The Times’ site has amassed over 2,000 comments regarding the execution of Saddam Hussein in the last 36 hours. The sentiment of the majority appears to denounce the practice of execution and the rapid manner in which Hussein met his fate following a “farcical” trial. Reactions ranged from: “bin Laden is next,” to “this is a sad, sad day.”
There are a TON of comments. Most are devoid of hyperlinks (although a couple odd ones from the shady-right partisan informationclearinghouse Web site snuck into a couple) and despite an abundance of typos and poor spelling, I didn’t notice any “bad words” at first glance.
However, my interest is piqued by comment #2032:
I submitted, today at 11:20 am, a comment criticizing the fact that links to videos concerning the execution of Saddam Hussein in yesterday and todayâ€™s web edition of the New York Times are coupled with advertisements, in video and image form, for the new film about Idi Amin, â€œThe Last King of Scotlandâ€. Criticism of coverage and its presentation is absolutely pertinent to this issue, and should not be suppressed. Let us not forget that support among the US public of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was due largely to a campaign of misinformation by the Bush administration, made possible – with only too few exceptions – by cooperation from the US media. Nonetheless, after seeing my comment listed as number 1953 below the heading, â€œYour comment is awaiting moderationâ€, it has not appeared on the page of comments one hour later, despite the fact that numerous comments submitted afterwards have been posted. I therefore invite your readers to see my comments about the coverage of the New York Times in the coming days on the website of the Atlantic Free Press, to which I am a contributor, if this criticism continues to be censored from the NYT comments page.
posted on December 31st, 2006 at 12:29 pm
The commenters originally moderated comment 1953 has not since appeared. Minutes later, another commenter adds, “It seems that the NYT has decided to take side rather than just delivering news and let Americans speak their mind.”
Shortly after that, theh posting of comments appears to have been halted. As I write this (5:57pm EST) the last posted comment is from 12:40pm EST, despite a standing invitation on the NYT Home page for fresh comments.
I’m very interesting in learning about the Times’ policies regarding readers’ comments and who/what disqualifies particular content from being posted. Anyone? Calame, are you reading?
A happy, healthy new year, readers!