City Desk

I-Team Exclusive: Censorship of Cheap Seats Daily Readers Taking Place At Dan Snyder’s Message Board!

Where art thou, "Horatio"?

Last night, I was getting my normal load of giggles from the burgundy and gold obsessives that patronize Dan Snyder's message board, Extremeskins, when I came across a reference to a City Desk item I'd posted on Monday. My post here was about the recent re-release of a decade-old PBS program called "CEO Exchange," in which Snyder admits, boasts even, that his pre-Redskins firm, Snyder Communications, targeted the infirm to make money.

"We saw that the aging baby boomer demographics were coming on strong," Snyder says on the program. "That meant there's going to be a lot more diabetic patients, a lot more cancer patients, etc. How do we capture those market segments?" He says he looked at these "market segments" as "$5 million niches."

Ewww! Anyway, an Extremeskins poster going by the name of "Horatio" posted the link to my item on Snyder's site, and called Snyder a meanie name while doing it.

Here's what Horatio wrote:

There's a lot of proof that Synder is a Class A Doofus. This one shows that Synder made lots of money by targeting people dying of cancer and diabetes:

"We were looking at trend lines," Snyder says. "We saw that the aging baby boomer demographics were coming on strong. That meant there's going to be a lot more diabetic patients, a lot more cancer patients, etc. How do we capture those market segments?"

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/b...ancer-victims/

But Horatio's original post disappeared from the thread shortly after he made it — only a cut and paste version from a poster named "Authentic," responding to Horatio's post, remained on the site.

I am not a member of extremeskins, and have no idea who Horatio is. I've had a hate-hate relationship with extremeskins moderators over the years — all via email or the City Desk comments section — but I've never been unentertained by the site, and they always denied censoring anybody's posts about Snyder, and I believed them.

Until now!

Unhealthily intrigued by finding the City Paper link removed, I just started Googling. And Google Cache'ing. For waaaay too long. And, sure enough, somebody's been playing games at Snyder's site since Snyder's cancer quote was posted.

Horatio's been purged!

From all my cache-surfing, I found that old threads that Horatio started about Washington City Paper items are now unclickable. Typical is what happened to the thread called "Snyder Dusts Off 200,000 Name Waiting List Claim": It still exists in Google cache form, But, the  original thread is gone.

Threads get moved all the time on message boards, so disappearing threads alone are hardly evidence of censorship. But searching for other Horatio posts, the attempted whitewash of this obviously loyal City Desk reader became clear.

Take, for example, the differences that now exist in the Google standard and cache versions of an Extremeskins thread called "Response to redskins.com survey: how to stop TO."

Using the cache function, I saw that Horatio posted in the thread on November 14th, 2007, at 10:26 AM. Posts are listed chronologically on Extremeskins. That means Horatio's post should be stuck between SkinsWizCubsDukes' post in the same thread at 10:25 a.m., and Dick Edds' post at 10:28. But it's not there any more.

(After the jump: Visual evidence of censorship on Snyder's board, and proof that Cheap Seats Daily spent way too much time trying to prove it...)

So, the Google cache version of the Extremeskins page looks like this (click image to enlarge):

However: The page as it now appears on extremeskins, while still containing prose from SkinsWizCubsDukes and DickEdds, no longer has Horatio's. Here 'tis (click image to enlarge and see that Horatio's been scrubbed out):

extremeskins_censored_thumb

Horatio's been purged from Extremeskins! What about all those censorship denials, Mr. Moderators?

And who's the bigger tool: Dan Snyder, for purging everything a guy had written on his site just for posting a quote about exploiting cancer victims to make his fortune? Or me, for trying to prove Snyder purged everything a guy had written on his site just for posting a quote about exploiting cancer victims to make his fortune?

In any case, the moral here should be: Censorship of Cheap Seats Daily readers doesn't pay. So I'll leave by posting Snyder's quote about exploiting cancer victims to make his fortune. In bold:

"We saw that the aging baby boomer demographics were coming on strong. That meant there's going to be a lot more diabetic patients, a lot more cancer patients, etc. How do we capture those market segments?"

As you were...

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  • gina a.

    No, Snyder's definitely the bigger tool here. Speaking as someone who grew up watching the redskins with the tv volume down and the radio broadcast of the game on, I haven't been able to cheer for the skins since Snyder bought the team. My husband and I actually made it up on the wait list to buy tickets about 8 years ago, and turned them down. He has ruined the team for me and many, many others. Snyder is a mean-spirited, money-grubbing louse who cares nothing for the history and good feelings that even Jack Kent Cooke tried to engender with his fans. You do a great job exposing Snyder for the total jerk off that he is. I am a huge fan of all your work-I'm not a sports junkie, just someone who appreciates quality journalism. Keep up the good work!

  • Charlie

    Am I missing something? I can't tell the difference between the censored and uncensored versions in the screencaps that are posted.

  • Dave McKenna

    Charlie: Yes, you are missing something. You're missing what's missing. In the first screen grab, the cached version of Extremeskins, if you click it to enlarge the image and scroll down, a post from "Horatio" can be seen halfway down the page; however, on the second screen grab of the same page, if you click it to enlarge the image, there is no post from "Horatio." Unless you're familiar with Extremeskins, which was an independent fan message board until its owners sold out to Dan Snyder in 2005, this will seem real geeky and who-cares?-ish.

    but ever since Snyder took over the message boards, there have been accusations that members have been banned for posting anti-Snyder messages. Snyder's moderators always denied it. however, this is the first proof I've ever come across that not only does banning of naysayers take place, wholesale purging of the naysayers goes on. far as i can tell, within hours of "Horatio" posting a quote from Cheap Seats Daily about Snyder exploiting cancer patients, EVERY post he'd made in the last few years had been removed from the web site. snyder took a lot of heat last year about censoring fans opinions, what with the poster and t-shirt bannings at fedexfield, so you'd think he'd be more careful about it now. i'd love to hear what snyder's moderators say about this. thanks for asking!

  • Lemonaid Into Lemons

    Dave,
    I'm not sure if you noticed but you have your own tagline at Kissing Suzy Kolber these days: "Dave McKenna is the ultimate Snyder basher"--http://kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com/2010/07/27700.html

    You've hit the big time!
    -
    LtL

  • Randy_Hawkins

    Great post, Dave, as always. I gave up on ExtremeSkins back in December when they allowed this "Burgundy_Burner" to post a bunch of spam on the board and the moderators pretty much gave him the green light. That, and Bubba's homerism and bashing of anyone who disagreed with him drove me away. I heard he passed away recently. I shed about as many tears about that as I did when I heard Steinbrenner passed away: 0.

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