Natural News finds broken URL, sees media coverup
The thousands who’ve been reading about radioactive fallout on this page will be surprised to discover that this post doesn’t exist anymore because of a mainstream media cover up.
As you can see, that post does exist, but Mike Adams of Natural News followed a broken link, discovered a blank page, decided it signified a mainstream-media cover up, and now will neither correct the error nor allow me to correct it in comments.
Here’s the claim published yesterday by Adams, “the Health Ranger,” and the editor, publisher and prolific author of the popular website Natural News:
Although the mainstream media claims that all the deadly iodine-131 gets dissipated across the Pacific Ocean before it can reach North America, the greater truth is that the facts about Fukushima are diluted and dispersed long before they reach our shores. The result is an ongoing dangerous cover-up of what’s really happening there.
The mainstream media, of course, is blatantly engaged in an effort to suppress any scary-sounding information that might emerge about Fukushima. For example, a Forbes blog entitled “Radiation Detected In Drinking Water In 13 More US Cities, Cesium-137…” which contained the text, “Milk samples from Phoenix and Los Angeles contained iodine-131 at levels roughly equal to the maximum contaminant level permitted by EPA…” has mysteriously disappeared, leaving just an empty shell of a page in its place. See the following link to find out if they’ve brought it back yet:http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffmcmahon…
via Natural News
If you click on the link in Adams’s story, or in the quoted portion above, you’ll see that it does indeed lead to a blank page. That’s because I screwed up when I was publishing the post.
I had started writing it Friday evening and continued into Saturday morning. After I published it Saturday, I noticed the date stamp in the URL had been set on Friday—some of you who publish on Wordpress will recognize this issue.
It’s a problem if a post has the wrong date stamp in the URL because it gets buried in RSS feeds and the Forbes Network Activity Feed. It’s also simply inaccurate. It was time stamped Friday morning but reported on data that was released Friday afternoon.
So I corrected the date stamp, but Google had already indexed the page. As a result, Google directed thousands of readers to the old URL which displays—to no one’s chagrin more than my own—nothing but a blank page. The new page, meanwhile, was just a click away.
My efforts to post a note at the blank page failed. Wordpress kept adding a “-2″ to the URL. And I’m not enough of a techie to figure all that out, not when there’s a story about nuclear energy unfolding and more posts to be written. I chalked it up to lessons learned. So it goes. C’est la vie.
Then yesterday I visited Natural News because I wanted to link to it for a new post about Monsanto. There I came upon Mike Adams’s conspiracy theory — that my story had disappeared as part of a mainstream media coverup. Really? Have we been covering up the fact that radiation is being found in U.S. rainwater, drinking water, air, and milk? My recent posts:
I tried to post a comment at the end of Mike’s story, correcting my own URL error, but it didn’t appear. So I wrote Mike a note. I thanked him for his story, thanked him for linking to my post, and explained my mistake with the URL.
Later in the day I noticed some other people had commented on his story, so I tried commenting again. This time, my comment appeared. An hour later, it was gone.
So I tried again, except this time when my comment appeared, I took a screen shot of it. A couple hours later I checked the page again, and it was gone again. I took another screen shot. You can view both screen shotshere. Or visit the page yourself. Is the comment there?
The comment that’s staying on top, from one Richard Pike (which would be a great name for a sockpuppet, wouldn’t it?), directs readers to a Google cache of the post, reinforcing the impression that the post itself has disappeared.
When Mike Adams visited that blank page, he had at least five ways to find the correct URL. He could have:
- Looked at my top-five box, in the sidebar to the right, where the post has been listed at #2 for days,
- Looked at the links at the bottom of the page,
- Clicked on our email link and asked me what happened,
- Checked the blog’s front page, where the post was on top,
- Checked the blog’s RSS feed, where the post was on top.
Thousands of other people followed those routes to the correct URL. Even another site Mike links to, PrisonPlanet—where he says my post has been “preserved”—links to the correct URL. And Mike must know there’s no coverup because a new post at Natural News today relies entirely, though not accurately, on one of my subsequent posts.
That Mike Adams missed those many opportunities was mere neglect, I’m sure. But now that he seems to have disregarded my email and erased my comments—that seems beyond neglect. And there’s more at stake than a dispute between blogging heads.
Does he care whether his readers receive the information in the post—about radioactive contamination of drinking water and milk—or is he more interested in deceiving them into believing a conspiracy theory?
I’m all for challenging mainstream institutions, especially when they engage in cover ups. But if we are going to make such accusations, it’s vital that we make them accurately, otherwise we lose our power to challenge. We lose it at moments like this, when we’re proven to be foolish.
We make mistakes. When we do, it’s vital that we correct them. We’re all publishing much faster these days and without professional editors, proofreaders, and fact checkers to verify our work before it goes online. That doesn’t make accuracy less important. It makes accuracy moreimportant.
It makes transparency more important.
And more broadly speaking, when we accuse, should we be accurate? When we write about health, should we be accurate? What’s the Health Ranger Code?
I have been a reader and a fan of Natural News, but after seeing how Mike Adams handles corrections, I’m suddenly wary of everything I’ve read there. In that Monsanto post, I quote a Natural News survey of evil corporations. Now I wonder, does it accurately reflect how readers voted?
I hope that it does.
I don’t think Mike Adams intends harm. I think anyone who dedicates himself to a project like Natural News intends to do good. He can blame the blank page on me, but he’s probably still just embarrassed to admit his story is wrong. It’s embarrassing to make mistakes.
Or maybe he has a hard time letting go of his “mainstream media coverup” conspiracy, which seems to have no evidence other than one missing post which isn’t actually missing. I don’t know. I’d like to hear his response to all of this. And I hope that my fellow Natural News readers will join me in asking Mike to clear things up.
Because when you have to engage in a cover up to preserve your fantasy of a cover up, haven’t you become what you deplore?
Proof that my correcting comment was removed is available here:
The author revised his story.