Patterico's Pontifications


NYT Censors the Fact that the NYT Engaged in Censorship — in an Article About . . . Censorship

Filed under: General,Media Bias — Patterico @ 12:41 am

Tom Zeller writes in the New York Times:

LAST week, as YouTube continued its recent campaign to spit-shine its image and, perhaps, to look a little less ragtag to potential buyers (including Google, which was said to be eyeing the upstart in the $1.6 billion range), the company took a scrub bucket to some questionable political graffiti on its servers, including a video entry from the doyenne of right-wing blogs, Michelle Malkin.

That’s a nice, loaded way to describe YouTube’s actions, isn’t it? Although the article later acknowledges that the removal of Malkin’s video was unwise political censorship, the beginning suggests that YouTube was simply taking out the trash.

It’s a way of framing the issue that might appease Muslims. Which fits nicely with the rest of the article, as we shall see.

The article ironically notes:

Many, but not all, newspapers were frightened away from publication of the Muhammad cartoons. But the cartoons, and other images of Muhammad, can be found all over the Internet, as individual users decide for themselves whether or not they will abide by the Islamic restrictions on Muhammad imagery.

Yes, many newspapers were frightened to publish the Mohammed cartoons. But the article fails to note that one of the papers “frightened away from publication” was the New York Times — the very paper in which the article itself appears. As this FIRE article explained:

On February 7, Times editor Bill Keller told USA Today that publishing the Mohammed cartoons would be “perceived as a particularly deliberate insult” by Muslims, and that, moreover, not publishing them “feels like the right thing to do.”

To recap, as Rick Ellensburg might say: it’s an article about appeasing Muslims by censoring ideas — in a paper that appeased Muslims by censoring ideas. And, the article censors the fact that it appeased Muslims by censoring ideas.

Now that’s a strong anti-censorship stand!

13 Responses to “NYT Censors the Fact that the NYT Engaged in Censorship — in an Article About . . . Censorship”

  1. Does anyone know how I could get to the planet where this would surprise me?

    Merovign (feee99)

  2. Ah, but if you don’t mention it, it never happened. That is the beauty of being the NY Times – you control the dialogue.

    Cassandra (c9069a)

  3. What none of these people acknowledge is the fact that many serious officials expect a major terrorist act in the near future and, when that happens, there will be hell to pay for Muslims in the country attacked. Political correctness like that espoused by the Times, survives in an atmosphere of unseriousness, such as exists among the left wing of the US and Britain. This report on a British blog takes the wrong lesson. The important fact is that a major terrorist attack, sufficient to justify internment of Muslims, is expected.

    Mike K (74129f)

  4. What a pathetic newspaper. Michelle Malkin’s video that was censored was nothing more than a collection of murders committed by Muslims. Zeller cannot be concerned with this censorship at YouTube since the NYT is expert at it. He doesn’t realize that he will be one of the first to go when Muslims take over. Can you imagine the whinning that we won’t be able to read about?

    krusher (936813)

  5. Careful with your words, please. What the Times, et al, did was make stupid/careless/chicken-s*** decisions about what to (and what not to) publish. It’s not “censorship” unless some government prohibits publication and/or jails people because of it.

    Ron W (e8b8d6)

  6. It ain’t necessarily so, Ron W.

    For example, Ron W., let’s play Jeopardy. [Cue Jeopardy music.] Here’s your clue:

    The name of the (increasingly obsolete) dude at the TV networks who watches the shows before they air to make sure nothing too obscene goes out.

    Make sure to answer in the form of a question!

    If you said:

    What is a “censor,” Alex?

    Then you have earned a hearty “Well done, Ron W!” from Alex.

    The Wikipedia entry on censorship has the following description of “corporate censorship”:

    Corporate censorship is the process by which editors in corporate media outlets intervene to halt the publishing of information that portrays their business or business partners in a negative light. Privately owned corporations in the business of reporting the news also sometimes refuse to distribute information due to the potential loss of advertiser revenue or shareholder value which adverse publicity may bring.

    So you shouldn’t be quite so categorical, Ron W. There is indeed corporate censorship, and it has indeed occurred at the N.Y. Times today.

    Patterico (de0616)

  7. OK, your 1st example is OK – someone preventing the publication of words like…, well, words not appropriate for a family blog, but that’s cencorship in a different context. Your second example doesn’t really hold water, especially where the Mohammed cartoons are concerned. Yes, the craven Times refused to publish them, but that hardly prevented them from being published – they were already part of the public record.

    [When a network censor bleeps a dirty word, the dirty word can still be heard in many other places. But he’s still censoring. — P]

    Ron W (192cf0)

  8. I agree with Ron W.

    We need to distinguish between a private entity deciding not to say something for economic or private reasons and the government telling them what to say.

    In the case of network censors, the goverment is censoring, it is just making network employees do the work.

    I don’t even mind the phrase “corporate censorship”. However, you accused the NYT of censorship, not corporate censorship.

    [See, I thought you guys already knew the NYT is a corporation. — P]

    TomHynes (c41bdd)

  9. […] UPDATE 2: Patterico is upset at the cheap-shot journalistic style and the ‘fraidy-cat hypocrisy of the New York Times piece linked above, as he should be. […]

    Bizzyblog » Google and YouTube: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss? (34f45e)

  10. I wonder if Ron W. and the supporters of corporate censorship can come up with another term that describes what the NY Times did in the face of physical threats.

    moneyrunner (a77b40)

  11. I’m hard-pressed to consider new media the tribunes of anti-censorship, much less credible moral arbiters.

    Bloggers delete comments which reproach or show up the host.

    [Not here, of course.]

    Who among us thinks less of theater chain owners’ Cinemak, Regal and Century for their refusal to screen the British film, Death of a President? Its makers insist it’s a compelling political thriller sympathetic to George Bush and is in no way a call for violence.

    We might well applaud YouTube’s pulling down the dozens of videos purporting to show individual American soldiers being killed in Iraq, in what amounts to snuff films, with music and insurgent slogans.

    One clip of U.S. troops interrogating a young Iraqi and loudly cursing his religious customs begets an explosive provocation there, and mere political boilerplate here.

    Eventually, lawyers decide taste.

    steve (db6ba8)

  12. #11 –

    Make that “Cinemark.”

    steve (db6ba8)

  13. The New York Slimes our most far left news paper and by far the american equililent to the defunct USSR paper PRAVDA

    krazy kagu (956b5b)

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