Jul 31 2012
Tuesday News: Jonah Lehrer caught fabricating quotes in new book; Stephen Leather terrorizes unknown author; Maeve Binchy passes away
The world is filled with terrible people and awful news. I’m sorry.
Lehrer was caught self plagiarizing his own work earlier this year and since this all was revealed, he resigned from the New Yorker.
You can read more here. Leather is now threatening lawsuits against Jeremy Duns for … truth telling? I’m not sure. In the US, defamation is defensible by truth. Nothing Dun has said appears to be false. Not sure what the standard is in the UK. One of Jeremy Duns’ followers pointed him to a law in the UK that prohibits the faking of customer reviews.
Some proprietors may not be aware that astroturfing is illegal, but it is. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations say that pretending to be a consumer and giving yourself a positive review is ‘an unfair commercial practice’. This is a criminal offence and proprietors are potentially liable for an unlimited fine and a prison sentence of two years.
Really wonderful people have died already in 2012. Nora Ephron passed away in last month. Sally Kristen Ride, Ph.D died a week ago. She was the first woman in space. Even more sad, her partner of over twenty years is not entitled to any benefits because of the lack of recognition for same sex partners. And yesterday news of Maeve Binchy’s death at the age of 72 was delivered.
Finally, let me briefly address the Chick Fil A debacle. As many of you may know, the CEO came out and said that he supports only the biblical definition of families:
Chick-fil-A is “very much supportive of the family,” according to Dan Cathy, president of the popular fast food chain. That is, “the biblical definition of the family unit,” he said.
And that doesn’t include Adam and Steve, suggests Cathy, whose father S. Truett Cathy founded the Atlanta-based company.
Jim Henson’s Muppets subsequently severed ties with Chick-fil-A. There is supposed to be a national GLBT kiss in this Wednesday. And finally, the Berenstein Bears posted a note on its site that said “A message from HarperCollins: We have a long history of diversity and inclusiveness, and are very disappointed to hear recent statements made by Chick-Fil-A. After much consideration, we have decided to honor our previous arrangement, [sic] with the chain. We have no plans to work with them in the future.”
If you’ve made it this far, have a gander at Buzzfeeds list of cats and dogs getting ready for the Dark Knight Rises.