Thursday, 26 June 2008


The adventure of the disappearing pajamas

Pajamas Media “disappears” a story?

Two days ago, I followed a link at Instapundit:
detail from Instapundit screenshot

The link (in burgundy in the screenshot), points to:

...a Pajamas Media opinion piece by Encounter Books publisher Roger Kimball.  In it, Kimball announced that his company had decided to stop providing review copies of its new publications to The New York Times, and gave his reasons.  First (if I recall correctly) because of the Times’s penchant for giving unfairly unfavorable[1] reviews to anything contaminated with the least taint of conservatism.  Second, because the explosion of alternate channels of publicity (along with the Times’s decline) means that a Times review today is no longer as valuable for attracting readers as used to be.  In the comments, one of Encounter’s authors chimed in, and in passing (but, I’m sure, fully intentionally), mentioned two of his own books.  Both titles piqued my interest, but at that point I was interrupted, and had to close the page.  However I did make a mental note to get back to it later, so I could add them to my want list.

That was two days ago.

This evening, my mental note percolated to the surface.  So, back to Instapundit, scroll down to the link, click on it, and get... the Pajamas Media home page.  Well, things like that can happen. Sometimes “permalinks,” well, aren’t.[2]  Perhaps Glenn got the wrong one.  Scan the page... Hmm... don’t see anything that looks like the article I read.  Gee, it was only a couple of days ago- surely it can’t have scrolled off already!  Let’s try the browser’s search:  Find "Kimball".

PJM home page screenshot (partial)K-Meleon finds one "Kimball" on the home page.  This one:
Encounter at 10: The Power of Ideas [video]
Encounter Books authors Victor Davis Hanson and Andrew McCarthy and publisher Roger Kimball discuss the perils of conservative publishing with PJM's Roger L. Simon.  The publishing house today announced a new policy vis-a-vis the New York Times.
Which is a video, not the piece I read.  But look, the words “New York Times” in the last sentence are a link, a link which points to the same address as the Instapundit link, an address that no longer works.

One last try.  Poke "Roger Kimball" into the PJM searchbox.  The results: The video above, and several other items dating from April 19th or before.  But “Encounter Bids the New York Times Farewell,” which was posted on June 23rd– and which I read– appears to have vanished.

Perhaps there were some second thoughts.  Could be that, on reflection, the time for burning bridges with the Times hasn‘t come yet.  That dying tiger can still do a lot of damage, especially if your business is as dominated by liberals and leftists as the book trade.  Or perhaps some of Encounter’s other authors were heard from, authors surprised and dismayed by an announcement that came from out of the blue, without warning.

Maybe the article should have been more politic.  Better if there’d been more nuance.  Perhaps better if it hadn’t appeared at all.

Well, Kimball and Pajamas can do whatever they want.  But it seems to me that making articles disappear ranks right up there with the frequently-condemned (e.g., over 600 results for the BBC) “stealth edits” practiced on the web by the legacy media.  The malleability of the internet is a strength, but also a weakness: With dead trees, whether it’s an intemperate screed or a “Dewey Defeats Truman” howler, once it’s published it can’t be taken back.

If we who write on the web are to maintain our integrity, then, along with our prides and triumphs, our embarrassments and errors must remain visible.  It may be uncomfortable, but it’s honest.

[1] unfairly unfavorable (my term)- characterized by ad-hominem bashing, emotional appeals, and arguing off the point; as opposed to fairly unfavorable, being unfavorable while remaining intellectually honest in the process.

[2] For example, some “permalinks”actually point to the most recent of a series of posts.  Often this variant is not obvious.

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Monday, 23 June 2008


Reporting from the corner of Westfield and Westfield

Indy blog meet:  Good time was had by all, will hopefully have more to follow, as soon as I wake up.[1]

Meanwhile, I’m updating the “Bloggers I’ve Met” section on the sidebar.  A great crowd.

Reports have already been posted by:

James Rummel
Mark Alger (with picture!)
Roberta X[2] (with promise of more to come)

[1] I’m presently attempting to integrate a New Cat into the O.G. household.  The New Cat is a real love who should fit in just fine, but so far the Current Cat is refusing to give her a chance... won’t even come out from under the bed.  This has led to Much Growling and consequential Loss of Sleep.

[2] ...who mentions a certain “Riparian intersection” in a footnote.  Yep, it’s true:  The corner of Westfield Boulevard and Westfield Boulevard.  (Almost like Greenwich Village, where West 4th Street intersects West 12th Street.)  There’s a picture below the break...

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Thursday, 19 June 2008


Reminder - Indy blog meet

Coming up this weekend:

Date: Sunday, June 22
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: Broad Ripple Brew Pub, 842 East 65th Street
Readers/lurkers welcome, too.

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Sunday, 01 June 2008


Sites Linked - May 2008

45 posts in May, 10 better than either March or April. There could have been more: I have a couple of Rants and several more reviews in the works, but am also suffering from Spring Fever. (Spring’s almost over, we’ll see how June goes.)

June 1st means the previous lowest-posts month of May 2007 drops off the last-12-months list. Now there’s a tie: March and April of this year (35 each) with August 2007 the runner-up at 36 the canonical bad example will be September 2007, with only 28 posts.

The May linklist is below the jump... more...

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