This post assumes familiarity with my posts over the weekend, regarding what Kevin Roderick calls “some weird, must-be-explained edits of a staff-written post about John Edwards’ denial of an affair.”
The L.A. Times has turned “must be explained” into “must be covered up at all costs.”
Meanwhile, there’s more to be explained.
I wasn’t the only site to cover the L.A. Times blog post in question. If you do a Google search on “Andrew Malcolm” and the Edwards quote “I’ve been in love with the same woman for 30-plus years,” you come up with two results besides the L.A. Times: a Pat Dollard blog entry, and a Political Bulletin from U.S. News and World Report.
Did USN&WP know that the blog item they had quoted had been unceremoniously killed without acknowledgement? I doubt it.
The Pat Dollard piece — which mysteriously disappeared while I was writing this post, but we’re screencapping everything, baby! — reveals that Malcolm’s blog post was previously more extensive than the version I quoted. Dollard’s quotation contains the original version that I screencapped in this post, plus three additional quite fascinating paragraphs, circled below:
Cached version here.
This is especially interesting because, although several Malcolm-authored parenthetical remarks were removed from comments, one remains:
Yeah, but an earlier version of your post mentioned her!
Were the quoted paragraphs the end of the original post, or was there originally even more? I have no idea. The way these folks delete content without explanation, there’s no telling what used to be there.
P.S. Our commenter Christoph tried posting a comment to the L.A. Times blog entry in question, asking about all this. Christoph’s comment was never posted. If you want to read it, you can do so here, on my site. Christoph’s comment to the L.A. Times, which they never published, begins:
Publishing this comment will be a test of your honesty. I expect you to pass. We’ll see.
Heh. Christoph, how long have you been reading my blog??
Comments to the L.A. Times blog post have apparently been frozen as of October 12, 2007 at 09:05 AM. Meanwhile, more recent comments are being approved on other posts. They’re just covering up Christoph’s questions.
So, to sum up: the L.A. Times is censoring outside comments on their censorship and deletion of their own blogger’s comments regarding censorship of Edwards’s denial — a denial they later censored, then uncensored . . . but not completely.
P.S. Are you getting the sense that some L.A. Times lawyers are getting nervous right about now?
Yeah, me too.
UPDATE 10-15-07 at 6:20 p.m. Pacific: After L.A. Observed linked this post, Christoph’s comment was finally approved. It appears we can make the posts and comments reappear — but only when they know we have them anyway.
Who knows what else we have?
P.S. Commenters have asked me to elaborate on my comment about the lawyers. I don’t think there’s any reason they should be nervous. I just think they probably are.
UPDATE x2: I have discovered that they censored even more material. There’s another example here, and there’s even more censored material to come. Stay tuned . . .