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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Horribly Misguided NewsBusters Post Disappears Without Explanation
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post, David Lanza wrote:

Yesterday, The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters story that referred to the Obama administration's plan to impose "backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families." Reuters described the rate hikes that will take effect if previous tax cuts are allowed to expire:


While the Reuters' report is fair enough despite the ominous content, the problem arose when Reuters pulled the story later in the day without explanation. (see screencap above at right). Those who browse to the old link find only a brief notice stating that the article was removed and will be replaced later in the week. (The story was reprinted later that day by Power Line blog, which provides the source for the above quoted portion.)

A major wire story detailing large tax increases on the middle class during an election year would seem to be big news. Yet scarcely an eye was batted when this story disappeared.  The administration can ill afford to be seen as raising taxes on the middle class during a recession when the President's Congressional majority is already imperilled. Reuters should be made to explain why this story disappeared.

As Media Matters detailed, Reuters did explain why it pulled the story -- because it's false. Its claim that the Obama would not extend the Bush tax credits for those making under $250,000 is not true. A Reuters sppokesman is quoted as saying, "It definitely was not up to our standards. It had significant errors of fact." Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute pointed out the article's "appalling inaccuracies."

How did NewsBusters react to Lanza's post getting shot down in such a definitive fashion? It deleted the post entirely -- it's been replaced by an "Access denied" alert. But never fear, here's a copy of it as it appeared at the OutLoudOpinion site:

Despite the post being live for several hours, NewsBusters has not posted an explanation of why it was removed or apologized for the errors in it.

To put it another way: NewsBusters did to Lanza's post what Lanza (falsely) accused Reuters of doing. Shouldn't NewsBusters follow Reuters' example and explain to its readers why it deleted Lanza's post?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:43 PM EST

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