“News & Views In Three”
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On March 26, 2010, Big 3 News received an article through the “Submit News” feature on our website. The content, entitled, “A Great American Distraction – Protect Our Children,” was submitted by a viewer from our live broadcasts who occasionally participated in our chat room and on Skype calls by the handle of “Jazzyxxx”. This viewer had inquired about becoming a contributor to the site and offered to provide relevant material.
Big 3 News subsequently published the content without verifying the authorship. We assumed, based on previous conversations and email correspondence with “Jazzyxxx”, that the content was his; we had no reason to question the authorship of the material.
In less than twelve hours of publishing the content, an allegation was made that the article had been plagiarized, verbatim. We immediately contacted our contributor, as well as the alleged original author of the content.
Some of our viewers may have noticed that the content was pulled down after we sent it out to our subscribers and our social networks. Below is the account of the events as they transpired, leading up to and including our decision to withdraw the material.
Additionally, we are including relevant information which reveals the obvious bias displayed by “Jazzyxxx” as it relates to this specific topic of protecting our children.
Big 3 News sincerely apologizes to our loyal readers for allowing content to be published where the original source was questioned and where, ultimately, it was revealed the contributor had a personal agenda in re-publishing the work.
Walter Howard, 52, of Lowell, Massachusetts submitted an article to Big 3 News which presented a commentary on the plight of individuals labeled as sexual predators. No third party attribution was provided and the article appeared to be written by Howard.
The article examined widely repeated claims about the threat posed by sex offenders and a trend by the media and legislators to “panic over sexual predators.”
Consistent with our commitment to present diverse views on a range of political, social and religious topics, the content was published on the Big 3 News website on Saturday, April 10, 2010 with the headline, “Predator panic: Majority of crimes against kids committed by family, clergy, friends, not predators.”
A website reader first indicated the article may have been written by someone other than Howard.
“We immediately contacted Mr. Howard via Skype to inquire about the authorship of the piece he had submitted,” Big 3 News Editor Rusty Ray said on Sunday. “We provided Mr. Howard with a link to another website which contained the identical content, verbatim, written by another author. Mr. Howard maintained that he had written the piece sometime in 2000 or 2001, a copy of which was in the Library of Congress.”
Howard indicated he would provide documentation that he was the author by visiting the Library of Congress the following day, Sunday.
The Library of Congress, as well as most government office buildings, is closed on Sunday.
Big 3 News contacted the suspected author of the piece, Ben Radford, who confirmed that it was his material.
“This material is original content written by me,” Bradford said. “and published in adapted form in Skeptical Inquirer magazine a few years ago.”
Upon further investigation, Big 3 News has learned through the Lowell Police Department and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety that Howard is a Level-3 Sex Offender who was convicted on four (4) counts of assault of a child with intent to commit rape, three (3) counts of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older, and three (3) counts of rape and abuse of a child on November 25, 1992.
Howard served eight years of a 15 year prison sentence for the crimes he committed.
“While Big 3 News has no evidence that Mr. Howard committed or engaged in any unlawful sexual activity while participating in our live shows and chat room on blogTV, he did violate the trust of our readers by engaging in plagiarism and copyright violation, and failing to disclose his Registered Sex Offender status. Our readers deserved to know that a person writing a piece of such a sensitive nature had a vested interest in persuading them to be sympathetic to his point of view,” Ray said.
The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board has determined that Howard is “at a high risk to re-offend and that the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active community notification.”
Howard, who operates a website called the National Coalition for Social & Political Reform, allegedly maintains several internet aliases, including “Jazzyxxx”, “Jazz”, “Soundman51″, “TMaximus95″, and “Slowhandluke”, among others, according to an independent investigation by Big 3 News, and information obtained off the website Wikisposure.
According to their website, The Wikisposure Project is a clearinghouse for profiles of individuals in the pedophile and RSO activist community. They work closely with law enforcement to maintain identities and help build cases for possible legal proceedings.
In one Wikisposure posting attributed to Howard, he writes, “my crimes involved the manipulation and bribery of several teenage boys (age 14 to 16 years old) to allow me to have sexual relations with them. My crimes were not physically violent. That is, I didn’t force anyone into anything, but I did use money and gifts to gain their cooperation…My solicitation of teen victims were nothing more than a reflection of the methods used by so many men who molested me as a child. I embraced their grooming tactics as a romantic process, and then used that process on the teen boys I had molested.”
In another excerpt, the group documents Howard’s writing using the name of T Maximus, “It’s amazing to me how many cool stories I’ve read about the things boy lovers do with their young friend. It’s not all about sex. I’m finding that many BL’s (boy lovers) hold their responsibility to a YF (young friend) with a great conviction.”account has since been deactivated.
Big 3 News confronted Howard with allegations that he had been observed in the minor’s chat rooms with one or two other account users.
“Ask any of the young people I chat with, I tell them about me,” Howard said. “Also, some of those rooms I was invited into…and secondly, those individuals send me friend requests. All of my conduct on BlogTV and the web in general, has remained professional, and not a smidgen of sexual nature.”
In the About Me section of “Soundman51′s” YouTube channel, one of the internet handles used by Howard, he acknowledges being a former sex offender.
“Consensual sexual misconduct with a minor is indeed against the law,” Soundman51 writes, “but it’s not the crime of the century.”
“I love young people, but given my past , it’s best that they have only professional contact with me,” Soundman51 says. “The world is full of people with hidden agendas and bad intentions. I’m not one of them.”
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