Patterico's Pontifications


Another L.A. Times Story Down the Memory Hole (UPDATE: Maybe Just Through the Wormhole)

Filed under: 2008 Election,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 10:55 pm

It’s almost enough to make you suspect something.

First, the background. Reader JFTRANE passes along word that Howard Kurtz’s Media Notes column today had this passage:

For all the media focus on Joe the Plumber owing back taxes, L.A. blogger Patterico observes: “I almost forgot to mention: Martin Nesbitt, the treasurer of Obama’s campaign, has tax liens. So do his companies.

“You’d think that matters more than the tax liens of Joe the Plumber, wouldn’t you? But good luck finding a Big Media story about Nesbitt’s liens.”

Thanks for the props, Howie.

Weirdest thing, though. That L.A. Times story with the passage about Joe the Plumber’s liens?

You guessed it: down the memory hole.

Go ahead: click on the link I provided in my post on this, which quoted the paper as saying:

According to court records, creditors have secured at least two liens against [Joe the Plumber] Wurzelbacher, whose legal name is Samuel. Ohio has a $1,182 lien for owed taxes and St. Charles Mercy Hospital has filed a 2007 lien for $1,261.

I got a bunch of links from that post, including one from Instapundit. But now, that L.A. Times story is gone. Gone with the wind! (H/t Arthur.)

Check for yourself. Click on the link and read (or search) for the word “liens.”

Down the memory hole. Just like everything else that makes Obama and his supporters look bad.

UPDATE: A reader passes along this link (which was actually included in the comment thread to my original post) to another Joe the Plumber story which mentions the lien:

Fame comes with a price. In Wurzelbacher’s case, it’s about $1,182, the amount of the lien the state of Ohio has placed on his property for personal income taxes he owes.

It’s still the case that, if you click the link for the story I originally linked, the story and the passage I cited are gone. There is a completely different story there.

But it’s true that another story does still mention the lien. So I guess the Memory Hole accusation, for once, is arguably rebutted.

Honestly, though: is it too much to ask that, once a story is published at a particular URL, you guys just leave it there? Why must you constantly put completely new stories at the same URL? You’re just asking for people to be suspicious . . .


  1. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to mislead your readers, Patterico. Because they know …

    “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 10/20/2008 @ 11:00 pm

  2. Yup, 1984 arrived 24 years late. What’s surprising about that ?

    Comment by Mike K (0cde87) — 10/20/2008 @ 11:07 pm

  3. Down the memory hole. Just like everything else that makes Obama and his supporters look bad.

    I’m confused. Why would the deletion of information that casts doubt on a foe (or non-fan) of Obama—ie, Joe the Plumber—be something that would please the libs at the LA Times? That only would make sense to me if the newspaper’s reporting actually had been inaccurate and public records indicated Joe, in fact, boasted a lien-free background.

    I could understand the LA Times wanting THAT bit of information—which would make their research skills look bad and, in turn, Joe look good (and indirectly make McCain, by way of his supporters, such as Joe the plumber, also look okay)—excised and sent down the memory hole.

    But there is no question that most members of the MSM would be far, far less enthusiastic about—if not resistant to—pointing out the liens in Martin Nesbitt’s file.

    Comment by Mark (f2d1ed) — 10/20/2008 @ 11:24 pm

  4. I don’t know, Mark. They print this irrelevant bit of information about Joe the Plumber. I criticize it and the criticism is picked up by Instapundit, Howard Kurtz, etc.

    And it disappears.

    I am sure there are some who will tell you this is Standard Journalism Practice. I’m sure Maria Warren was engaged in Standard Blogging Practice by deleting a post about Obama launching his political career in Ayers’s living room.

    But you just have to sort of wonder: why does all this stuff keep disappearing?

    Don’t you?

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 10/20/2008 @ 11:29 pm

  5. This is really incredible.

    When Palin runs in 2012 (hopefully as the incumbent) she should aggressively attack the media and ridicule it when it won’t run a story.

    Think of it as the Antonin Scalia approach to making friends & influencing people.

    Comment by Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c) — 10/21/2008 @ 12:06 am

  6. They print this irrelevant bit of information about Joe the Plumber.

    Now that I think of it, the only thing that many (if not virtually all) of the folks at the LA Times probably are more conflicted about than material that makes McCain (or Repubs/conservatives) look good is material that makes Obama (or Democrats/liberals) look bad. So I’m going to theorize that the point you raised which cast Obama’s treasurer in an unflattering light likely made certain LA Times editors wince to such a degree, they swallowed hard and forced themselves to remove the text that kicked off a round of “my guy versus your guy,” namely information that cast a shadow on Joe the plumber.

    Comment by Mark (748dc7) — 10/21/2008 @ 12:30 am

  7. I have a hunch that the editors at aren’t trying to bury things. My perception is that they just don’t think of URLs the way you and I do. Why don’t you query their Web editor about it?

    Comment by Tim McGarry (9fe080) — 10/21/2008 @ 6:24 am

  8. I don’t have time. My point is that they *should* care about it.

    If you want to query him or her and pass along the response, be my guest. I’d be interested to read it, but I’m not currently interested enough to spend the time tracking down who that is and crafting an e-mail.

    Comment by Patterico (cc3b34) — 10/21/2008 @ 6:28 am

  9. I have a hunch that the editors at aren’t trying to bury things.
    Yeah, this burial is just another example of the “All errors are accidental” rule.

    Comment by cboldt (3d73dd) — 10/21/2008 @ 6:46 am

  10. Not on my priority list, either, Patrick, sorry.

    Comment by Tim McGarry (9fe080) — 10/21/2008 @ 4:39 pm

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