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An update for those who have been following the Deborah Howell fiasco:

  1. She posted a response on the Washington Post blog. She's completely unapologetic, and insists on her lies.

  2. Once again the commenters in the blog were calling her and the Post on it. Last I saw there were already over 200 comments to her latest post.

  3. The comments have now disapeared, replaced by an 'email your comments' link instead.

  4. Even more scandalous, the nearly 1000 comments that her original column had sparked on the 'Maryland Moment' post have now also been removed (some other posts that also had related comments seem to have been purged altogether). Many people in those comments had thoroughly and factually documented her lies, and well as the partisanship and mendaciousness of Steno Sue, Kurtz, Willis, and Leen (it actually made for a great read: amusing but also one the most detailed factual accounts I've seen of Abramoff, K-Street Project, etc.)

This is nothing short of a scandal!

Link: Washington Post Blog

A quick backgrounder... It started with a shocking column by the Washington Post's Ombudsman that includes this quote among others: "And he [Abramoff] had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties." (See, for instance, Media Matters last Sunday.) Howell's writings have been transparently partisan (when not just plain odd) before, but this outright factual lie coming out of an Ombudsman takes the meaning of media bias to a whole new level.

Also on the case: firedoglake, Crooks and Liars (both written before the great comment-purge to keep us proles in our place).

See also front page of Media Matters.

A partial collection of the original (and now purged) comments that someone wisely saved: WaPo Lies blog.

And someone at DU was wise enough to save the comments to Howell's latest post!

(Thanks to skywriter and back2basics.)

The Executive Editor explains why they shut down the comments. In short: a few people were rude, so we're going use that as an excuse to delete every single comment that exposed and documented our lies.

It's all over Romenesko as well, so there's going to be a lot of talk in journalism circles about this...

The Your Post blog is still open for comments. I suggest you be as harsh as you feel this merits, but leave out the cursing (that way if they shut down comments in their other blogs they'll have to make up some other excuse).

Originally posted to miholo on Thu Jan 19, 2006 at 01:20 PM PST.

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