Freelance journalist David Neiwert wants us silenced for having the temerity to question an academic research project. Neiwert is doing his darnedest to get Utah State professor David Hailey into trouble.
The study is a piece of research in progress. Hailey has never promoted the study publicly. What you see is a professor’s research project intended for students and colleagues at Utah State to comment upon and contribute to.
I guess he forgot to mention this bit of self-promotion at Take Back The Media on September 16th (eight days after the original 60 Minutes II story). Funny, I could have sworn the report said it took 3 weeks to reach a conclusion. Also, the original report (PDF), makes no mention of the intended audience or that it is incomplete. Additional avenues for research are suggested, but there is no indication that the work is not complete.
Neiwert is also the one spreading the story that the university is going to sue Wizbang. I was not unaware of these claims, as Hailey called me out of the blue last week, but I choose not to publish them because Hailey does not speak for the university. My contact with university officials and local reporters who have interviewed university officials has satisfied me (for now) that we are not being targeted by the university for legal action. For loudly and publicly providing a forum for Hailey to issue threats of litigation on behalf of Utah State, wouldn’t it be ironic if it is Neiwert who causes the most harm to Hailey reputation at the university.
Addendum: Thank you to all who have sent private notes of support, we’ll let you know when (or if) public support is required.