Completely divorced from the question of whether a politician's children are fair game for political attack, or even having their existence and life mentioned, this unfolding incident–stories from earlier today about Malia Obama and a gaggle of buddies spring breaking in Mexico (a place normal American kids are advised to avoid) with Secret Service protection disappearing from news sites–seems to indicate the White House can get a wide range of sites to take down stories, even if it is just with gentle persuasion or appeals to some higher standard. And that is highly unnerving.
references to it are disappearing from the Internet — and fast.
Around 3:00 EST, a Telegraph story reporting on the event was the first to vanish (note how the url remains the same in the "before" and "after")….
Then, the related Huffington Post article was found to be linking back to a completely unrelated Yahoo News page titled "Senegal Music Star Youssou Ndour Hits Campaign Trail."…
The Yahoo News story that HuffPo links to makes no mention of Malia Obama or her Mexican vacation. That raises two possibilities: either HuffPo has made an error in its link, or Yahoo has also removed its "Malia in Mexico" story. The latter more likely considering that the "-obamas-daughter-spends-springbreak-in-Mexico" url is still present in the Yahoo story. ?
In fact, consider that the link to the Huffington Post article on Google now goes to the site's main page. Alas, that story too has been taken down.
In addition to larger news organizations, smaller sites are also removing their stories….Free Republic removed a related discussion thread….
Of these sites, the only one to state a reason for the change was "Free Republic," where the Admin wrote "Leave the kids alone."
So that raises the question: Why were all these stories being taken down? Is the story false? Were they removed for security reasons?
Consider that the story still lives (as of this publication)* on the site of The Australian, which uses a story from the well-respected AFP (a sort of Associated Press for France).
Blaze link live at the moment I wrote this. Again, check out their full story for screenshot proof.