Saturday, September 20, 2008

Schmuck in the headlights

Jan from the Bruce asked the pivotal question this morning over at Dawg's Blawg. At what point do you start considering sanctions against a blogger engaging in unethical conduct?

The case: Cherniak first wrote a dishonest post about ex-NDP candidate Dana Larsen on Wednesday. The ick factor was reasonably high on this piece - primarily due to Jason knowingly describing a parody clearly written for adults as Larsen 'telling children to dope up'.

In the comments for that post Brian from Toronto directs Jason to a posting at Dust My Broom about Stacy Douglas. Brian from Toronto is Brian Henry who wrote the Dust My Broom piece and the Jewish Tribune piece on Douglas. Five minutes searching of Brian Henry on the Internet reveals someone with a serious axe to grind against the NDP, convinced of the premise that there is far more and more virulent antisemitism on the left than on the right.

Cherniak jumped on the chance to tar the NDP as antisemitic, although he is careful not to actually use the legally actionable word. No, Cherniak's new standard is that being 'anti-Israel' should bar someone from public life forever. Being opposed to a foreign government should make you beyond the pale in Canada. He also presents the Dust My Broom post and the Jewish Tribune story as reinforcing separate sources when they were both written by the same guy.

The Facts: Jason first titled the post NDP Candidate is Anti-Israel and claimed that Stacy Douglas was the NDP candidate for Scarborough-Agincourt. When it was repeatedly pointed out to him that no, she wasn't, he....waited another day, arguing that it was up to his readers to get his facts straight, before finally 'correcting' his post.

His correction consisted of re-titling the post NDP fired candidate who was anti-Israel. He presents no evidence that Douglas was fired or that she was fired for being 'anti-Israel'. He just assumes it must be the case because that's how he sees the world. In his comments section it is pointed out to him that there are many examples of people planning to run for office and then not doing so for one reason or another when the election is called. Jason pushes back defensively at this straightforward logic arguing plaintively that 'If you read the details, she was signing letters as the candidate only weeks ago!'

Except if you actually take him up on it and do read the details, the letter he's referring to is dated March 5 - over seven months ago. Read it to see the kind of views that Jason believes should be banned from the public discourse.

Jason refuses to let through comments pointing out this mistake.

In Conclusion: Cherniak's investigation of his 'story' is shoddy to the point of being non-existent. He gets major facts wrong but refuses to correct the record. He uses a single source which he either doesn't realize is one guy or is knowingly suggesting is two separate sources. In a McCarthy worthy display of vindictiveness he argues that someone should be barred from public life forever, not for being an antisemite but for being 'anti-Israel', literally that being critical of the actions of a foreign state should disqualify someone from serving the public here in Canada.

Should Cherniak face sanctions as Jan wonders? At the very least Stacy Douglas who's name he dragged through the mud should be seeking legal advice pursuant to filing a case of libel against him. He publicly claimed that she was fired as a candidate and implied that she was an antisemite. With a good lawyer I think she could end up owning his home.

As for being barred or expelled from Progressive Bloggers for example, well... some of you probably remember his vindictive crusade against another blogger who he demanded be driven forth from our midst. I would argue Jason's blogging crimes of the past week are at least as bad if not far worse than a clumsily phrased post about antisemitism that Cherniak insisted be interpreted as antisemitism.

He's never going to change and its not us, it's him.

UPDATE: Please do read Jason's hilarious riposte. Self justifying, disingenuous, playing fast and loose with time lines and facts and defensively passive aggressive. I really don't think Jason realizes how much he reveals of himself with his writing.

He still defiantly cites the Jewish Tribune article of September 3 by Brian Henry, who seems to have flogged variations of it all over the place, as evidence that Stacy Douglas was the candidate until very recently and therefore must have been fired for being anti-Israel.

Of course the reference in the article to Douglas is to a letter she wrote that was dated March 5.

UPDATE 2: Check out Firebrand, as mentioned in the comments, Stacy Douglas isn't running because she's studying in England this year. Don't hold your breath waiting for Cherniak to correct the record.

6 comments:

Pale said...

Yes.

We all get dragged down by that kind of smear mongering.
Just mindbloggling, this is supposed to be the reality based community.

(BTW....Just to say. The Next Agenda on your blogroll, has been down for sometime now...The owners let the domain lapse in June 2007.
But the main posters are at A Creative Revolution. :)

Cliff said...

Thanks for the update. The old link is out and the new one is in.

Eric said...

Cliff said:[Jason Cherniak is] never going to change and its not us, it's him.

Well said.

deBeauxOs said...

At the very least Stacy Douglas who's name he dragged through the mud should be seeking legal advice pursuant to filing a case of libel against him. He publicly claimed that she was fired as a candidate and implied that she was an antisemite. With a good lawyer I think she could end up owning his home.

Just about any lawyer would be better than Cherniak, if the manner in which he blogs reflects how he conducts himself professionally. Hope that prospective clients google his name to check him out.

skdadl said...

The last paragraph of Jason's new weepy is pure smear, although it's also comically transparent. Set up your own fictions as false alternatives so that choosing either makes your opponent look bad -- straight from Karl's shop, that one. Crude, but deeply nasty.

I agree that it's a problem to have an operator like Cherniak on PB. I was going to say that I'm surprised the LibBloggers want him, but then I woke up.

Firebrand said...

Jason's gotten it completely wrong again - Douglas was not "fired" she dropped out because she's in England this academic year. See my post at

http://canadian-firebrand.blogspot.com/2008/09/jason-cherniak-gets-it-wrong.html

Cherniak needs to apologize profusely if he wants to avoid a suit for defamatory libel.

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