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Reports Of Malia Obama’s Trip To Mexico Scrubbed From News Sites

If you happened to see pictures of the First Family walking across Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Sunday morning, you would have noticed that one person was missing. The Obama’s eldest daughter was not with the family, and when I happened to see a clip from the pool camera on Sunday afternoon on CNN or some such channel, no mention was made of why she wasn’t there. It wasn’t until later that day that I happened across a news item via a link on Twitter that Malia Obama was on a spring Break trip with classmates to Mexico. This raised some eyebrows, apparently, because of the ongoing violence in Mexico itself and existing State Department Travel Advisories. The article I read, which I didn’t make particular note of, noted that there was a full contingent of Secret Service and Mexican police with the First Daughter’s group. Like I said, I didn’t think much of it, let the kid have a good time.

Then, yesterday, the story started to disappear from the Internet:

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama’s daughter was vacationing abroad, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites .The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled “Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail,” as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to the Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading “page not found.” The International Business Times story also links to the IBT homepage, though a version of the original story still exists here.

The First Lady’s Director of Communications confirms that this was the result of a White House effort, or at least that it happened after the White House had spoken with members of the media:

From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest. We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.

This is a fair point, and quite obviously the safety of Malia Obama and those accompanying her should be of the highest priority. There was a time when a story like this never would have been published at all, and perhaps that’s the choice that the media should have made here. But, they didn’t, and as Techdirt points out there’s something a little troublesome about how the aftermath of this was handled:

[S]imply having the article disappear completely, rather than putting up a correction or an explanation of what happened, simply fuels both the conspiracy theories and the interest in the story. It’s exactly the wrong way to go about dealing with the situation. There are a variety of possibilities here. The administration may have asked the press to pull the story, which would only generate more interest in the news. The AFP, upon realizing that it shouldn’t have posted the story, may have issued a kill order/retraction of sorts. Or perhaps there’s some other reasoning. But there are good ways to handle these situations and ways that are guaranteed to backfire. Simply making the articles disappear is pretty much guaranteed to backfire and generate more interest in the story, even if it’s a total non-story. Replacing the original story with a “hey, we thought this, but we got it wrong,” would have been much more effective.

Eugene Volokh goes on to point out that there were better ways to handle this matter, such as redacting the story to omit references to the exact location where the party was vacationing and the nature of the security being provided, that makes sense. But pulling story without explanation after it’s already been published widely around the Internet doesn’t really strike me as a good journalistic practice.

As a general rule, politicians kids should be off limits and the comings and goings of a 13 year old are hardly news (although the consequences of something going wrong on a trip like of this are rather apparent, I think). That said, once something is reported the media ought to do more than just memory hole the story without explanation.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    If it’s a story they shouldn’t have run in the first place, then why not scrub it?

    What standard of “good journalistic practice” are you applying here? Or are you, like Volokh, pulling it out of your ass so as to score some dumbass political point?

    Maybe a terrorist attack that kills Malia Obama and half her class will make the blogs happy. Because at least FREEDOM WILL BE SAFE!!!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 28

  2. mantis says:

    This raised some eyebrows, apparently, because of the ongoing violence in Mexico itself and existing State Department Travel Advisories.

    Ok, but the entire nation of Mexico is not a warzone. The kids apparently went to Oaxaca. Here’s the State Dept. advisory for that state: “No warning is in effect.”

    The right is in full blown conspiracy theory mode about this. TBogg’s collecting the theories thus far. The best one so far: Obama sent his daughter to Mexico so she would be murdered (because apparently everyone who goes to Mexico ends up dead) and this would get him sympathy votes. No mention of birth certificates yet.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 9

  3. Jim Treacher says:

    If it’s a story they shouldn’t have run in the first place, then why not scrub it?

    Orwell wept.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 31 Thumb down 22

  4. PJ says:

    @mantis:

    No mention of birth certificates yet.

    Malia was working on a report that would show that her father’s birth certificate was a forgery.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

  5. Anderson says:

    @Jim Treacher: Apparently, Treacher, you have never actually read Orwell, or you would recognize that there is nothing “Orwellian” here.

    I welcome citations to particular passages from Orwell that would refute my point.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 25

  6. Jim Treacher says:

    @Anderson: No, there’s nothing in any of Orwell’s work about erasing history and throwing it down, oh, let’s call it a memory hole.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 17

  7. Anderson says:

    Orwell wrote about the erasing of history by a totalitarian dictatorship as an instrument of oppression. So no, I’m not making the Orwell connection here.

    If my medical records are wrongly posted online and I get a court order scrubbing them, then “history” has been “erased,” and it’s even more “Orwellian” by your pitiful defintiion, since the government (the court) is commanding it. You call it “Orwellian”; I call it “privacy.”

    Had you actually read Nineteen Eighty-Four, you might have noticed that the elimination of individual privacy is a pillar of the regime.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 30

  8. Jim Treacher says:

    @Anderson: “It’s different when WE do it.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 19

  9. PJ says:

    This has more layers than an onion, this is obviously a smoke screen by the MSM, they report that she’s Mexico and then scrubs it, just to fool the hard working, basement dwelling, right wing bloggers.
    She’s actually spending the time in a madrasah in Pakistan.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 8

  10. jd says:

    Citation needed: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_hole

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. Jim Treacher says:

    @jd: “It’s different if it’s called something different.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 12

  12. Joey says:

    @Anderson “Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.” Winston Smith’s job at the Ministry of Truth involved scrubbing the news from The Times. How can you not get what Treacher’s talking about? Are you deliberately being obtuse or do you not know what an analogy is?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7

  13. Anderson says:

    @Joey: If you want to talk about “deliberately being obtuse,” let’s look at what you just wrote:

    Winston Smith’s job at the Ministry of Truth involved scrubbing the news from The Times.

    Perhaps you are unaware that a “ministry” is a government entity. Smith, who works for the govenment, is not *asking* the Times to scrub anything. It’s force, not persuasion.

    No news agency was under any obligation to comply with the White House’s request, which did not have the force of law.

    If the difference between “please don’t run this item about the president’s daughter” and “you are legally required to remove this item, or face punishment” is unclear to you … well, I’m not sure who could explain it to you.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 20

  14. Jim Treacher says:

    @Anderson: “It’s different because it was phrased more politely.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 14

  15. Joey says:

    “If the difference between “please don’t run this item about the president’s daughter” and “you are legally required to remove this item, or face punishment” is unclear to you … well, I’m not sure who could explain it to you.”

    “He loved Big Brother.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

  16. Joey says:

    “We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation . . . we make the brain perfect before we blow it out.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  17. force_quit says:

    @Anderson: It must be different because the girl’s last name isn’t Palin. Right?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 11

  18. Anderson says:

    @Joey: Wow. That quotation is so completely unlike the facts in question that it actually proves my point.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

  19. James says:

    @Joey: Orwell’s point was about a government’s manufacturing of reality though a control of information and language. This is about security concerns for a minor child. You and Jim Treacher are completely off base here.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 18

  20. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: “It’s different because think of the children!”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 25 Thumb down 17

  21. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Um…yes. It’s completely different.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 13

  22. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Um… assertion noted.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 10

  23. bandit says:

    @Anderson: You might make sense if you took Obama’s balls out of your mouth.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 24

  24. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Your reading of 1984 seems below the 12th grade level:

    The Party controls every source of information, managing and rewriting the content of all newspapers and histories for its own ends. The Party does not allow individuals to keep records of their past, such as photographs or documents. As a result, memories become fuzzy and unreliable, and citizens become perfectly willing to believe whatever the Party tells them. By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past. And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

  25. Anderson says:

    @bandit: Let’s see, surely my blog provides examples of my Obama worship … here … and here … and here ….

    I guess the dog picture is supposed to lower our intellectual expectations of Bandit?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  26. James says:

    @bandit: Classy. As always.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  27. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: “It’s different because it’s not that bad yet.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 11

  28. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: “It’s different because I will be as literal-minded as I need to be to deny admitting any similarity.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 10

  29. Interested Conservative says:

    Q. What kind of parents would send their barely teenage child on a vacation to a place the State Dept. just warned against traveling to based on security and crime risks?

    A. The kind whose child has 11 like minded friends’ parents and a security detail exceeding the number of those on vacation.

    Children off limits? Ask Willow.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

  30. Jim Treacher says:

    There’s nothing Orwellian about this because it’s not actually called Minitrue.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

  31. James says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    “It’s different because […]

    Well, let’s see:
    Different. adj.
    1. not alike in character or quality; differing; dissimilar: The two are different.
    2. not identical; separate or distinct: three different answers.
    3. various; several: Different people told me the same story.
    4. not ordinary; unusual.

    Yes, I would say Orwell’s theme of government monopoly on information and security concerns over the president’s daughter would be “not alike in character or quality” or “not identical”.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 14

  32. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: And therefore there’s no similarity whatsoever. Come on, it’s not like this is George Bush we’re talking about.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

  33. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Yes, “therefore there is no similarity whatsoever”. You don’t understand Orwell’s work beyond your want to use it as a cudgel against your political adversaries. If Orwell is weeping, it is because of your butchering of his work.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 15

  34. Janis Gore says:

    Drudge still has the story up at noon CST.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  35. PJ says:

    @Janis Gore:

    Drudge still has the story up at noon CST.

    Well, if this is as Orwellian as some seems to think, then I guess Drudge will be sent off to some kind of re-educational camp or death panel any minute now.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

  36. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: It’s tellingly humorous that you bring up George W. Bush, given he took notes right out of IngSoc’s playbook.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 13

  37. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: There you go, I knew you’d change your tune.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 10

  38. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: If it’s not the same in every particular, then there is no similarity whatsoever. We get it. Try to relax.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 9

  39. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: You understand my position as well as Orwell’s. You’re also making a logically fallacy even a freshman undergrad would catch.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 12

  40. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Quite relaxed, thank you. Although I’m not sure how that’s related to your failures as a literary critic.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 14

  41. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    It’s clearly not “Orwellian” because 1984 is a work of fiction, and this is real life.

    No comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  42. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Oh, of course you are, hon. Of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  43. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Oh, sweetie. It’s okay. Take a breath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  44. Rob in CT says:

    Given that this is the kid of a sitting POTUS, I can understand the concern, and the request (apparently originally made in a general sort of way before this). But, since the story came out, it seems rather unlikely that a terrorist/kidnapper/whatever will now not know Malia is in Mexico, because news agencies yanked the story… the ‘net will keep it alive, if only as a curiosity (this seems to be Volokh’s point). Maybe asking that they omit any specific locations, as Volokh suggests, would have worked better. Maybe not – maybe the ‘net would keep alive the original location reports (if any). Maybe the Treachers of the world would still rant and rave about 1984 even in that instance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  45. Jim Treacher says:

    @Rob in CT: Oh no, you can’t give an inch. The White House and these news outlets did absolutely nothing wrong, they handled this perfectly, or else you’re a wingnut.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 10

  46. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James

    If this situation is identical in all details to the situations described in Orwell’s book 1984 then the situation can be described as “Orwellian”.

    The situation differs in some ways from the situations described in Orwell’s book 1984.

    Therefore the situation cannot be described as “Orwellian.”

    This seems to be the basis of your argument against describing this as Orwellian. Seems to me that you’re the one denying the antecedent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

  47. James says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    hon

    sweetie

    With kind words like this, how could I not be relaxed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  48. Janis Gore says:

    So has Drudge received a request or threat from the White House to take the story down? He doesn’t say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  49. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Please don’t be like that, dear.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 11

  50. James says:

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria:
    The situation differs in some all ways from the situations described in Orwell’s book 1984.

    @Jim Treacher: Like what Jim? Slightly creeped out?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  51. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: There, there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  52. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James:

    When similarities are pointed out to you, you deny them.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see, I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  53. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Exhausted your analytic abilities already?

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria: Just because similarities are asserted, it doesn’t mean they are substantiated. Go read 1984 again, or at least the SparkNotes (I left the link upthread). Find the part where Orwell decries legitimate security concerns for the minor children of high ranking public officials.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  54. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Please try to calm down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  55. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James:

    Find the part where Orwell decries legitimate security concerns for the minor children of high ranking public Party officials.

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  56. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Please try to make an actual point.

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria: Only you not “fix” anything, that’s not even factually correct. The Presidency is a public office.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  57. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: You seem upset.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  58. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: You seem bored Jim. Why not pick up 1984, and tell where I can find the part where Orwell decries legitimate security concerns for the minor children of high ranking public officials?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  59. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Are you going to be okay?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  60. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James:

    If I understand you, you are saying that because there is arguably a legitimate reason to do it, then it’s a good thing to do and cannot be likened to anything derogatory that may or may not be similar in any place within the universe of history or of the imagination.

    Even if I agree with you that the security of minors is a legitimate reason to scrub this story (and I do) I can still recognize the ironic similarity to the type of Party-approved historical scrubbing (especially of newspapers) that was the profession of the main character of a novel written by Orwell.

    Are you seriously saying that you don’t see this? You seem like a smart fellow, in that you can string words together in a meaningful way. But if you literally cannot understand why this situation might cause somebody be reminded of Orwell, you’ll have failed the Turing test.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

  61. WR says:

    I guess James Treacher was worried that we were lonely over here, so he not only popped in for a visit, he brought all his sock puppets to vote up his comments. Thanks, Jim!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 12

  62. David M says:

    Are they still on vacation there? If so, that would seem to explain the entire story being pulled. Anyways, the story has no news value, so memory hole or not, it’s hard to care about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  63. Interested Conservative says:

    7.9 earthquake just struck Oaxaca. Coincidence?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  64. Jim Treacher says:

    @WR: You’re welcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

  65. James says:

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria: Thanks for the response. As you your question:

    you are saying that because there is arguably a legitimate reason to do it, then it’s a good thing to do and cannot be likened to anything derogatory that may or may not be similar in any place within the universe of history or of the imagination.

    No, that is not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that the fictional (yet cautionary) events Orwell depicted in 1984 have no substantive similarities with the redaction of the location of Malia Obama’s vacation. The very fact that we’re having a blog post and a comment thread on this very issue proves this, ipso facto. Orwells point was that IngSoc controlled all media, communications and language, and therefore had a totalitarianism grip on Eurasia’s polity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

  66. Janis Gore says:

    How would a news outlet write a retraction? What would it look like?

    “The White House has requested that we delay reporting on their daughter’s vacation trip abroad until she and her friends (school group, whatever) have returned to the United States. They are concerned about the security of the children.”

    Or something?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  67. James says:

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria:

    But if you literally cannot understand why this situation might cause somebody be reminded of Orwell, you’ll have failed the Turing test.

    Reminded of Orwell, sure. But that doesn’t give you license to shoehorn it into the themes of Orwell’s 1984

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  68. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James:

    The very fact that we’re having a blog post and a comment thread on this very issue proves this, ipso facto.

    All this actually proves is that Winston Smith called in sick today (Julia must be free.)

    We’ll see what he gets up to tomorrow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  69. James says:

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria: A nonsensical comment. You’re free to claim something is “Orwellian”, but then you need to actually substantiate the claim.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

  70. Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria says:

    @James:

    I’m sorry that my thoughts haven’t yet been constrained in the approved way. I’ll wait to get my license before I express myself again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  71. James says:

    @Prokaryotic Cyanobacteria: No license needed. Just a dose of critical thought, maybe with some citations mixed in for flavor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

  72. Interested Conservative says:

    1984 may be the lesser reference needed for this discussion. Perhaps “Politics and the English Language” is the more apt Orwell work.

    Is this episode Orwellian? Sure. Excessively so? No. Worrisome? A wee bit. Common? As dirt.

    Still, it reflects badly on all involved, and deservedly so, so far. There are certainly other sides to the story unexplored, and likely the WH prefers to leave it at that, and justifiably so.

    The double standard always rankles, and what Orwell argues is that clear writing exposes and corrects that. Clear writing and clear thinking complement one another, and suppressing one suppresses the other. And suppression found a great antagonist in Orwell. We’re free to use him as needed, and should.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  73. James says:

    @WR: I bear my downvotes with pride.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  74. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Another day, another infestation from Right Wingnutopia, another set of dingbats abusing the rating feature. Hot Air, Weird Protein, and now The Daily Caller. Dough and Stephen sure know how to lure them in.

    Good on you, James, for standing your ground.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  75. Rob in CT says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    No. They did not handle it perfectly.

    I’m not actually sure what perfectly handling this issue would entail.

    But yes, you are a wingnut. That’s been established before. The fact that you’ve posed approximately a million times in this thread also reinforces it.

    While I don’t cosign it, here is what a non-wingnut take looks like:

    Is this episode Orwellian? Sure. Excessively so? No. Worrisome? A wee bit. Common? As dirt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  76. Jim Treacher says:

    @Rob in CT: And then what happened?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  77. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Your indignation makes me happy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

  78. James says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    Your indignation makes me happy.

    Spoken like the mature adult you oh so clearly are.

    How did the reading go? Did you find any relevant passages you’d like to cite?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

  79. Anderson says:

    Thanks, James – the real world detained me this afternoon. I see the flying monkeys have been busy.

    Calling this incident “Orwellian” is like seeing a roach in one’s kitchen and going “oooh, Kafkaesque!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  80. James says:

    @Anderson: No problem. I had a lazy day unpacking, so I couldn’t resist.

    Calling this incident “Orwellian” is like seeing a roach in one’s kitchen and going “oooh, Kafkaesque!”

    I could not have said it better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  81. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: I apologize for leaving you out, James. You’re amusing as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  82. Jim Treacher says:

    @Anderson: There’s nothing Orwellian about scrubbing a story after it’s already been published. We’ve established that. And if not, don’t worry about it, someone will be along later to clean it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  83. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jim Treacher: Indignation? Oh, no, hon, that was just an expression of bemusement. Your endless repetition schtick is much more tired than the genuine insanity of the Weird Protein people or the total zerg of the Hot Air horde. I’ve been to karaoke nights that displayed more originality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  84. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Don’t apologize Jim. Read your Orwell.

    There’s nothing Orwellian about scrubbing a story after it’s already been published.

    No, there is nothing Orwellian about legitimate security concerns for a minor child of a high ranking public official.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  85. Jim Treacher says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Tell me more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  86. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Yes, we know, nothing at all. Settle down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  87. Anderson says:

    … As an aside, any commenting system that labels as “hot debate” Bandit’s weird comment about “You might make sense if you took Obama’s balls out of your mouth” …

    … well, maybe it’s not the system — it’s just what the system tells me about many of the other commenters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  88. James says:

    @Anderson: Class acts, just like Bandit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  89. Moderate Mom says:

    Trying to completely scrub the story was stupid. It just brings out the conspiracy nuts, but shame on the press for giving in on this one. Once the cat was out of the bag, there was no way to put it back in. The stories should have stayed up, with the location redacted and and correction at the bottom of the story acknowledging and explaining the redaction.

    That said, who is paying for this? Food and lodging for 25 Secret Service Agents in Mexico costs money. Are the Obamas and the parents of the other Sidwell students picking up the tab? How did they get to Mexico? Did they fly commercial, a private jet, or government transport? If government transport, who is paying for that?

    I am not going to try to look it up, but does anyone remember Amy Carter or Chelsea Clinton (the most recent young children to occupy the White House prior to the Obama kids) taking school trips out of the country, without their parents, escorted by Secret Service Agents? I don’t remember it, and I would think I would, just because of the hullabaloo is would have caused.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  90. mantis says:

    Oceania controls all information, including what words people can use, in order to prevent any unorthodox political or social thought.

    The White House requested that a news organization remove a completely apolitical report about the president’s daughter out of concern for her safety and well being.

    Of course they are exactly the same. If you’re a moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  91. Jim Treacher says:

    @mantis: If they’re not exactly the same, there’s no similarity whatsoever. I can understand why you’re so angry.

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  92. Steve V says:

    I could be mistaken in my memory, but I believe during the last administration many online conservatives wanted stories “scrubbed” from the WaPo and NYT sites that included photos of Donald Rumsfeld’s house. Then they learned that Rumsfeld had given permission to have his house photographed and relented. I don’t recall complaints that taking down the stories would be Orwellian.

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  93. jukeboxgrad says:

    treacher:

    There’s nothing Orwellian about scrubbing a story after it’s already been published.

    Also, there’s nothing Orwellian about secretly bribing the press to say what you want them to say. Right? Do you remember Armstrong Williams? Here:

    In January 2005, USA Today reported that documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that Williams had been paid $240,000 to promote the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. USA Today claimed Williams was hired “to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same”.

    And there was more:

    we now know that there have been at least three other cases in which federal agencies have succeeded in placing fake news reports on television during the Bush presidency. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Census Bureau and the Office of National Drug Control Policy have all sent out news “reports” in which, to take one example, fake newsmen purport to be “reporting” why the administration’s Medicare prescription-drug policy is the best thing to come our way since the Salk vaccine. So far two Government Accountability Office investigations have found that these Orwellian stunts violated federal law that prohibits “covert propaganda” purchased with taxpayers’ money. But the Williams case is the first one in which a well-known talking head has been recruited as the public face for the fake news instead of bogus correspondents (recruited from p.r. companies) with generic eyewitness-news team names like Karen Ryan and Mike Morris.

    Surely you agree that Frank Rich’s use of the word “Orwellian” was appropriate, right? Because surely you made similar comments at the time? Help me find them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  94. mantis says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    If they’re not exactly remotely the same, there’s no similarity whatsoever.

    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  95. An Interested Party says:

    I had no idea that Jim Treacher is such an attention whore…something he shares with many of his fellow travelers who visit this blog on a regular basis…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  96. Janis Gore says:

    Nothing is happening at the Daily Caller. He’s trolling this site for creds to put toward his resume for the new post-Breitbart site, Big Bore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  97. Janis Gore says:

    Manufacturing outrage turns out as tedious as manufacturing ball bearings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  98. Anderson says:

    Ohhhh … thanks Janis. I hadn’t even bothered to click the link and find out what a “Jim Treacher” was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  99. Janis Gore says:

    Treacher’s been around for a dozen years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  100. Lucy Davis says:

    The meltdowns from the Obama haters is ridiculous here. Malia went with her classmates on a SCHOOL SPONSORED SERVICE PROJECT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  101. Jim Treacher says:

    @jukeboxgrad: “Quick, look over there!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  102. Jim Treacher says:

    @mantis: NYD.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  103. Jim Treacher says:

    @An Interested Party: My goodness, you certainly are cross.

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  104. Jim Treacher says:

    @Lucy Davis: Oh, that must be why the stories were scrubbed. Because it’s a school trip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  105. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: Temper, temper.

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  106. Janis Gore says:

    We all gettin’ into high dudgeon, ’cause why, Treacher?

    The money angle will be there when the kids and their chaperones come home. No, Oaxaca isn’t particularly dangerous at this time.

    You probably don’t know half the places the Bush girls went because the press did treat them with discretion. What was written about them didn’t put them into danger.

    By the way, how is your knee?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  107. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: If news stories about Malia’s trip would put her in danger, why did they let her go? And is Oaxaca dangerous or not? You can’t seem to make up your mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  108. Janis Gore says:

    Anytime a high-profile child travels, they’re in danger if people know where they are. Did you know the young Barbara Bush’s itinerary in Paraguay? Or whatever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  109. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: I do hope you realize your comments here reflect very poorly on the your and your employer’s professionalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  110. James says:

    ugh.

    eflect very poorly on the your and your employer’s professionalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  111. jukeboxgrad says:

    treacher:

    Quick, look over there!

    No, I’m just pointing out that you’re a partisan hack utterly devoid of consistency or principle. When Bush did stuff with Armstrong Williams et al that was far, far worse, the word “Orwellian” never escaped your lips. Which means you don’t really give a shit about Orwellianism except when you can use the word to express phony partisan outrage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  112. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: Now that you mention it, I didn’t know her itinerary in Paraguay. I also don’t remember a story about it being published and then scrubbed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  113. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: I understood what you meant, sweetie, and your sincere concern is appreciated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  114. Jim Treacher says:

    @jukeboxgrad: No, YOU jump through MY hoops. Or else YOU’RE proving MY point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  115. Janis Gore says:

    So, then, could we say that there is no longer any privacy, Treacher, when every hotelier, waiter and tour guide has a cellphone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  116. An Interested Party says:

    19:58, 19:59, 19:59, 20:01, 20:09, 20:16, 20:48, 20:48, 20:49…

    Thank YOU for proving MY point, sweetness…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  117. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: I suppose you could say that. I’m not sure what it has to do with newspapers and websites scrubbing this story, but you could say it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  118. Jim Treacher says:

    @An Interested Party: You’re welcome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  119. Janis Gore says:

    So, “I is adversarial media.” That’s what you’re saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  120. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: I guess that wondering why this happened, and what the reaction would be if it happened under a different administration, is pretty tough to understand. But I admire your attempts to figure it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  121. Janis Gore says:

    Naw, y’all just bastards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  122. jukeboxgrad says:

    treacher:

    No, YOU jump through MY hoops. Or else YOU’RE proving MY point.

    You didn’t prove my point by failing to “jump through my hoops.” You proved my point by failing to act in a principled manner. How revealing that you can’t grasp the difference between those two things.

    Number of times you ever mentioned Armstrong Williams on your blog: zero. Yes, we understand how sincere you are in your current outrage over allegedly “Orwellian” acts.

    Your comment count is now about 40, which is 1/3 of the thread. How remarkable that you can’t lift a finger to explain why your outrage is so transparently selective. And therefore worthless.

    what the reaction would be if it happened under a different administration

    What a stunning lack of self-awareness. We already know what your reaction was when something much worse “happened under a different administration:” no reaction whatsoever. That actual non-reaction of yours is a lot more significant than the hypothetical reaction you’re projecting, a reaction that exists nowhere outside your imagination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  123. Jim Treacher says:

    @Janis Gore: Okay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  124. Jim Treacher says:

    @jukeboxgrad: I eagerly await your embittered screed about my lack of reaction to the Kennedy assassination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  125. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: I eagerly await your attempt to actually respond to jukeboxgrad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  126. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: I am responding. Mocking angry illogic is a response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  127. jukeboxgrad says:

    treacher:

    I eagerly await your embittered screed about my lack of reaction to the Kennedy assassination.

    Are you really that obtuse? Undoubtedly you are. The Kennedy assassination is not at all related to what’s being discussed here. On the other hand, the Armstrong Williams matter (and the other examples I cited) is indeed quite closely related to what’s being discussed here. Those incidents were properly described, at the time, as Orwellian. But of course you were too cowardly to do so then, and you’re also too cowardly to do so now. Instead you hide behind your wall of glibness, which fools only those who are easily fooled.

    Mocking angry illogic is a response.

    I can’t find the part of your comment where you explain how anything I said is either illogical or angry. Those things came straight from your imagination, which is also the only place where you’re “mocking” anyone.

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  128. CB says:

    i cannot believe i just read all 126 of these posts. i think my brain is leaking out of my ears.

    if i were a higher up with the daily caller, i would be mortified to be associated with someone who publicly conducts himself like treacher has. pretty absurd, good sir.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  129. Jim Treacher says:

    @jukeboxgrad: You should write even more angry words about how angry you’re not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  130. Jim Treacher says:

    @CB: Concern.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  131. James says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    Are you really that obtuse? Undoubtedly you are.

    Co-signed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  132. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: You seem to think your frustration is a problem for ME.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  133. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: So you admit that’s your game here?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  134. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: Call it a happy accident.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  135. James says:

    @Jim Treacher: Yes, that sure was accidental.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  136. CB says:

    please, everyone, dont feed the trolls. if they like the food, they may decide to stick around. for the love of god, lets not let that happen.

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  137. jukeboxgrad says:

    treacher:

    You should write even more angry words about how angry you’re not.

    Yet another excellent example of how you fail to understand simple things. Consider these two statements:

    A) Treacher is a fucking asshole.
    B) Treacher is a cowardly partisan hack.

    A would be fairly described as “angry words.” B is something else. It’s a factual observation backed by evidence. You need to work on your reading comprehension, because what I’ve said is B, not A. And why would you think you’re important enough to make anyone angry? Why would I get angry at a clown?

    Aside from that, you’re making yet another feeble attempt at misdirection. My alleged emotional state has no relevance. What has relevance are the gyrations you perform in order to avoid answering my question about Armstrong Williams.

    When you work this hard at ducking a question, your non-answer tells us everything we need to know.

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  138. Jim Treacher says:

    @James: And happy. Well, for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  139. Jim Treacher says:

    @CB: Good work.

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  140. Janis Gore says:

    Outside agitators.

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  141. Jim Treacher says:

    @jukeboxgrad: You sure are crabby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  142. jukeboxgrad says:

    You sure are sure about lots of things you’re in no position to be sure about. It’s a great show. Keep up the good work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  143. Angie says:

    @Interested Conservative:

    They didn’t allow her to go on a spring break vacation with a bunch of her friends they allowed her to go on a chaperoned school trip with her class.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0