Thursday, November 10, 2005

Update: "Lead Poisoning in Children is Funny"

Thanks to Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal, my Tuesday evening post about how National Association of Manufacturers' blogger Pat Cleary finds childhood lead poisoning to be the funiest thing since George Bush pretended to look for Iraqi WMDs under his bed, was circulated widely around the blogosphere yesterday (Check out the comments on Kevin's blog, especially this one.)

After a day of rather pathetic attempts to defend himself in the comments of his blog, Cleary (or his superiors) seem to have quietly surrendered. The childhood lead post has has been pulled from the front page of his blog (although you can still read it -- and the comments here.)

These people are shameless, so I guess this is about as much of an apology or admission of guilt as we're ever going to hear from them.

One other observation. Pulling posts from a blog is generally considered to be against the blogging "rules of the road," to the extent they exist. Despite frequent criticism that blogs are often unethical and irresponsible and not held to the same standard of fact and truth as the mainstream media (and that they cause riots), the truth is that the blogosphere tends to be fairly self-policing. Bad, unfactual, dishonest posts get roundly criticized and the blogger will then either defend him/herself, or admit that he was wrong, apologize, explain and move on.

But you generally don't just disappear your own blog post as if it never existed. It's almost kind of Orwellian