CJR to Media Research Center staffer: “You had a duty to be above board”

In a rather ironic chain of events, Media Research Center's Clay Waters inadvertently “outed” himself as “Sam Tyler” in the comments thread of a Columbia Journalism Review post on Facebook privacy.

After posting back-to-back identical comments -- first as Clay Waters and then as Sam Tyler -- the MRC staffer fessed up:

oops, outed myself! at least now I'm free....

Posted by Clay Waters on Fri 14 May 2010 at 01:39 PM

It wasn't long until CJR's Ryan Chittum weighed in (emphasis added):


I think that there can be a need for pseudonymity (unfortunately) on the Internet. But my first instinct is that you had a duty to be above board with who you are here. You're paid to criticize the so-called liberal media by a right-wing advocacy group, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center.

I would never comment on your site--or anybody else's--under a false name.

I have previously outed an Obama administration flack for sockpuppeting on here. I don't think this rises to that level. But I don't think it's kosher, either. Do you think it'd be cool if somebody from Media Matters came on here and did that?

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Posted by Ryan Chittum on Fri 14 May 2010 at 06:02 PM

I sort of feel bad for Waters. Looking at what MRC and NewsBusters consider to be good media criticism, I'd want some anonymity, too!