Incorrect order of events in post about outing a U.S. politician September 7, 2009 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Incorrect order of events in post about outing a U.S. politician

This post from September 4 seems factual on the surface of its first sentence: “Senator Jake Knotts claims that embattled South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is the one spreading rumors that Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer is a closeted homosexual.”

While all that may be happening, the source of the “rumour” (it’s actually just reporting) is the same site misrepresented in the post’s second sentence: “Now BlogActive journalist Mike Rogers... adds credibility to the rumors.”

Mike Rogers broke the story. As is typical in these cases, with few exceptions the mainstream media refused to report it. What they are reporting is second- and third-hand claims that a senator and a governor are the ones “spreading rumo[u]rs.” Hence what really happened is, in the following specific order:
  1. Rogers reported that an anti-gay politician was actually gay
  2. A few media outlets picked it up, but most didn’t
  3. A politician accused another politician of “spreading rumours”; Senator Knotts wrote a letter (PDF) that claimed “Sanford associates” fed Rogers information, i.e., Sanford associates made the claim first, Rogers second
  4. Mainstream media picked up on that as though it were the true sequence of events
  5. Hermitosis’s MetaFilter post recapitulated this incorrect sequence of events, incorrectly stating Rogers “add[ed] credibility to the rumours” (i.e. discussed the topic post-facto)
posted by joeclark to MetaFilter-Related at 10:11 AM (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Okay, if the post is from September 4, that means it is still active.

Which means that you can post the relevant correction on post.

Misinformation gets posted to the blue all the time. Then helpful members post clarifications and corrections. That's what makes MetaFilter so great: the community participation.

I don't see how this is "MetaFilter-related" at all.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:20 AM on September 7, 2009


Frankly I'm surprised and grateful that someone cared enough about my post to correct it. Thank you, joeclark.
posted by hermitosis at 10:20 AM on September 7, 2009


That thread is still open. Explain to me please how this is MetaFilter-related and not that-post-related.
posted by carsonb at 10:21 AM on September 7, 2009


*points at nose and twiddles fingers towards Deathalicious*
posted by carsonb at 10:22 AM on September 7, 2009


Yeah if you could post this in the still-open thread it would be great.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:29 AM on September 7, 2009


joeclark, just to be clear: I think that this correction is certainly warranted and deserves to be seen. Please make sure to cut and paste this back into the relevant post. MetaFilter does get excellent search ranking, so it might be one of the top results for this story soon. It'd be better if the correction were directly in the post rather than a link "in the grey" which might be an unfamiliar concept to wanderers-in. (Incidentally, one thing I really like about the Interwebs is that corrections to stories are often placed right on the story's page, which is a lot better than the old practice of having an out of the way "Corrections" page.)

Speaking of Corrections Pages, does anyone remember the joke based on a newspaper that keeps publishing corrections that just keep getting worse and worse? I can't find it anywhere.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:32 AM on September 7, 2009


I don't know about the one you're looking for specifically, but The Collected Apologies of Lawrence H. Summers, President of Harvard. is pretty good.
posted by carsonb at 10:49 AM on September 7, 2009


I wanted to use the greatest degree of discretion and this is where I decided to put it. You can disagree with the location, but that’s just complaining for complaining’s sake. This is all the work I’m putting into the topic.
posted by joeclark at 11:46 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, and I always had you pegged as one of our less surly Prime Ministers.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:03 PM on September 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is all the work I’m putting into the topic.

Thankfully, someone is finally pointing out how onerous cutting and pasting actually is.
posted by found missing at 12:15 PM on September 7, 2009 [10 favorites]


Say No To Ctrl+C!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:23 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


On the tenuous grounds that this is an update link and given that the OPP has bowed out, this is something I'd have liked to add to KokuRyu's post on Caijing but it's closed to new comments: Why is Caijing -- long a lone outpost of daring Chinese journalism -- suddenly censoring itself?
(One way of saying non-sequitur in Chinese is '不根据前提的推理'.)
posted by Abiezer at 12:28 PM on September 7, 2009


I don't see how this is "MetaFilter-related" at all.

An in-thread correction, while formally correct and having the advantage of directly reaching the audience who are interested in that subject, fails in several important ways.

a.) It minimizes the call out potential directed at the original post's author. A call out as important as this really needs its own framing, in order that the poster might bask in it's spectacular glory.

b.) It minimizes the potential for drama. How many times does a poster flame out because a post gets corrected in thread? Compare that with how often a poster flames out because they've been called out on MetaTalk and I think you'll get my drift.

c.) The poster disapproves of outing. Unfortunately, he has a compulsive urge to correct errors. Therefore, he wants to post his correction on a lower traffic section of the site.

This is all the work I’m putting into the topic.

If we don't bash hermitosis and praise joeclark sufficiently, we may still get the flameout that joeclark desired after all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:34 PM on September 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


I wanted to use the greatest degree of discretion and this is where I decided to put it. You can disagree with the location, but that’s just complaining for complaining’s sake.

For better or worse, one of the strong cultural traditions of MetaFilter is we care about what is posted where. It's totally disingenous to say that posting a frikking MeTa is more "discrete" than posting a correction mid-thread. Complaining about the location is the frikking complaint. If I poo on your basement floor and then later say it was because I was worried the noise would disturb you if I had used the bathroom, you are totally justified in complaining about the location where I laid my turd.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:14 PM on September 7, 2009


I wanted to use the greatest degree of discretion

Can you maybe explain why you mentioned the post was by Hermitosis, tagged it hermitosis and added a title attribute to the first link of "By Hermitosis"? Such focus on the poster rather than the content seems neither discreet nor relevant to your correction. It looks to me like you were expecting (even hoping for) an argument over the correction, which would make sense to move to MeTa, except that it didn't actually happen.
posted by scottreynen at 1:25 PM on September 7, 2009


Say No To Ctrl+C!

The Church of Emacs has always disapproved of this crude reappropriation of a most holly command prefix. Only an unrepentant sinner would use a keybinding other than M-w for yanking.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:29 PM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh good grief. Are you all 14 year old girls?

If you think -so much- that it belongs in the original thread, why don't you just paste it there and add a comment here: "I think the correction is great and I copied it over so that more people will see it?" That would be a community play.

This is just drama.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:35 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you all 14 year old girls?

Well, your mom isn't.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:39 PM on September 7, 2009


This is just drama.

Drama?!?!

THIS. IS. META!!!!

No, but in all seriousness, this is exactly the sort of thing that gets brought up in these threads. If joeclark really is too pained to cut and paste it into the thread, fine, maybe somebody will paste it in for him. I'm not going to do it, and face the possibility that he'll be irked, or think that I'm doing it to prove a point or make a fuss. I've already gotten into minor stuff with him in the past, and all my past experience has told me that he is weird about interaction on the site. That's exactly the sort of drama I don't need.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:41 PM on September 7, 2009


Are you all 14 year old girls?

Well, your mom isn't.


Well, she used to be.
posted by Elmore at 1:42 PM on September 7, 2009


Oh good grief. Are you all 14 year old girls?

Yes. Are you new here?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:50 PM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, upon inspection, you are. No 'STFU n00b1!' was intended by that, apologies for any offense.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:51 PM on September 7, 2009


No offense, just a good laugh.

(I didn't think I was that new)
posted by SLC Mom at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2009


If you think -so much- that it belongs in the original thread, why don't you just paste it there

Ok, but joeclark's "This is all the work I’m putting into the topic" reaction is hilariously strange, and deserves a bit of WTF? aimed in his direction. It does seem like he was spoiling for some sort of personal fight and is now petulantly taking his ball and going home after it didn't happen. Weird.
posted by mediareport at 2:08 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh good grief. Are you all 14 year old girls?

Everyone but mediareport. Apparently, he's the mature 17 year old or something, what with the copying and the pasting. I wonder if he has a cool car. I bet he does.
posted by Atreides at 2:33 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Say No To Ctrl+C!

Oh noes! An Apple user on Metafilter! Burn him at the stake!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2009


It does seem like he was spoiling for some sort of personal fight...

Huh. Well, it looks like you have to be spoilier than that to get a rise out of me, these days.
posted by hermitosis at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2009


I didn't think I was that new.

3 months at a ten year old site is pretty new, but like he said, it doesn't matter. All are welcome, and everyone needs a hug.

posted by lazaruslong at 3:33 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is awful. I feel ill.
posted by Elmore at 3:55 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


3 months at a ten year old site is pretty new, but like he said, it doesn't matter. All are welcome, and everyone needs a hug.

It's cuz I lurked for a long time before coughed up my 5 bucks.
posted by SLC Mom at 4:23 PM on September 7, 2009


If you are coughing up currency you need to get off the computer and go see a doctor ASAP.

IANAL.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:35 PM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


It does seem like he was spoiling for some sort of personal fight...

I don't think he's spoiling for a fight, but rather just inherited the tone from Mike Rogers. The latest post there says this on the subject:

The media WANT people to think that Sanford did this. It makes for better sensationalism. Luckily there is one paper that cares about the truth.

I don't intend to disparage Mr. Rogers here, I just wanted to point out his style.
posted by Pants! at 4:42 PM on September 7, 2009


It's totally disingenous to say that posting a frikking MeTa is more "discrete" than posting a correction mid-thread.

Here, he is creating a new post. It is its own post, separate from the other thread. It is inherently discrete.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:13 PM on September 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


It's a curious thing - constructing this whole time line, typing it out and linking it up was an acceptable bit of effort, but he's not willing to do the half-dozen or so keystrokes and mouseclicks it would take to drop it in the original thread? Huh.

Moot point now, considering that mediareport did it for him. Oh well.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

or, if you prefer

PIE! PIE! PIE!

or perhaps

PIE! FIGHT! PIE! FIGHT!
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or:

PIE FIGHT! PIE FIGHT! PIE FIGHT!

Surrealist UFC brought to you by Dali.
posted by djgh at 7:17 PM on September 7, 2009


SOMEBODY SAY PIE FIGHT???!~!

If you are coughing up currency you need to get off the computer and go see a doctor 'round Mister_A's place ASAP.
posted by Mister_A at 7:18 PM on September 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am a 14 year old boy.
posted by little e at 7:32 PM on September 7, 2009


little e is totally lying, liar liar.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:37 PM on September 7, 2009


*sigh* Okay, I admit it. I'm only 12.
posted by little e at 7:49 PM on September 7, 2009


But 12 is the age of consent where I live, and that's what counts.
posted by little e at 7:51 PM on September 7, 2009


That's how it is outside the major coastal urban zones.
posted by gman at 8:02 PM on September 7, 2009


...a most holly command prefix.

Fa-la-lal-la la-lal-lal-lal-la!
posted by ericb at 8:35 PM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


~/our> donwe ./gay/apparel -now
posted by davejay at 1:57 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honey, you were raped.
posted by ctmf at 7:34 PM on September 8, 2009


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