Respectful Insolence

riley’smom is very unhappy with Amy Wallace:

I wrote Ms. Wallace a private email. I intentionally wrote it directly to her private email and DID NOT post it in the comments section of Wired Mag. I asked her about her one sided-biased interview with Mr Offit and asked if she planned to NOW do a fair and balanced report as many were questioning her porfessional reasoning. I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores…that perhaps she and Amanda Peet should get together and compare notes on how Ms Peets career was doing since she joined the Offit band wagon.

I received an email back form her thanking me for my input and that she takes this “very seriously”. A few days later…I receive another email from the Rants Department of Wired Mag wanting to publish my email and saying they needed my name, phone number, and home address in order to do so. (Yea, I don’t think so, I’ll get put on a list of terrorist with the likes of Bin Laden that have threatened the very delicate nature of Mr Offit and Ms Wallace)

I wrote back telling them this was a private email to Ms Wallace and I did not want it published, period. I also mentioned that if by chance they decided to go against my wishes and publish my email in any shape or form, they will be speaking to my lawyer. She had no right to forward my email onto anyone as it was sent to her privately. If I wanted the world to read it I would have posted in the comments section of Wired.

Sure, because AoA sooooo respects the privacy of private e-mails, as it did for Gardiner Harris of the New York Times, certain reporters from the L.A. Times, and yourse truly. I’d take riley’smom more seriously if she had criticized AoA as well for breaching the privacy of e-mail, which it regularly does. Indeed, those of us who counter the idiocy regularly laid down by AoA have learned a hard lesson, namely, “If someone associated with AoA ever e-mails you, assume that anything you write in the exchange is likely to be made public.”

As for the post itself, it’s just J.B. spewing the same pseudoscientific nonsense that I’ve slapped down over and over. The only difference is that he appears to be going for Orac-ian verbosity. Well, they always say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Comments

  1. #1 Dr. Free-Ride
    November 6, 2009

    It’s interesting that someone would assume a *right* to send an unsolicited email to an author casting aspersions on that author’s character AND to insist that the author receiving this email keep it private.

    I mean really, if you want your views on someone to stay private, isn’t the safest course of action just to keep them to yourself?

  2. #2 garth
    November 6, 2009

    “I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores”

    “I also mentioned that if by chance they decided to go against my wishes and publish my email in any shape or form, they will be speaking to my lawyer.”

    *SPROOOOIINGGGG*

    Not again…

  3. #3 DrFrank
    November 6, 2009

    I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores

    If that involves being one of the reality-based community that is trying to stop infectious diseases, I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.

    Age of Autism makes me a sad panda.

  4. #4 Mark P
    November 6, 2009

    Intriguing that anyone should call someone a “whore” and, at the same time, demand a more favourable response.

    Call me old-fashioned, but being that rude pretty much rules out getting people on your side. Surely riley’smom knows that and yet cannot control herself.

    Does emotion so rule these people that any sense is missing?

  5. #5 featheredfrog
    November 6, 2009

    I suspect her attorney would laugh her out of the office.

  6. #6 Speaking of Irony meters
    November 6, 2009

    “Call me old-fashioned, but being that rude pretty much rules out getting people on your side”

    So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.

  7. #7 Adam_
    November 6, 2009

    “So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.”

    What do you mean Orac isn’t the one threatening people and using misogynistic comments to intimidate people.

  8. #8 daedalus2u
    November 6, 2009

    Wait, is this the same Age of Autism that took private notes that Story Harris took during a meeting, misquoted them with a disingenuous and horrific spin, published them without checking with her first, and then demanded that she resign?

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=3443

    If you send questions to a reporter, you have nothing to object to if they print the questions and answer them.

  9. #9 snerd
    November 6, 2009

    Oh, shut up Sue. You’ve pretty much used up your quota of stupid. You’re now grinding against the wheelstone of tedium. Get a new schtick, please.

  10. #10 SLC
    November 6, 2009

    Re Rileys’mom

    Rileys’moms’ lawyer is probably Orly Taitz.

  11. #11 Joseph C.
    November 6, 2009

    Indeed, those of us who counter the idiocy regularly laid down by AoA have learned a hard lesson, namely, “If someone associated with AoA ever e-mails you, assume that anything you write in the exchange is likely to be made public.”

    This is the correct assumption for ALL emails.

  12. #12 JohnV
    November 6, 2009

    “I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores.”

    Stay classy you antivax scum bag.

  13. #13 History Punk
    November 6, 2009

    Personally, I loved this quote:

    “Seriously, it was almost like Orac was in there with his hand up her butt like a puppet making her talk.”

    Attention everyone. If reality is against you, then fair and balance reporting is not impossible but also immoral.

  14. #14 MikeMa
    November 6, 2009

    rileysmom slipped in another dig at Dr Offit by addressing him as Mr Offit. He earned the salutation. All rileysmom ever earned was scorn and derision.

  15. #15 Orac
    November 6, 2009

    “So true! Maybe Orac can learn from this comment.”

    What do you mean Orac isn’t the one threatening people and using misogynistic comments to intimidate people.

    If I ever e-mail rileysmom and call her a “whore,” she would be more than justified in holding up the e-mail to ridicule.

    Of course, that will never happen.

  16. #16 Harold L Doherty
    November 6, 2009

    “If I ever e-mail rileysmom and call her a “whore,” she would be more than justified in holding up the e-mail to ridicule.

    Of course, that will never happen.”

    Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.

  17. #17 To Harold: Well done
    November 6, 2009

    “Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.”

    Bravo, sir!

  18. #18 DLC
    November 6, 2009

    Right . . . The willful ignorance squad, in the form of the anonymous “rileysmom” strikes again.
    Hiding behind a ‘nym, whoever it is strikes out at Ms Wallace, Dr.Offit Wired magazine and Amanda Peet (whose career seems to be doing just fine, if you look at her IMDB page) and then they insist on keeping it private ? To hell with her. publish it.

  19. #19 DLC
    November 6, 2009

    PS: it’s not the pseudonym that bugs me, its the one-sided privacy. “rileysmom” gets to snipe from cover, and her targets get to sit there and take it. It offends my sense of fair play.

  20. #20 Richard Eis
    November 6, 2009

    Give us an ‘O’
    Give us an ‘R’
    Give us an ‘A’
    Give us a ‘C’

    I like how she is mortified….mortified that a larger audience might find out what a foul mouthed ignorant bitch she is. The merest question that someone might ask politely if they can print it is enough to cause a fit of the nazis.

    We can guess which small group of people are “questioning her porfessional reasoning” as well i’m sure.

  21. #21 nitramnaed
    November 6, 2009

    Who cares about “rileysmom”…….I feel sorry for poor Riley.

  22. #22 DLC
    November 6, 2009

    Sorry. I just have to add in :
    Yes, I know Orac, and myself and others post here under ‘nyms. but we’re posting in public, not sending emails to someone’s private email address. Granted, rileysmom did eventually post most of her rant somewhere, but only after Wired offered to publish it. Remind me next time to have a second coffee before posting, maybe I’ll be more clear.

  23. #23 Calli Arcale
    November 6, 2009

    So, she e-mailed something extremely inflammatory to a reporter, received a polite reply saying the reporter would look into it, then received another polite e-mail essentially offering to republish her views at no cost to her, suddenly her privacy is being violated? What, is her message not important enough to share with the public? I can only imagine that to be the case if rileysmom was afraid that it would prove Wallace’s point about intimidation. Which, based on what she reprinted on her own, it clearly would.

    I am amazed how few people understand that when you send someone a letter (via any medium) is not private unless you say so. Them’s the rules of the written word. It’s not like a phone conversation, no matter how much they may wish it were. And anyway, if I received a sexually harassing e-mail at work, I don’t care who sent it; I’m sharing it with the boss, because company policy is that if you’re being harassed on the job, the company needs to know about it. Seems to me that this would apply.

    Honestly, they treated her far better than she deserved. That she can’t see that is only testimony to her desire to see them as evil, no matter what.

  24. #24 Dan Weber
    November 6, 2009

    Riley’smom is right in the sense that, if I write you a private email, I maintain copyright. If a famous poet writes you a series of letters you cannot publish them as a book.

    Ms. Wallace is very likely to have a Fair Use defense, though, even without her being called a “whore.” Once that word was used, she has even more reason to forward to her employer.

    Also, there are no financial damages riley’smom could possibly sue over. Although she legally has copyright, her financial rights would not be measurably damaged at all by a forwarding or publishing of her letter.

  25. #25 Sir Eccles
    November 6, 2009

    Regarding Ms Peet, isn’t she in that blockbuster movie “2012″?

    According to IMDB she seems to scrape by on 3 or 4 movies a year, it must be tough.

  26. #26 Science Mom
    November 6, 2009

    I read some of Handley’s ‘facts’ and simply couldn’t continue. I can’t help but laugh at the accusations of ‘closed-mindedness’ by the pro-science contingency whilst they are sitting derisively in their echo chamber of communal reinforcement.

    Expectations of privacy for a threatening and vile email? Rileysmom should avail herself of some high colonics (available from a DAN! near her no doubt) to help extract her head from her bum. Oh, and I wouldn’t get too worked up over the infantile attempt to disparage Dr. Offit by referring to him as Mister Offit. Afterall, it’s what we call MDs in some other countries; it’s a perfectly respectful acknowledgement.

  27. #27 the rugbyologist
    November 6, 2009

    While rileysmom maintains copyright, an email has no automatic expectation of privacy, confidentiality, or privelege – just like a normal, mailed letter. Wired acted appropriately in asking permission to publish, at which point they are attempting to gain financial benefit from rileysmom’s “work” (i.e., effluvia). rileysmom’s over the top reaction is what we call here, “borrowing a jack.” Perhaps her expectation is based on her experience with AoA and she is unaware that other institutions behave in a more civilized manner.

    Offit’s whore implies that Offit is paying us money (it may also be slander since it implies an illegal, financial relationship, but perhaps that is a tad pedantic). I prefer the term “Offit groupie”, because I work for free.

  28. #28 Kristjan Wager
    November 6, 2009

    I am amazed how few people understand that when you send someone a letter (via any medium) is not private unless you say so. Them’s the rules of the written word.

    Actually, even then, it’s not private. Just because you want to keep it private, doesn’t mean that the other party have to agree.

    It’s not like a phone conversation, no matter how much they may wish it were.

    In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it. The other side doesn’t even need to be made aware of the recording.

    So, phone conversations are not necessarily private either.

  29. #29 Pierce R. Butler
    November 6, 2009

    … a fair and balanced report …

    Come on, Wallace, bring your journalism to the standards of Beckoreilnity.

    That’s what Americans are demanding of you!

    … they needed my name, phone number, and home address in order to do so. (Yea, I don’t think so, I’ll get put on a list of terrorist with the likes of Bin Laden …

    Curses! Now none of the Major Modern Conspiracies™ will be able to track down and “re-educate” riley’smom… even about correct use of plurals.

  30. #30 Boris
    November 6, 2009

    I just wish that her Twitter feed were more interesting.

  31. #31 Pierce R. Butler
    November 6, 2009

    Kristjan Wager @ # 28: In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it.

    In the US, that varies by state.

  32. #32 DLC
    November 6, 2009

    Calli Arcale @23: Thanks. you said it much better than I could.

  33. #33 Dedj
    November 6, 2009

    “Quite true Orac. You do all your silly name calling on this web site to applause from your Neurodiversity cheerleaders.”

    Oh, the irony of resorting to silly name calling, whilst admonishing someone else for silly name calling, will be totally lost on Harold.

  34. #34 jj
    November 6, 2009

    In many countries (e.g. Canada, but not the US), it only requires the accept of one party of a phone conversation to legally record it. The other side doesn’t even need to be made aware of the recording.

    This is true in some states in the US, including California.

  35. #35 Rene Najera
    November 6, 2009

    I had a quite controlled and interesting e-mail conversation with Kim Stagliano, managing editor of AoA. It went quite nice. We even agreed on a couple of things. It really is a shame that adults can’t have adult discussion. Now, should I publish my e-mail discussions with Kim? Anyone dare me to? (Anyone a lawyer at a reasonable rate?)

  36. #36 JohnV
    November 6, 2009

    Grats on getting conversations out of Ms. Stagliano. She and her anti-vax cohorts at huffington post routinely censored my comments if they (my comments) were addressing the atrocious abuses of science they were perpetrating on the rest of us.

    I even went out of my way to be polite and stuff and no dice :p

  37. #37 Harold L Doherty
    November 6, 2009

    Over doing the irony thing a bit aren’t you dedj? Calling someone cheerleaders because they act like cheerleaders doesn’t equate with the self satisfied, back slapping, name calling that takes place on this alleged science blog.

  38. #38 Dedj
    November 6, 2009

    Sorry Harold, but the point was about calling people silly names.

    You can’t even stick to the point you had originally, so don’t try and get on your high horse and act pure and mighty.

    You used a silly name during your attempt to admonish another for using silly names.

    You got caught out, and shown up, that is all there is to it.

    Add to the thread or kindly remove yourself.

  39. #39 wackyvorlon
    November 6, 2009

    I will officially call Harold a poo-poo head! So there:p That being said, Harold, have you any data to support the perspective that vaccines are as harmful as AoA advocates?

  40. #40 Cath the Canberra Cook
    November 6, 2009

    Calling someone a “whore” isn’t calling them a silly name. Saying “poo-poo head” is silly. And so is “flibbertigibbet”. “Whore”, by contrast, is a very direct and misogynist insult, with no silliness at all.

  41. #41 Harold L Doherty
    November 6, 2009

    dedj

    Feel free to ban me from this alleged “science” blog. It is anything but. You do nothing here but smear dissident voices.
    Science blog? Not even close.

  42. #42 Dedj
    November 6, 2009

    Harold, I have no power to ban you, nor should I have to resort to such things even if I did.

    I was making a request for you to be civil and come up with an arguement of substance, which you utterly failed to do on both counts.

    You instead chose to compound your intial error by resorting to the very tactics you supposedly deride.

    Your self-contradiction is showing. Time for you to do your own flies up before deriding others.

    This blog is hugely liberal in terms of what you can get away with here, so its unlikely to get added to the ever increasing number of blogs you are banned from.

    If you want to substantiate your comments, you could try some direct quotes, or perhaps you have something of substance to add to the OP?

    Somehow I think we’ll all be waiting quite a while.

  43. #43 Dedj
    November 6, 2009

    As an aside, I find it funny that this thread already has more commentators in a few hours than Harold manages in a fortnight.

  44. #44 Joseph
    November 6, 2009

    You guys are probably not familiar with JB Handley’s email communication with Dr. Minshew. Dr. Minshew said:

    Mr. Handley none of you have permission to share emails that i have sent to you as individuals with anyone besides the intended receiver nor do you have permission to quote me publicly. Unlike the newspaper which was public, private emails to individuals sent confidentially are not for public quotation.

    You know what his answer was?

    Says who?

    And, tough shit.

    This is also when he made a very illogical pronouncement:

    Since we both can’t possibly be right, one of us has to be crazy.

  45. #45 Arakiba
    November 6, 2009

    These anti-science, anti-reason “vaccines are bad” morons are pathetic, and nothing to be afraid of. What is their response to the vastly decreased number of sufferers of polio or smallpox? They have none. They are laughable. Let them rail against us, with their spokesmen with no background in science at all — they are the equivalent of flat-earthers, astrologers, and dowsers. They speak only nonsense…but that nonsense gets them book deals and speaking engagements on Oprah and Larry King. No wonder they protest so vocally against real data.

  46. #46 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 7, 2009
    I also asked her how it felt to be one of Offit’s whores

    If that involves being one of the reality-based community that is trying to stop infectious diseases, I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.

    The slogan “Offit’s Whores: Saving Lives” has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

  47. #47 LibraryGuy
    November 8, 2009

    “I’ll get myself a T-Shirt made up right away.”

    And please, for Harold’s sake, could you, um, wear the cheerleader skirt?

  48. #48 red rabbit
    November 8, 2009

    I see no reason not to call names: riley’smom is clearly not functioning highly enough to understand other forms of reasoning, so I’m going to call her, let’s see, a stupid misogynist poopyhead.

    Nyah nyah so there.

    Oh also, Harold. Harold is making up threats to ban him, is name-calling on the topic of name-calling, and seems rather put out that everyone doesn’t fall down over his clearly superior intellect which isn’t done justice by the quality of his comments, or something. I’m waiting for that superior argument Harold. I’m sure you have wonderful studies in your hand which prove your point.

    Or not.

  49. #49 storkdok
    November 8, 2009

    Calli already said what I thought, and much better.

  50. #50 Joseph C.
    November 8, 2009

    These anti-science, anti-reason “vaccines are bad” morons are pathetic, and nothing to be afraid of.

    I’m not afraid of them. I’m afraid of the consequences for the children of those who take them seriously.

    We’re already seeing pockets of resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases. While we probably won’t see a doomsday scenario, there could be a good amount of totally unnecessary M&M.

  51. #51 crankynick
    November 9, 2009

    Just as a point of journalistic ethics, riley’s mom had no reason to expect her email should remain private – you make an agreement with a journalist about keeping things ‘off the record’ before you say them, not afterwards.

    If she emailed first and said she had some concerns, but could they keep the rest of the conversation private then sure, she may have a point (if Wallace had agreed, at least).

    What’s she’s done is the equivalent of doing an interview with a journo and then saying ‘oh, by the way, that last bit was off the record’ – if you want to do that, you rolls the dice and you takes your chances…

    Wired and Wallace did the right thing in contacting her and asking, but they were under no obligation to do so imho.

  52. #52 Richard Eis
    November 9, 2009

    -You do nothing here but smear dissident voices.-

    Dissidents from science…yes. Yes you are. ie anti-science. It is a shame you are not also anti-technology (even though this tech came from the science you deride)

  53. #53 Broken Link
    November 9, 2009

    There are lots of dissident voices allowed here, which is more than I can say for Harold Doherty’s blog, where censorship is the order of the day. He’s even resorted to advertising his posts on the EoHarm yahoo group to try to drive himself some traffic.

    I really wonder about Harold, and I sense a great deal of anger there. Years ago he was angry at Michelle Dawson, and in fact, at anyone who dared suggest that ABA wasn’t a cure for autism. Now he’s moved to becoming an apologist for the anti-vaccine movement.

    Harold, since I can’t post this on your blog, I want to point out a recent editorial published in the journal Pediatrics:

    http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%2809%2900035-3/abstract

    Application of behavioral interventions for autism exceed evidence of efficacy

    This issue of The Journal includes the report of a study by
    Australian investigators Spreckley and Boyd, who performed a systematic review of studies of acute behavioral intervention (ABI) in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

    They evaluated robustness of study methodologies using the
    physiotherapy evidence database (PEDro) scale and performed
    meta-analysis using selected studies in order to assess efficacy of interventions on intellectual and behavioral outcomes. Considering that only three randomized controlled trials (including a total of 76 children) have been published, that subjects were not always stratified by age at intervention or cognitive ability, and that control groups participated in uncontrolled interventions, it may not be surprising that ABIs had little demonstrable value added for long-term outcomes. The authors provide critically important information to the medical community and highlight gaping holes in our knowledge of the best ways to support preschool children with an autistic spectrum disorder and their families.

    In an accompanying editorial, Msall agrees fully with the
    authors’ conclusions and adds the context of US children affected and dollars that would be required to apply ABI. Most importantly, he stresses the opportunity and necessity for parents and developmental professionals to be allies in the challenge of each child’s care and also in planning research. As Msall points out, it is critical to measure broad outcomes that include the caregiver’s
    physical and mental health, the sibling’s physical and mental health, and the impact on family life.
    —Sarah S. Long, MD
    page 338 (article)
    page 319 (editorial)

  54. #54 Corina Becker
    November 9, 2009

    (sorry all, jumping over the lovely discussion in the comments tonight)

    Just wanted to point out that I also sent Amy Wallace an email and got a request to post my email on the rants section. So, it’s not gathering information for a “terrorist” list.

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