The Vitamin Wars

Who pays for your media?

This essay seeks to inform you about the importance of building a parallel independent media economy, and to tell you how to do it.

I feel a need to help people become literate about the economics of a free press, at this critical time in history, due to two recent ill-informed attacks on me, and on my news and democracy site DailyClout, by people who are not trained as journalists.

Dr Robert Malone, a molecular biologist, a former government contractor, and, per his bio, an inventor mRNA technology — and Dr Simon Goddek, a former academic specializing in aquaponics, turned Vitamin D entrepreneur – attacked me publicly; Dr Malone also attacked DailyClout.

I try always to be civil, indeed friendly, to all my colleagues. I often see Dr Malone at events, where we are cordial (I adore his talented wife and business partner Jill Glasspool Malone). I was among the first well-known hosts (if not the first) to interview Dr Goddek, when I understood how important was the alarm he was trying then to raise, that the PCR tests had been rushed through peer review in little more than a day:

Dr Goddek later did an interview with me, still up on his own site: “This week I had a fantastic chat with Naomi Wolf.” Indeed, I kept talking to Dr Goddek even as our backyard bear was wandering around outside.

But sadly, in both cases, our collegiality abruptly changed. Dr Goddek recently wrote, referring to the founder of one of DailyClout’s sponsors, The Wellness Company, which also has Dr Peter McCullough and other health freedom heroes on its leadership team:

“From left to right: Foster Coulson, Owner of The Wellness Company, and Blackface Justin. Never before has controlled opposition been as evident as in this case. The fact that they are ‘buying up’ all critical voices from Naomi Wolf, via ‘Vigilant’ Fox, to Rumble says it all. [Italics mine].”

Dr Malone also publicly attacked me and my company, for similar benighted reasons:

“Vigilant Fox News is wholly funded by The Wellness Company (TWC). This recent hit piece is actually clear cut corporate-funded propaganda. TWC is spending massive amounts of money to purchase the services of influencers, alternative media sites, and physicians to support it’s marketing campaigns. [Italics mine]Gateway Pundit has also accepted TWC funding. [Italics mine] And there are many others. The non-profit Epoch Times corporation did not. […] Others on the TWC payroll include Children’s Health Defense and Daily Clout. [Italics mine]

Why do I bother to address Dr Goddek’s and Dr Malone’s swipes? Confronting ill-founded criticism is not my usual method. I try to ignore attacks. I try to, yes, “be a lady,” that old-fashioned term that my grandmother rightly held dear.

My usual choice to disregard attacks is also strategic. I study the history of democracy movements. Tyrannical leaders always encourage infighting and mutual sniping among dissident colleagues, so as to weaken the opposition. The global monsters want us in the freedom movement to turn on one another, rather than saving our artillery (it’s a metaphor, don’t arrest me) for the global monsters themselves.

When dissident leaders succumb to this infighting, the chaos and nastiness always degrade freedom movements, and the internal sniping always prepares the way for their collapse.

But in this case, the attacks are materially damaging to me and my staff, and are simply wrong. Worse, they misinform people about the economics of a free press. So they require that I respond.

Both men’s attacks reveal — sorry, I must put it frankly — ignorance about the basics of ethical traditional journalism.

Dr Malone and Dr Goddek can’t be blamed for their lack of knowledge about how independent news businesses operate. They are not from the world of journalism.

A great blessing of this moment is that non-journalists have stepped up to do journalism — at a time when legacy media journalists have failed miserably at their profession’s obligations to be un-bought, unbiased and uncorrupted. The best journalism on Substack, for instance, is now being done by people who are not trained as professional journalists or who have not spent their careers in the news business: Dr Goddek and Dr Malone themselves; Steve Kirsch, founder and chairman of several tech startups; Dr McCullough, a distinguished cardiologist; Alexandra (Sasha) Latypova, whose prior career was in pharmaceutical research. Amy Kelly, a Six Sigma Black Belt project manager with a background in telecommunications, and my COO, broke some of the most important stories of our time. I could go on, and I apologize for not having space to name all the luminaries not trained as journalists, who stepped in to carry on the noble legacy of real investigative reporting, at a time when news outlets such as The New York Times and CNN are completely bought off by those — especially by Pharma interests — who should be the subjects of the most critical reporting.

But this blessing — of the rise of the “new journalists” who are non-journalists — also contains more than a bit of a curse. The fact that this is now the journalistic Wild West — in a good way — also includes the negatives of the Wild West.

Let me walk readers — and I hope, Dr Malone and Dr Goddek as well — through core facts regarding “Media 101.”

First of all, ethical journalism is accurate. Just because you can make a false claim, here in the Wild West of Substack and Rumble and on other social media, does not mean that you should.

It is at times unfortunate, for instance, that all the wonderful independent non-journalist voices out there, no longer have the benefit of editors or publishers, or company lawyers — or newspaper ethics codes.

The reason it is not great is that the traditional role in an ethical news organization of an editor or of the newspaper’s counsel, is to warn a writer when something is wrong, libelous, defamatory, or too inadequately sourced for publication.

As a result of this system having broken down, and the many new voices out there operating outside of traditional news institutions, the “new journalists” such as Dr Goddek and Dr Malone often lack the healthful checks on damaging and/or false statements that “old” traditional ethical journalism used to provide institutionally to writers.

The role of a publisher is to force the editor and writer to make public corrections if something is wrong, libelous, or too inadequately sourced for print.

And the role of the news company’s counsel is to read potentially defamatory articles in advance and highlight if they might expose the writer or news publication to litigation, or make unlawful (i.e. libelous or defamatory) claims. Such articles or statements also constitute bad journalism in themselves, lawsuit or no lawsuit.

In the absence of these traditional ethical-journalism checks, and with no professional training or career experience in the parameters of traditional ethical journalism, a few members of the freedom movement have gone on a spree of libelous, inaccurate, misleading and/or inadequately sourced attacks on one another (“Deep state!” “Controlled opposition!” “Bought the services”).

(In the case of US Freedom Flyers cofounder/activist Josh Yoder, and podcast host Pete Santilli, for instance, the assertions I had to rebut recently were simply made up out of whole cloth, and defamatory. They would never have been allowed out of an ethically run newsroom).

It is very bad indeed for our discourse, to have no traditional journalistic ethics — that require accuracy, evidence, and lawfulness — moderating what we say about one another in public. This means that the only bar to outright character assassination is lawyers’ letters. With no editors or publishers, unfortunately, around us, this leaves only lawyers to restrain reputation-damaging false or unsourced attacks, in the free-for-all that is social media.

This factually-inaccurate-or-else-litigious binary is not good for free speech or for vigorous, principled debate. It is ultimately chilling to free speech. It is expensive and destructive, too. It is bad overall for the freedom movement to have no ethical checks on false statements, no internally driven obligation to provide proper sourcing or evidence, nothing to prevent pure mudslinging, except the fear of legal letters.

There are other basics of ethical traditional journalism that my critics above seem not to understand.

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