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Playboy “hatef**k” list fallout: AOL did what?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 5, 2009 10:15 AM

If this is true, it’s absolutely disgraceful. Via Stephen Gutowski at Newsbusters:

AOL News has been bending over backwards lately to make sure that the do not cover the controversy surrounding Playboy.com writer Guy Cimbalo’s vile attack on conservative women. AOL News has taken some drastic steps to censor any mention, let alone criticism, of Playboy’s screed. They have deleted posts about the article, banned contributors from mentioning it, and even fired one of their liberal writers over it.

… Another former Politics Daily writer I spoke with, Caleb Howe, confirmed that fact. And while Tommy Christopher released a statement to NewsBusters criticizing AOL’s decision to let him go Caleb Howe went further than Tommy in his opinion of AOL’s motives.

“His coverage of the Playboy “hate f***” list must have had a lot to do with Tommy being fired, if not everything to do with it” Howe told NewsBusters. “It would be absurd to think the timing is coincidental” referring to the fact that Christopher was fired three days after his original Playboy story and only hours after pitching a new story on the same topic. Further allegations of AOL censoring coverage of the Playboy controversy came to light when Christopher and Howe appeared on Media Lizzy’s show this afternoon…

…Has the fact that AOL’s parent company, Time Warner, has a business relationship with Playboy may have affected their editorial decisions? After all Time Warner is a major national distributor of Playboy TV through their cable company.

This rings true to me. Corporate partnerships have led companies to do stupid things before. YouTube, which is a “strategic partner” with Universal Music Group, bowed to the music giant’s request to censor Hot Air’s video report on Akon’s onstage molestation stunt in 2007 — until the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped us fight their Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) abuse and got YouTube to restore the clip.

I certainly don’t agree with the left-leaning Christopher’s politics. But he showed guts blogging about the Playboy “hatef**k” list when few others on his side paid attention or cared. I think U.S. News should trade in tired old Bonnie Erbe and hire Tommy Christopher.

***

Speaking of Erbe, she has clarified her Playboy “hatef**k” post about me to make sure that you know she doesn’t advocate that I be raped, but that she does advocate that people publish venom-filled articles wishing for me to be raped. Thanks for the clarification!

***

Ed Morrissey:

Tommy has been a friend for quite a while, and a semi-regular guest on my daily show. He and I do not agree on most topics, but Tommy is a good opinion journalist and one of AOL’s few that actually does traditional reporting. He goes into Washington DC on his own to attend White House press briefings, occasionally getting to ask a question and providing first-person reporting for AOL-PD. That seems to me to be a valuable commodity for any political website, a marker of relevance that one does not lightly toss aside.

Many people do not know that AOL has actually conducted a massive turnover in its staff under new editor Melinda Hennenberger. Our friends Caleb Howe and Mark Impomeni have also gotten their walking papers more than two weeks ago. Both are good, solid writers, and brought a conservative perspective to AOL-PD that now the terrific Matt Lewis has to provide all on his own. Tommy could have been part of that revamping, but he appeared to have survived it — and again, why get rid of someone who has a spot inside the White House?

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Categories: Playboy, Politics

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