Facts? Most journalists could care less. Prefer to be liked.

By SHELLY STOWE . . .

I have just had a lesson in how far those who are opposed to our advocacy are willing to go to suppress the truth.

This started exactly a month ago with this op/ed in the March 13 online edition of the Longview, WA Daily News. RSOL wrote a rebuttal, received assurance from the News’ online editor that she would consider it, and sent it off. After a week of hearing nothing, receiving no response to inquiries, and not finding it online, it was posted on this blog and a link sent to the News’ publisher. The online editor responded on March 23rd that it would be printed sometime that week. When I looked for it on the 24th, imagine my surprise when, instead of the rebuttal piece, I found another op/ed defending their first op/ed supporting public registration. I updated my blog entry, and she was immediately¬†contacted about the rebuttal piece; to the best of our knowledge, no response was received.

I looked every day; she was written again on the 29th, and, again, no reply was seen. March turned into April. On April 10th both she and the publisher were emailed with an inquiry. She responded the next day saying that she had replied on the 29th and that the piece had been printed on March 25th. She sent the link and, sure enough, there it was!

How could it have escaped our attention? We scoured the dailynews.com site every day looking for it. And how was the email of the 29th overlooked? We will never have an answer to the second question. The email has been searched repeatedly, and the searches have turned up no communication from her or anyone at the News on the 29th. If she did indeed send one, it has dissipated like the morning dew in mid-summer.

We can, however, answer the first question. It escaped our attention — and our fervent hunting day after day — because it appears to have been buried. It was not listed with other pieces printed in the Opinion section. If we had known what they named it, we could have searched on their site and found it. But no one else could have found it. No one else could have seen it. No one else could have determined that it existed in order to find it in order to read it.

When it was printed, all of the hyperlinks to the studies cited were removed. But then if no one will be reading it, no one will need any links to click, will they? Additionally, every op/ed printed there that we saw has a comment section. The rebuttal piece has none. But if no one will be reading something, they won’t be commenting on it, will they?

Just out of curiosity, we looked at other types of articles on the site. Whether it was news or sports, opinion or entertainment, it has a comment section. Even the articles taken from AP have comment sections. Certainly we did not look at every article they have posted over a lengthy period of time, but we looked at many, and every one looked at has a place to leave a comment. Only one was found with no comment capabilities, and that is the one rebutting theirs.

So that leaves only one question for the Longview, Washington Daily News: Did you bury our op-ed? If so, what are you afraid of? What do you not want people thinking about if they read that article? What do you not want people seeing if they click the links and read a couple of research studies? What do you not want people saying if they left a comment on the article?

What are you afraid of?

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