Today I wrote two blog posts about events in the news. That writing is some of my best work. You won’t see either post. And for that you can thank Jezebel.com, Gawker.com, and Salon.com.
Unfortunately, both of my posts have content that could too easily be taken out of context by the bottom-feeding parts of the media and special interest groups looking to bolster their causes. Even my standard disclaimer wouldn’t be enough in these two cases. My opinions in the two posts aren’t the least bit offensive, but out of context they would look so.
The law in my country allows free speech, but horrible people who live among us have learned to use the words of well-known folks out of context to weaponize the ignorant masses. It’s a real limit on free discussion.
An individual can sue for slander when something is taken out of context, but you can’t win unless you prove intent. For a writer at Jezebel or Salon, for example, stupidity is going to be an ironclad defense against slander. “Your honor, I thought the celebrity was saying he ate a baby for lunch. I didn’t see the word carrot. It was an honest mistake.”
In my defense, I’ll bet half of the writers in this country censored themselves the same way this week. The other half will do it next week.
I just wanted you to know I put in the work. I didn’t realize my writing wouldn’t be safe for the public until I wrestled with it for a few hours. Then I ran out of time. Sorry about that.
Regarding yesterday’s post, disturbingly motivated reader bubbaJones found a reference to the exact quote “You don’t know what you don’t know” that is documented about one year before I recall saying it for the first time. So I release on my claim of authorship. Based on the various sources bubbajones helpfully provided, the quote probably evolved from more than one author who said something similar and it got shortened to its best form over time.
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