Patterico's Pontifications


Ventura County Star: Comments? What Comments?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:10 am

Yesterday I told you that the Ventura County Star had deleted a civil comment that had disputed some assertions in an op-ed by the paper’s editor.

Since then, several commenters left comments critical of the comment deletion.

Those comments have also been deleted.

What’s more, there is no hint they ever existed. And the comment box is gone.

It’s as if the op-ed never had comments to begin with.

It’s OK. They figure you won’t notice.

Mike Lief has the rundown, with assistance from See Dubya. And I have the full story, with links and snapshots, at Hot Air.

UPDATE: Editor Joe Howry has left a comment on his op-ed, apologizing for the removal of the comments, and stating that the comments were removed without his knowledge or authorization. Several comments have been restored.

He also blames the deletion in part on “inappropriate language” in comments. This is disingenuous, as several comments noted in the links above contain no inappropriate language — unless, of course, Howry considers it “inappropriate” to simply disagree with his op-ed.

20 Responses to “Ventura County Star: Comments? What Comments?”

  1. Maybe there’s an innocent explanation for this: The dog ate their comments?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  2. Good news! Comments are back! (You shamed them or, far, far more likely, embarrassed them.)

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Are all the comments back? Or, did they just pick and choose.

    I hate censorship.

    reff (bff229)

  4. Let me clarify. bob100’s comment is back. NothingButTheTruth’s has been removed by the Ventura County Star’s staff. TimeArrow’s comment is there.

    Three. That’s it. None other.

    And the comment box is back, useless though it is likely to prove for any comment critical of the paper for its perfidy.

    None of the comments critical of the paper for its dishonest unethical blogging behavior and clumsy attempts to cover its tracks have been published. I guess wasting their readers’ time who care enough about the paper and issues it covers to go to their website is just AOK in their world. Have the guts or simple politeness to acknowledge they’ve removed their readers’ comments and disabled commenting from that editorial? Heaven forbid.

    And all this because someone disagrees with them and outlines the opposing position? What cowards!

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  5. They just put mine back from yesterday and I added a couple more. But as I write this there’s at least one still missing without a trace, by “Laddy”.

    See-Dubya (1fc18b)

  6. Its a shame because in the past the VC Star was a decent paper.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  7. They must be following in the LATs Readers Rep footsteps. Today’s scintillating comments posted pose the devstating question of when to use ‘who’ or ‘whom’….and other innocuous grammarian gaffes.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  8. hoo hoo hoo!

    Remember how the SF Chronicle got in trouble for filtering comments of people they didn’t like to where you would think your comment was still there if you logged in?

    I just logged out, looked, screencapped, and then logged in, looked and screencapped.

    That is exactly what they’re doing.


    See-dubya (1fc18b)

  9. He put the comments back up with an apology. Good work Mike and Pat.


    Kevin (4890ef)

  10. Yikes, did my comment get posted?

    Kevin (4890ef)

  11. Check the Press Telegram in Long Beach. They do the same thing. Anytime a discussion warms up, the comments disappear.

    Stan Switek (7cfd24)

  12. Both the Press-Telegram and the L.A. Daily News are owned by MediaNews Group (Denver CO). The VCStar appears to still be independent.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  13. VC Star is owned by Scripps. They just brought in a new editor from Texas a couple of months ago.

    Vermont Neighbor (b3bbb4)

  14. Correcting my own post: a new publisher from Texas.

    Vermont Neighbor (b3bbb4)

  15. I emailed, didn’t comment, and I got this..

    On Dec 11, 2007 8:35 AM, Howry, Joe
    Dear Sue: We didn”t delete comments because they were critical of my column. I wouldn’t allow that. We had some sort of problem and are working on getting it fixed.
    Joe R. Howry
    Ventura County Star

    Sue (b2b046)

  16. Sue, I don’t want to call Joe R. Howry, Editor for the Venture Country Star a liar, so I’m going to shut up now.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  17. Sent this to Joe Howry at the paper on Tuesday morning 8:57 CST:

    “A free press requires the strength to resist censorship. You foster censorship.

    You don’t want a free press, do you? You choose to reward censorship.”

    Signed my name.

    Got this reply 11:37 AM CST:

    “Dear Lynn: I was off yesterday and unaware of the problem. The comments have been restored and I’m trying to find out what happened. I apologize.
    Joe R. Howry
    Editor Ventura County Star”

    Found that extremely interesting since an Editor didn’t know his paper was deleting comments on HIS OWN EDITORIAL.

    reff (bff229)

  18. The Ventura County Star are deleting public comments once again!

    I have posted a number of comments that have simply vanished. Of course, I can see them all when logged in, but no one else can.

    I’ve got both the “logged in” and “logged out” versions copied.

    My comments on the article “Newbury Park mosque opens doors” were the first to go. Since the article stated “No question about Islam should be off-limits,” I assumed that they meant it!

    Apparently not! I questioned their support of Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi founder of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the umbrella organization for The Islamic Center of the CONEJO VALLEY who is being held without bail awaiting sentencing in Federal Prison facing a statutory maximum sentence of 61 years in federal prison.

    I also asked what Rana Elgamiel’s husband, who is a member of The Islamic Center of the Conejo Valley, and one of only two Muslim FBI agents on the West Coast, thought about Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi conviction?

    One of many articles of support can be found at

    The Ventura County Star needs to be called out on the carpet on this. AGAIN!

    TheVeracious1 (a0c135)

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