Unfortunately, Robert Farago’s unpublicized comment-editing does not end there.
I left this comment over at TTAG as a response to an incendiary article about who should and should not have the right to defend themselves.
“Short version of this article: “I’m ok, you’re seriously messed up”.
Slightly longer version of this article: “Look, I’ve had 20 people look at me cross-eyed, so I know I can handle a gun in an emergency. The rest of you can’t, and I know this because I am better at this than you are. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And even though I give a great example of someone like you who handled things correctly, he’s the exception to the rest of you brain-dead schmucks. And he’s the exception because I say so. The rest of you guys can’t handle things as well as he did. So there.
Look, I understand that this site needs a certain amount of, ah, stimulating conversation, but some editorial oversight is necessary, lest TTAG become TMZ with guns.”
The problem is, that’s not how the article appears on the site: The critique (offered up in good faith) was edited out.
Now, compare what ExurbanKevin says he wrote to what is displayed on TTAG:
As he says, the criticism he specifically leveled against TTAG and its editorial practices was removed, although, amusingly, the criticisms he leveled against MikeB302000’s idiotic post at TTAG were allowed to remain. Apparently Robert only has a thin skin when it is his skin on the line.
ExurbanKevin goes on to say,
Blogs are only effective when they listen to and respond to user comments. Blogs that don’t do this are echo chambers, not centers of honest discussion.
Just so. By editing out any comments or parts of comments that may appear to be critical of the site, the way the site is run, or the editorial practices of the site, Robert is creating the false impression that all the commenters and readers at TTAG are happy with the site as a whole. Obviously this perception is important to Robert, since he needs to be able to show his advertisers a high-traffic, popular, positively-viewed site in order to make his money, but that perception is as hollow as the mythical Potemkin Villages of yore.
The true irony of Robert’s iron grip on the comments at TTAG will become apparent as you read farther through this post and learn about Robert decrying pro-rights authors for supposedly “denying readers access to original source material” by not linking to anti-rights weblogs. Apparently it is wholly acceptable for Robert to deny his readership the “original source material” of people who disagree with the way he is running his site, however.