Stand by your words

When I was a kid, I accused an uncle of being a thief. I was eleven or twelve, and I had seen him take money from a cash register at the store where he worked. I told the store owner what my uncle did. I don’t know why I did it. I just did it. The owner confronted my uncle and fired him when it was confirmed that he had stolen the money. Sure enough, I caught all sorts of hell from my family. They claimed that I should have protected my uncle instead of the store. Besides, they said, the owner has plenty of money to spare. What’s $100 here and there?

Well, $100 here and there is $100 here and there, and they were not my uncle’s $100. I had witnessed a crime, and I wasn’t going to turn my back on that. Soon thereafter, my uncle cornered me alone in his house when I came to visit. He yelled at me and called me a “little girl.” I told him that at least I wasn’t a thief. He said that I was to recant my story to the family or he would beat me. So I told my mom, dad, and everyone who would listen to me. And listen they did. As my uncle sank more and more into trouble with the law and with the family, he kept trying to get me to recant my story. His threats flew left and right, and I didn’t recant. I couldn’t. I saw what I saw, and the owner confirmed it. It was all in the hands of the police and prosecutors. What? The money was going to magically disappear from my uncle’s checking account and appear back in the cash register of the store if I recanted what I saw? Of course not. He made the mistake of stealing, then the mistake of depositing the same exact amount he stole into his banking account.

I stood by my words. I said what I said because it was the truth, and nothing was going to change it.

This is not the case with the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic.” That I know of, they have now twice retracted blog posts. First, it was a ridiculously stupid post about how pro-vaccine advocates and scientists were eating a baby at Thanksgiving. Their managing editor even commented:

“Dr. Nancy is under the table servicing Dr. Offit’s RotaDick. Wait, can you hear her? “Fere If doh bontrobersy!!” Someone should tell her it’s not polite to talk with your mouth full.”

I know, right? Needless to say, some people on their own blog disagreed with the blog post, even as the author of the post defended it as “satire.” In a matter of days, they took the post down.

And now, they took down a post whose title was, “RFK Jr., Nazi Death Camps and the Battle For Our Future.” Here is the cached version of the post. Here is Orac’s take on that post. Basically, RFK Jr. equated children with autism to the Holocaust. I’m not joking. Children with a neurodevelopmental condition, in the opinion of RFK Jr., are like the death camps in Nazi occupied Europe.

I wish I was joking. But, because they can’t or won’t stand by their word, the editors at the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic” removed this post. I wonder if they won’t stand by what they write because what they write is the truth. Or because it’s garbage? That’s not a trick question, by the way.

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9 thoughts on “Stand by your words

  1. I suspect that at least one was removed because it was legally actionable. The second bordered upon words that risk imminent lawless action, which is also unprotected speech.

  2. Actually, as upset I was at them posting it, I am glad it was removed. Such words can take on a life of their own and lead to bad, bad things.

    • Sure, but they could have told their readership what they did, why they removed the post. They didn’t and they won’t. It will be as if nothing happened, and, if asked, they will deny that they did anything wrong.

      • True. They’ll even deny what was cached, probably bring in more paranoid conspiracy theories how the cached page was forged or some other claptrap.

        Meanwhile, real journalists are professionals. As professionals, if they commit a gaffe and slander someone, such as the under the table servicing nonsense, they would print a retraction and apology.
        Not delete the post and pretend it never happened.

        • But they are not “real journalists”…they are nasty people who write for that awful blog. The female “editor” who wrote that comment about a respected female TV journalist who is a physician, is a potty-mouthed pig.

          The “editor” who wrote the latest blog…then retracted it, with nary an explanation, did so because science bloggers wrote about the awful blog and Kennedy’s keynote speech at the annual Quack Fest:

          http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/06/05/robert_f_kennedy_jr_advocate_for_antiscience_and_antivaccination.html

          I attempted to post the Bing cached article on Phil Plait’s Slate blog, but was unsuccessful, but plenty of the other posters had seen it and have commented on the inappropriateness of his remarks. (Kennedy wants the cheap publicity and I want to help him out so that he gets “the publicity” he so richly deserves).

          • Quite true. That is why I compared them to true journalists. These creatures don’t take any form of responsibility and insist on personal attacks that are slander, rather than speak of facts, reason and evidence based systems.
            The primary difference when they overreach into the realm of slander isn’t a retraction, but a redaction and they pretend that they never made their slanderous claims.
            Honestly, I believe that they think that they’re protected from any potential legal action by redacting their slanderous claims. However, they forget the power of the various caches available that nearly instantly capture their claims for posterity.

            As for Phil Plait’s blog on Slate, there were many, many abuses going on in their comment system. I had repeatedly created trouble tickets for the most severe ones, to no avail or even response from Slate’s administrative staff.
            So, I finally abandoned Slate completely and poisoned all WP sites in my DNS server.
            Pity, I enjoyed Phil’s blogging for many years. But, when abuses are rampant, unchecked and indeed, ignored by the management, it was time to move on.

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