Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times Post on Edwards Had More Content Than Previously Thought

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 5:50 am

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.

Got that?

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 . . .


  1. Hmm. This is all very 1984, isn’t it? If there’s no printed record, it didn’t happen! Ever! We promise!

    I’d say the LAT better be pretty nervous right now.

    Comment by Joe M. (7609e9) — 10/15/2007 @ 6:22 am

  2. If this causes Edwards to drop out of politics and go back to doing what he does best, suing people for millions of dollars, it will be a good thing.

    Comment by nk (6e4f93) — 10/15/2007 @ 6:26 am

  3. Gary Hart….reincarnated…

    But, the bigger thing here is the decision by a major news outlet to ignore/censor a story….and not even have the courage to say anything about why…..

    Comment by reff (bff229) — 10/15/2007 @ 6:44 am

  4. You know what this means, don’t you?

    Patterico learned how to screencap.

    Comment by See Dubya (d4aa96) — 10/15/2007 @ 6:46 am

  5. I kind of thought they would coincidentally close the comments just before mine would be published.

    Sneaky bastards, aren’t they?

    I’ve actually defended LAT on your blog before on rare occasions. Never again.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 6:57 am

  6. You mean a major media outlet would go to the mat for a Democrat? The shreds, you say?

    I’m shocked, shocked!

    Comment by Techie (c003f1) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:04 am

  7. Heh. Christoph, how long have you been reading my blog??

    I didn’t really expect the Los Angeles Times to pass. I expected Andrew Malcolm to pass, based on his bio and publishing my previous comment. My feeling was he must be ticked his post was censored; then his comments expressing his disdain for censorship were censored too.

    So now I’m very disappointed in Andrew Malcolm.

    He either can’t stand up to his editors at LAT, is complicit in censorship and being censored himself in such a way as to be personally embarrassing to him, or both.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:47 am

  8. Hey, Patterico–

    Looks like Pat Dollard didn’t delete that entry after all. Maybe you mistyped the URL–you have 10/11 in your link and it’s actually 10/12. (Your address bar shows the correct link in the screencap.)

    Here’s the correct link. It still seems to say what your screencap shows.

    Comment by See Dubya (d4aa96) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:52 am

  9. More from Dollard on this subject.

    Comment by See Dubya (d4aa96) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:56 am

  10. Hmmm.

    If a political candidate doesn’t respond to anonymous charges against them from dubious sources, their silence is proof of their guilt.

    If they do respond, the MSM, which wouldn’t print the original, baseless charge, declares the candidate’s response is news, and spreads the charge even further.

    Whoo… That’s some catch, that Catch-22.
    It’s the best there is.

    No wonder Americans get such crappy candidates to choose from.

    Comment by alphie (99bc18) — 10/15/2007 @ 11:50 am

  11. As annoying as what the LAT spikes, is what they actually publish. Why does their business section publish the pro-regulation liberal Mr Lazarus? Why isn’t his column in the op-ed page? Does the LAT know what a business section is supposed to be?

    Comment by jack (8349ff) — 10/15/2007 @ 12:45 pm

  12. Alf

    Then isn’t the story supposed to be about a smear attempt from an outlet owned by a Clinton supporter?

    Also one could argue that Edwards was an awful candidate even before this… the record might bear this out. His run at the Presidency has lasted longer than his stint in the Senate; a stint which some observers have derided for its lack of accomplishment.

    I do not like this kind of muck raking, but it is part of politics. The American people have seen it all before anyway. JFK. Eisenhower. Clinton.
    So it isn’t new.
    My guess is that all of the frontrunning candidates will get some innuendo spattered around about their marriage, faithfulness, divorce. They need to see it as a test. An ugly test that goes to their trustworthiness, thier ability to take fair and unfair hits.
    Something tells me that if this is real, that Elizabeth will rip him a new one, and someone would notice the frosty new chapping on his ass. Maybe even “Her”.
    If it is untrue, it will pass soon enough and no harm done.

    Comment by SteveG (4e16fc) — 10/15/2007 @ 1:04 pm

  13. Why does their business section publish the pro-regulation liberal Mr Lazarus? Why isn’t his column in the op-ed page? Does the LAT know what a business section is supposed to be?

    Let me guess. Pure pro-business flackery regardless of the facts? Something like the IBD? The WSJ editorial page? Atlas Shrugged? [Disclaimer: David Lazarus and I are slightly acquainted by we are not related.]

    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9) — 10/15/2007 @ 1:59 pm

  14. P.S. Are you getting the sense that some L.A. Times lawyers are getting nervous right about now?

    Patterico, I’m not asking you this to challenge you because I agree with your post. I don’t understand something and I’m wondering if you could explain it…

    … This is really embarrassing for the LA Times and for Andrew Malcolm… but how would their lawyers get involved? What legal problem would this create for LAT?

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 3:29 pm

  15. “a stint which some observers have derided for its lack of accomplishment.”


    I’ll give you zero guesses as to which heretofore-lauded GOP candidate fits that description to a T.

    (I’ll give you zero guesses because you don’t need to “guess”; you know, in your heart of hearts)

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/15/2007 @ 3:38 pm

  16. I’ll give you zero guesses as to which heretofore-lauded GOP candidate fits that description to a T.

    That leaves out Bush, since he isn’t running.

    Comment by Paul (d71395) — 10/15/2007 @ 3:53 pm

  17. No, Paul… I’m not talking about Bush (since he didn’t have a Senate career, and accordingly doesn’t fit that description to a T… and he since isn’t running, as you pointed out and I already knew).

    Comment by Leviticus (43095b) — 10/15/2007 @ 4:30 pm

  18. See Dubya,

    Weird. I see what happened: the Google link lists both a 10-11 and 10-12 version of the same post. One link is broken and the other not. Click the Google link in the post to see what I mean.

    Comment by Patterico (bad89b) — 10/15/2007 @ 5:18 pm

  19. The Times is often accused of endorsing Clinton and her campaign manager, Mayor Villaraigosa, although they’ve been really hard on the Mayor and his affair. So if the National Enquirer is owned by friends of the Clintons, and it’s making accusations against Edwards, then wouldn’t the “pro-Clinton” paper print them?

    If true, Edwards sleeping around on his wife while she has cancer would be a campaign killer for sure. The Times would have to be pretty darned sure before printing something like that. Maybe there was an unconfirmed innuendo that got squashed by the legal dept. Can’t blame them — if I were the Editor, I’d be afraid of getting sued. Some stories, it’s best for someone else to break unless the other woman herself admits it or shows evidence.

    Comment by lucy (35ef12) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:01 pm

  20. So, Patterico, re: your mentioning lawyers in this post, any hint to us laypeople where the LAT lawyers would be concerned in these circumstances?

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:20 pm

  21. Ah, I just caught your update, Patterico.

    You’re probably right, but I refuse to accept that for sure. I also think it’s possible Mr. Malcolm, whom I don’t know and was once Laura Bush’s press secretary of all things, may have done the right thing and could, possibly, be real ticked off at his editors.

    Busy now but I’ll revisit the LAT blog in a little while.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:28 pm

  22. Adultery and fornication are libel per se (somebody has demonstrated that he knows how to Google so no link necessary); the lady is neither a public official nor a public figure; innuendo can be legally as libelous as outright accusation; even a public figure has a cause of action if he can prove “malice” but the problem usually is “actual damages”; newspapers have libel insurance the rates of which will go up if they engage in risky behavior; notwithstanding any of the foregoing, lawyers are called “quality control” in any insitution of substance and their daily job is to prevent anything anywhere near the foregoing becoming a possibilty.

    Comment by nk (6e4f93) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:29 pm

  23. Thanks, nk, for your insight.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:36 pm

  24. Remember the controversy seveeral years ago over the Sacramento Bee editing Dan Weintraub’s blog? Some of the issues here seem similar.

    Of course, if there’s going to be editing, it’s probably better if it precedes posting…

    Here’s a link to a summary of the Weintraub affair.

    Comment by Tim McGarry (091959) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:38 pm

  25. What the f*** is so hard about apologizing to DRJ? If nothing else, what would you have to talk about here without her posts?

    Comment by nk (6e4f93) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:39 pm

  26. I appreciate her work and compliment her too. I complimented her yesterday (and criticized her a bit too, although not too hard because it was just an ironic technical violation).

    But if I criticize Patterico, I don’t wipe his butt after. I move on. And I compliment him when I agree, or at least say I agree.

    Really, nk, I’m just treating her like “one of the boys” and that’s a compliment by itself. If she’s sensitive or really upset or something, well… I’m not.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:44 pm

  27. Grrr. And don’t be sure I’d be the one writhing on the ground if this was a face to face conservation.

    Comment by nk (6e4f93) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:49 pm

  28. nk, I’m sure you’d kick my butt.

    Comment by Christoph (92b8f7) — 10/15/2007 @ 7:50 pm

  29. Re #15

    Senate slackers for $500

    OK… who is Fred Thompson?

    And… were we talking about him?
    I was responding to an alf idea about this being the type of thing behind the reason we get crappy candidates.
    So I thought I’d point out that Edwards has been crappy since well before this.
    Since Thompson wasn’t the subject of the reply and he’s only been running for a few days now anyway I didn’t bring him up.
    I don’t disagree that Thompsons Senate record looks uninspired and if he is a “crappy candidate” so far he managed that title without being accused of cheating on a cancer stricken wife so props to him for that…

    Comment by SteveG (4e16fc) — 10/15/2007 @ 8:02 pm

  30. Christoph,

    I have added this update:

    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.

    Comment by Patterico (bad89b) — 10/16/2007 @ 5:00 am

  31. If Edwards was nailing this chick while his wife, and the mother of his children, was slowly dying of incurable cancer…surely that makes him pretty much the worst person in the world, amiright?

    But if all this turns out to be true, wanna bet that Keith Olbermann doesn’t actually name Edwards “the worst person in the world” ???

    Just a thought!

    Comment by Dubya (e65a33) — 10/16/2007 @ 7:46 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3962 secs.