OLD Media Moves

LA Times' biz columnist's blog suspended

April 21, 2006

The Los Angeles Times has suspended the blog of business columnist Michael Hiltzik because he posted comments on other blogs using an pseudonym, reports Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.

Michael HiltzikKurtz writes, “The paper said in an online editor’s note that Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize winner who writes the Golden State column, had admitted posting remarks on both his Times blog and on other Web sites under names other than his own. The Times said it is investigating the matter. Editor Dean Baquet declined comment, and Hiltzik said he could not comment.

“The deceptive postings grew out of a running feud between Hiltzik and conservative bloggers in Southern California. One is Hugh Hewitt, a radio talk show host and blogger. The other is an assistant Los Angeles district attorney named Patrick Frey, who maintains a blog under the name Patterico’s Pontifications.”

On the blog, Hiltzik wrote Thursday, “Frey evidently pored through the IP addresses of comments on his blog to discover that sometimes I commented under my own name, and sometimes under a pseudonym. He noticed that this is a pseudonym I’ve used on other occasions. He pats himself on the back (so to speak) for his brilliant sleuthing.”

Also on the blog is this posting: “The Times has suspended Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State blog on latimes.com. Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the paper’s website, and on other websites, under names other than his own. That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires editors and reporters to identify themselves when dealing with the public. The policy applies to both the print and online editions of the newspaper. The Times is investigating the postings.”

Just earlier this week, an interview with Hiltzik was published on the Online Journalism Review where he talked about his blog, which started last year.

The Post article can be found here.

Note to self: Don’t ever post comments on anyone else’s blog.

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