December 10, 2007

Profiles in Cowardice: Ventura County Star

First they deleted bob100's comment.

Then Patterico noticed, heaping ridicule atop scorn for the Star's use of the magic "delete" button, eliminating comments critical of Editor Joe Howery's poorly-researched hit-job on the Ventura County D.A.

Patterico invited his readers to visit the Star's website and inquire as to "just what the hell is going on here."

Some did, leaving new comments, like this one from "laddy," posted at 10:33 a.m.:

Why did you delete the other comments? That's a pretty bogus thing to do unless they were profantiy laden or somesuch. You have taken over the judge and/or jury role here with regard to the comments, the same charge you levy in the editorial, by the way.

Deleting comments generally indicates you may have something to hide from the rest of us.

Your editorial may indeed be on the money, but deleting comments really casts a shadow over the point of view being offered. If this editorial is on point, it should be able to withstand criticism.

Too bad you can't read laddy's comment on the Star's site anymore; they deleted it.

And then "SeeDubya" left this comment at 10:39:

Why was Bob100's comment removed? It contained no violations of the Star's Terms of Service. It wasn't obscene or abusive or off topic. It only contained a differing, and apparently well-informed, account of the facts.

I don't know which account is accurate, but it seemed like reasonable, cogent criticism, and the Star shouldn't have deleted it. Doing so looks Orwellian, and does a disservice to readers interested in both sides of the story.

Fortunately, curious Star readers can read bob100's deleted post at Mike Lief's blog, here: ....

Guess what?

You can't read SeeDubya's comment anymore on the Star's site, either.

As a matter of fact, you can't read any comments on Howery's editorial. The comment button has been deleted from the page, and all the comments have vanished.

Because, you see, the Star encourages a spirited debate, a boisterous use of the First Amendment's protections.

Just so long as nobody criticizes the Ventura County Star -- or its glass-jawed editor.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

Let them know what you think using the only means the Star hasn't yet disabled:

Joe R. Howry is editor of The Star. He can be reached by phone at 437-0200 or by e-mail at

Just make sure to leave a copy of your message in my comments -- where you know they won't disappear.

Posted by Mike Lief at December 10, 2007 12:11 PM | TrackBack


I just went there and reloaded five times trying to figure out what happened to the comments.

When I saw they were still enabled at other sites, I figured it out pretty quick.

This is sad, and hilarious.

Posted by: See-Dubya at December 10, 2007 01:44 PM

Mike, my trackback didn't go through, but here's my blog post on the issue:

Posted by: See-Dubya at December 10, 2007 04:26 PM

It appears the Ventura County Star pulled out all the stops to punish the District Attorney for the criticism they received yesterday. Check out the editorials today.

Posted by: Thin Ice, Sr. at December 11, 2007 06:44 AM

Why is it that some people and some media players make everything a race issue?

The drama continues. Did you read this morning's latest retort by the Star? Now the Star's own David Rodriguez, a professed racist, has his feeble mind in the mix. Rodriguez, well known for blaming every problem he has personnaly encountered and those manisfested in his feeble mind on race, wants us to believe this is, or was , about race ! What nonesense. For years David's been on a mission to defame and devile all members of that office. David makes himself everyone he seeks to avenge look like idiots and the Star treats him like a saint.

The best response I've seen yet on this matter came from bob100 on Sunday--perfectly well written and on point. Now we have a huge rock fight in the making over race--just great. This is not about race and surely not about mindless dolts like David Rodriguez. Oh and
LULAC does not support David Rodriguez as he professes.

The facts are simple; Judge Guiterrez used his discretion to let convicted criminals walk without much of a penalty for months--in other words, maybe next time you'll get a slap on the hand. He has every right to make that call, and more importantly, Totten has every right to question these acts by the Judge on behalf of those citizens who elected him--victims want to know why this judge decided to stop giving probation. Totten did his job and asked the court to knock it off. The court refused to comply, but changed his approach and started placing those convicted on probation later the first day. In effect, what Totten did worked--for now. As of late, the local appellate division of the Superior Court is reviewing the matter, and it's likley they will agree with Totten that he had every right to seek another Judge for sentencing. That's no dig on Guiterrez, just a simple application of the law. No one said Guiterrez is not a good man or judge--he has been a good judge, until recently. He's always been a good man.

So David, GFY; you jerk. As for the Star--I cancelled it...again.

Posted by: Jose Rios Meas Contado Escobar at December 11, 2007 07:01 AM

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