What's a good way to get yourself kicked out of the NewsBusters comment thread? Tell the truth.
On May 3, Matthew Sheffield wrote a NewsBusters post headlined "Top Magazine Award Given for Fraudulently Edited ‘47 Percent’ Video." Shortly thereafter, the headline was rewritten without explanation to change "Fraudulently Edited" to "Journalistically Questionable." Here's a screenshot from a Google search for the original headline to prove that it did indeed exist, however briefly:
We pointed out the headline change in a comment on the post, which was quickly deleted without explanation.
Sheffield's post criticized the awarding of a magazine award to Mother Jones magazine for its release of the surreptitiously recorded Mitt Romney "47 percent" video. Sheffield claimed that Mother Jones showed "dishonesty" in claiming he had posted the entire video when there was an approximate 2-minute gap due to the recorder being inadvertently turned off. Sheffield then recounted an unproven right-wing conspiracy theory that "the gap in the recording was made during post-production." Sheffield concluded that "In light of all of the above information, it is quite clear that David Corn and Mother Jones should not be given an award for their release of the Romney 47 percent video."
But right-wing videographers have a much deeper -- and documented -- history of selectively editing videos:
- James O'Keefe has a history of promoting false claims through his selectively edited undercover videos.
- Lila Rose's anti-Planned Parenthood campaign is littered with selectively edited videos that suggest claims not supported by the full video (which, of course, is released some time afterwards).
When we pointed this on in the comment thread, our comments were deleted shortly afterwards. When we asked why our comments were being deleted, we were locked out of the thread, and that comment was deleted as well. See all those "This comment was deleted" statements? Those were ours.
To our knowledge, we did not violate NewsBusters commenting guidelines, nor did we engage in abusive or trolling behavior. There may be, however, some double-secret guidelines prohibiting any criticism or truth-telling about conservatives -- and that's where we may have gotten into trouble.
We've contacted NewsBusters for an explantion but have not received any response. But given that the Media Research Center's prime mission the past couple years has been to shout down or censor any criticism of a conservative in the media, no matter how accurate, that may be all the explanation we'll get.
Censoring someone for telling the truth runs counter to the MRC's campaign of attacking others for alleged censorship. Such blatant hypocrisy hurts the MRC's credibility as well, but since when has it been worried about that?