‘Twas sock puppets killed the beast

posted at 11:14 pm on April 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

Well, not killed. “Grievously wounded,” maybe.

Suspended without pay, column cancelled, blog shut down. Over sock puppets.

If they’re going to go that far, why not just fire him? It smells like the Times recognizes his credibility is shot but doesn’t want to pull the trigger on a guy who won them a Pulitzer — and whose termination would be a regarded by some as a feather in the cap of the blogosphere in general and their bete noire in particular. So you end up with an odd compromise in which Hiltzik is publicly humiliated by the paper even while it reaffirms its association with him. And Patterico gets a scalp he doesn’t want. Bizarre.

I thought suspending his site was sufficient. Not because what he did wasn’t wrong, but because blogging is already too dangerous, as my boss knows only too well. If he’d plagiarized, defamed someone, or invented facts to support his stories, that’d be one thing. Being a wanker in need of an occasional comment-section security blanket is something else. Especially when you’ve already been caught and publicly disciplined by the Times’s own personal wanker police.

So: free Hiltzik. I guess. Now, let’s see what the Times does about a new blog.

Update: If you’re new to this story, there’s background here.

Breaking on Hot Air



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This is the best comment I have seen yet on today’s Hiltzik events. But then, you and I see this issue pretty much the same.

Patterico on April 28, 2006 at 11:41 PM

Sock Puppets? Is that the new term? Sounds like Demosthenes and Locke to me. If you like Science Fiction…

reflexx on April 29, 2006 at 12:43 AM

It sure shows you what the lazy print media thinks of the blogosphere, when it carefully calculates a move that under normal circumstances is fairly straightforward. Sort of how the Clintoons did not make any public move without exploring every possible political angle, then choosing the move that benefits them the most, regardless of any previous move and without any though to what possible move they will have to make next.

Hiltzig will resurface when the LASlimes think the coast is clear.

geekrunner on April 29, 2006 at 5:06 PM

mikekoshi and nofanofcablecos are no Demosthenes and Locke. They are merely a game ender.

inmanjh on April 30, 2006 at 1:55 AM

Ouabam on November 30, 2006 at 12:53 AM