If this is the sole reason CNET sacked this tech blogger (link, excerpt, below), it strongly suggests that the tech publisher (as I have seen so many do in the past 15 years) were afraid they’d “lose access.”
Nothing frightens news outlets more than telling a story, however accurate or truthful, or important to regular folks, that will keep them off of Air Force One, or out of the press briefing room, or cost them a potential advertiser.
I once experienced similar intimidation from an editor at a news organization, after I wrote about a Homeland Security spying scheme, and DHS commissioned a hit piece by a trade hack against mine. Fortunately, that editor’s superior showed some backbone, and backed up my reporting.
It comes as a surprise, then, to hear that CNET will no longer carry Soghoian’s blog. While Soghoian’s confrontational style and irreverent approach may have been factors, it appears the decision to drop his blog largely stems from a minor kerfuffle over a headline. A Soghoian post initially titled “White House Ditches YouTube After Privacy Complaints” brought loud denials from the YouTube and the Obama team. The Obama folks belatedly said that their use of non-YouTube video was only an experiment, a possibility that Soghoian mentioned in his article.
That said, EFF also suggests that Soghoian’s strongly worded headline might have been part of a pattern of pushing the wrong buttons over at CNET.