Down the Pajamas Media memory hole? UPDATED

September 8, 2010

Each morning, I receive an email from Pajamas Media listing the featured articles of the day. Yesterday was no exception, and among the articles listed was one by Jamie Glazov, a frequent PJM contributor and editor of the hard-Right FrontPage Magazine. The article, an interview with Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels, was titled “The Disastrous Consequences of Muslim Inbreeding.”

Here’s a screen-cap from the email to show the article existed:

The other articles, by the way, are still on the site. The reason I cannot link to Glazov’s piece directly is that it’s… gone. As of yesterday afternoon, when I went back to read it more thoroughly, it had vanished. No search on the PJM site, Google, or even the Internet Wayback Machine can find it, only some obscure references to it. It’s disappeared as completely as Judge Crater.

The question is, why?

Certainly the topic was controversial: the article dealt with the genetic and social consequences of cousin-marriage, marriage within a clan. It’s permitted in several parts of the world (for instance, several US states), but the practice appears especially common among families from the area of Pakistan, leading to a surge in birth defects among that population. One can expect that the article would draw criticism and accusations of bigotry or “Islamophobia,” regardless of its intrinsic merit.

But that’s not the point of this post; I only skimmed the article, and I’m not qualified to speak on its worth. What bothers me is the disappearance of the article itself. I’ve been a great fan of PJM (and its sister-site, PJTV) since the day it first went live. It is one of my regular stops on the Internet and I frequently cite its articles. I think it has been a great alternative media source for news and opinion from a generally Center-Right perspective, and it has been a loud advocate for accountability and transparency from the established mainstream media, something that’s desperately needed.

Thus, when an article gets erased like a non-person in a Stalin-era Kremlin photo, with no word of explanation and the only evidence for its existence being the odd gaps in the record, I get… concerned. Perhaps there was good reason to retract it; I can think of several, but I won’t speculate. I do, however, believe it’s important for the principles of accountability and transparency that they themselves have championed that Pajamas Media post an explanation of why they retracted “The Disastrous Consequences of Muslim Inbreeding.”

So, what happened, guys?

NOTE: An email request for an explanation has been sent through the PJM contact site. I’ll update when and if I receive a reply.

UPDATE: I received a reply to my query to PJM soon after sending  it. To summarize, the article was pulled at the author’s request and PJM is waiting for a clarification. They promise a full explanation regardless of whether the article is reposted. My thanks for the quick reply.

UPDATE II: A PJM rep added the following clarification:  “It was decided by the interviewer and intervieweee that it was important to buffer certain aspects with more evidence and research, which the author does have — and that will be able to be more effectively presented in the very near future.”