The truth is not HumaneWatch’s friend

Last night, our webmaster repeated his invitation to David Martosko to explain his side of the story in the “Sock Puppet Shenanigans”. The post made on the Facebook “HumaneWatch” group read as follows:
Dear Mr. Martosko: I recently contacted you regarding your claim that HSUS was involved in an incident of “sock puppetry” on the blog of a respected veterinarian, Dr. Patty Khuly. Have you received my letter? I know that mail servers were experiencing technical difficulties during that time, but fortunately, there’s a copy of it available at if you have not read it. I am concerned that you have made intentionally false and defamatory claims about HSUS involvement in this matter, despite Dr. Khuly’s having informed you prior to 7/12 that she had no evidence that HSUS was responsible in any way. I respectfully invite you to correct any erroneous statements you have made on your June 30th blog post, and if you are so inclined, to provide your perspective on the matter. I will be happy to publish your statement verbatim on the website, completely unedited. At the very least, I would appreciate the courtesy of a response, even if that response is simply “No comment”. I look forward to your reply, and thank you for your time. Sincerely, John Doppler Schiff Webmaster,
The post was immediately deleted without comment, as most dissenting opinions on HumaneWatch’s Facebook group are. So much for courtesy! Or courage. Or integrity. This was not unexpected, however. HumaneWatch has a history of ignoring any facts that run counter to their “we hate HSUS” message, and Martosko is quick to delete any post that doesn’t wave the pom-poms with sufficient enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter how respectfully phrased or truthful that post is: HumaneWatch fears any information that might allow its readers to think for themselves. Consider the case of Atlanta’s WSB-TV. The station ran a segment covering HSUS’ handling of the funds raised for Hurricane Katrina rescue operations, and it relied heavily on misinformation provided by CCF. When the station discovered it had been duped, it immediately pulled the footage of the broadcast and issued a correction. CCF continued to willfully promote copies of the broadcast as “proof” of HSUS wrongdoing, without bothering to mention the correction. This prompted WSB-TV to send an angry cease-and-desist letter demanding that CCF stop referencing the broadcast without referencing the correction. CCF’s response? They fired off a lame, baseless accusation that the Humane Society forged the letter. When WSB-TV demanded that YouTube pull all copies of the broadcast from its servers, CCF resorted to linking to an illegal copy hosted on a video sharing site in Iran. To this very day, HumaneWatch continues to hold up that invalidated report as “proof” of their arguments — without the correction that tells the rest of the story. So, CCF fed false information to a reporter, and then used the resulting story to claim that the false information they fed the station was correct. That’s just one example among many of CCF/HumaneWatch deception. If the facts are on HumaneWatch’s side, why do they resort to misinformation, sleazy tactics, and desperate attempts to stifle honest discussion? They do it because the conclusions HumaneWatch presents do not stand up to scrutiny. They do it because the truth is not a friend to HumaneWatch, and any facts that run counter to HumaneWatch propaganda must be suppressed or ignored. Unfortunately for David Martosko, no matter how deeply he buries his head in the sand, the truth will not go away. Neither will we.

An open letter to David Martosko

Dear Mr. Martosko:

Last week, you posted an article claiming that HSUS was responsible for a series of posts with phony names. [ URL: ]

On July 3rd, on the blog, we publicly challenged you and Dr. Khuly to back up your allegations with whatever evidence you possess. [ URL: ]

Thus far, neither you nor Dr. Khuly have presented any evidence verifying your claims. Nothing. In fact, you have not responded to our inquiries, you have suppressed comments inquiring about the issue, and seem to be desperately avoiding the subject.

In light of your actions and in the absence of any proof substantiating your claims, we are forced to conclude that you have made intentionally false statements defaming the Humane Society of the United States.

However, our offer stands: if you would like to present your evidence or a statement defending your claims, we will gladly publish it verbatim. (Unlike, we do not suppress the truth or dissenting opinions. We have great confidence in our readers’ intelligence. Why don’t you?)

On behalf of the staff of, I look forward to your reply.

John Doppler Schiff

Update, 7/8/2010:’s mail servers are currently rejecting email. We will have to wait to deliver this email. In the meantime, we will send this message by postal mail.

Sockpuppets and slander

The Liars for Hire are really showing their desperation today. David Martosko of CCF has posted a new article accusing the HSUS of posting comments under a phony identity. Leaving aside the irony of a corporate front group accusing anyone of being a sock puppet, CCF has once again abandoned facts in favor of unsubstantiated accusations. Martosko writes:
“By trying to hide your identity when you leave a comment, you’re trying to influence everyone else’s perception of how credible the article is by pretending to be a disinterested third party who’s just offering a fair critique… And at least one Humane Society of the United States employee has been busy doing just that, on a popular blog written by a prominent veterinarian.”
Martosko points to a blog by veterinarian Patty Khuly, who didn’t bother verifying the CCF propaganda she quoted in her article questioning HSUS. Khuly later admitted that giving any credence to was a mistake, but in the same breath, accused the HSUS of masquerading under a phony identity:
“You’re all right on HumaneWatch, but to write against me (and it) unverified names only to have me trace your real email addys back to the HSUS is a serious breach of ethics.”
That’s a serious accusation, a potentially libelous claim that any prudent person would be reluctant to level publicly without substantial evidence. So, attention, Dr. Khuly and we’re calling you out. Let’s see the proof.
  • Show us the email address you have allegedly traced to the Humane Society of the US.
  • Show us the log entries with the IP address originating from HSUS networks.
  • Show us proof that the email address was not fabricated or spoofed.
  • Show us proof that the post was the act of an official HSUS employee.
And if you can’t come up with at least one bit of evidence, perhaps you should consult your lawyers about how to phrase your apology and retraction. Dr. Khuly, Mr. Martosko, we’re waiting for your response. Contact us and we’ll be happy to publish your responses verbatim.
Update, Monday 7/12: We had a frank and very enlightening discussion with Dr. Khuly today! Dr. Khuly is preparing a response for both her Fully Vetted blog and for, and we’ll publish it here as soon as we receive it. We were impressed with Dr. Khuly’s intelligence and integrity on the phone today, and look forward to her clarification. We have sent several emails to David Martosko, but the mail server has been rejecting all email. (CCF’s “Director of Research” is a former opera major. I wonder what experience their “Director of IT” has? Shoe salesman?) Although today’s email appears to have gone through, we have sent a copy of our open letter to CCF via postal mail just in case.