Script Status: Broken

As of Sept 24 2008, the NYTimes has changed their blog format, in a way that breaks this script. I'll get to it when I can, but I'm told the formatting is due to change again shortly, so for now, you'll have to disable the script and suffer. Sorry.

Status as of Oct 17: still awaiting formatting changes that'll allow (a new version of) Dot Earth Defender to function as well as it used to. As of this writing, a previous version (3.1.2) runs ok on Paul Krugman's blog, so if you want to see part of DED's old functionality (alas without the categorization of commenters, which was a Dot Earth-only feature) you can try installing 3.1.2 (instructions below) and then visiting some of Krugman's blog posts.

We tried in here to get the Times to make their comments format user-friendly and to accommodate the resurrection of D.E.D.


Dot Earth Defender / NY Times Blog Valet

Link to the latest version of the script is down here.
Dot Earth Defender by Anna Haynes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Creative Commons License


This is the home of Dot Earth Defender, known more formally as the NY Times Blog Valet, a Firefox Greasemonkey script originally written to reformat and/or filter the comments at the NY Times blog Dot Earth. Now it runsIt also ran on other NYTimes blogs as well (though without D.E.D.'s comment-prefiltering features).

The latest version of the script (released Sun Sept 7) was 4.0, which was a rush job to be at least minimally functional with the NYTimes's new "paginated comments" blog format. I still wasn't able to glue all the comments back together successfully though, so it only worked within their existing page. (the problem seems to be that Firefox parses the page differently from how Greasemonkey does.).

Some previous versions of the script are available on the script feature history page.

RTFM; you won't regret it.

Most useful features


David Lewis has created one of the finest user manuals you'll ever read, and it's here as PDF. (If you've spent any time in the Dot Earth commenting morass, you need to read it; David feels your pain, and his manual transmutes it.) It's current as of Aug 15.

I've also put up some mediocre instructional videos (in Flash) (which assume you've already installed the Firefox browser from (and which sound as though there's a mosquito-the-size-of-a-Buick nearby (sorry, it's my hardware), and the most important of which has no visuals whatsoever...likely pilot error, sorry again):

David also came up with D.E.D.'s catchphrase, "the handy horror remover".

Thumbnail install instructions

Very terse; see the more extensive (and more entertaining) instructions linked to above.

  1. If you don't already have it, first download and install Firefox.
  2. If you don't already have it, get the Greasemonkey add-on (which you'll be able to toggle on&off, from its monkey head at lower right of browser window); and when prompted to do so, restart Firefox.
  3. If you have already installed an earlier version of Dot Earth Defender, you must first uninstall it. (Firefox's Tools - Greasemonkey - Manage User Scripts - click on the scriptname, then the Uninstall button)
  4. Get the current Dot Earth Defender script at - click on this link, choose View User Script Source (if you'd like), then, from the page that pops up, Tools - Greasemonkey - Install User Script. (and no, it doesn't give you any obvious confirmation that the installation is happening or is complete. But it's done.)

some aging screenshots (click to enlarge):

screen capture screen capture

(Fine print: use this script at your own risk etc. It works fine for me and for everyone else I know of who's tried it, with PC and with Mac, and I don't see how it could cause trouble for you (and if it did you could just uninstall the script and/or disable Greasemonkey), but I am not omniscient.)

May it serve you well.

Anna Haynes - June 22-Aug 3, 2008
p.s. to comment you can go, for now, to (previous comments at, future comments likely elsewhere...); or drop me a line at dotearthdefender, at gmail.