Andrew Orlowski on “Moral Responsibility,” Excuse Me While I Laugh My Ass Off

Andrew Orlowski on “Moral Responsibility?” Excuse me while I laugh my ass off and spit my non-fat Starbucks latte all over my computer keyboard. This is just too rich.

So Andrew Orlowski’s sauntering around the internet with his most recent hit piece on Wikipedia, “There’s No Wikipedia Entry for ‘Moral Responsibility,” from his perch over at The Register (I’m making it a point not to link to the Register anymore so if you must feel free to look it up on Google yourself, but I suspect you may have already seen this).

This time Orlowski tells the story of John Seigenthaler, a former Robert Kennedy aide, who was supposedly libeled on Wikipedia. According to Orlowski, Seigenthatler “wrote about his anguish a fortnight ago, describing how an edit to his Wikipedia biography implicated in him in the Kennedy assassination, and claimed he’d lived in Russia for twelve years. Both claims were false, and lay uncorrected for months.”

So here is a guy, Andrew Orlowski, a purported journalist, who recently reported an email that he received as “factual” when its alleged author publicly and vocally disputed its authenticity. Further, the email’s alleged author, Robert Scoble, said that Orlowski, never even phoned him to determine the legitimacy before printing it.

Orlowski mentions the “months” that facts about Seigenthaler lay uncorrected on Wikipedia? What about the “months” that his reported facts lay uncorrected over at the Register?

In fact, I’d suspect that Orlowski’s hatchet job on Scoble at the Register might still lay “uncorrected” to this date had a few individuals (Scoble who was not one) not applied insistent and repeated pressure on The Register’s Editor Joe Fay for him to correct their error.

Even when The Register finally got around to correcting the article, at their leisure, the best that they came back with was, “Robert Scoble emailed us on October 25. Scoble said “Andy Orlowski…printed an email that he claims came from my hand, but didn’t”. Scoble also said he was not contacted about this story: “Andy never checked with me to see if I, indeed, did write that email.” We are happy to print his comments.”

Ok, so I said I wouldn’t link to them and I did.

How about the “moral responsibility” of Andy Orlowski telling us how he came to be in possession of an alleged fabricated email in the first place? How about the “moral responsibility” of an apology to Scoble? Isn’t reporting and journalism supposed to be about the truth? So how about the truth with this botched email Andy? Personally, if I received a fake email and was duped by it I’d want to at least report how I came into possesion of it. I’d feel a “moral responsibility” actually.

“It’s the chasm between Wikipedia’s rude claim to be an “encyclopedia”, and the banal reality of trashy, badly written trivia that causes so many people to be upset about it.”

Hmmmm…. change the word encyclopedia above to “serious tech journalist” and it’s interesting how that quote above makes me think of Mr. Orlowski and his own publication, The Register.

Andrew Orlowski may continue to cover tech and I’ll continue in general to ignore what he and the Register write about but it’s kind of hard to just sit by when he gets this preachy. Andrew Orlowski is the last person that should be chiding us all about “moral responsibility.”

And you can say what you will about Wikipedia but at least one good thing about it is that a previous post of mine exposing Orlowski’s sloppy journalism (at best) sits in the current entry for his own name, oh yeah, and even if it gets “edited” out, it still also sits on the first page search results for his name over on that little website called Google.

Be Sociable, Share!
Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. Anonymous says:

    Christopher Coulter has a blog

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Christopher Coulter, to give reference to the name, was the individual identified by Robert Scoble as the one that Robert sent an email too that was similar to the one printed by The Register but doctored to misrepresent Scoble in print. If The Register received a doctored email from Christopher Coulter, I think they owe us the “Moral Responsiblity” of saying as much. If it was not doctored by Coulter but by someone else then I still think they bear a moral responsibility to share with us how they came into possession of a fabricated email as well as why it took them so long to correct their mistake.

  3. pb says:

    Who to believe, Scoble or Orlowski?

    I’d give Orlowski the benefit of the doubt every time. And I’m glad he’s not intimidated by stalkers like you, Thomas.

  4. Thomas Hawk says:

    It’s difficult to give someone the benefit of the doubt when they won’t respond publicly to allegations of serious professional misconduct. Further, this is not the first time that it would appear that Orlowski got something wrong. I had previously posted on the fact that Orlowski claimed Microsoft was ready to shelf their Media Center platform days before CES 2004 when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Instead Bill Gates came out himself personally and gave the product it’s biggest personal push since it’s inception. Again, here, Orlowski never bothered to clarify how he got his facts so wrong from unnamed sources after the fact. You can see this post for more detail on the situation.

    If Orlowski is the victim here I’d like to see him come out and say that and defend his reputation. If he can’t defend his reputation for fear of a libel or slander lawsuit then I could understand his silence.

    I also do know Robert Scoble personally. From my dealings with Robert I’ve found him to be a straight shooter and ethical blogger. I think others would also speak to his character.

  5. pb: it’s not a matter of believing anyone. I have the original email. My lawyers are willing to show same. The Register even printed a statement from me saying the email is not valid. If they believed it was, why would they print such a statement?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Robert didn’t do anything wrong! I’m tired of seeing Christopher Coulter trolling every Microsoft blog until he admits what he did. Christopher Coulter apparently goes by the name Mr.AntiBlog trolling Robert Scoble and other Microsoft employee blogs. Christopher Coulter was outed as the blogger

  7. So much for NOT giving Andrew air time. But he does at least have the distinction of being a hack and not a flack…

  8. Christopher Coulter says:

    Court of Law by blog? I am sick and tired of the stalking and harassment, and the phone calls.

    The Register printed a statement addressing your complaint, if it was really invalid, they’d spike the story.

    But this is not my concern. You just can’t go out there and randomly accuse people like this, it’s called libel. Something bloggers should start to learn, libel laws. I wish I had some bigtime pro-bono lawyers, sadly the legal might army of MFST not something I can tangle with.

    Funny how the blog ‘conversations’ only go one way, agree it’s a conversation. Disagree you are a troll. Tons of areas in which I think Robert is right on, and tons more, (esp, now with the Web 2.0 hype) where I don’t. My opinions are now trolling?

    And what does a parody have to do with anything? Your sense of humor so low that such is deemed a crime too?

    How long has this gone on? Geesh. Quit the stalking.

  9. Thomas Hawk says:

    Coulter, I have not stalked you, harrassed you, and I’ve never phoned you. I do not even know your phone number.

    “Randomly accuse people like this?” Excuse me but you have been identified as an individual that Robert Scoble sent an email to that per Scoble was doctored and misrepresented by Orlowski in print.

    I am not afraid of any libel laws myself personally here because the truth is always a defense against libel and I have not said anything untrue.

    I would ask of you though some very simple questions and I suspect that you may not answer because you might not be able to stand behind the same protection of truth against libel that I can.

    1. Robert Scoble claims he sent you an email. Did you receive the email written as he said he sent it or as it was printed in The Register?

    2. Did you forward the above email on to the Register or to somebody else?

    The way that I see it, if you assume that Robert is telling the truth and sent the email as he sent it then somebody else would have doctored it along the way. The only two people publicly associated with the email so far are you and Andrew Orlowski.

    You will NEVER lose a libel suit for telling the truth so how about you quit the posturing and victim story and harrasment claims and just tell your side of the story and tell the truth? Somehow I imagine your going to either ignore this or come up with some other excuse why you can’t tell your story.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wait a second. Chistopher Coulter is talking about libel? Chistopher Coulter answer the questions. Why did you send a fake email to The Register? I don’t get it. At least apologize to Robert Scoble. Chistopher Coulter admits going by the name of Mr.Antiblog pages and writes pages of I don’t know what to call it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey great blog.
    Love what you have got posted here!
    Keep up the good work.
    I will have to check back for more stuff.
    I have a site with 60,000 famous quotes: Famous Quotes