Stu Bykofsky’s Blog Suspended for Summer
A weekend blog post about immigration by Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky was removed from Philly.com because it didn’t go through the correct editorial processes, editors at the newspaper said Monday.
Indeed, Bykofsky said Monday afternoon, his blog at Philly.com is being “discontinued for the summer” as punishment for his failure to adhere to those processes. He will continue to write a column for the Daily News print edition.
“When you break the law, there are consequences,” said Bykofsky, who has been a columnist at the paper since 1987.
The original post, published Saturday, had come under fire from Al Día, the city’s dual-language media organization, but officials suggested it was the breaking of the paper’s internal rules — not external criticism — that prompted the takedown.
“When a columnist blogs, our procedure is that the blog needs to be approved by a ranking editor before it’s posted,” Daily News Editor Mike Days said in a statement relayed through a spokesman at Philadelphia Media Network. “That procedure was not followed, so the blog post was taken down.”
Bykofsky agreed, saying that since a recent vacation he’d forgotten to get approval on several posts to his “Stu-Niversity” blog. The omission was accidental, he said.
“I forgot to run it past my bosses,” Bykofsky told Philly Mag. “If that is the reason for taking it down, I’m fine with that.”
The Saturday blog post — titled “Al Día dodges the law” — was a criticism of the newspaper’s recent editorial that itself criticized GOP mayoral candidate Melissa Bailey for her stance against Philly’s status as a “sanctuary city” designed to protect undocumented immigrants from arrest and deportation by federal authorities.
The post had been removed by the time Al Día officials on Sunday thundered with their own response to the headline itself, which they said was “deliberate misrepresentation” and an attempt by the city’s largest media company “to do damage to an independent media organization the headline-writer thinks is uppity and needs to be smacked down.”
Sabrina Vourvoulias, Al Día’s managing editor, said the headline to the blog post made it sound as though her paper were involved with criminal activity of some kind.
“Stu is certainly entitled to his opinion,” Vourvoulias said. “What was horrifying to us was that headline. … Just looking at the headline, you would have no idea what the column was about.”
Bykofsky has been a regular critic of lax immigration laws, and has frequently been called a “bigot” by critics, but even the latest rumble didn’t faze him.
“The people who make those claims belong in the witless protection program,” he said. “It’s a pure diversion away from the valid legal issues I raise and will continue to raise no how matter how much the enablers of the undocumented felons don’t like it.”
In accepting the punishment, Bykofsky added, “I think I’m setting a good example for people who enter the country illegally.”
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