Poor Jeni Barnett.
You remember Jeni Barnett, don’t you? She’s the U.K. radio host whose ill-informed rants against vaccines Ben Goldacre exposed so gloriously last week. Unfortunately, the price Ben paid consisted of threats of legal action for “copyright infringement” in the form of his having posted audio of the relevant segment of Barnett’s show. Yes, LBC, the radio station on which Barnett’s show runs, threatened to sue, forcing Ben to take down the audio. However, as almost always happens when a blogger is threatened in such a manner, the specter of legal action led to the audio files metastasizing to many blogs and websites and screwed up Barnett’s Google juice to the point where the first page of search results on her name is made up mostly of posts about what an antivaccination moron she is.
That was the first failure of the memory hole.
The second failure came after Jeni apparently didn’t like all the negative comments that her defense of what she said on the air brought to her blog. Most of the comments were unrelentingly negative, taking Barnett to task for her ignorance.
Fortunately, ever-vigilant, Le Canard Noir has preserved Barnett’s original post and all of its comments as of February 8. Once again, as it did for HIV/AIDS denialists the memory hole fails in the age of the Internet, and efforts to suppress criticism have massively backfired.
When will the cranks ever learn?