Here is something I wrote last year about that Liberto attack/smear piece in Salon.
                      I thought you might want to see this (I think you'll like it).

                      ===========  (fyi, this was sent out on June 6, 2002)

                      What's In A Name
                         by Kelley K

                      I just read the Salon piece 'Rabid Watchdog' about the media accountability website

                      I read it assuming the article was about the website.. what they do and why they do it, and maybe some insight
                      on how they hold the media accountable. Or possibly a review of the accuracy of the website. The article did start
                      out that way, maybe a little bit, by relaying the experience a CNN reporter had when the MWO website advised
                       their readers to contact him. The Salon article reprinted quotes from two 'of the worst emails' sent to the CNN reporter.

                      But after a few short examples of what the MWO website says or does, Salon writer Jennifer Liberto then decides
                      there is no way of knowing what the website does unless you have the name or 'true identity' of  the person who
                      owns the website.

                      The Salon writer then reports her quest to find the identity of the owner of the website. After extensively researching
                      this she is unable to determine the 'true identity' of the owner. The author then goes on a research binge to prove that
                      if a website doesn't reveal the owner then there is no way to know what the website is doing, or what the motives are
                      of the website.

                      Ms. Liberto spends the last half of the four page Salon article attempting to prove this point. And it appears the author
                       spent a LOT of time and effort to research this issue.

                      After contacting numerous Washington 'insiders' who all denied having any connection to the owner of MWO,
                      the author then contacts every MWO contributor she can find, and questions them about who owns the website.
                      After an exhaustive search, Ms. Liberto is unable to find any MWO contributors who share her extreme concern
                      of 'who owns the MWO website' and is left with this quote from a contributor: "You definitely get the impression
                      that she's [MWO owner] just an angry citizen, like the rest of us," .

                      The Salon author then goes on a detective research project to find the name of the website owner from
                      .com registration records and anything related to purchasing a website.

                      After this detective work fails, Ms. Liberto then researches the 'legality' of someone owning a website anonymously.
                      She contacts an intellectual property attorney at the New York law firm of Gibney Anthony and Flaherty for advice
                      on why it is wrong to be an anonymous owner of a website.

                      Again, Ms. Liberto is left with this quote from the expert attorney:
                      "Any person can publish anything anonymously any time in any medium,"
                      and "That is a very fundamental corollary to freedom of the press."

                      Unhappy with that response, Ms. Liberto then queries her legal source about a possible lawsuit to force the owner
                      of MWO to be revealed, and gets this reply: "You've got to do more than merely file a lawsuit and use it as a fishing expedition,"

                      Still unhappy with here findings the author obviously checked with more sources on filing a lawsuit when she states:
                      "Besides, as several experts also pointed out, a miffed journalist would have a hard time proving that being labeled
                      a "media whore" constitutes defamation."

                      Hmmm, go figure.

                      Undaunted, the author continues here research quest to get the answer she desires. Ms. Liberto then contacts Verisign,
                      who handles .com registration on the Internet, and inquires about the legality or a possible 'false identity' lawsuit against
                      the MWO owner. But the Verisign spokesman tells her "the requirement is in effect voluntary".

                      Still unhappy with the response of yet another source, Ms. Liberto then contacts Chris Hoofnagle, legislative counsel for
                      the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. Who tells her: "Many, many people provide false information to
                      the registry, even those who are not publishing anonymous Web sites, simply to avoid spam".

                      But this sources next comment does, finally, provide a slim ray of light for Ms. Liberto .. "Verisign hasn't the time or the energy
                      to verify a few million sites, Burns said, so false domain contacts are usually only examined upon inquiry by a third party, often an attorney."

                      Having finally found a source who reveals a longshot chance at a lawsuit, Ms. Liberto runs off to research this and comes up with
                      proposed legislation that would make false .com registration a criminal offense. But after looking into this bill she unfortunately
                      finds that "Passage, however, appears unlikely."

                      Ms. Liberto then decides to drop the 'legal' angle and adopts an 'ethical' angle against owning a .com anonymously.
                      She contacts Aly Colon on the ethics faculty of the Poynter Institute, who tells her "I think every citizen should feel free
                      to hold the media accountable;  it's better for the media."

                      I have to tell you, Ms. Liberto starts to sound like someone who is uncontrollably obsessed, I wouldn't go as far as
                      using the word 'stalker' but it does give you a little bit of a creepy feeling after reading the lengths this person is willing to go,
                      just to satisfy her curiosity.

                      But the thing that bothers me the most, is the authors original idea that you have to know the exact identity of the owner
                      in order to know what the website is up to or its 'agenda'.

                      I wish Ms. Liberto would have contacted me during her research frenzy, I probably could have saved her a lot of time...
                      If you want to know what a websites agenda is, why not just READ the website? Its not a 'secret' website in any way,
                      actually it's available from any phonejack on the entire planet earth, literally!

                      This may come as a huge surprise to Ms. Liberto, but I read my local newspaper all the time and I have no idea who owns it.
                      And I don't have to know the Social Security number of the writers to know what their 'agenda' is either, all I have to do
                      is READ what they write.

                      I do it all the time and haven't spent one dime on attorney fees.

                      Ms. Liberto should try that sometime, if nothing else, it might save her from weeks of legal research.

                      Kelley K

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