TWA

(Updated: 12/12/2011) Janrae Frank Comments Generate More “Smoke” than Substance to Shield Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware(TM)

In Janrae Frank, Veracity Check, Victoria Strauss, Washington Post, Watchdog, Writer, Writer Beware on December 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at  thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

American Book Publishing “Investigation” Research Released: No Proof of Victoria Strauss’ Claims

The Write Agenda has not questioned the fact that Writer Beware has helped numerous individuals over time. They have without question. Somewhere along that positive history something has run afoul. The claim that “American Book Publishing has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is a primary example of how Writer Beware has forgotten its original mission and responsibility to provide true information.

Our demand, to force and compel Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware to produce substantiation of their claim that America Book Publishing “has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is hardly intimidation. So, authors, publishers and publishing industry professionals are just supposed to take Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware for their word? Without substantiation? Without verifiable proofs?

The real “intimidation” is the fact that Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware have posted this information, refuse to delete it and refuse to provide documentation that proves the claim. This is neither a grand jury investigation nor an investigative newspaper report. Both of these examples are not entitled to the protections of confidentiality and would be not be deemed privileged information; not to mention the fact that Victoria Strauss is not a professional investigative journalist and would not legally be permitted to claim these privileges to protect herself. The Write Agenda’s request has nothing to do with protecting police investigators. Police investigators could not remotely be claimed as “sources” as Janrae Frank would have you believe. Think about it, don’t individuals go “to” the investigators? Don’t “investigators” write police reports? Isn’t it not true that police reports are assigned incident numbers?

Contrary to Janrae Frank’s unfortunate “smoke screen,” the information contained within any “police investigation” is subject to discovery, available under the Freedom of Information Act, has an incident number and is not subject to any protections under the law (assuming that it actually exists). The fact here is that there never was a “police investigation” conducted against America Book Publishing. Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware know this and they cannot produce 1) an incident number; 2) what was American Book Publishing Investigated for; and 3) the name of the investigating police agency. This is true “intimation” and a it’s scam that has been perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware. Now, Janrae Frank has made the personal choice to attempt to deliberately cloud this further; that’s very unfortunate.

Janrae Frank, who is a well-respected American journalist, knows for a fact that “police investigations” are subject to discovery under the Freedom of Information; it is the most commonly used tool of any investigative reporter. Considering that Ms. Frank chose  to weigh in here, without any appreciation for the actual facts, it appears that she is more interested in participating in this viral controversy as a means to help her slumping book sales. Self-serving conduct? It appears to be. Her current Amazon Sales Rankings range from 315,555 to 3,405,977.  As an industry standard, an Amazon Sales Ranking of 100,000 equates to 1 copy every 5 days; 2,000,000 equates to 1 copy every 1000 days. (We’ll track this and see if her strategy works.)

Bottomline: A police “investigation” is not subject to non-disclosure privileges. The Write Agenda has contacted all of the agencies listed below. You will not find in any of their correspondence to us that “a good journalist learns early is to protect their sources” or that they were concerned that “if those names were made public, then the complainants would soon find themselves under siege from ABP.” The entire claim that “American Book Publishing has been the subject of at least one police investigation” is a lie and a fabrication perpetrated by Victoria Strauss, Ann “A.C.” Crispin and Writer Beware. The letters from these agencies may be viewed here.

If there was a “police investigation” wouldn’t The Write Agenda have received something from one of these agencies that stated the information is protected and not available under the Freedom of Information? Fact: The Write Agenda did not . . . most of the replies clearly state that there is no documentation of any “police investigation.”

Police agencies seek the truth and from our research, they have accomplished that. They have given The Write Agenda proof that American Book Publishing was never the “subject of at least one police investigation.”

Agencies Contacted:

Salt Lake City Police DepartmentPublic Safety
Building

315 East 200 South, SLC
(801) 799-3000Pioneer Precinct
1040 West 700 South
(801) 799-4600
http://www.slcpd.com/index.phpUtah Highway
PatrolFirst Floor – South

4501 South 2700 West
PO Box 141100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-1100
Administration: (801) 965-4518 (During Business
Hours)
http://publicsafety.utah.gov/highwaypatrol/index.html

Department of Public Safety Investigations Bureau
5500 West Amelia Earhart Drive, Suite #100
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116 – (801) 532-2168
http://publicsafety.utah.gov/investigations/index.html

Federal Bureau of Investigation – Salt Lake City
257 East 200 South, Suite 1200 Salt Lake City, UT
84111-2048
Phone: (801) 579-1400
Fax: (801) 579-4500

Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department
3365 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Non-Emergency: 801.743.7000
http://www.slsheriff.org

South Salt Lake City Hall
220 E. Morris Ave (2430 South)
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

City Attorney, 2nd Floor 801-483-6070 801-464-6791

City Prosecutor, 2nd Floor 801-483-6070
801-464-6791

Police Department
2835 S Main St, South Salt Lake, UT 84115-3200

NON Emergencies 801-840-4000
Administration 801-412-3606
Investigations 801-412-3604
Ordinance Enforcement 801-464-6712
Records 801-412-3600
http://www.ssl.state.ut.us/government/contactus.htmlhttp://www.ssl.state.ut.us/police/policedepthome.html

Utah State Capitol Office
Office of the Attorney General
Utah State Capitol Complex
350 North State Street Suite 230
SLC UT 84114-2320
FAX: (801) 538-1121
http://attorneygeneral.utah.gov/contact_us.html

Salt Lake City, Prosecutors Office
349 South 200 East, Suite 500Salt Lake City, Utah,
801.535.7767
http://www.slcgov.com/Prosecutor

Salt Lake County Prosecutors Office
Investigations Division
111 E Broadway Suite 400
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Tel: (801) 531-4189
Fax: (801) 531-4137
http://www.districtattorney.slco.org/admin/contact.html

Clearly Janrae Frank chose to utilize propaganda strategies (Ad hominem and Red herring) in her confutation. For example, instead of rebutting the original complaint (i.e., Author, Victoria Strauss’ Failure to Produce Documentation of Police Investigation Regarding American Book Publishing) she is attacking us instead rebutting the original argument. Also, she is presenting new issues (i.e., the Freedom of Information Act) in a compelling fashion, but it is irrelevant to the question whether Author, Victoria Strauss Failed to Produce Documentation of Police Investigation Regarding American Book Publishing. She somehow seems to think that this validates or implies that we are misleading people.  (Note: She has also posted on Twitter that: “The Write Agenda has gone after me.” We fail to see how this amiable debate has escalated to that level.)

There’s no need for Janrae Frank to “school” us any more on the Freedom of Information Act. We all understand its purpose regarding public records as they apply to legal actions. However, in this instance we are dealing with a “police investigation” not a legal action. The application of the Freedom of Information Act is irrelevant and further discussion about it is an act of obfuscation. Admittedly, it was a very noteworthy review but really serves no purpose regarding this issue.

Transparency is all that we have asked for. Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware are responsible for making the initial claim that “American Book Publishing  has been the subject of at least one police investigation.” Merely posting this on a blog is not proof that  “American Book Publishing  has been the subject of at least one police investigation.” Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware have not been transparent in this regard. As a result thereof, we have sought to make this claim transparent by contacting the agencies within the jurisdiction where the “police investigation” allegedly occurred. When documentation and research fails to uncover evidence of a “police investigation,” transparency is impossible. The ongoing acts of denying, deferring and dismissing, by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware, can no longer continue; it impedes the quest for transparency.

As self-proclaimed publishing industry “watchdogs,” Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware are ethically responsible to produce this evidence. What is dreadfully transparent is that their failure to do so only serves to call into question their credibility. This could be easily accomplished by providing primary source material of a “police investigation.” This would include: 1) the name of the investigating police agency; 2) supplying an incident number; and 3) state exactly what America Book Publishing “investigated” for. The failure of Victoria Strauss to provide this information lends itself to a meaningless claim and doesn’t support the necessity of challenging other disputed claims; that’s another issue. If the three (3) questions above cannot be answered, this “investigation” has to be deemed a falsehood that was conceived with other motives. Transparency will only occur when this evidence is provided. The sooner this happens the matter can be resolved and we can all move on to other issues. If it cannot be supplied, Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware would be well advised to begin using some different PR strategies; denying, deferring, inciting followers and dismissing these accusations aren’t working:

1. Fess up.

2. Have some “humble pie” and display some remorse.

3. Strive for atonement and clean up this mess they made.

4. Rehabilitate themselves, restore faith and trust by utilizing objective (not bias) reporting standards.

The Write Agenda is striving to bring this matter to a close. If we have been incorrect in our pursuit for transparency, we’ll gladly take our own advice publicly (1-4 above). We all want transparency, if this cannot be achieved this matter will stay in the forefront and will continue to be a blemish on Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware.

10/10/2011 Update

Yes, we have claimed that your discussion of the FOIA was both Ad Hominem and a Red Herring. No, we have not invoked FOIA as proof of any claims here or on our website. What we have done is completed document searches and posted the results thereof. Our act of posting these letters from the agencies cast doubt on the veracity of the statement of Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware that “American Book Publishing was the subject of at least one police investigation.” Our only statement is that we cannot find any evidence of a “police investigation.” We are not going to rely solely on an unvetted blog posting as proof that a “police investigation” occurred. Regardless of what methods are deployed to secure information in this matter, if evidence does not exist “that casts in doubt the veracity” of the statements made by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware.

Now you appear to be making a similar statement without documentary evidence to back it up. To wit: “ABP was investigated in 2003 by the Salt Lake City police department. The detective assigned to the case was Robbin Wilkins.” Your act of merely reciting a statement from a blog posting is also not definitive proof of an actual “police investigation.” In addition, since you have chosen to take on the chore of “investigating” this matter further, this suggests that you are now questioning whether evidence of a “police investigation” exists yourself. This is a positive step; we could only wish that others would be as inquisitive. What is most ironic is that this proves that you are not willing to solely rest on Victoria Strauss’ statements including: 1) she doesn’t have an “obligation to ‘prove’ anything;” 2) that she stands on her “reputation for honesty and meticulous research; 3) that she is willing to simply  “let people judge for themselves;” and 4) that you are not satisfied solely with her confidential “documentation [that] includes emails from individuals as well as [her] handwritten notes of the phone conversations [she] had with both investigators” as proof of a “police investigation.”

We are actually flattered that you have the courage to take the time to be objective. However, it’s distressing (and unfortunate) that you have to pursue information that should have been made available by Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware. We wish you well in your endeavors. We also pray that your efforts reveal the existence of a “police investigation” with a corresponding incident number. In the event that your efforts are inconclusive, we also hope that you have the resilience to publicly admit it.

10/14/2011 Update

After going into great detail regarding your skills as a journalist, we would think that you would have posted primary source material to “speak for itself.” Attaching a blog posting from a disgruntled author, while it may lead to primary source material, is not proof that a real investigation ever occurred. Therefore, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply to this pitiable attachment.

Journalists, as yourself, are held to a higher standard in reporting and presenting evidence. We do hope that your independent research activity leads you to a trail of primary source material including, but not limited to, documented evidence of a “police investigation” with a corresponding incident number. In the event that an “investigation” is proven to have occurred, information that retracts and/or exonerates the publisher needs to be included. For example, if there was no prosecution, or if the matter was closed due to a deficiency of evidence towards proving the complaint, reporting ethics require a full disclosure of the disposition of the “investigation.”

10/24/2011: American Book Publishing: No Case, No Criminal Contact & No Legal Action Taken

Creative Commons License

The Write Agenda by The Write Agenda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on all work at  thewriteagenda.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://thewriteagenda.wordpress.com.

© The Write Agenda, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from The Write Agenda is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Write Agenda with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by The Write Agenda (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Please contact The Write Agenda for sample attributions.

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