A request for adminship (RFA) on behalf of Gracenotes was a point of discussion this week, with comments from over 250 users. Upon the conclusion of the RFA, which stood within bureaucrat discretion range, the decision on whether to promote was suspended, pending a bureaucrat discussion currently in process.
On 21 May 2007, Ryan Postlethwaite nominated Gracenotes for adminship, along with two co-nominations by Snowolf and Nishkid64. An optional question posted by SlimVirgin, along with its answer, were the source of the controversy:
Hi GN, I seem to recall your posting something that implied you felt it was okay to link to attack sites, but I may be misremembering. Can you outline your position on that issue, please? 
Followed by this answer:
Certainly. I suppose you mean attack sites as those in which personal attacks are made against Wikipedians, without the intent of improving Wikipedia.
I came to view the proposed WP:BADSITES as an extension of our policy on No Personal Attacks, as several others did. Personal attacks are restricted on Wikipedia, but not on other websites, where nonconstructive criticism has no consequences. (This can be compared to Wikipedia, where action can be taken upon personal attacks.) If posting a link to an attack site is intended, in any way, to be a personal attack in itself, then Wikipedians may wish to rephrase or remove their comments. If the issue brought up by the attack site is valid, surely Wikipedians can discuss it on-wiki.
In the discussion at WT:BADSITES, I thought it unhelpful for editors to either add or remove links merely to make a point; I was also frustrated by the enforcing of a proposed policy for cases without a clear personal attack.
To delineate, and to address some of the concerns in your question, I oppose removing all links to all such sites in all contexts, especially if such removals interfere with the good faith development of Wikipedia (if rules make you nervous or depressed...) Granted, not all additions of links to attack sites happen in good faith. Both adding and removing links should be justified by logic, and not by enforcement merely for the sake of enforcement (something I see way too much in real life). Temperance, rather than prohibition, is the best route. (There has not been an amendment enforcing morality since the 18th, and for good reason.)
To conclude, it is an interesting fact that (to my knowledge) MeatballWiki has no articles on dealing with external sites of criticism. Wikis are meant to be their own self-sufficient world, taking care of their own problems, not meant to be in the real world. However, Wikipedia no longer has that option: the recognition of this is helpful in dealing with such sites. Now, if these comments seem without focus, it is because the issue has many, many facets. Hopefully I've explained my views on the facets you're interested in.
Because of this issue, these were a few of the many concerns raised:
After the standard seven days of RfA and discussion, it became apparent that no consensus has been reached by the community. Thus, on his own action, the most recently re-elected bureaucrat Cecropia suspended Gracenotes' RfA pending bureaucrat action.
By the suspension of his RfA, Gracenotes had amassed 201 supports, 71 opposes, and 4 neutrals. The RfA was one of only a handful which have had over two hundred supporters. Out of all the count, 73% were arguments supporting him for adminship.
After suspending the RfA, Cecropia notified the RfA talk page on the situation. There was definite consensus by several users that there should not be a re-run for Gracenotes' RfA, and that a discussion between bureaucrats would be more justified. Cecropia then conducted a poll with this question: "If a Bureaucrat Chat resulted in a decision that is the opposite of the opinion you expressed on Gracenotes' RfA, how would you feel about the fairness of the process?" About half of the users said they would accept the decision with no reservation, with only a few users unwilling to accept a decision they disagreed with.
In recent months, the requests for adminship process has received much critique and attention by the general community. It has been a major subject of centralized discussion for nearly two months, with thirty proposals to reform the RfA process. There were also discussions on a reform trial run and an open question to the community recently.
Currently, a bureaucrat discussion is underway to determine whether Gracenotes will be made an administrator or not.