THIS

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

Menu

Factchecking? The National Post? HA!

This Magazine Staff

Oh dudes, I finally got a new username/password! Lookout, internet! I am so happy to be on here again, because I have a lot of fury to share with you!
To commemorate December 6th this year, Barbara Kay wrote this annoying article where she talks about how women need to get over themselves about being targets of violence, and something about why can’t everything be more like Remembrance Day. There are roughly a million things wrong with what she’s written, but the most glaring blatant error is this paragraph:
Logic would demand that the buried name of Laurie Dann be as recognizable and as reviled as that of 12/6 killer Marc Lepine’s. Dann’s hatred for boys exceeded Lepine’s for women. A year before the Montreal massacre, this equally psychotic Chicago woman shot five elementary-school boys, poisoned two fraternity kitchens, torched the Young Men’s Jewish council, burned two boys in their homes, shot her own son, and murdered an eight-year old boy, claiming he had raped her.
My wonderful friend Sarah Curry has eagle-eyes and is a shrewd researcher, and this claim set off her warning bells, big time. So she did some research, and discovered that almost none of that is true. Two girls were shot, Dann sent poisoned drinks to 6 families and set fire to a house where she babysat in which a mother and her two kids were in the house.
Sarah wrote a great letter to the editor, which I hope they print. I wrote to Barbara Kay herself, hoping that even if she was a rampant anti-feminist, she might at least wanted to be accurate about it.
I can’t deny that I also was enjoying the chance to gloat a little, because let’s be serious her stuff is tripe and it’s nice to be able to poke holes in her “logic”.
It went like this:
Me!:
Does the National Post employ any fact checkers? What you have written about Laurie Dann is completely inaccurate. Actual news reportage of the event can be found — from dozens of legit media sources — here:
http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/lauriedann.html
Laurie Dann did not solely target males. One male child was killed, no male-specific buildings were burned down, and male and female children both were injured in her spree shooting.
It’s frankly astonishing that such a string of invented facts got past the editors.
Audra Williams
Edmonton, AB
Her!
My facts came from a highly accredited scholar’s book: Moral Panic by John Fekete. That *is* considered fact checking. And no the Post does not employ fact checkers as we take our facts from what are normally reliable sources. Fekete is a reputable scholar and I had no reason to distrust his claims. Barbara
Me! (after looking up quoted parts of the book>
Oh wow, you sure did take it from that book! Practically verbatim!
I trust there will be some kind of correction or addendum, detailing how one of the cruxes of your article’s argument was based on fiction?
audra
Her!
I actually don’t think it is important whether Dann killed boys AND girls or just boys, becasue you see the anlogy still holds, since I said she should logically stand in as a symbol for women who abuse children. I think your quarrel is with John Fekete in any case, since I took the information in good faith.
Me!
It does not still stand. This is what you wrote:
“Logic would demand that the buried name of Laurie Dann be as recognizable and as reviled as that of 12/6 killer Marc Lepine’s. Dann’s hatred for boys exceeded Lepine’s for women. ”
Which isn’t the case at all.
It’s so strange to me how unconcerned you are about inaccurate information being in a piece you’ve written.
I have emailed Fekete as well, don’t worry. Maybe as a scholar — rather than a journalist — he’ll be more concerned about facts.
audra
Her!
Okay, take out the sentence about the hatred. My arument still stands.
Me!
What I’m asking is that YOU take out the sentence about the hatred, actually, rather than leave the inaccuracies online.
Me again!
While you’re at it, this bit has to go, too:
“A year before the Montreal massacre, this equally psychotic Chicago woman shot five elementary-school boys, poisoned two fraternity kitchens, torched the Young Men’s Jewish council, burned two boys in their homes, shot her own son, and murdered an eight-year old boy, claiming he had raped her. ”
Her!
Please inform me of what Fekete tells you. I will adjust my website version accordingly if necessary.
Me!
Is Fekete the only source you will accept on this issue? Because if not, I can cite 48 different newspaper articles.
Her!
Since I took Fekete as my source, I need to know what his source was.
THE END.
Seriously, what the hell. Why do I have to be the one who contacts her source and updates her about the factualness of her own article? And why does the National Post have no factcheckers? It’s all so galling.
Today I had an email exchange with the National Post, and it seems like they are willing to print an extensive letter on the subject, which I am going to write this weekend. Hilarious, they seem very insistent that my letter have sources to back up its claims.
I guess the letters page has more exacting standards than the rest of the paper. Sheesh.

Show Comments