I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

• Legal Response to Banned at BassResource

Because one person involved in this poorly handled exchange threatened seeking legal counsel, I saw it as necessary to take steps to protect myself just in case. Given that I have actually been threatened in the past on other sites, you might understand how I would be concerned. I have consulted a lawyer in this matter and what I am about to say is a summary of his recommendations. After legal counsel and survey of the information available, we have concluded that although the remarks can still be considered defamatory in nature despite the obvious attempt to reword things, they border on personal opinion and the legality of such remarks falls into a gray area that if pursued by legal means would not guarantee any form of resolution. It is the site's own discretion as to whether or not a member has violated a code of conduct. While it is apparent that other members and one moderator have openly violated that code of conduct, it is up to the administrator of the site to reprimand these individuals and thus remains out of the scope of my claims against the site. Access to private messages (PM's) would have to be obtained by legal means as well because as it stands, a banned account cannot access this information. My legal counsel could not comment on the events that occurred in those interactions aside from what I was able to offer in my own words and the saved pages from the thread in question. However, he felt that it was clear that my situation was severely mishandled and recommended that the site seriously consider formally training their moderators in matters of public relations to avoid repeating the mistake. Personally, it looked as though they were playing favorites.

In addition, my real name thus far has not been mentioned in this mishap. Unless I suffer personal harm from the release of my identity, no major harm has been done to damage my career as a physician nor has it placed me in harms way physically. If any harm should come as a result of this exchange in the future, these events would be considered as evidence and everyone involved would likely face investigation on some level. It would be advised to keep my identity confidential if any of the parties involved has obtained this information in light of a previous threat elsewhere in the bass fishing community. I have personally chosen not to pursue that particular threat legally after the administrator of the DWMB forum dealt with the situation accordingly, but it still remains a legitimate concern on my part that my privacy and level of anonymity be respected.

My legal advisor's interpretation of these events is that in no way did I misrepresent myself, nor did I intend to mislead anyone. It was simply a misunderstanding on the part of a few people, mostly moderators. My comments should be seen as legitimate with the understanding that my education does indeed surpass what was required to assess the information. My personal stance is such that in October when I receive the degree waiting for me, a congratulatory effort is quite welcome from the parties involved. At that point by their standards, I will officially be an MD and they should have no desire at that point to dispute my credentials.

It is unfortunate that administrators of a site with such a reputation allowed a staff member to act with such haste without regard for the truth and permitted a sponsor/advertiser to act in a less than respectable manner. It was a huge misunderstanding and equally unfortunate that the members involved lacked the humility to come forward and apologize for their transgressions and false impressions. I would urge them to make attempts in the future to not become offended so easily and exercise caution in the face of criticism.

After repeated visits from someone in San Antonio, I'd like to make it known that it is in both of our best interests if we go our separate ways and simply agree to disagree. Seeing as how the thread in question has been removed, I see no reason why any of this should go any further than it already has. I have no plans to pursue any legal action against BassResource or any of the parties involved unless they choose to continue the cat and mouse game. Again, I think it is clear that at this point, we all need to go our separate ways. I'll also remind them that every time they visit my site, it moves me up in popularity on sites like HitsUnlimited and TopFishingSites among others. I am fairly certain that is the last thing they want.

Edit 7/11/08
It seems the thread is active again and either Glenn or Flukemaster has edited their final post as if to get one last jab in at me. Again, it speaks to the immature demeanor the moderators at BassResource have chosen to exhibit. They also seem to think I've been banned elsewhere. I'm not sure where they got the impression I've been banned by "many forums," but BR is the first to ban me. The two previous forums that soured my impression of the bass fishing community did not ban me. I left both of them on my own accord without being asked. I left UB after having made well over 500 posts and I left the BPS forum after encountering unsavory individuals who were allowed to get away with saying whatever they wanted, some of whom made threats on a third site which has already been discussed above.

Are you really that bad at gathering the right info? First you can't tell what city I'm located in and banned me because you thought I was lying about it. Now you think I've been banned elsewhere. You are all really bad at gathering the facts. I mean horrendous. It's no surprise the thread went down the way it did with the way you guys run things.

Dare I say it? These people really are the epitome for the word idiot. How many mistakes do you make before you decide to man up and admit any fault? Keep screwing up. I'm having a good laugh now. I never thought you'd be this incompetent, but you all continue to shock even me. Bury your faces in shame. None of this would have happened had the staff been trained to handle these situations with even the slightest modicum of tact and consideration.