Today marks the release of my debut book, “Defamers: How Fake News Terrorized a Community and Those Who Dared to Fight It,” which is now available on paperback and Kindle on Amazon.
It’s also Valentine’s Day.
In 2013, legendary British rocker David Bowie released what would be his penultimate album, “The Next Day.” One of the leading singles off that album was “Valentine’s Day.” The song title is misleading because it has nothing to do with the holiday we associate with love and romance. The song references the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. During the Prohibition era, seven mob associates in Chicago were killed as part of a conflict between two powerful rival gangs.
According to album producer Tony Visconti, the reason Bowie chose to namecheck this event is to highlight the dangers of people who “go postal” and people who “acquire a gun and do awful things with it.”
For four years, I lived with the concern that someone would “go postal” on me — not necessarily because of what I wrote, but what I was falsely accused of doing. I was repeatedly accused of being part of an elaborate conspiracy to cripple and shut down a local online tabloid because I criticized their reporting. With assistance from politicians, self-proclaimed activists and a local radio personality, the website and their “reporters” engaged in a merciless, perversely obsessive campaign to not only smear my reputation but to ruin my life.
Spoiler alert: they were not successful.
I dedicate this Valentine’s Day to those who tried to take me down. They taught me to love the truth.