Peter Watts wasn't convicted of assault

Canadian author Peter Watts was convicted of disobeying a border guard, but the Port Huron Times-Herald also claims he was convicted of assault. The story--already much-cited on the internet--is wrong on that point and some others. But the web self-corrects at light speed: one of the jurors who convicted him is apparently in the comment thread at the misleading story, debunking it.


  1. Great.. so in addition to having a felony on his record, and doing serious jail time, and not being able to enter the USA again, he’s now been convicted in the media of committing a crime he wasn’t convicted of in court. People will be able to google his name and see that he assaulted a cop. Nice job, PHTH.

  2. Step 1: First-hand source corrects bad information on the internet.
    Step 2: First-hand source is flamed for “acting knowledgeable,” when they are, in fact, knowledgeable.
    Step 3: First-hand sources stop posting out of disgust for trolls.
    Step 4: The world gets dumber.
    Step 5: Profit.

  3. It was depressingly unsurprising when the newspaper got the story wrong. I mean, by now we’ve all had the experience of reading something in the paper we know to be objectively wrong.

    I was hit much harder when a geek-oriented site like Slashdot repeated the same wrong information in a headline.

    Sure, there’s somebody down in the comment section trying to argue that the information is wrong. But the headline still captures orders of magnitude more eyeballs than the comments.

    It tends to make you wonder if the oft-touted “self-correcting” nature of the Internet isn’t mere wishful thinking, bolstered by the occasional anecdote, but rarely of any real effect.

  4. I hope that juror also writes to the editorial staff of the paper to make sure they publish a correction just in case they don’t scour their own comment sections.

  5. It’s a shame that the juror’s clearheaded, accurate info is so buried amongst douchebaggy trolls. But hey, I guess that’s the internet for you.

    1. OK, so here’s a woman who makes a factual correction to a sloppy newspaper article.

      And your reason for introducing this apparently irrelevant ad feminam point is… what exactly?

      1. Because she’s one of the jurors who made a choice to side with brutal oppression and convict a man who should not only have been found not guilty, but who should be getting reparations from the US government.

        1. Oh please. How many jurors even know about jury nullification? The law is a fucking joke, and the verdict is a fucking travesty, but you’re picking on a woman who conscientiously tried to do her duty and then took to trouble to make a factual correction in a newspaper report? And you’re attacking her just because she’s angry at the govt for raising taxes and threatening to renege on their obligations to her husband?

      2. For the record, ad hominem may be translated as “to the man” in English, but the Latin is gender neutral. There doesn’t need to be a separate term invented for women.

  6. I might as well just quote her:

    I was at the teaparty. I don’t understand the anger being spewed in response to this. I was out there because my individual freedoms are being stomped on by the powers that be. I saw my loose tobacco go from $15 a pound on March 31 to $40 a pound on April 1. I can’t even find ammunition for my hunting weapons, which I use to provide all the red meat for my family by subsistance hunting under treaty rights in the fall, and even if I could, I probably won’t be able to afford it. My husband is a retired disabled Army veteran, and his health care, which was guaranteed under his military contract with the U.S. government, is being threatened. These are everyday things that are affecting my family and numerous other citizens daily. I am not right winged or left winged. I’m just a working person trying to make ends meet, and I’m tired of the government, whether it’s local, state, or federal, having their hands in my pocket and smiling while they’re robbing me blind.

    It appears that she’s very concerned about the government trampling on her rights.

  7. She says in one comment that she wishes she would have been asked to convict a border agent of a crime. In that respect, at least, her heart was in the right place.

    Where she completely fails is as a teabagger and as a citizen. She believes the government she back off, but here she’s doing them a big favor when, if she’d only studied civics (the part about jury nullification in particular), she could have grabbed a big, public opportunity to embarrass the authoritarian government she claims to be tired of.

  8. I take back my comment. Whatever accurate info the juror has, they are also a douchebag as well as painfully ignorant, as proven here, so at least that comment thread reaches douchebag parity.

  9. Wait, rising costs of things like tobacco (quit, you moron, it causes cancer) and ammo upset her?

    And also, her husband’s government subsidized healthcare is threatened, so she flips out and decides that anyone else standing a chance to get government subsidized heathcare shouldn’t?

    OK, she’s really seriously being mislead by people who’re using her anger at troubled economic times and blaming Obama. It’s sad she’s not better educated, to able to discern truth, but it explains why she was foolish enough not to be able to tell the difference between a delay in obeying an order, and refusal to obey an order.

  10. I suggest someone (preferably several someones, preferably including Cory) email the Herald and Slashdot and point out the inaccuracy.

  11. this article, the trial, and the entire affair leaves me with a loss for words. angela mullins definitely wins the judith miller award for mastering bizarro journalism.

  12. I assure you, the vast majority of Canadians manage to go through life without ever accruing a DUI charge.

  13. Since it was mentioned, are you against Teaparty protests because they’re republicans or because they’re rallied against healthcare changes? both?
    I know this is way off topic – BB really needs an open thread.

        1. Of course the video was staged – it was filmed at a protest. Protests are staged events, planned to take place at certain times and certain places.

          But you’re probably right – I’m sure the pro-Obama people brought along a bunch of assholes just to make the anti-Obama people look bad. Lol.

    1. I was highlighting the odd juxtaposition of attacking the government because your tobacco price went up but giving them a free pass on assaulting travelers. Some people don’t seem to have any problem bowing to authority as long as the authority is abusing (other) people. But God forbid that the government stop tobacco subsidies. That’s oppression!

      And, yes, she’s yapping about a Tea Party rally, which is centered around opposition to government health care, at the same time that she’s complaining that her husband isn’t getting his government health care. It’s tangential to this issue, but it goes to the juror’s state of mind and character, your honor.

      1. Where does she give the govt ‘a free pass on assaulting travelers’? The TimesHerald comments are a freakin mess but I haven’t found anything that supports what you’re saying.

          1. Of course I’ve read about the incident.

            What I’m asking is why you’re attacking a woman who has been explicitly lied to by the legal system — what the judge directs the jury to do is not in fact what the jury has to do at all — and ascribing views to her (that she gives the govt ‘a free pass on assaulting travelers’; that she ‘sides with brutal oppression’) for which I can find no evidence.

          2. Come on, sure they had good reason to beat and arrest him.

            1. He’s Canadian; we all know how dangerous those Canadians are with their loons and their funny colored money.
            2. He asked questions. Any american knows better than to ask questions, we all go along with it and keep the status quo. Do you think our forefathers asked questions? No!
            3. He’s a writer. Any one who writes dusty things with words in them is a dangerous individual and should be locked up. Who knows what kind of commie-socialist ideas he spreads with his books.

    2. Personally, I am against Teaparty protests because they are intellectually incoherent.

      For some, it is because they are fools; for others, it’s because they are liars.

      1. Don’t forget racism. Nothing like calling black congressmen ‘nggrs’ and gay congressmen ‘fggts’ to get your point across. Spitting on people is classy too. Worked in the Vietnam days, right? (Or at least in Rambo).

  14. I asked this in another article.

    But why is someone being stopped by US border guards when leaving the US?

    The US should only be concerned with whom is coming in. It would be Canadian border guards who would normally be doing the stopping.

    When did this change and any idea why?

  15. I suggest everyone NOT use the ‘a-word’ in searching, but any article you find using it, be sure to track down the author or editor and get them to set the facts straight, before the MSM latches onto the incorrect version.

  16. I’m with anonymous #12. Everybody, let’s set to work emailing the editors of everywhere with the false story, and let’s get this corrected.

    Go-go gadget CorrectionSpam!

    CBS seemingly has not corrected it yet.

  17. One would think by reading all your carefully considered comments that this type of problem is unique to the US.
    All nations to a greater or lesser degree suffer law enforcement procedural corruption.In New Zealand I have been Assaulted by staff at a major hospital and suffered permanent injury. I assure you absolutely that I did not threaten or abuse or assault anyone to provoke the attack.I simply wanted as was my legal right to leave the hospital because they were attempting post operative painful suction procedures without sufficient pain management prior to additional operations being scheduled.My story gets far more bizarre as it progresses but my right to deny treatment is enshrined in our law but did not serve to protect me from many a horrific night of total torture to the degree that I walked home in the middle of the night with a bloody big whole in my neck and a armful my belongings for 12 kilometres to my home after three nights without any sleep at all.This surreal experience only got worse later as I will outline in further posts but I think all of you have missed the mark by a country mile.There are core problems that feed the centralising beast that is government.Sufficient debate and action regarding the direction democratic constitutions have been evolving plays the key role in the issues you all discuss.Excesses
    are everywhere, It would appear we are at a crossroad and the effort in terms of how we reform the core structures of government will define the shape of our freedoms in the future.

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