Jeff Goldstein Edits Own Comment To Avoid Embarrasment
by Barrett Brown, Sun Oct 04, 2009 at 08:34:22 PM EDT
I'm doing a series of articles on the nature of the political blogosphere, the first of which deals with the behavior of commenters at the conservative blog Protein Wisdom, where I've been debating for about two years now. Though he originally cooperated with me on the article just two days ago, PW founder Jeff Goldstein has since publicly attacked me as a "whore," among other things. This is fine, as Goldstein is a notoriously emotional fellow and must be permitted to vent. But he has also changed something he wrote yesterday that I had subsequently referenced in one of my articles, apparently in order to avoid embarrassment.
The comment in question originally asserted that he would take down Protein Wisdom in response to my article and otherwise took issue with my journalistic ethics in very colorful language. After I linked to it, he edited the comment to remove the part about him shutting down his own blog along with a couple of other, silly things.
Luckily, I took a screen cap of the comment before he got around to editing it.
This unsavory little incident, I think, goes to prove the point that I'm trying to make about the way in which the blogosphere is sometimes misused in order to advance misinformation. It also goes to show that the blogosphere is more often a means of advancing the truth - the fact that I can defend myself from what could have ended up looking like a situation in which I'd made up or exaggerated the facts is an important reminder of how useful the blogosphere can be, especially when a particular argument requires ready access to the facts.
Here is the portion of Goldstein's original comment that he later removed on the sly, for those who'd rather not squint at a screen grab:
I've always tried to allow opposing views on this site. Hell, I've let leftwing folks post here, have tried setting up debates with feminist sites. For my troubles, I'll now become the rightwing object lesson for nasty commentary. All because some guy was treated poorly, and because he couldn't be bothered to look past that and do research to see what this site was always about. Of course, if I want to defend myself against such claims, I'm free to go prove myself innocent. That's one of the "concessions." How kind. Awesome! I am well and truly done now. I hate every last bit of this.
After deciding that he would instead take a more nonchalant approach, he changed the text to this:
Awesome! Guess I deserve this for being one of the few sites that actually allows for debate.
... not to mention stealth redaction.
Yet Another Damned Update!
A bit more context for those who need it: I've been debating at Protein Wisdom for two years and received a ridiculously viscous and incompetent reaction. Today I put up an article detailing some examples of this nonsense and discussing the implications; even before the article went up, Goldstein and others were denouncing it as a "hit piece," calling into question my journalistic ethics, and otherwise being wacky. Goldstein also announced that he was so upset that he'd be taking down his blog, but then apparently decided that he wasn't coming off as non-chalant as he'd like and edited the comment to that end. I'd already linked to the comment and responded to it, so when I discovered it'd been altered, I put up a screen cap of the original, more silly version. I took the pic in the first place because I've seen him get into internet squabbles a number of times and have noticed that he has a tendency to change his own words after the fact when those words turn out to be inconvenient. It was a hell of a weekend, really.