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Joe Katzman's greed and dishonesty on "Winds of Change"

By Michael Fumento

When Joe Katzman invited me to blog on his site, "Winds of Change," I happily accepted. Mine is a hybrid site that emphasizes articles over my blog so I thought it would be a chance for good additional exposure. Alas, it turns out that Katzman cares naught for truthfulness but only for exposure and money. He and his buddy "Armed Liberal" gave me grief for not responding to comments. My response in part:

Gentlemen:

The two top bloggers, Michelle Malkin and Instapundit, make no room for comments - any more than I do on my website. John Hawkins allows for comments but does not respond, nor does he allow guest bloggers to respond. Why? Because most comments are inane, saying readily falsifiable things and often are simply insulting. That includes the specific comment [from "Andy X"] you insisted I respond to, which you can see from the response I did reply to at your urging, that was incredibly stupid and (Who knew?) implicated homosexuality on my part. How edifying! But you felt it deserved a response; nay, that not responding to it made your site look bad. I've got news for you; giving people like that the time of day is what puts egg on your face.

Your site has brought nothing to me. You receive advertising revenue but have made no offer to share. Conversely, I have brought to you the experience of 18 years of accurate science and health writing, and five books published. While one definition that fits most bloggers is "People who can't get anybody to publish their material but themselves," that is quite the opposite of me. Within the last week (singular) I have been in TCS Daily, The American Spectator, the New York Post, and Citizen magazine.

In short, I was doing you a great favor and you spat in my face. Well, the wind has changed and the spit has gone back into your face. Goodbye and good riddance.

(Incidentally, Timothy Trollbert at "Deltoid" used this to claim I had been "booted off" the site.)

Part of Katzman's original response was to claim that his site does not make a profit, that all those ads that litter it merely pay for its upkeep. Anybody who operates a website can take one look at all that litter and know Katzman is full of it. I count ten, including a rotating Flash one that sometimes features ESPN. Meanwhile, he has the simplest type of blogsite there is - nothing but text and images. ESPN alone must pay his costs more than ten times over. Katzman's bloggers do the work and he reaps the profits. It is indeed his advertising - his trolling for hits to support it - that makes him insist his bloggers respond to even the most idiotic and insulting comments.

In a later post, our greedy friend tried to defend "Andy X." Andy X's comment (aside from implicating my sexuality) was that I criticized Newsweek for saying, "Many scientists are quick to emphasize that comprehensive human trials [on amniotic/placenta cells such as those discussed in a new paper by Anthony Atala] are still many years away." I had pointed out that in fact one for multiple sclerosis was already underway. That hardly constitutes "many years away."

But the brilliant Andy X, whom Katzman insisted I must respond to, said Newsweek used the plural, whereas I had cited only one trial. That's pure sophistry. It stands to reason that if there is one there could be more, and indeed I supplied another which was reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine way back in 1996. And that should have been the end of Andy X. (I since easily located another in the same journal.)

But Katzman was cornered and desperate to malign me so he claimed I misrepresented the original paper in question, that in January's Nature Biotechnology. He said my claim that the paper showed that Atala's stem cells could be converted to mature cells from all three germ layers that make up all the cells in the body was false.

Here's a quote from Atala from PBS's Online Newshour:

"And, therefore, we have been able to drive the cell to what we call all three germ layers, which basically means all three major classes of tissues available in the body, from which all cells come from."

We therefore have Joe Katzman saying that Atala (and by derivation, Fumento) is lying about Atala's paper. Personally - and call me crazy - I'm going to go ahead and side with Atala.

And by the way, it took me less than 10 seconds to Google that quote. Mr. Katzman either needs to learn how to use a search engine or at least to realize that others have that capability and hence the capability to show him to be the fool he is.

In short, Katzman is a dishonest person. If you blog on his site, he's just using you. If you patronize his site, keep in mind he'll print anything he thinks will increase his hits.He puts money first and veracity last with nothing in between.

January 23, 2007 06:55 PM  ·  Bloggers