Thursday, January 31, 2008

Does Libby Love Libel?

The Carnegie Newsletter, which receives annual donations from MP Libby Davies [NDP], continues it’s defamation campaign against William “Bill” Simpson, a homeless man who was elected to the Carnegie Board of Directors.

Carnegie members were surprised to see Carnegie Newsletter Editor, Paul Taylor, start off the New Year by once again publishing false commentary about Simpson. Just last summer, Taylor had been forced to print a retraction of what he acknowledged in writing was "libelous commentary" about Simpson in the Carnegie Newsletter. Carnegie members had also attempted to curb Taylor’s power at the Newsletter due to the libel targeting Simpson.

This month’s attack on Simpson in the Jan. 15, 2008 Carnegie Newsletter was muted compared to the attack in the Aug. 1, 2007 issue in which Taylor stated that Simpson had written “sadistic, lying attacks on various individuals,” that his "activities and writings . . . were criminal", and that he had used "fraud" as a means of getting elected to the Board.

Taylor began this month’s attack by reminding readers that William Simpson is the 15th Board member and is banned from the Center. “For the ban to be lifted, said individual must recognize that the behavior went against ‘conduct. . . in a civil and proper manner.’ To regain access an honest person agrees not to indulge in said anti-social activity again. Simpson apparently refuses to do so.”

When Taylor's accusation of "anti-social" behaviour was read out loud to Simpson, he chuckled for a moment and then shook his head. Simpson is still waiting to be given specifics that justified banning him from the Carnegie Center and Board meetings held there. The official reason he was given for the ban in a June 2007 letter from Jacquie Forbes-Roberts at the City, was that he operated a website that "features links" to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer blog which had run articles critical of Carnegie. Despite libeling DTES Enquirer bloggers in her letter with a zeal that could rival Taylor, Forbes-Roberts has never managed to come up with one specific example of content of the blog that would justify banning Simpson for linking to it. And neither has Carnegie Director, Ethel Whitty, who works under Forbes-Roberts' supervision.

Taylor seems to take lightly the destructiveness of the Carnegie Newsletter. In an article unrelated to Simpson on page 3 of the Jan. 15, 2008 issue, Taylor jokes that people have been “pissed” after being “featured in biased, insulting and crude coverage in Ye Old Carnegie Newsletter.”

And Libby Davies seems to also take lightly the destructiveness of the Carnegie Newsletter. When Davies received a written complaint from Carnegie member, Wilfred Reimer, about last summer's libeling of Simpson in the Newsletter, she responded in an email dated Oct. 29, 2007:

“I have always loved the Carnegie Newsletter and still do. I know you want me to, but I do not feel I can weigh in on this . . . .”

But Davies had already weighed in. Despite a bout of name calling by Taylor in the Dec. 15/06 issue -- "blog bozo", "slimy", a "blank", a "four year old spoiled brat pissing his pants", a "pest", a "neighborhood snitch", a "dismal excuse" -- Davies slapped down a $100 donation to the Carneige Newsletter in 2007. One hundred dollars carries a lot of weight at a newsletter that operates on a shoestring.

The City of Vancouver has also weighed in. It continues to provide the Carnegie Newsletter with free office space, electricity, telephones, and even a promotional link from the City of Vancouver official website. These perks are provided to the Carnegie Newsletter despite awareness on the part of Mayor Sam Sullivan and City Managers overseeing Carnegie, Ethel Whitty and Jacquie Forbes-Roberts, that it has been inciting hatred toward a homeless man and bloggers in the neighborhood -- to the point where bloggers are choosing to remain anonymous out of fear for their safety.

Even Carnegie Board member, Gena Thompson, appears to have weighed in. When Board member Rachel Davis, who has broken ranks by repeatedly raising alarms about the use of the Newsletter to defame Simpson, wrote to Thompson on Jan. 17, 2008 about Taylor's latest round of insults, she got a response the same day: "Sorry Rachel, this is exactly the type of e-mail I no longer have time for."


rachel davis said...

Here is a copy of the letter that Paul Taylor sent to 20 plus people in reply to my assertion that he had again written libel, I was not concerned about his opinions of Miro Cernetig, nor really about his allegation that the Vancouver Sun had only printed the story on William in an attempt to "foment controversy" so as to thwart the anti-gentrification movement in the DTES. The first is opinion, the second is a charge of conspiracy I don't think the publisher of the Sun will bother with.
But I was upset abouyt his statement about Simpson. In return. he accuses me of libel, and encourages his readers to "Take action" against me.

Hello back. The Vancouver Sun is quite able to determine if that publication has been "libelled" without any psuedo-legal advice. Anyone is entitled to express an opinion of any article appearing in that publication, subject to the editor including it in a future edition. The use, again, of the bugaboo work "libel" is designed to sow fear and distrust amongs the members of the Board of the CCCA. If someone external makes an attack, spread by any media, on the Downtown Eastside in general or the Carnegie Centre/Association in particular, of course there will be a response at the first available opportunity. Perhaps we should consider action against Rachel deVlaming for her continuous defamation of character?! That has as much chance in court as this 'libel' of Simpson.

rachel davis said...

There is a publications meeting today, the first of Feb. at 1:00, for any Carnegie members who would care about this issue of the Newsletter being used to libel members

truepeers said...

I read that vile bile of a newsletter the first time it libelled Simpson, and by extension the real blogger(s) who had and have done nothing to deserve the hateful rant Taylor put on. How old is this child? I`ve never seen anything so disgusting in a government-funded publication, with the possible exception of certain academic masterpieces, and that`s saying something from a long time reader.

The fact that this guy is still in a position to put out this filth and that the taxpayers and Libby Davis are still supporting him in an endeavor that could never earn a living in a free market says it all. These people are tyrants at heart. They will not stand up for a homeless man whose reputation has been totally, and without a grain of evidence or plausible justification, trashed. These are the ethics of Stalinists, people incapable of learning about themselves and their deeply corrupted natures.

Damn right you should remain anonymous. Hopefully a blogger legal defense fund will get created and one day we can make these bastards pay, and Libby Davies can be publicly humiliated for her support of this povertarian snake pit. She can't get involved - she can only send money - when a public institution is trashing individuals! That's tribalism for you.

Dag said...

I would question the not only the judgment of anyone who writes as Taylor does about a homeless man and a blogger, I would, if I really cared, question the writer's sanity. But the writer, Taylor, isn't really the issue here, that being the City of Vancouver and a federal politician paying for Taylor to publish hate- mongering bile about private citizens. Taylor might be a "colorful character" or someone's friend or a harmless crank to those who know and somehow might like him; but the fact that the Corporation of the City of Vancouver and a Federal Member of Parliament pays for his rants and invective against ordinary people of this city is well beyond an amusing eccentric's self-indulgence in print. The only one in this hierarchy of shame who is really not accountable for this outrage is likely Taylor himself, who is seemingly not of our shared experience, also known as reality. The rest, the management of the Carnegie Centre, the administrators at City Hall, the Mayor, the M.P. who puts cash into the making of this outrage are directly responsible, especially when they claim no input and no control.

It's still snowing outside on Simpson, and the city's taxpayers are getting even more snow from the City's reprehensible behaviour. This is beyond outrageous, and this must stop immediately or there must be recourse to the courts. Taylor and co. must be removed from the Carnegie Newsletter office and a full and city wide apology is due to all the wronged parties involved, including me.

I am the blogger!

rachel davis said...

Yeah, I am the blogger too.

I went to the publications meeting, but it was not happening. Either the rest of the board knew this and didn't bother to inform me, which is what I suspect since only one other (new) board member was there, or they don't care that Paul Taylor writes libel against members (also probable!)

Interested parties should check out Paul Taylor's article that is just out. It'll be on line soon and is entitled something like "Forgive and Move on"

It is all about exactly the opposite. Not forgiving. According to Paul Taylor, forgiving is something that should only happen under certain, very narrowly proscribed circumstances, and never when an entire group has been harmed. It would be amusing to see a re-write aimed back at him. It's just so easy to reverse on him it's ludicrous.

truepeers said...

I here you Dag. Maybe Libby can get this Taylor clown an entertainment job in the new brothel.

truepeers said...

I hear you, too.

rachel davis said...

Good writing Dag.

The next publications meeting is at 1:00 on Friday the 8th, as far as I know. I would welcome support.