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Monday, May 17, 2010
MRC's Waters Outs His Secret Commenting Identity: Will MRC Punish Him?
Topic: Media Research Center

Via Romenesko, we learn that Clay Waters, operator of the Media Research Center's TimesWatch, accidentally (maybe) posted the same comment on a Columbia Journalism Review article under both his own name and that of a pseudonym, "SamTyler."

This obviously raises serious ethical questions -- namely, why is a supposedly professional media analyst resorting to pseudonymous media criticism on media websites?  It is, at a minimum, clearly unprofessional.

Yet, we have as of this writing seen no response from the MRC regarding this, or it Waters has been disciplined for his unprofessional behavior. Meanwhile, Waters has continued to post items at TimesWatch, suggesting that any discipline, if indeed there was any, was mild at best.

The MRC's silence is strange given that it has a record of disdaining the use of pseudonyms -- a 1989 MRC article was offended to find out that the person who wrote for CJR under the name William Boot was not using his real name.

Ah, the irony: Writing for CJR under a fake name was offensive, but Waters sees no apparent problem hiding his real identity when commenting at CJR.

UPDATE: The scandal grows: Turns out that Waters, as "SamTyler," has posted comments at his nemesis (and our employer), Media Matters, despite the fact that the "MRC, as a rule, doesn’t comment on Media Matters."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010 3:19 PM EDT

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