Kevin Jennings receives an 'apology' for inaccurate murder claim
crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
Apparently my post on the new lie regarding Kevin Jennings – that he advocates murdering people if they call someone a 'faggot' attracted some attention from a few circles- most specifically from the site who wrote the original piece.
The piece came from the site Verum Serum. Via the original headline, it pushed the notion that Jennings did advocate murder. Jennings was actually saying that society is part the blame for school violence because it enhances gender stereotypes and extreme machismo in males.
After I posted my piece, one of the authors of the site accused me of not reading the entire post. The poster claimed the site was not accusing Jennings of murder, but rather unfairly blaming traditional gender roles for school violence. While I lodged disagreement with that assessment, I stuck with the main idea of my post – no matter what Verum Serum meant by what it wrote, opportunistic sites were using the post to claim that Jennings advocates murder.
Finally, one of the posters of Verum Serum sent me this reply:
. . . you're right that some blogs missed the point. Once we caught on to the error, we did try out best to address the confusion.
First we changed the headline of our post which apparently threw some people (with a note retaining the original because we don't “disappear things at VS”). Next, I personally followed backlinks to several blogs and left comments pointing out where necessary that they had misconstrued our meaning and asking for corrections.
We may not have spoken to everyone but our efforts did have an effect. One blogger apologized to me privately this afternoon and corrected a post. A second blogger wrote an entire apology on his own site to both us and Jennings for his misunderstanding. You can see it here.
My point is that this was not a smear or a lie. We were making a serious critique that we believed (and still do) was valid. When that accidentally got muddled beyond our blog, we did our best to correct it. We'll continue to do so. If you see it pop up anywhere, please let us know or direct them to this comment thread or to our site for clarification.
The headline has been changed with a full explanation, but the damage has been done.
For one thing, the Washington Times has already pushed the distortion in a poor attempt to smear Jennings.
And several other conservative blogs have already run with the original “Jennings advocates murder” claim, including Free Republic.
In all honesty, I have a problem Verum Serum's explanation.
The site claims that the original headline (“Killing Someone Who Calls You a Faggot is not Aberrant Behavior…”) caused confusion. That may be but I tend to think that the headline was created specifically to cause confusion.
Mission accomplished, Verum Serum.
But still, it's nice that you have corrected yourself. Too bad you had to be caught to do it.