Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pleasantly Surprised by David Kirby and Dan Olmsted

Orac over at Respectful Insolence has received a response to his open letter to David Kirby and Dan Olmsted regarding the Seidel Subpoena. Their response reads as follows.
We both take this matter very seriously, and strongly oppose any effort to subpoena the records of Ms. Kathleen Seidel. We have also clearly expressed our feelings to Mr. Shoemaker. While we may not agree with her opinions, we consider Ms. Seidel to be a colleague. Rights to privacy, and to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment, must be upheld for all. We urge Mr. Shoemaker to reconsider, and drop this action against Ms. Seidel.

David Kirby
Dan Olmsted

I have to admit that was very big of both of them. They did not try to be apologetic. No "yes - but" or anything like that. For this I applaud them.

I had previously said the letter would be a test of the ethical standards of both journalists. It was. And they passed. I had my doubts that they had it in them. I apologize for any suggestion on my part to that effect.


  1. Pity they had to be prompted to do this; but, not to take away from their action, they did do it and they have indeed shown some mettle.

    And they stood up for ethics in the end.

    Well done, them.

    And well done, Orac, for 'facilitating' it for them.

  2. Now I think it's turn for Lenny Schafer to make a proper pronouncement. After all, his Schafer Autism Report is media as well. I understand his initial response was not very thoughtful, but he still has a chance to correct that.

  3. This took guts, gotta hand it to them.

  4. I fail to see where someone should be applauded for doing the right thing, even considering who these people are. I also note that they mention they don't agree with Kathleen's opinions. Perhaps I missed something but I've never seen her give an opinion, only facts laid out for others to come to their own opinions. I still note their silence on the use of experimental and dangerous "medicine" on children which to me is the bigger issue.

  5. I'm sure this was not easy for Kirby and Olmsted. They didn't have a good end game, but did the right thing in the end. In EOHarm, people who are speaking favorably about freedom of speech are being called pharma shills and so forth.

    They didn't have to change their mind and agree with Kathleen, or address any other issues, nor were they expected to.

  6. They don't have to agree with Kathleen, true. But they minimized what she has uncovered by calling it "opinion". We do things everyday that are the right thing to do. We choose not to castrate our children with Lupron or subject them to Frankensteinium (word I made up) procedures. We shouldn't be congratulated for that anymore than they should be for calling a spade a spade. I expect people to do the right thing and I think getting a congratulatory expression when they do as lowering the expectations of what we expect them to do in the normal course of life. Now, if they could condemn what Kathleen has uncovered, then I would be a little bit more persuaded. After all, facts are facts and the right thing to do would be to condemn Geier and others who practice experimentation on children. However, they never will because they have a lower view of autistics and anything goes apparently. We now know from their statement that "they don't agree with her opinions", that they are aware of this barbarity and they choose to remain silent. Silence to it is acceptance of it. Therefore, they receive no quarter from me or thank you for the crumb ("more porridge please"). I'm not making a judgement on what you or others have wrote, I'm making a judgement on they're "private email" and them as "journalists" and fellow human beings.

    Sorry if I'm being a bit of a hard ass on this, I just see it a different way.

  7. Much as I hate it, it's important to notice and reward when people do the right thing these days, especially when it's in such a polarized context.

    If naught else, it reminds us to keep our own standards.

    Kudos to them. And yes, I do hope Lennie Schafer is next.

  8. "And yes, I do hope Lennie Schafer is next."

    He'll never do it. Cold day in hell, and all that....

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Little Johnny there can't keep his trap shut:

    "I wonder if Shoemaker would drop it Kathleem apologized publicly for all of the character assassination she's done to Dr Geier?"

    Johnny, grow the fuck up, will you?

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. John, watch it. I considered deleting your comment, based on Blogger Content Policy, specifically:

    "UNLAWFUL USE OF SERVICES: Our products and services should not be used for unlawful purposes or for promotion of dangerous and illegal activities. Your account may be terminated and you may be reported to the appropriate authorities."

    While I cannot prove that you are engaging in unlawful activity, I think that accusing someone of libel could itself be libel. You clearly do not have a basis to make that libel accusation.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. No John; unless you can back up your accusation against Kathleen, I'd strongly recommend you delete that comment yourself.

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Um...

    Someone: "Dave, Telling me to shut up won't make Kathleen any less guilty of libel."

    Same person: "The point is that Sanity Pending telling me to shut up is about the best argument that neuroinsanity can create."

    Evidently left school before he learned to read.

    I actually said: "Johnny, grow the fuck up, will you?"

    And he calls me defective!

    Um... what's wrong with this picture?

  17. Why do you allow this idiot John Best to smear his feces laden comments on your blog?

  18. John: As usual, I don't think you understand a concept here. None of that is libel. Furthermore, I don't see that Kathleen has used the words "quack" or "insurance fraud". She has simply presented facts, and it's up to readers to interpret.

    Anon: I try to abide by my stated comment policy, but John has gone too far and I do plan to change it.

  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. I'm applying my new comment policy to this post as well. From now on, however, all your messages, John, will be removed without leaving a trace.

  21. "Furthermore, I don't see that Kathleen has used the words 'quack' or 'insurance fraud'. She has simply presented facts, and it's up to readers to interpret."

    Actually, very much in line with typical training in information sciences, such as she has.

  22. "I wonder if Shoemaker would drop it Kathleem apologized publicly for all of the character assassination she's done to Dr Geier?"

    What character assassination? Geier deserves everything he gets.

    Sorry, Joseph! Couldn't help myself.

  23. While I too was surprised that Messers Kirby and Olmstead responded to Orac, a private email message isn't good enough for me.

    My clock (represented at How Long Until Kirby and Olmstead Speak on the Seidel Subpoena?) is still ticking.

    What Orac wrote was an open letter. Neither Mr. Kirby nor Mr. Olmstead have publically repudiated Shoemaker's actions.

    In other words: Messrs. Kirby and Olmstead, until you use your customary internet platforms to repudiate Mr. Shoemaker's action, you are on the hook.

  24. "Neither Mr. Kirby nor Mr. Olmstead have publically repudiated Shoemaker's actions."

    Actually, this is true, Liz!

    Well spotted!

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