Commenting on Dallman’s Site: Updated

I put a comment on Matthew’s site to this post of his calling Obama a liar on public finance. The comment stated much of what I expanded on in this post I wrote. In much shorter form but the basic argument was the same.

Ie, the comment stated that I thought Obama was wrong (hypocritical was my word, liar was his–which to my mind isn’t a real big distinction but whatever) but that McCain was worse because he broke his own law.

So Matthew edited the comment to read as follows:

I agree that this move is hypocritical.

Which was in fact my first sentence however it totally is taken out of context and the entire rest of my argument, that McCain was worse, is gone. So it looks like I basically agree with him that Obama is a bad guy. Nice. It also allows him not to have deal with the McCain is in violation of campaign finance charge. Rather than deal with that he just deletes it.

Here is Matthew’s Comments Policy:

Comments Policy: Comments are welcome as long as each is point-driven, and responsible (i.e., able to be responded to). Wordy comments may be edited for length and readability. The authors of this site will make every attempt to respond to questions and comments. Odds increase in direct proportion to the amount of reason and logic contained in the comments. Odds decrease in direction proportion to the lack thereof, as well as the amount of cheap, hollow rhetoric that currently pollutes the blogosphere. The authors of this site reserve the right to delete any comment they deem useless to discussion and the search for truth. Rock’n’roll.

I should have known better than to not keep a copy of my original reply as this has happened before. The first time I thought it was just a fluke (like a bug with WordPress) but clearly that was wrong.

The comment I made was like 3-4 paragraphs at the most, was clearly related to the topic at hand, and was easily understandable. Also could be easily responded to (including disagreeing with me which I was open to hearing an argument on).

As in: Obama did wrong. McCain broke his own campaign finance law which is way worse in my book. Nobody looks good, but there’s really no comparison and McCain has no leg to stand on calling somebody else a hypocrite because he has no clean hands on this one. So if you are going to call Obama out on this, be balanced and criticize McCain as well.

You might not agree with that argument, but does anyone not understand its basic logical structure? If so, let me know, and I’ll be happy to clarify.

The comment in sum was deleted/edited so that it agreed with his ideological pov. Or at least didnt’ threaten it. So if anyone sees that comment, that is not my full view on the matter. See my post linked above for that.

[If he wants to make the argument that the comment violated one of his rules (and was therefore rightly edited), he needs to make that claim (with some evidence to back it up).] I think it violates both the letter and the spirit of his own rules.

I made a second reply the full comment of which should read (we’ll see if he keeps it up in full):****

That was a neat trick editing out the rest of the comment where I wrote about how McCain broke the law and compared that as worse than Obama. That’s pathetic dude. I know you have your “wordy comments may be edited for length” shtick but that wasn’t what you were doing and you know it.

Wow. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C

His comments policy should reflect the reality of editing comments to fit his ideological viewpoint, especially ones that criticize said viewpoint (and perhaps with some basis/touch a nerve). You only need peruse his blog for a couple minutes to see what his position on Obama is and how one-sided the presentation is (including lots of ignoring McCain flaws as above).

But anyway the main point is that it’s not a safe site to post on imo.

**** Update. As I write, (and not unexpectedly sad to say) the second comment has already been deleted in full. Link here. So the reader can either trust me that the quotation I placed above was my original second response and that my first one had been massively deleted/turned upside down or not.

But either way, I’m done posting there.

Update II:  Matthew wrote me and said that the reason the original comment was edited was because the rest (i.e. the stuff about McCain) was irrelevant.  Let the reader decide.  I think obviously it is relevant but whatever.  imo It would have been better to just delete the whole thing instead of spin it to say its opposite (which just so happens to pretty much mirror his views).

Published in: on June 20, 2008 at 9:59 am  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Comments Policy Posted by cjsmith under Uncategorized   Just in case I get a little blow back from the last post, I thought I should make clear my comments […]

  2. Chris,

    before i pass judgment, i’ll give MD the benefit of the doubt until i hear his side. it’s possible that it could be a technical fluke. who knows?

    however, in general, editing a comment without at least notifying the author is just obviously unethical and, um, PATHETIC. the comment is the intellectual property of the author. might as well delete the entire comment if you don’t agree with it.

    and yeah, it’s good practice to keep a copy of lengthy comments. or better yet, just blog your response and do a trackback instead.

    speaking of commenting, i understand that this is your choice. but forcing me to login to wordpress to post a comment is so very inconvenient 😉

    allow me to share my own commenting policy. i’m very lenient with comments. i only delete comment if it is an outright spam. i don’t care if people attack me or stray out of topic. their comments reflect more on them than my blog. the more they say stupid things the more i keep them up for the world to see. but that’s just me 😉 fortunately, i only get very few comments on my site because i only have a handful of readers anyway 😉

    that is all.


  3. C4,

    thanks for the note. sorry for the inconvenience but awhile back I had some problems with comments. Do you know of a way (i’ve looked but haven’t figured out) to maybe take that requirement off in your case? On wordpress. Like a safe list or something?

    If there is such a way, let me know, and I’ll definitely do it.


  4. hehe. no big deal. it’s just me being lazy 😉

    however, there’s an option to accept Open-Id logins for commenting. check this out.

    that said, i see the advantage of logging into wordpress because i can keep track of all my comments on wordpress blogs while logged into wordpress. nice.


  5. “Matthew wrote me and said that the reason the original comment was edited was because the rest (i.e. the stuff about McCain) was irrelevant.”

    first, editing a comment to change the context is just downright unethical.

    second, the deleted part of your comment was not irrelevant. you’re comparing the level of hypocricy between Obama and McCain. by deleting the McCain part of your comment you seem to agree wholely with Dallman’s original post, which is not the case.

    this is called spinning. i’m disappointed that MD would excuse his action instead of publicly apologizing.


  6. P.S. speaking of which, i think your post about Obama and McCain was very thoughtful and well-argued.

    i agree with your premise.


  7. C4,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    peace bro.


  8. I left a comment for Matthew that, while not directly related to his post about Obama being a parody, I did think was fairly thoughtful and was certainly respectful. The comment was about wanting to see Matthew spend more time elucidating his support for McCain, which he is very good at doing and I always learn a lot from him when he does, and less time heckling Obama. The entire post has been removed, comments and all. So I’m not entirely sure what to think about that.

    Matthew is a really smart guy and has an understanding of the underpinnings of American government and the conservative strand thereof that blows me away. I can’t help feeling like his tendency to write post after post calling Obama names and reciting talking points is a waste of that formidable intelligence. It always very instructive and helpful to find a viewpoint that is well thought out and well articulated. Even if you disagree with 99% of what is said, saying it with a degree of subtlety and complexity helps to round out one’s understanding and challenge one’s assumptions.

    We need more of this type of conversation, or, at least, it is this type of conversation that I’m hungry for. I felt like Matthew was really contributing to that conversation, but lately it feels like he’s dropped out of the race. Too bad, we’re poorer for it.



  9. Scott, perhaps your browser is experiencing a problem of some kind, but the post of which I believe you speak not only was never deleted, but I responded on it to you, this morning.


  10. Thanks for the email and this comment Matthew. Again, my sincerest apologies for what was, obviously, my mistake.



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