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Response to Kamm on "threats of violence"

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David Edwards
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Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 162

Post Post subject: Response to Kamm on "threats of violence" Reply with quote

Kamm writes of "the harassment - including threats of violence, which Cromwell and Edwards then lied about in their book Newspeak - directed by ML supporters against my friend Bronwen Maddox.)"

In nearly ten years of Media Lens, Kamm is literally the only individual to allege that our "supporters" have issued threats of violence. In 2008, Alastair Brett, then legal manager of News International's Times Newspapers, did indeed claim that then Times journalist Bronwen Maddox had received "vexatious and threatening" emails from Media Lens readers, which constituted "harassment". But Brett made no mention that these emails included "threats of violence" and none were ever sent to us.

Former New Statesman editor Peter Wilby investigated the claims and wrote about them in the Guardian. He began:

"We journalists are accustomed to dishing it out, but have the thinnest of skins. At the merest hint of criticism, we are apt to turn to our lawyers. One reason for this professional sensitivity, I suppose, is that journalists are insecure egotists who like to occupy the high moral ground. Criticism assaults their sense of self-worth and, since their colleagues and potential employers are assiduous consumers of print, it may damage their future prospects." (

He added:

"Maddox tells me she received 'dozens of emails, many abusive or threatening' and 'they [Media Lens] stir up some very nasty people'. However, the only example specifically quoted by her or Brett was from a man who claims to be 'the second coming of Jesus Christ'. 'You have until 4 pm Monday to respond ... or I will deem you to be fired,' he warned Maddox. He has emailed dozens of press and TV journalists and Media Lens itself in similarly alarming terms."

If The Times had examples of emails threatening violence to Maddox, why did it not make them available to Wilby, and to us, when it was threatening us with legal action in 2008?

If such emails do exist, they would be testament to the sheer perversity of human nature, given our endlessly expressed opposition to violence and hatred. The whole point of Media Lens is that we believe that the problems of our world are rooted in a +lack+ of compassion. We think answers lie in reason, kindness, patience and restraint. Even Kamm has a role to play. Like lifting heavy weights to increase muscle strength in the gym, his constant smears help us strengthen our patience and tolerance. As Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen said so well:

"Truly, the person who creates a very embarrassing incident serves as a true spiritual master, in the sense that that person gives us a wonderful opportunity to develop our patience."

DE and DC
Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:01 pm
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