tip off

Apology to our readers

Pure Poison sets itself up as a site to tackle intellectual dishonesty in the media. And we recognise that part of doing our job here is holding ourselves to the high standards we are trying to encourage in others.

There have been two unfortunate incidents here over the past few days for which we would like to apologise to our readers.

The first was an incident on Friday, in which the post “Consent is not a furphy, Andrew” was taken down because we wanted to make very sure that no-one could conceivably draw implications from it that were not intended. It was amended and then reposted – unfortunately without an acknowledgement that changes had been made. This was not an attempt to conceal the changes (they were mentioned in the comments) but we agree that, as we’ve advocated to others, we should have made those changes clear on the post itself.

The second was an incident yesterday morning, in which I posted on the subject of professional journalists using minor blog sites to do their attacks for them. On reflection, we decided that this post was too close to engaging in “blog wars” – mainly because the example used to illustrate the post was not exactly one in which I was a disinterested observer – and was therefore not appropriate for this site. We’re not interested in getting involved in those sorts of childish blog spats, and we doubt our readers are interested in reading about them, either. I therefore withdrew that post.

Pure Poison apologises for disappointing you, our loyal readers, and for breaching your trust. We will do our best to repay that trust in the future.

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  • 1
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    No problem here Jeremy. I can well understand, given the sort of hypocrisy one sees so often at the News Ltd. sites, that you wouldn’t want to be accused of the same issues.
    I recall a certain blog’s publishing of private emails as an example…

  • 2
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    OK fair enough but I still have a beef, especially since I had a fairly valid post in the blog wars thread, and that is to the amount of time you have taken to bring out this apology.

    You were probably agonising a bit over what to do, but as soon as you make changes and/or remove topics then shouldn’t you, as a place that holds to certain standards, fairly quickly post an apology or information to the fact you have removed topic A because you are waiting the outcomes on agonising/discussions of A?

  • 3
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Mobius Ecko, that’s a fair point – although we can’t eliminate delays entirely, as we obviously need to have some internal discussions and that involves getting input from the PP writers as well as Crikey editors, and it has to happen around our day jobs, etc. But we will definitely aim to provide information as quickly and openly as we can.

  • 4
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Here’s to hoping PP can get back on track and do what it was originally conceived to do: exposing intellectual dishonesty, not sniping at other bloggers and indulging in hissy fits and shit.

    Onwards and upwards.

  • 5
    a a
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Yesterdays post was lame and I’m glad you dumped it. Good to see you owned up to the error in judgment.

    Now I like this place and want it to keep going so please, no more f#(ups…okay “D

  • 6
    Lee Harvey Oddworld
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    It’d be nice to see Bolt (et al) issuing apologies, corrections and mea culpas occasionally. But that would be a sign of weakness …

  • 7
    Pedro
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy is right in saying readers of this site are not interested in childish blog spats. And in admitting as much, I do hope he will move forward himself from the long, personal campaign waged against Bolt and Blair – at least on this site. I signed up for the mission statement as published, not on-going witch hunts.

  • 8
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Pedro, I think it’s fair to say that plenty of what Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair write (not that Blair writes much) meets the mission statement. They’re also two of the very few genuine bloggers in the traditional media, meaning they’re producing multiple posts every day rather than one or two columns a week. So while what we do isn’t driven by “witch hunts”, I also don’t imagine we’ll be short of ongoing criticism for both of those gentlemen.

  • 9
    Pedro
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I well agree that without Bolt and Blair this blog would struggle for content, but I’ll put this as delicately as I can.

    There is a difference between concise, reasoned, thoughtful and relevant analysis (which for the most part is what I find on this blog) and longwinded, emotional, adjective-riddled essays. I rarely get through the first paragraph of a Jeremy post and head straight to the comments to get the gist of things.

  • 10
    RobJ
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    “personal campaign waged against Bolt and Blair”

    I don’t see it as a personal campaign, read the ‘mission statement’ again then think about who would be the most frequent offenders. I dunno about Blair because I don’t read him, Bolt though, for sure, hardly a day goes by where bolt wouldn’t fit neatly into the mission statement.

    ‘witch hunt’ —-hyperbole.

  • 11
    bpobjie
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with a witch-hunt when the witches are real.

  • 12
    Pig Head Sucker
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I tend not to leave comments when I disagree with a blogger – only when he/she makes a factual error. I have made a total of about four posts here and at your previous site. Three of them identified errors in the post – the post was amended to correct the error and my comment never appeared. Never was any addition made to the post to show that it had been amended. I’m on your side politically but what you identify as a “slip” is, in fact, common practice by contributors to this site. BTW – the fourth comment was an error of my own.

  • 13
    Pedro
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    RobJ, please read my comment again. I neither accused this site of a personal campaign against Bolt and Blair, nor of using the site for a continuing witch-hunt. {Point made; ball played – Toby}

  • 14
    Pig Head Sucker
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    When I was much younger, about 17, I went out with a girl for a few weeks. She found me a little immature I think, if so she would have been right. Anyway she dumped me. I spent a lot of time over the next few weeks…well there’s no way of putting this nicely – I stalked her – I was a kid so I suppose I had the excuse of youth. I don’t know what I was hoping to achieve – I think I was just hoping that she would notice me – realise her mistake – take me back maybe. Failing that I I was hoping to make her feel as bad as I did. I gave up after about 3 weeks after realising that I was acting like a fool. It’s been over a decade now and I saw her the other day – we actually laughed about it.

    I only tell this story because it reminds me of the relationship that the contibutors on this site have with Andrew Bolt. I don’t much care for Mr Bolt – I read his stuff now and then and move on. It can’t be healthy to obsess about him the way you Grods guys do – pour over his every word, whip yourselves into a lather about his politics. Take it from an ex-stalker – move on with your lives – maintain your blog if you like but use it to promulgate your own ideas the way he does. You’ll be happier in the long run.

  • 15
    GavinM
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a story, admittedly from England, written by a regular Left wing columnist for the Guardian that I posted earlier on the open thread in reply to a post from Confessions accusing Right-wing columnists of being divisive and not promoting unity in the community — perhaps you guys might like to discuss her views on segregating children and denying them education opportunity should the need arise for them to attend public schools, based on the fact that their parents either tried or did get them into private schools…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/12/state-school-recession

    It’s interesting to note that the author attended one of Englands most expensive private schools — clearly she missed the class that discussed hypocrisy.

  • 16
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    “Jeremy is right in saying readers of this site are not interested in childish blog spats.”

    Pedro’s right. Those readers are over at a certain other minor blog having a good old ad hom time.

  • 17
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Pig Head @ 14.
    I think you’re missing the point. There are lots of other Crikey blogs that ‘promulgate their own ideas’; this blog was set up purely to monitor and comment on fatuous opinion. It has by no means restricted itself to Bolt; but the sheer volume of Bolt’s output (sometimes eight or more subjects a day- compared with one Akerman per week, likewise an Albrechtsen a week. Even busy little Timmeh can only manage one or two a day.)
    So proportionally, Bolt’s getting the right amount of attention. He’s not only the most prolific blogger, but in my opinion, the most intellectually bankrupt by a country mile. He needs to be challenged, and it’s been proved time and again that the challenge will not be allowed on his own turf.
    Perhaps you’re the one with a problem…..after all, you want the guys to abandon the Pure Poison raison d’etre because you’re not happy with it. Slight issue of self-importance there?

  • 18
    Pedro
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    So, Monkeywrench, are we now deeming that Bolt’s – or anyone’s for that matter – BLOG is now considered mainstream media? Yes, his does appear on the electronic News Ltd site – as do Blair’s, Ackerman’s and Albrechtsen’s – but I tend to define mainstream media as tv, radio and print.

    And Toaf, you’re only agreeing with me because I promoted you to site admin!

  • 19
    surlysimon
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you guys for clearing up Fridays hiccup, got me a bit worried that some one might have threatened to sue. It is interesting to note the difference between this and Andrew’s aproach to apologising, in one post he moved from having someone point out how wrong he was to launching another attack http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2009/05/13/why-this-one-myth/
    But then we know how brave the right is when it comes to defending their views (QCIC I haven’t forgoten sunshine 4 days and waiting).

  • 20
    scubsteve
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Amazing how PP can have a couple of errors of judgement, own up to it and apologise, yet it all just comes back to Andrew Bolt for a couple of commenters.
    Seriously, some of you are terribly fixated on him. Refer to #14, his last paragraph is great advice.

  • 21
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Pedro, it’s true. I crave the power that the word “Administrator” brings when inserted after one’s name.

  • 22
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Seems to me scubsteve and PHS and Shabs etc. try too hard to protect Bolt and coming here to often tell the posters they obsess too much seems to illustrate that.

    So I guess you and the others would rather Bolt (and the rest) just be left alone to tell his half truths, exaggerations, lies and whip up the ignorant with hints of vilification and innuendo based purely on an ideological standpoint whilst espousing a false fairness and lambasting anyone with a different view to his narrow ideological one?

    I tell you what scubsteve, how about we leave Bolt alone when he leaves others alone, especially those of certain races, religions and politics, and how about you practice what you aver by also leaving those alone who have a different viewpoint to yours. Then we can all be one big mutual admiration society, and this blog will disappear as it will have no basis or charter to continue on with, and you will have nowhere to go to be Bolt’s crusader.

  • 23
    confessions
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    So, Monkeywrench, are we now deeming that Bolt’s – or anyone’s for that matter – BLOG is now considered mainstream media?

    absolutely! And always has been. Not only does his BLOG appear in the herald sun, but it is fast becoming one of those Murdoch uber-blogs that are replacing actual columnists in online content. Blair is already there by virtue of the fact that his blog offers very little, if any, actual opinion content. But bolt readily promotes himself as achieving 1 million hits, and his reach has extended beyond his BLOG and into the ABC, fairfax radio and channel 9.

    please don’t try to argue that Bolt isn’t the very quintessential essence of mainstream.

  • 24
    scubsteve
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Mobius, I’m hardly protecting Bolt. I just get sick and tired of reading “Andrew said…”, “Andrew’s commenters said…” for nearly everything. Even for unrelated posts it always comes back to Andrew. It’s really boring Mobius.
    If this site is all about criticising others then it should be able to cop some itself. I don’t expect you to agree, but I should at least be able to say it.

  • 25
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    scubsteve, I think you exaggerated a bit in saying unrelated posts ALWAYS come back to Andrew. Even a cursory glance back through the threads here would dispel that.

    As has been pointed out Bolt gets the bulk of the attention because he constantly puts out the bulk of the misleading and exaggerated opinions through the media, and most especially through his blog.

    To stop getting constant attention here and elsewhere all Andrew has to do is be fair, open and honest in his commentary and opinions. It really is that simple. On the rare occasion AB is fair and/or logical he gets praise here, but not without understandable suspicion as to motive because he has nearly always been disingenuous.

    It’s an ethical choice for Andrew, to be fair and honest and lose a great swag of his slavering mindless followers who are earning him good money, or pander to them and their ilk and take the constant criticisms and revelations in a lesser blog here and there.

  • 26
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Poor Scubsteve! “It’s really boring…”.
    Solutions:
    1. Read something else.
    2. Write something else.
    3.Stop expecting others to restrict themselves to your definition of entertainment.
    It’ll sort itself out. And the threads don’t always “come back to Andrew”. Perhaps if he wasn’t allowed to churn out a third of a metric tonne of waste every day, things here would be different. Then you’d be happier. But hang on, that would mean that Bolt would have his right “to be able to say it” restricted. Funny set of values, old lad.
    ps I’ve seen this site copping plenty elsewhere in the bloggery. I don’t hear any prissy complaints.

  • 27
    scubsteve
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Monkeywrench – that’s a great idea. I will read something else and stop posting.
    I started reading this site to keep an open view and to consider ‘both sides’.
    Sadly I’ve been disappointed. Most of the articles written are reasonable ( with a few obvious exceptions) but it’s many of you regular commenters that disappoint me the most. Elitist, self-righteous and often just plain nasty. Sure, there’s commenters on other blogs who are just as stupid, rabid and just plain dumb, but a majority are normal rational people. It’s a shame the rational commenters here are out-numbered.
    So I’m done. I’ve lost interest in your one track minds. Good luck to you all and despite what you think I do wish this site the best, it’s just not for me. So long and thanks for all the fish.

  • 28
    Mobius Ecko
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    And scubsteve reveals himself for the true arrogant person he is and then falls back to an old favourite when bought up to answer for his inane comments, I was just fishing and you idiots fell for it ha ha ha.

    If you are having such good fun baiting us and have caught so many fish why stop, you obviously believe yourself superior to most here in being so clever in your baiting?

    Yet another sad RWDB who cowardly drops out when half challenged on their commentary and then leave in a huff of high intellectual superbia (to often come back under another moniker).

    Sorry for the personal but I have come across this so often from the right that it’s actually boring in contrast to scubsteve’s feigned boring.

  • 29
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    He’ll come back. They always do.

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