May 31, 2001
The Bitch Speaks Out
Note: This entry has been edited on May 18, 2002, to remove dead links to Kristin Thomas' site, which is no longer extant, and to a defunct thread on a message board.
Ms. Nice Girl is taking a break today. I am going to tell you what I really think about the recent Kaycee coverage. And what I think isn't very pretty. I will admit that I have a few sour grapes here, but not just on my own behalf.
I have been terribly disillusioned with media this week, all flavors of it. There has been a whole lot of coverage that didn't quite get the story straight, and no apparent effort was made to clean up the errors. Some of the errors have been picky little things. Others changed the tone of the story.
A few people have endeavored to look at the story from its beginnings and get it right. But someone writing for that staid and highly respected bastion of print journalism, The New York Times, decided to go with a version of the breaking of the hoax that left out two of the people who broke it. Kristin Thomas' name should have been in there, as should mine. I haven't been in touch with Kristin, so I can't say for sure she was contacted by the writer. But I can say for sure I was, and in the not-too-distant future I'll have a phone bill to prove that I called her (in response to a request received by e-mail). We had a pleasant conversation. I told a couple of friends about it, and waited for the article to appear.
Not that I don't appreciate all the links and kudos and pats on the back for my part in the breaking of the story. I truly do. But to be left out of coverage I deserved to be part of, in such a widely-read publication, hurts.
Don't get me wrong: Saundra deserved the lion's share of the publicity from this thing because she did the first outing of our suspicions. But Kristin's post to a thread at ThreeWay Action is what sent me looking for more background, and started me thinking it was all a hoax. And Kristin caught a lot of flak for being suspicious. As Saundra has told you (and tells you again here), I brought to her attention the notion of Kaycee's tale being a hoax.
And I caught hell for my part in it after the entry I wrote May 20. I was called a liar on two websites. I didn't need or deserve that. Nor did any of us deserve the crap spewed by a sore loser of a reporter in Kansas who turned down the story when it was offered to him.
For the record, Saundra and I saw an advance copy of the Times article last night. After we got the copy, Saundra got in touch with the writer to see if it was possible to include Kristin and me. The reply was that space for the piece was tight and that nothing could be added that late. The writer mentioned a potential followup, and commented that the story was complicated. Well, yes it is a complicated story; moreso if you don't get it straight from the beginning. Leaving out the names of two of the principal players pretty much means your story is missing something.
As I told Saundra this morning, something jumped out at me as I read the Times piece: it could well be that what kept me and Kristin from getting named had little or nothing to do with lack of space, but a lot to do with the fact that we lack penises. As in, except Saundra, every person who got mentioned in terms of breaking the hoax was male. So were most of the people mentioned as being so terribly hurt by it, of course.
Don't misunderstand. I'm not man-bashing here. Just pointing out that even in this age of equality, women's contributions are still being taken all too lightly.
Pick your own reasons for why Kristin and I were omitted. I'm not sure. But I am sure of a couple of things. The next time I have good reason to think I am being asked to believe something that isn't true, I won't hold back for the sake of not hurting someone's feelings. If I don't have anything concrete upon which to base my comments, I'll at least turn them into questions for my readers---as in, "Have you heard about a weblog being done by a cancer victim? Do you find any of it hard to believe?"
And I'm sure that the next person who makes the mistake of calling me a liar when I am not even anywhere close to lying will be named and the site which the person chooses to use for making the accusation will be linked to, whether or not the page gets removed. That one, you can take as a promise.
Oh---and I'm seriously thinking of getting myself a strap-on. Just in case.