Yesterday, Eddie at The Standard accused Wayne Mapp of being drunk in the House earlier in the week. Eddie blogged:
An alert reader sent us this video of Wayne Mapp swaying, slurring and rambling his way through Question Time.
Lockwood Smith had to interrupt him several times before he became completely incoherent. Was he drunk? It’s hard to explain his behaviour otherwise.
Unsurprisingly, the comments poured in, and a number of National MP's were accused of drunkenness. And later in the day Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn blogged in similar vein.
We were on Twitter last night when No Right Turn posted an update; He said:
On NRT: An apology to Dr Mapp http://bit.ly/nhbJoa
His blog-post goes further:
Earlier today, I posted a post alleging that Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Science and Innovation, was drunk in the House at Question Time on Wednesday. I have since been contacted by a member of the Press Gallery who was present in the House at the time, who saysI'd say I know Dr Mapp reasonably well and can tell when he's had a few. In this case I'm 100 percent positive that he was absolutely sober.This person is obviously in a better position to judge things than I am from a video, and I see no reason to doubt them. So, my post was incorrect, and I apologise unreservedly to Dr Mapp for the error and for any slur on his character.
What I saw was someone, who doesn't have a great reputation as a public speaker, trying to ham up an answer and not do it very well.
Our estimation of Idiot-Savant has risen markedly, even if he doesn't allow comments on his blog; we'd otherwise go there and give him kudos. Anyone can err, but admitting the error and apologising publicly is far rarer. Idiot-Savant deserves to be complimented for taking his licks and accepting responsibility for his actions. We have done the same in the past, and whilst the harm done cannot be undone, a sincere apology goes a long way.
Back to The Standard; we posted Idiot-Savant's post in the comments section. A while after, a commenter agreed with our post, and we replied, with this, followed by a tart comment from lprent:
I admire NRT for apologizing Nick. Sadly, Eddie’s not even in the same ballpark.
[lprent: I realize that it appears to be essential to your world view that this is a job/life for us, but sadly it doesn't pay enough. The site runs on a volunteer basis with people who have other things that they also do. I've been at Bryce Edwards lecture this evening followed by a knotty bug on the current project. It doesn't look like Eddie has been on since posting. We're kind of busy.
Anyway, I'm tired of explaining these operational matters to you as you whine through one of your periodic episodes of faux outrage and I'm too tired to tolerate it. You are unwelcome here until after the election. That way I won't have to listen to your whinging as you attempt to tell us how we should run this site. Count it as a self-martyrdom offense.
In the meantime I'll point NRT's post out to Eddie which I would have done without the snide repetitions coupled with a attitude of ignorant (but pious) arrogance. ]
It would seem that we've touched a nerve. Idiot-Savant's post has no been added to the original, with the obligatory disclaimer:
Quite frankly, who knows? But I’d generally trust I/S’s judgement. However I don’t appreciate Inventory2 being snide and repetitive about us not immediately following his judgement about what we should do here and when we should be onsite.
Spot the difference? Idiot-Savant immediately acknowledged that he was wrong and apologised unreservedly. To his credit, he has left the original post in place, with an added comment:
Note: The allegations in this post about Dr Mapp are incorrect, and I apologise unreservedly for them. The original post however will remain. Honest people own their mistakes, rather than disappearing them down the memory hole.
In contrast, The Standard hasn't apologised to Dr Mapp, nor do we expect them to. They have grudgingly posted NRT's post, with an aside that it might be true but then again it might not. It's a different to No Right Turn as night is to day.
We don't visit The Standard that often, and obviously we're now persona-non-grata until the end of November. We respect the right for The Standard to have its own policy with regard to comments, moderation and banning, but we reckon that they go far too far.
We've never banned anyone, although we have been sorely tempted. Out of almost 5000 comments, we've deleted probably no more than 20, mainly because they have been off-topic, trolling, or containing personal abuse. But the vast majority of comments go through, and we reckon that it's good that they remain, and that they stand or fall on their merits.
We try hard not to be personal, and to blog on issues; we don't always succeed. Yes; some of the issues involve personalities, but there's a difference between that, and personal attacks. We'll use what we've commented on above as a wake-up call: we'll make a conscious effort to re-read posts before we hit the "Publish Post" button lest we fall into a self-laid trap, because we're sure that things are going to get pretty intense between now and 26th November.