Over at PubliCola, a local politics blog, a curious thing happened today. A post showed up this morning with links to the state's draft environmental impact study on the deep-bore tunnel, which the state only released after the Stranger filed a records request (a records request that the state considered filing an injunction to block). So what's strange about that? This morning's Publicola's post was timestamped for yesterday evening—it was stamped 15 minutes before the same documents appeared on Slog, making it look like PubliCola's post went up first.
There's all sorts of evidence that Publicola's document-dump post wasn't published last night. First, comments on Publicola's post didn't begin to appear until this morning—there were no comments made on the post yesterday evening. The post on Slog got lots of comments right way and all of PubliCola's other posts last night also got plenty of comments last night. Second, the RSS feed for the post arrived just before 4:00 a.m., while the RSS feed for other stories last night arrived last night. Also, several folks I spoke with today say they thought it was odd that they didn't see it last night and then, voila, there it was today, timestamped for yesterday. And I didn't see the story when I visited Publicola last night. And finally, unlike ever other post in the last day, this one post wasn't in PubliCola's Twitter feed. If it had been in the Twitter feed—again, like every other post—you could see what time it actually went on the site.
PubliCola likes to brag about its scoops. Well, one way to get scoops, I suppose, is to play fast and loose with your timestamps. And if you're incapable of telling the truth about the time...
Anyway, I've been going over these documents and talking to some experts. I'll have a post tomorrow morning with the description of the contents of the documents and thoughts from some local experts on the tunnel, the waterfront, and the environmental impact study process. And it'll be timestamped for the time I actually post it, not the time I wished I'd posted it.