Thursday, November 12, 2009

SafeLibraries Twists Facts Again, and Bans NonCensor for Catching Him in the Act

In today's post, SafeLibraries once again twists facts and hopes nobody notices.  I caught him red handed, and now he's banned me from his blog.  As usual, he claims I am engaging in a personal attack, which I most definitely am not.  An ad hominem or personal attack seeks to damage a speaker's reputation rather than dealing directly with his evidence, in hopes that the listener will then pay less attention to the evidence.  It is NOT an ad hominem or personal attack to point out a factual error in someone's evidence.  If a speaker's reputation is damaged by being caught in fabricating evidence, that is the speaker's fault, not the fault of the person pointing out the fabrication.

The exact sentence in question, cut and pasted here from SafeLibrarie's blog post, is:
As Judith Krug of the American Library Association said, "Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore.'"
He has here altered the meaning of the source he is quoting from, which is a 1995 issue of Focus on the Family Citizen (I have carried his link forward into the above text).  The original source makes it clear that Krug's only original words were the quote within the quote: 'don't really care about their kids growing up and leaning to think and explore.'  SafeLibraries subtly rewrote the original, and in so doing put words in Judith Krug's mouth that the original makes clear she never actually spoke.  Judith Krug did not say the words "Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy." Those are the words of the Focus on the Family Citizen magazine. This is quite clear from the caption under the picture at the bottom of page 3 of the magazine issue (click the link above).


To be clear, there is only one possible way to interpret the sentence SafeLibraries wrote, which is that all of the words within the outer quotes were Ms. Krug's own.  The only way a reader would discover otherwise would be to click on the link, find the quote in the original, and read the original sentence with careful attention to its punctuation.


My experience has been that this is quite typical of SafeLibraries' twisting art.  There's always a small change in wording here, a discrepancy ignored there, a possibility recast as a probability, a probability recast as a certainty.  In this case, he changes whose mouth which words came out of, a detail which can be critical in debates such as these.  After all such subtleties in one of SafeLibraries' articles are added up, we find that the reader has been allowed to take home a message that is radically different from the facts.  


In general, I doubt these shifts of meaning are accidental.  I think SafeLibraries knowingly modifies the facts to conform to the message he has decided in advance that they will carry.  I could believe today's gaffe was just an error if I didn't have so much of his history to work with, and if his obvious writing ability didn't make it so clear that he actually does know the rules.


I responded to his post:



Anybody out there know what the late Ms. Krug's actual words were in the above quotation? Only the words within the inner quotes ('don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore') are Ms. Krug's words, and that is only a sentence fragment.
The words in the outer quote ("Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy") are the words of Focus On Family Citizen magazine, not Ms. Krug. This is quite clear if locate the quote in the source SafeLibries links that quote to.
So what did she really say?


Thu Nov 12, 11:39:00 AM 2009 

He wrote back:



Well, that's why I provided the quote accurately and the source material in its entirety, as is my habit, and just for reasons such as the one Non-Censor raises.
Here is that source again:
"What Lurks in the Library? - The American Library Association Believes Children Should Have Access to All Material, No Matter How Violent or Obscene," byScott DeNicola, (Focus on the Family) Citizen, 18 September 1995.
"Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore.'"


Thu Nov 12, 11:55:00 AM 2009

I Clarified:


You did provide the quote, per se, accurately. But the sentence you wrote was not accurate. You wrote:

As Judith Krug of the American Library Association said, "Parents who would tell their children not to read Playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore.'"
Your sentence, as ordered and punctuated puts exact words into the mouth of Ms. Krug, which, in fact, she did not utter.

And in spite of the care I took to focus on exact words and facts, and to avoid issues of personalities, SafeLibraries' response was:

I provided complete punctuation. The double quotes and the single quotes are present and reflect the original. I provided the entire document that was the source of the quote. The quote is obviously not mine, and the portion that is Judith Krug's is obvious as well. I constructed the sentence in the normal manner that anyone would construct such sentences. Anyone can read the source and decide for himself if the author's sentence accurately presents the truth of the matter reported by the author.


Yet you are saying I'm putting words in someone's mouth. 


This is an example of your turning almost every issue into one where I am the target of your attacks. The NCAC literally pushing porn while at the same time advising local communities and school districts about "censorship," that you don't comment about. I suppose that is acceptable to you, but my typical use of punctuation is not.
In this case, you are cleverly accusing me.... No. You are expressly saying "Your sentence, as ordered and punctuated puts exact words into the mouth of Ms. Krug, which, in fact, she did not utter."
I followed all rules humanly possible to follow to ensure the quote was as accurately quoted as possible and the source was as accessible as possible. I wrote it no differently than someone else would have written it under the circumstances.
Yet here you are, Non-Censor, telling me, telling my audience, "Your sentence, as ordered and punctuated puts exact words into the mouth of Ms. Krug, which, in fact, she did not utter." In other words, I'm a liar and can't be trusted. Is there any other interpretation? It is a regular theme of yours in attack after attack.
Non-Censor, your comments are largely ad hominem in nature, have been made over a long period of time, and serve only to detract from the issue at hand. I have worked with you to change that, and for a blog post or two, you actually truly contributed for the first time, and I even pointed that out to you, even getting positive attention from the ALA. Ithanked you for that.
However, given the above and even despite my removing your persistent personal attacks from my previous blog post, you come back here and claim I am making things up despite my accurate and proper use of punctuation and link to a reliable source, and my sentence structure that anyone would have used without being accused of intentionally lying.
At some point one has to give up on a lost cause. Getting you to address issues instead of attacking me personally with falsity like illustrated by your current comments has been sincerely attempted by me, but I have obviously failed.
Sadly, I do not have the time to evaluate and respond to your persistent, personal attacks any longer. Please do not further write on my blog posts. If you do, I will remove your comments ASAP given the above circumstances and the obviousness that your attacks will never end no matter what I do, sad as that truly makes me. Do not write on my blog posts any further.


Thu Nov 12, 02:35:00 PM 2009

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for continually trying to debunk the stuff Ginny and Safe libraries puts out. They don't seem to let actual fact get in the way of their personal desire to see the libraries across the nation sterilized.
    I did find it ironic that Ginny went to the state capitol to fight against the Growth and Devlopment committee losing local control of how to teach sex-ed, but is still backing the idea that the local librarians and library board members need to be told what is appropriate and not appropriate reading material for teenagers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Local MLIS studentFriday, November 13, 2009

    This is ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete