Becky O’Malley has the very odd habit of describing her publishing policies in terms that are self-serving and grandiose, but also patently false. Here are three examples:
First, O’Malley has often made the bold claim that she is a First Amendment or free speech “absolutist.” But this cannot be, because she has elsewhere insisted that she would never deign to publish anything that was homophobic or Islamophobic, or, as below, junk science. The evidence suggests that she only exercises free speech absolutism in the furtherance of anti-Semitism.
Second, in her October 9, 2008 editorial, O’Malley insisted, “we [the Berkeley Daily Planet] don’t publish unsigned or anti-Semitic letters.” Based upon all of the evidence we have gathered, it is absurd for her to claim that she does not publish anti-Semitic tracts. What is more, O’Malley, herself, in other editorials has admitted that the Arianpour article, at least, was blatantly anti-Semitic, but that she published it anyway in the furtherance of free-speech “absolutistsm.”
Third, O’Malley started her November 5, 2009 editorial with this little piece of self-congratulation:
In the last week we’ve been deluged with press releases and even proffered op-eds from quasi-medical providers who want to publicize their contrarian views on the need for swine flu vaccine, hopefully creating a profit opportunity for themselves in the process. This just in: the Planet is open to all legitimate opinions, but not to junk science, not even junk science embellished with strings of faux footnotes.
There are not two equally valid points of view on many scientific topics: not on planetary motion in the universe, not on the general shape of the earth, not on evolution, not on climate change, or even on the need for susceptible people to get vaccinations to be protected from the H1N1 virus.
But this could not possibly be true, since she had already published in her August 27, 2009 issue a paranoid plea from Michael Bauce to shun the swine flu vaccine, based upon exactly the sort of junk science and conspiracy theories that O’Malley, with the greatest of fanfare, claims she would not publish:
As it looks now, the proposed Swine Flu vaccine may be more dangerous than the swine flu.
We are being told that it has the posssibility of killing “hundreds of thousands” as it runs it’s deadly course. However, so far it has remained a relatively mild disease, no different than any other flu epidemic. Worldwide, there have been 311 deaths from swine flu, with 70,893 reported. One might wonder why all the hoopla.
The government has contracted with two corporations to produce the vaccine (Bater and Novartis) and they are now battling for the billions of dollars at stake. No matter what happens with the development of the swine flu, the ball is in play. The money will continue to flow.
In addition, modern scientists who have been studying the virus have been debating whether this virus was genetically modified or not. It is known that scientists around the world are now developing and experimenting with genetically altered viruses in the laboratory.
If they can create a virus that the human body has no acquired immune defense, they can also create the vaccine that everyone will need.
One part of the vaccine, that is most suspect, is made from squalene oil, a substance implicated in autoimmune disorders. Coincidentally, Novartis’ scientists are the ones entrusted to conduct the safety tests and reports. It’s not surprising that their results yielded no dangers whatsoever.
If you are truly interested in your health, be suspect of corporate health claims. Take responsibility for your own health through diet and lifestyle. Your life may now depend on it.
While on the topic of junk science, if O’Malley is sincere about not publishing it, why does the Daily Planet feature a weekly horoscope? Does O’Malley not know that astrology does not enjoy one scintilla of scientific corroboration? The publications of horoscopes should be regarded as an insult in Berkeley, home to one of the finest universities, and astronomy departments, in the world.
There is a dizzying array of contradictions in all of the above. If O’Malley is a free speech absolutist, why does she refuse to publish junk science and junk conspiracy theories? If she refuses to publish junk science, why does she leap to publish junk history, junk theology, and junk conspiracy theories when it comes to Israel and the Jews?
See if you can figure this all out. We give up.