’s opinion that it would be censorship to do what they did.


Irony just doesn’t get any more ironic.

Liberals — keepers of the gate of free speech.

Read the entire article and timeline of events at Patterico’s Pontifications.

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