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January 04, 2007

Comments

You can of course bang your head against the Sunday Times

Editor of the Times and Sunday Times: online.editor@timesonline.co.uk

Letters (for publication, include postal address and daytime phone): letters@thetimes.co.uk, letters@sunday-times.co.uk

but my experience last time gave evidence that the best way is to go out, search blogs that are talking about this, and post (politely) in the comments a link to this post. I find it doesn't help to insult or criticize them directly, but rather to state the facts and ask them think it over for themselves: the researcher are not trying to cure gayness, and this story was invented by PETA to exploit the gay community.

You can find blogs following the story with blogsearch (or, if you prefer, technorati).

The Times repeats and amplifies lies made by PETA in August claiming that Dr. Charles Roselli is experimenting on gay sheep to try to cure homosexuality

I sure hope it's not true, since that would make it animal cruelty to use sheepskin condoms.

Heh heh.

This disgusts me. I can remember way back in the dark ages when taking my journalism 101 class that there was a time in our history when newpapers were referred to as "yellow papers" and the term "yellow journalism" evolved. I can remember my teachers explaining that it was all propaganda, all the time. Is this some natural ebb and flow or is there something more sinister here??

And I still dare anyone to tell me a valid damage from homosexuality. It damages society how?? One fact. Give me one fact.

Not aids. Not promiscuity. Not families being torn apart. (many more divorces for alcoholism..for instance and domestic violence), not a drain on the welfare system,(gays make more money and tend to have higher I.Q's when you study them as a whole population), not more perpetrators...cause gay and perpetrator have no factual correlation. What fact???

Perhaps they thought that there would be a receptive audience for the cure, rather than a hostile audience against the scientist. After all, the Brits cured Alan Turing's homosexuality using hormone injections (if we recall that "death is the cure of all diseases").

Part of what makes a thing like this possible in the U.K. is the smarmy, prurient way that Brits habitually treat matters of sexuality. The Brit press is currently doing the same with issues of sexual orientation in the Church of England. The cultural expressions of homophobia are slightly different in their context, so a rerun of this tripe may seem less like a rerun than it would if it were published now in the U.S. (This comment comes from having worked on a newspaper inside that culture.)

PETA is as intellectually dishonest as James Dobson. Their true goal is to eliminate domesticated animals from the world. They are willing to slaughter hundreds of animals in the process, and to lobby for absurd legislation such as the recent bill in Louisville, KY, banning all dog breeding without an expensive license. This is not the least bit surprising for them. They are ruthless and have zero common sense.

But who planted the article, or was it Oakeshott using her position to advance some political agenda? That's what needs more discussion.

Dear emptypockets,

On September 29, 2006, you'll recall that I sent you an e-mail detailing our reasoning for focusing on Roselli and Stormshak's animal tests instead of other experimenters' tests:

"1. The sheep being used in Roselli and Stormshak's experiments deserve our voices of protest just as much as rats or dogs or cats or monkeys suffering in other experiments. The fact that the animals in this experiment are sheep is irrelevant. Consider again that in addition to being forced to endure invasive surgical procedures-only to be killed and then have their brains dissected-the sheep are kept in solitary confinement for up to nine days. Then, in sexual-preference tests, two male sheep and two female sheep are restrained in a four-way stanchion-which is essentially a "rape rack"-and subjected to the test sheep's aggressions. This is unacceptable and merits our attention.

2. The Animal Welfare Act exempts mice, rats and birds from even the most minimal legal welfare protections, and institutions do not have to keep animal care and disposition records for these animals. These records are very useful for animal advocates in conveying the facts of the experiments to the public. Since institutions are required to keep these records for sheep, this entered into our decision-making process when deciding which experiment to focus on. Everything we have made public regarding this case is substantiated with fact."

Also your charge that "a fuzzy lamb is a better fund-raiser than a rat would be" is incorrect. Please look at our University of North Carolina investigation in which we found gross abuses of rodents who were used in experiments (http://www.peta.org/feat/unc/).

You can learn more about why PETA is against Roselli and Stormshak's deadly experiments on sheep by reading the letter that we sent to Oregon State University (http://www.stopanimaltests.com/pdfs/LetterToOregonStateUniversitySeptember202006.pdf).

Thank you.

The email Shalin excerpts from is the one I reference in the post above. I had asked, "I would also be grateful if you would explain why you have singled out the work of Dr. Roselli, rather than the many other researchers working on sexual behavior in other systems, primarily mouse and rat, whose labs have been more active than Roselli's group in uncovering the biological basis of sexual behavior."

PETA responded with the two points listed here plus a third about limited resources. PETA's explanation made clear that there was no scientific reason to single out Roselli, and nothing specific to his character or his research program that distinguished him from the large number of labs carrying out work in this field. In fact, point #1 and the rest of the comment above make it clear that PETA considers rats and mice equally worthy of its attention.

PETA targeted Roselli, as they make clear in point #2, because he was working with sheep and thus presented a better target politically. Ironically, it is the higher oversight his experiments are subjected to that generates the additional documentation that makes him a better target for extremist groups such as PETA, as they note in point #2.

I surmised there was also an advantage to fund-raising for fuzzy lambs based on the adorable photo PETA chose to accompany its propaganda.

I've read PETA's letter and exchanged emails with Shalin at length. Their argument is essentially that there is nothing to be learned about human biology from studies in animals. This position flies in the face of a couple hundred years of biology, not to mention Darwin's theory. If they are going to be against all research, they should be honest about it -- and not single out individual researchers for attack (and it would be nice if they didn't exploit gay rights issues along the way).

Well, it doesn't matter whether the black and white thinking occurs on the right or the left...bottom line...it's not based on facts or reality.

Excellent post, emptypockets - thanks. I've seen several blogs citing the re-issued story; I will alert them to this.

while I do appreciate your point of view, and you do bring up good points, and I am not a member of peta:

gay sheep, going to use mental imagery to discuss it with them? gotta see the video of this one. Want to be sure that the "therapist" is well known to the local mental health authorities. James Dobson, C of E, jesus, are you people religious vegetables that you would mention such tripe as fact?

however, your arguments are those of savages. do you really still eat dead animals as sustenance? are you mad? do you still consider animals to be your slaves and your toys?

honestly folks, this sounds like a roundtable at the NRA, ashamed I tell you.

oldtree, I don't know what you're saying. You have argued against science recently before (and didn't make sense then either). The post here is about PETA's use of lies to attack science (and exploiting gay rights issues along the way). Commenters have compared the lies by PETA to those used by the religious Right (including Dobson) to achieve different (and not so different) ends. And janinsanfran, who always speaks carefully, has commented on the attitude of the British press to gay issues within the Church of England.

If one takes the position that animals should not be used in research, that policy would end biology.

PETA did choose a good scare tactic of course. The thought and fear that they were going to try to cure homosexuality this way occured to me well before I ever even came out. And the political context twenty five years from now will still be very dangerous, especially in certain parts of the world.

I hope you'll understand if I continue to be alarmed at the prenatal hormone patch. Yes, I know, biology ain't that simple (except for when it is), and culture's very important and so on. I'm gonna be alarmed anyway.

Carry on with the research though. I love research. And answers are valuable, even when they're not the ones we might hope for, and truth sets us free and bring it on and let's see, how many other cliches can I fit in here?

As for the magnifying glass vs sniper scope analogy you used here last time (describing how specific and imminently dangerous a particular research project might be), I tried to think about that some and came up with this. The research into sexuality we're talking about here, the entire field as it stands really, is just a magnifying glass held up to a jumble of tiny letters. There's an awful lot of important and helpful and fascinating stuff to be learned there. I suppose it's just an uninformed hunch, but I do think there's also the instructions for a bomb in there. It doesn't mean you don't do the research -- we can plow ahead and deal with, and maybe lose, that war if and when it comes. But it is something to think about. What if the world isn't ready for what you find?

I really feel like I'm on the wrong side of this conversation; I'm generally a pro-science humanist optimist. As you can see, PETA chose a good, manipulative wedge. It's easy to get terrified quotes from gay people on this subject. (Also, that Times article quoted Martina Navratilova in the fourth paragraph. Hilarious.)

Finally, I started this comment despite my unformed and uninsightful thoughts mostly because I wanted to direct our attention to the Onion, who passed through this territory eight years ago: Gay Gene Isolated, Ostracized.

Thanks 'pockets.

thanks for your comments, texas dem. I'd forgotten that magnifying glass conversation (for those who missed it, the analogy was that this research is like developing a magnifying glass -- yes, it could contribute to a weapon, say, as a scope on a sniper rifle. But it could also lead to microscopes, eyeglasses, so much else). You've certainly got every right to be alarmed at the idea of a prenatal hormone patch -- or other methods of manipulating the biological basis of sexuality. You've earned it -- by actually thinking about the real research going on here. That's my main point, really: not that research is always good, but that lying about research in order to advance a political agenda is always bad.

(Although personally, I believe research is always good. :) )

I also believe research is always good. But that's kindof a matter of faith, and this is an instance that tests that faith.

Hooray.

Thanks again for your excellent work on this.

For every positive there is a negative and every negative a positive. It is not the research that we need to fear but our reaction to it. My old professor used to talk about the fundamental thinking error that humans make being "errors of identification". The generalizing, the inability to distinguish facts from judgment and label them properly is one of the most dangerous mistakes that humans make and some believe might mean that we will not survive. I believe that humans have the capacity to evolve beyond this, because there are humans who are proficient at recognizing the variance between a valid fact and a theory. The key being to recognize that one is solid but limiting and that one is vague but broadening. You can build something great if you know which bricks to use where.

In my humble opinion, this is one of E.W greatest strengths. She is very adept at distinguishing judgment from fact, and recognizing what is "solid" and what is "theoretical". This gives her an advantage on "truth".

When organizations use information to support their theories it skews reality and this should be recognized as a dangerous practice with consequences to society. I don't think it needs to be stopped but it seems such a simple solution to help children understand from an early age, the difference between fact and theory/judgment. Even well trained scientists often have this thinking error.

Dr. Carter used to talk about what a problem this was in the sciences where you would think this issue would be well covered. It is covered in some ways, but the diligence is required at a personal level not just a scientific level.

Mooney has a good discussion of this topic in his "The Republican War On Science"

But what does it mean to politicize science? What constitutes political science "abuse" in the first place? Here is my definition: any attempt to inappropriately undermine, alter, or otherwise interfere with the scientific process, or scientific conclusions, for political or ideological reasons. To count as inappropriate, such incursions must undermine the integrity of science by turning it into just another tool of political advocacy.

He says a few paragraphs earlier:

All scientists have personal opinions, but practitioners of "science as advocacy" differ dramatically in degree, if not in kind. They flatly refuse to amend their views or follow the evidence where it leads (assuming they are even interested in evidence in the first place).

OSU and OHSU’s Big Embarrassment

Thank you for covering this important issue. Jim Newman―the PR rep for Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)―disregards criticism of the unscientific and unethical gay sheep experiments because of nothing more substantial than the fact that it was PETA who brought it to light. PETA sent a detailed seven-page letter to OHSU’s counterpart, Oregon State University, with critiques authored by scientific experts and a prominent sexuality research society. Both universities have failed to address the key points that were raised in the letter.

OSU and OHSU certainly wish that PETA had never spoken out so that the experimenters could quietly continue their “research,” which embodies the needless slaughter of animals, an affront to human dignity, and a colossal waste of precious taxpayer funds.
To read PETA’s letter to OSU in its entirety, you can visit:
http://www.stopanimaltests.com/pdfs/LetterToOregonStateUniversitySeptember202006.pdf.

Also, the experiments have stated that this experiment is being done primarily for economic reasons (e.g., gay sheep don’t breed which leads to decreased profits for sheep farmers; so, if the experimenters can make the sheep heterosexual, then the animals will breed and theoretically generate more profits for the farmers).

However, not even sheep farmers are buying this logic. Andrew Fox (a major sheep farmer who is on the board of Meat & Wool New Zealand) and Dr. Graham Barrell BSc DipSc PhD, (an Associate Professor in Animal Physiology at New Zealand’s Lincoln University) were quoted in the article below:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/3919632a10.html

Gay rams get ewe turn on hormones

By IAN STEWARD - The Press | Saturday, 6 January 2007
An international outcry has greeted the news that an American university is trying to “cure” gay sheep of their homosexuality.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that 8 per cent of rams are gay and another 8 per cent are sexually ambivalent – showing no interest in ewes or rams. After hormone treatment, some of the gay sheep began showing interest in ewes, The Sunday Times newspaper in Britain reported.

The research has angered gay-rights activists around the world, with lesbian tennis star Martina Navratilova calling for the “homophobic and cruel” study to be abandoned.

The researchers found that gay sheep had a smaller bundle of neurons in an area of their hypothalamus, a part of the brain known to control sexuality, than heterosexual sheep.

The discovery was evidence towards homosexuality having a biological basis, said the research group’s leader, Charles Roselli.

New Zealand gay rights activist Bill Logan said the study was “a false problem. It’s not about feeding starving millions. It’s about making an ideological point.”

Scargill sheep farmer Andy Fox said the study probably was not for sheep industry benefit. “You’ve got to be a bit suspicious of why they’re doing this. They’ve got a very small sheep industry – about five million sheep for the whole country. I judge rams on their performance. What they do recreation-wise in their own time is up to them.”

Dr Graham Barrell, from Lincoln University, said gay rams were “not perceived as a serious problem”.

Shalin Gala, the idea that this research is sponsored by sheep breeders is one of PETA's many lies. Roselli is funded by NIH, not sheep breeders. Your statement that "the experiment[er]s have stated that this experiment is being done primarily for economic reasons" is another lie. Please show Roselli's quote.

The rest of your comment is simply more anti-science ranting based on -- guess what? -- PETA's lies. If you can find any evidence that Roselli and co-workers are homophobic, please post it.

It's time for PETA to put up or shut up.

Dear emptypockets,

You seem intent on keeping your blinders on and ignoring the facts. I never said that this gay sheep experiment is sponsored by sheep breeders. If you read my September 20, 2006, letter to OSU's president, you would see that I said that this experiment is publicly funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) using millions of tax dollars.

Also, you asked for Roselli's quote in which he claimed that the experiments have an economic justification (among others). Since you have not bothered to read any of the pertinent literature before commenting on this topic, please allow me to provide you with a citation for Roselli's article in which he made this ridiculous claim: Charles Roselli, et al. "Sexual partner preference, hypothalmic morphology and aromatase in rams." Physiology & Behavior 83 (2004): 233-245. You will find his quote in the second paragraph of p. 243.

Shalin, I'm glad we have debunked that lie: as you acknowledge, the research is funded by the NIH (which is not in the business of sheep breeding), and the quote you provide makes clear that any benefits to the sheep industry are in passing, with the primary goal of the research being (as he writes in the next sentence) "understanding the development and control of sexual motivation and mate selection across mammalian species, including humans." This is consistent with what he has written in every paper, and what he has told me personally.

I guess you can stop spreading that particular lie. Would you care to provide PETA's evidence for the following? We can debunk some more lies tonight:

1. PETA's lie that Roselli is a homophobe
2. PETA's lie that Roselli has made gay sheep straight

for starters.

Emptypockets:
Thanks for the comment on my blog on this topic. I appreciate the fact that you are exposing PETA for the liars that they are, but... one of their (claimed) concerns is correct. It would be naive to believe that successful research into the biological causes of gayness would not result in attempts by MANY people to not have gay children. This is the world we live in. Personally I think that the advancement of science is worth this potential consequence (and Dr. Roselli clearly does too), but it has be acknowledged as a real danger.

Katie Jenson:
"not AIDS"? It seems to me that you should be providing supporting evidence for that claim, rather than expecting your opponents to prove otherwise. The last time I checked, AIDS in Western nations was primarily afflicting the needle sharing and male homosexual populations.

Raven, the ethics of how this research may be applied if it leads to a prenatal diagnostic for homosexuality (which it hasn't, and I'm guessing that is at least 20 years off and wouldn't be very accurate even then) -- even granted those hypotheticals piled on hypotheticals -- PETA's claim is that this research is being done in order to cure gayness, out of homophobic ideology. That is a flat lie.

I actually agree with you that the consequent discussion people have had about what if such a thing were possible and what policy should be in place to deal with that is a worthwhile one. But, as I've said many times, it needs to begin with an honest exchange of the facts -- and if it is centered on Roselli's work, particularly as PETA has distorted it, that's not that case.

It's a science fiction concern, but a worthwhile one to talk about -- if we do it honestly and in an informed manner.

Also, AIDS affects people who exchange bodily fluids with people they don't know well (or who love those who do). It is primarily a problem in Africa right now. It has no more to do with sexual preference than disco does.

Aids and gay men. Let's think about it a second.

AIDS spreads by exchanging bodily fluids. Gay men cannot get pregnant. In the time the AIDS disease first spread, in western nation it was among gay men, homosexuality was highly feared.

Of course it spread after a gay man was infected. These men had little reason to form couples - society frowned upon it, these couples could not be stable to begin with. The main mentality was that of a "we won't make it for long" to begin with. And finally, no one could get pregnant, which reduced the will to use contraceptions. AIDS also does not show immediately, making AIDS spread even more because the infected people have no idea about it.

THAT is why AIDS had it so easy to spread in that demographic. Nowadays, that is not true anymore, though. AIDS is a reality for heterosexual and bisexual groups alike - the major affected groups are needle sharers and promiscuous people, of all sexualities. It is a myth that male homosexual populations are most affected by AIDS, a myth stemming from a few decades ago. It isn't true since a long time, though.

Does the fact that up to 16% of rams fail to mate successfully really represent an economic loss for sheep farmers? It seems like 84% would be more than enough for breeding purposes, it's just a matter of identifying them, and I guess they have ways... Unless this research gets too much more publicity, and the American consumer starts to demand wool and meat from STRAIGHT SHEEP ONLY.

Anyway, even if the sheep industry IS interested in applying the results of this research in the obvious way, I don't see what's so wrong with that. (I mean anything in addition to the fundamental cruelty/immorality of animal farming, meat-eating, and our capitalist system in general, if you feel that way.) You have to make a big leap to turn this into a gay or anti-gay issue, IMHO.

I would also like to know how farmers feel about these male-oriented rams. If they just think it's part of nature, or if they think it's funny and/or annoying, or if it makes them SICK and they immediately send them to be slaughtered in another state. Looking forward to hearing from many sheep farmers on this, thanks.

The mainstream media constantly regurgigate the propaganda from the meat and dairy industries as well as the animal experimentation lobby. I'm sick of reading it day after day, year after year. It's about time they printed something pro-animal!

Yes, it's old news - I commented on it in my column in a gay mag in Sydney, Australia and my blog back in September and on here too. I was most pleased to see that in a quiet news period, the mainstream press finally ran with it.

Oh, and as for the post about animals in labs being supposedly better cared for - check this out:

http://www.shac.net/MISC/Inside_HLS.html

This is not an isolated incident or company.

Vivisection is unethical and cruel (if you think it's so wonderful, volunteer yourself and your family to be incarcerated, prodded, jabbed, injected, cut open and put to death).

Vivisection is scientific fraud - yeah, it's an old bumper sticker but it's true.

Propaganda? No more so than the crap that spills out of vivisectors' mouths all the time.

Extremism? Well, as Martin Luther King said 'The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be'.

Thank you PETA!
Katrina Fox, lesbian journalist and animal rights advocate. www.katrinafox.com

Katrina Fox, like PETA and the anti-stem cell and anti-evolution crowds, wants all scientific research to stop.

It is hard to seriously debate that position.

Please don't put words into my mouth emptypockets. I have not said I want all scientific research stopped. Using animal experimentation to extrapolate results onto humans is NOT science.

I support non-animal based testing scientific methods such as the following (taken from Dr Ray Greek's site www.curedisease.com, an ex-vivisector who's bothered to do his research into the medical industry and has countered many of their so-called claims that torturing animals has helped human health):

In vitro research or test tube research on living tissue - has been instrumental for many of the great discoveries. Though human tissue has not always been employed; it could have been, because it has always been in ample supply. Blood, tissue and organ cultures are ideal test-beds for the efficacy and toxicity of medications.

Epidemiology -the study of populations of humans to determine factors that could account for the prevalence of the disease among them, or for their disease immunity. Combined with genetic research and other non-animal methods enumerated here, it provides very accurate information about whole systems.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi reveal basic cell properties.

Autopsy and cadavers are used for clarifying disease and teaching operating techniques such as fracture fixation, spine stabilization, ligament reconstruction, and other procedures.

Physical models can be made for studying the wear on joints and other physiology.

Genetic research has elucidated many genes that are responsible for specific diseases. Since physicians can now ascertain their patients' predisposition to certain diseases, they can monitor them more carefully as well as suggest optimal nutrition, lifestyle and medications.
Clinical research on patients shows how humans respond to different treatments and determine whether or not one treatment is superior to another. We can attribute our fundamental knowledge of disease and hospital care to clinical research.

Post-marketing drug surveillance (PMDS) is the reporting process whereby every effect and side effect of a new medication are reported to a monitoring agency, eg., the FDA. (Despite its obvious benefits, post-marketing drug surveillance is presently practiced erratically as reporting methods are neither easy nor required.)

Mathematical and computer modeling is a complex research method that employs mathematics to simulate living systems and chemical reactions.
Technology is largely responsible for the high standard of care we receive today. MRI scanners, CAT scanners, PET scanners, X-rays, ultrasound, blood gas analysis machines, blood chemistry analysis machines, pulmonary artery catheters, arterial catheters, microscopes, monitoring devices, lasers, anesthesia machines and monitors, operating room equipment, computer based equipment, sutures, the heart-lung machine, pacemakers, electrocardiograms, electroencephalograms, bone and joint replacements,
staplers, laparoscopic surgery, the artificial kidney machine and many more are examples of technological breakthroughs.

Specialization also saves countless lives. For example, the field of pathology allowed better understanding of diseases. Specialization of medical care into disciplines such as cardiology, oncology, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, infectious diseases etc. allows physicians to increase and share their understanding of one field. Specialized areas of care in the hospital, like the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU), cardiac ICU, and surgical ICU, improve patient care. Nurses, specially trained for the operating room or the ICU better administer to patients.

Today we also have stem cell research, gene-based medical research such as pharmacogenetics, toxicogenomics, systems biology, and other areas to study.

Finally, I'm not anti-stem cell nor anti-evolution. In fact, I'd love to see the 'researchers' who have spent decades killing billions of animals in labs with very little to show for it to 'evolve' and stop relying on their inaccurate and unreliable methods to con the public.

It is perfectly acceptable for a person to favor animal experiments and to be against them; to favor homosexuality or to be against it; to like sheep or detest them. We all have our prejudices, many of which are beyond our control. What is not acceptable is to use lies and distortions to support our case.

None of the alternatives listed allow for the study of behaviour, which is what these researchers are interested in. Most of what you list are medical alternatives - the world of research is far broader than that.

With regard to the "danger" and "agenda" of the work - the researchers discussed here cannot be faulted for the potential that their work be twisted - it is not their aim to "cure" or "prevent" anything, but simply to investigate. Knowledge is not itself evil.

Thanks for being a voice for research, emptypockets.

This may be irrelevant but PETA has made real strides towards improving the tortured lives of Australian sheep. Just sayin.

Looks like your posts on this issue have attracted the New York Times.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/science/25sheep.html?ex=1327381200&en=7ceec7bf00315eaf&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

"This may be irrelevant but PETA has made real strides towards improving the tortured lives of Australian sheep. Just sayin."

I know this post doesn't have anything to do with those Australian sheep, the PETA spokesperson P!nk actually apologized for her position and admitted that she was mislead by PETA. I have learned to never trust anything PETA says, usually it is twisted to serve their fanatical stance. Did you know the PETA vp uses insulin derived from.... ANIMALS! She's admitted it too. Check out these links:

PETA, BS
P!ink apologizes

"They also found an ally in the blog world: a scientist who writes under the pseudonym emptypockets and has taken up Dr. Roselli’s cause. The blogger, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said a public stand could hurt his career..."

That section of the NY times article speaks volumes. A public stand could hurt your career emptypockets? Yes, your pockets are empty all right - empty of courage. You're so full of yourself and your position on animal experiments when you can do it behind a pseudonym, but too much of a coward to actually put your name to your postulations. But then again, as I've said before, animal experimentation isn't about science, it's about careers, so I guess we shouldn't expect any better from you.

FWIW - although Murdoch bought the Times in 1981, it has taken a while for him to complete the transition from newspaper to tabloid - this once decent (conservative) newspaper is now a Fox-clone for British consumption. One used to be able to gleen information reading between the lines (like one used to do in another conservative rag, The Economist), but even that technique is closed off.

Not surprising the same network that pushes the "Barack went to terrorist school" false line wants to push the "gay sheep" story. Tabloids are about circulation by any means necessary.

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This was a great post and thread until someone decided to spam it with comments at the end. What's up with that?

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