a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
Falkowski Responds Editor:
a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.
Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
You have made false and derogatory claims against me causing harm to my personal well-being and to my character.
Those false and derogatory claims were published in both of your platforms – digital, boynegazette.com, and print, Boyne City Gazette.
From start to finish you have tried to destroy my character and my opinions, which are based on fact, but still merely opinions.
Never did you express one iota of journalistic integrity, instead you chose to engage in a libelous personal attack.
Journalistic integrity demands that you keep your personal feelings out of the story, but you did not.
This rebuttal presents citation that shows unequivocally my opinions are both true and accurate, even though they are still only opinions.
FALKOWSKI FACT CHECK
Here are a few of the most obvious exaggerations or outright falsehoods which appeared in Chet Falkwoski’s letter to the editor from the May 27 edition of Boyne City Gazette:
You claim “obvious exaggerations or outright falsehoods” but haven’t provided proof of such an outrageous claim.
That is dishonest, without merit, and harmful.
1. There is no evidence coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab. (Washington Post 4/30/20, FOX News 4/16/20, WebMD 3/18/20, LA Times 5/9/20, Science Magazine 2/19/20)
2. There is no evidence this coronavirus, just like every other naturally occurring coronavirus, is man-made. (Medical News Today 3/20/20)
I did not state that the novel coronavirus was man-made or created in a lab.
The Wuhan lab is/was conducting studies on several bat coronaviruses, and the species thought to be the source of the novel coronavirus, the horseshoe bat, isn’t native to Wuhan province. An article in Forbes stated this about Wang Yanyi, director of the lab in question: “Wang adds her lab was studying three live strains of bat coronaviruses…”
As a matter of record, in my original letter I clearly stated “Whether or not the release of the corona virus from the Wuhan lab was a staged event or an accident doesn’t matter to this argument; it happened.”
3. “Most American universities” are not taking orders from the Chinese government. Perhaps Falkowski refers to the 2018 Inside Higher Ed article stating Chinese interests have purchased a few American colleges in recent years but this is not a significant number and nor does it mean most or any American universities are “taking orders from their Chinese Communist Party pimps.”
I stated “most” universities and that was an error; it should have been ”many” universities.
And no I am not referring to an article from Inside Higher Education. I am referring to the university professors who have been arrested for concealing their ties to the Chinese Communist Party, as well as universities that have not been forthcoming in their dealings with the CCP to the tune of more than $1 billion.
CNN January 28, 2020: Harvard Professor Charles Lieber Among Three Charged with Lying About Chinese Government Ties
The Hill February 27, 2020: US Professor Arrested, Accused of Hiding Relationship with Chinese University
voanews.com March 10, 2020: American Professor Pleads Guilty in Connection with China Work
5newsonline.com May 11, 2020: Arkansas Professor Arrested for Wire Fraud, Accused of Having Ties with Chinese Government
CNBC February 27, 2020: Justice Dept. Charges University of Tennessee Professor With Hiding Ties to China
latimes.com December 4, 2014: China’s influence threatens American universities, experts say …
Washington Post April 4, 2019: America’s universities are finally waking up to the China threat.
NY Post May 5, 2020: US universities trying to hide records of China ties: report
Boston Herald May 21, 2020: Colleges must sever ties with Chinese propaganda institutes
4. Claim that major media outlets are controlled by the Chinese government? After some searching, it
was clear that not only were there no legitimate sources claiming this, but even the usual propaganda sources and conspiracy theory sources had bupkis as well.
Though, a particularly motivated individual will just claim that dearth of stories on the matter is proof pos-
itive of Chinese control.
uscc.gov May 4, 2020: Chinese Government Influence on the U.S. Media Landscape
usnews.com June 6, 2019: China Expanding Influence Over Media Abroad, Report Warns …
thewrap.com November 18, 2016:12 Chinese-Owned Media Companies, From Dick Clark to AMC
5. What “state and federal elected officials” are the Chinese allegedly targeting? Your claim of “various” is not an answer. It is obfuscation in lieu of fact. Making claims like this is irresponsible and dangerous.
The world has enough incitement. It doesn’t need any more.
You are right in your assertion that “various” is not an answer; but it was never offered as such. How can it be deemed “obfuscation in lieu of fact”?
Presenting such a baseless accusation shows a serious lack of editorial judgment and is an example of your harmful claims.
usnews.com May 14, 2020: China Threatens to Sanction U.S. Politicians for Coronavirus Criticism.
dallasnews.com May 15, 2020: China threatens to sanction Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, other …
scmp.com May 15, 2020: US senator calls China’s threat over coronavirus bill a ‘badge …
6. No Chinese spy was planted in Feinstein’s office. According to the FBI, there was an attempt to recruit
her driver. Feinstein was notifed of the attempt and the individual was removed from their position.To pretend “attempted recruiting” and “planted spy” are the same thing is disingenuous at best.(https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/feinstein-chinese-spy/)
sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com August 1, 2018: Details Surface About Dianne Feinstein And The Chinese Spy Who Worked For Her Washington Post August 9, 2018: Explain the Chinese Spy, Sen. Feinstein
Politico July 27, 2018: How Silicon Valley Became a Den of Spies
NY Post August 8, 2018: Dianne Feinstein Was an Easy Mark for China’s Spy
7. You claim the Chinese government engages in communist plots by not only creating coronavirus in a lab before unleashing it onto the world, but also controlling American companies, colleges, governmental operations, and sports entertainment.
In my original letter, I stated “Chinese Communist Party influence is now being recognized at all levels of media, entertainment, sports, academia, and most importantly, government.” And you know what? It is. Any plot the Chinese Communist Party engages in, is by default a communist plot.
I did not claim the coronavirus was created in a lab.
What part of the headline “C-19 a communist plot?” doesn’t fit your narrative? If your own words make you uncomfortable, then perhaps you should revisit them.
My letter does not claim that “C-19” is a communist plot. Your headline is misleading, not pertinent to my premise, and harmful.
I do claim that the behavior of the CCP caused grievous harm to the world with their handling of this pandemic. That is documented fact. A Google search will provide the proof.
Here’s a tip: don’t want to be dismissed or condescended to? Stop regurgitating fringe talking points.
Not everyone will just smile and nod at such inanity.
The truth is there are plenty of valid reasons to criticize the Chinese government. But there’s no valid reason to make things up or pass along misinformation.
The truth is that Falkowski’s original letter to the editor should not have run in Boyne City Gazette because it contained too much misinformation.
If my opinions, backed up by the citations listed herein, are “regurgitating fringe talking points”, what does that say about the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Post, The Dallas News, Politico, The Boston Herald, etc., etc., etc.?
Your claim of “too much misinformation” is baseless and you failed to back it up. Without evidence this is just another harmful claim.
Your claim that I am making things up is ludicrous, unproven and is yet another of your many harmful claims.
The truth is the editor was too busy to fact-check it and too tired to field an angry phone call from a reader
demanding to know why their letter did not appear. I apologize for this lapse and promise to do better in the future.
Boyne City Gazette readers have come to demand and deserve information as close to the God’s honest
truth as we can possibly get.
Sure, we’ve made our fair share of mistakes over the past 11 years … but never misinformed anyone on purpose.
Mr. Falkowski is right about one thing—he is entitled to his opinion. However, he’s not entitled to spread propaganda-as-fact and then play aw-shucks when someone calls him on it.
Like Daniel Patrick Moynihan is credited as saying: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
Being too busy and too tired to do your job is a rather interesting position to take, but vowing to do a “better” job censoring opinion in the future is reprehensible and in direct conflict with the founding doctrine of this nation.
Your assertion of “propaganda as fact” is perverse and is yet another harmful claim. Remember, I am a citizen offering my opinion. Nothing more, nothing less.
I beg to differ with your assertion that you “never misinformed anyone on purpose”. You clearly misinformed your readers when you used smears, innuendo and falsehoods in your effort to discredit me.
Boyne City Gazette has never received so much as a penny from the Chinese government, though some of our readers do bake us cookies, and therefore we reserve the right to label questionable information for the betterment of our readers.
Benjamin J. Gohs, Editor
(Also not a Chinese spy)
Talk about “aw-shucks”, there you are with your “cookies” and “God’s honest truth” as if you are the arbiter of all things good and decent.
Your hubris is sad to behold in the face of such blatant bias.
“Boyne City Gazette has never received so much as a penny from the Chinese government”. Of course not. Why would they bother?
I never thought you were (or are) a spy for any foreign government, just as I never thought of the Boyne City Gazette as a major media outlet in any way, shape or form.
I don’t know how many times a person can be wrong on any given topic, but you have accumulated an amazing amount of errors.
I stand behind my opinions which I have shown to be accurate, factual, and based on research, but are still simply opinions.
I have gone above and beyond the norm to show good faith, now it is up to you. I request that you publish my rebuttal as well as a retraction of the harmful statements made against me in both boynegazette.com and Boyne City Gazette
Good day, sir.
Editor’s note: Boyne City Gazette stands by its initial editor’s note and subsequent response. There will be no retraction.