Ross Coulthart

External Quote:

cite
verb

1. refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work
- no URL possible for that, it's a POST query for "define cite" to startpage.com, and is its self-generated result not referring out to an external resource

You did not *refer to* anything - bo book, author, or scholarly work was mentioned. Not a cite.

You appeared to be quoting something, yet the search engines don't seem to be able to find that exact quote - so were you paraphrasing rather than quoting? If so, then don't - it's against the posting guidelines. And if it is a quote, then provide the source, not doing so is against the posting guidelines.
Well it's not my fault if you can't use search engines.

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand."
Quoted in 'Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie'. - Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper. New York Times (14 Apr 1954), 51. In Oliver E. Byrd, Health Yearbook (1954), 142
 
You have a habit of changing your semantics depending on the answer given.

You asked the following and I provided it.
My point is that your answer is out of context ("this discussion", see below). So far you've not provided an answer that is in context.
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How would you go about establishing whether Coulthart and his sources are reliable?
 
I think blanket judgements of journalists, scientists or whoever can be erroneous. My view of Ross is that he releases information to the media and his fanbase too quickly. His sources don't always check out, nor can we check them out. He also does something I absolutely hate about this whole field debunkers and UFO proponents, and that's "a friend told me this" ect ect.

That said he is well regarded for other journalistic efforts in Australia and has certainly made some big breakthroughs on important stories.
 
My point is that your answer is out of context ("this discussion", see below). So far you've not provided an answer that is in context.
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How would you go about establishing whether Coulthart and his sources are reliable?
OK then please be specific in future. I am not a mind reader. We're in agreements that skeptics can espouse opinions as facts and later be proven wrong.
 
Please cite examples where
• a skeptic espoused an opinion as fact and was later proven substantially wrong
• a skeptic bolstered a factual statement by claiming unnamed sources that then never materialized
Are you serious? My field, neuroscience is replete with such examples.

A famous example is this one in response to speculation that smoking may be related to lung cancer:

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one."

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.
A cautious statement indicating that evidence was, in 1954, beginning to point to the connection between lung cancer and smoking.
— Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper

• not espousing an opinion as fact
• not claiming unnamed sources that never materialize
 

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.
A cautious statement indicating that evidence was, in 1954, beginning to point to the connection between lung cancer and smoking.
— Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper

• not espousing an opinion as fact
• not claiming unnamed sources that never materialize
not espousing an opinion as fact? That's a really bizarre conclusion to arrive at. Especially considering it is an opinion presented as a fact.
 
I shouldn't have to push a point like this at all but here's some more examples of skeptics presenting opinions as facts in the face of overwhelming evidence. Obviously we can also list the UFO proponents too! But that's not the claim here.

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

“When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it.” - Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson

A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936

There is little hope of discovering new species of large quadrupeds.- Cuvier - 1812
 
To get back on topic. I think Ross has been an excellent journalist at various stages in his career. I like some of his earlier work in this topic, and the Grusch stiff too. However, a lot of what he does is give hints about things that cannot be verified. I don't get how that helps move things on in this debate.
 
To get back on topic. I think Ross has been an excellent journalist at various stages in his career. I like some of his earlier work in this topic, and the Grusch stiff too. However, a lot of what he does is give hints about things that cannot be verified. I don't get how that helps move things on in this debate.

I respectfully disagree. He may have been a good journalist in the past, but his reporting on UFOs is BAD journalism that relies on poorly vetted sources like Billy/skunk and Jim from Texas, rumors and hearsay, hyped up nonsense like a steel ball that watches TV, guys with flashlights and hyperbole, such as his "huge UFO concealed by a building" claim. His claim about the huge UFO isn't a "hint" about something "that cannot be verified", it's a flat out claim that he says is true. But can't be verified.

His handling of the Grusch case is no different. He takes Grusch at face value, doesn't seem to be doing any vetting of the claims and he was completely misleading concerning the leaked medical records FOIA obtained police reports.

More importantly, is how he continues to refer to anyone skeptical of his claims in increasingly antagonistic terms. If he's going to claim there is a crashed UFO so big it was hidden with a building, then he's going to get some push back. Instead of answering the questions he refers to sceptics as "scallywags" 09:30 and "the bleeding debunkers" 18:30, and then uses a high-pitched mocking voice to say "oh there's no evidence, oh goodness me" 18:53. Timestamps for video below.

Of course, after all that, he still provides NO evidence for his claims, he just mocks those that ask for it. It comes off as very smug and superior. I, Ross, told you this, that's all the evidence you need.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUZUyck6KoU
 
Well it's not my fault if you can't use search engines.
It's not my job to use search engines - you have just admitted to violating the site policy regarding supporting evidence.

It's also not my fault if you are unaware that "cite" is the verb, and "citation" is its verbal noun (one of - its supine rather than its gerund). You cannot say that a thing, a noun, defined by the property of being cited is anything but a citation. Or vice versa. The use of "cite" as a noun is simply shorthand - it means "citation" and nothing else.

(Yeah, sorry, classical education. Who'd have thought it would come in handy in following centuries.)
 
Well it's not my fault if you can't use search engines.

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand."
Quoted in 'Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie'. - Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper. New York Times (14 Apr 1954), 51. In Oliver E. Byrd, Health Yearbook (1954), 142
It is a requirement according to the Posting Guidelines.
 
Well it's not my fault if you can't use search engines.

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand."
Quoted in 'Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie'. - Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper. New York Times (14 Apr 1954), 51. In Oliver E. Byrd, Health Yearbook (1954), 142

How about a full paragraph for context? Given that that article is titled in the third person, there's no immediate certainty that those are his own words, rather than something from the tobacco industry.

Not that it matters that much - you do realise that the "... if judged by the evidence on hand" clause pretty much destroys your argument. That is a conditional statement. As soon as the conditions change, the conclusions no longer necessarily need to apply. Thinking they do is an error in your logic.
 
Not that it matters that much - you do realise that the "... if judged by the evidence on hand" clause pretty much destroys your argument. That is a conditional statement. As soon as the conditions change, the conclusions no longer necessarily need to apply. Thinking they do is an error in your logic.
That's one part of it.

The other is, who are the skeptics and who are the believers in the "smoking vs. cancer" debate? Which side is in denial about evidence, or lack thereof?

With UFOs, the believers are the ones who believe in alien visitors.
With Coulthart, it's those that believe him even when he shows no evidence.

@Stryer's claim, that I took issue with, is that both sides "espouse an opinion as fact too fast", and that equivalence is just not valid.

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So how can we tell how fast is "too fast"? If B is uncomfortable with what A is claiming, then B might well declare A to be "too fast". But if A is proven right, then it wasn't too fast, was it? So, "too fast" has to imply "wrong", otherwise it's arbitrary.

Thus, the "both sides" claim means that both sides of a debate have to be wrong. In the substance of the tobacco debate, one side was proven right, and the other was proven wrong, so there's no "both sides" here. "One side is wrong" is not in contention, we agree to that.

It's the false equivalence, that both sides elevate opinions to facts without justification, that I object to. We know that Coulthart does it. But do the people who criticize him for it do that as well? I say we don't. But hey, maybe there is a building-sized UFO around. If it gets found next week, I'll gladly concede that we skeptics were fast in claiming it doesn't exist. (But it won't.)

tl;dr be skeptical of "both sides" claims
 
That's one part of it.

And as you say, actually a mere side issue, given the actual thing that you asked for. However, whilst trying to find the larger context for that quote, I came across this analysis of it, which alas only provides a post-hoc overview of the context of the whole work, rather than of the individual quote: (body text emphasis mine, italics from the original):

External Quote:
Science Quotes by Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper (1 quote)

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.
A cautious statement indicating that evidence was, in 1954, beginning to point to the connection between lung cancer and smoking.
— Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper
Quoted in 'Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie'. New York Times (14 Apr 1954), 51. In Oliver E. Byrd, Health Yearbook (1954), 142. The newspaper article was a report 'that the Tobacco Industry Research Committee had made public a list of "quotations and statements authorized by 36 distinguished cancer authorities" denying that there was any proof establishing a link between smothing and lung cancer. The committee is the spokesman for the leading tobacco manufacturers and associations of tobacco growers.' Webmaster comments: So, the central news was the publication of a booklet (which was essentially statements carefully picked for the purpose of propaganda for the tobacco industry). The quoted comment of Dr. Heuper, of the National Cancer Institute, is often seen in a list of regrettable remarks—where it is always stated lacking the final qualifying phrase, 'if judged by the evidence on hand.' Thus his statement was not at all an outright denial that smoking and lung cancer were related, but was—in fact— a balanced viewpoint indicating that the evidence was not yet in place. In fact, at the time, there was much debate on what reliable conclusions could be drawn on the basis of existing conflicting evidence from various researchers. Dr. Heuper's career was spent actively protecting health by carefully investigating cancer risks from various domestic and industrial chemicals. The list of regrettable remarks presently widely circulating on the web, and frequently seen in publications, unfairly distorts the intent of Heuper's quotation by omitting the final phrase. What is regrettable is that a huge number of authors are republishing the distorted remark, without consulting a primary print source and examining its context. Again, at the time, even the position of the American Cancer Society was cautiously stated, and limited to their position to: 'The evidence to date justifies suspicion that cigarette smoking does, to a degree as yet undertermined, increase the likelihood of developing cancer of the lung....' (See the ACS quote for 17 Mar 1954).
-- https://todayinsci.com/H/Heuper_William/HeuperWilliam-Quotations.htm

And now let's look back at the original use of that quote on this thread:

Are you serious? My field, neuroscience is replete with such examples.

A famous example is this one in response to speculation that smoking may be related to lung cancer:

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one."

>Cue dramatic plot-reveal music<

So, it wasn't even correctly quoted, being an "unfair distortion", let alone not being correctly cited.

And I still have no idea what lung cancer has to do with neuroscience.

It's probably best at this point that we just pretend this post was never made, it's a distraction that has derailed the discussion needlessly.
 
And as you say, actually a mere side issue, given the actual thing that you asked for. However, whilst trying to find the larger context for that quote, I came across this analysis of it, which alas only provides a post-hoc overview of the context of the whole work, rather than of the individual quote: (body text emphasis mine, italics from the original):

External Quote:
Science Quotes by Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper (1 quote)

If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.
A cautious statement indicating that evidence was, in 1954, beginning to point to the connection between lung cancer and smoking.
— Wilhelm (William) C. Heuper
Quoted in 'Tobacco Industry Denies Cancer Tie'. New York Times (14 Apr 1954), 51. In Oliver E. Byrd, Health Yearbook (1954), 142. The newspaper article was a report 'that the Tobacco Industry Research Committee had made public a list of "quotations and statements authorized by 36 distinguished cancer authorities" denying that there was any proof establishing a link between smothing and lung cancer. The committee is the spokesman for the leading tobacco manufacturers and associations of tobacco growers.' Webmaster comments: So, the central news was the publication of a booklet (which was essentially statements carefully picked for the purpose of propaganda for the tobacco industry). The quoted comment of Dr. Heuper, of the National Cancer Institute, is often seen in a list of regrettable remarks—where it is always stated lacking the final qualifying phrase, 'if judged by the evidence on hand.' Thus his statement was not at all an outright denial that smoking and lung cancer were related, but was—in fact— a balanced viewpoint indicating that the evidence was not yet in place. In fact, at the time, there was much debate on what reliable conclusions could be drawn on the basis of existing conflicting evidence from various researchers. Dr. Heuper's career was spent actively protecting health by carefully investigating cancer risks from various domestic and industrial chemicals. The list of regrettable remarks presently widely circulating on the web, and frequently seen in publications, unfairly distorts the intent of Heuper's quotation by omitting the final phrase. What is regrettable is that a huge number of authors are republishing the distorted remark, without consulting a primary print source and examining its context. Again, at the time, even the position of the American Cancer Society was cautiously stated, and limited to their position to: 'The evidence to date justifies suspicion that cigarette smoking does, to a degree as yet undertermined, increase the likelihood of developing cancer of the lung....' (See the ACS quote for 17 Mar 1954).
-- https://todayinsci.com/H/Heuper_William/HeuperWilliam-Quotations.htm

And now let's look back at the original use of that quote on this thread:



>Cue dramatic plot-reveal music<

So, it wasn't even correctly quoted, being an "unfair distortion", let alone not being correctly cited.

And I still have no idea what lung cancer has to do with neuroscience.

It's probably best at this point that we just pretend this post was never made, it's a distraction that has derailed the discussion needlessly.
FatPhil you're coming at this more like someone in a college debating team rather than someone looking at the science. You're leaping to conclusion to conclusion using every attempt to "destroy" an opponents agreement. I'm not a five year old so I don't try to win a scientific discussion on petty semantics.

First of all there are many many scientific examples that illustrate that skeptics can confidently state something that turns out to be wrong. Scientists do this all of the time so how in the name of god could skeptics never make a wrong assessment based on evidence. It is ridiculous to state that a certain section of humanity has never stated an opinion as fact that was later proved wrong.

Secondly, instead of looking at semantics, look at the scientific literature.

The quote you repeated "If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one, if judged by the evidence on hand.". Your childish "destroyed" argument fanfare comes from your own misinterpretation of the science. Heuper was wrong even with knowledge of evidence from his time. He was totally wrong and lacking scientific credibility to state that excessive smoking plays a minor role in lung cancer formation. There was strong evidence that smoking (not even excessive) caused lung cancer in 1950 (DOLL R, HILL AB. Smoking and carcinoma of the lung; preliminary report. Br Med J. 1950 Sep 30;2(4682):739-48. doi: 10.1136/bmj.2.4682.739. PMID: 14772469; PMCID: PMC2038856.), four years before Heuper made his illogical conclusion. So no, the qualifier used didn't "destroy" my argument, it supported it.

Finally, it is very evident that you're not invested in scientific skepticism, just contrarianism. You haven't even looked up when the link between smoking and cancer was emerging and yet you came to a conclusion based on incomplete data. You've become a living example of a skeptic that states an opinion as fact and is later proved wrong. This is also evident by your puzzlement that neuroscience and lung cancer being mentioned in the same forum. First of all who cares? Secondly, neurology plays a huge role in lung cancer. Again you make proclamations in the absence of available data.
 
First of all there are many many scientific examples that illustrate that skeptics can confidently state something that turns out to be wrong. Scientists do this all of the time so how in the name of god could skeptics never make a wrong assessment based on evidence. It is ridiculous to state that a certain section of humanity has never stated an opinion as fact that was later proved wrong.

No one is saying that. Skeptics are people and people make mistakes. But what Hueper thought in the '50s or what Lord Kelvin thought in the 19th century is irrelevant to the discussion here about Coulthart's questionable journalism with regards to UFO/UAPs.

No one is presenting "opinion as fact" concerning Coulthart's work. We're critiquing it. He is making bold claims, publicly, and seems put off by anyone that doesn't believe him forthwith. Analyzing his public pronouncements is perfectly ok.

When it's an opinion, it's stated as such. My opinion is that he is a bad journalist when talking about UFOs. But I'm not content to just give my opinion, because that's largely worthless, so I have giving examples of evidence to back up my opinion. To reiterate just one example of his poor work in the UFO field, I would urge you to check out our thread on Coulthart's claim of an "egg shaped" UFO being reverse engineered at Area 51.

That thread will show people here on this forum doing Coulthart's investigative work for him, in real time over a few days, and ultimately showing his source of a 3rd hand story to be very dubious and unreliable. The only evidence he presented, along with the 3rd to 5th hand story, was a patch. Neither he nor his staff seemed able to track down the exact same patch to an eBay seller with a completely different story. He failed to connect the seller with Twitter/X user that was claiming to be his source, and he failed to see that along the patch, his source had sold an autographed stub using a false story. His source had a history of telling different stories as needed. Something people here could figure out as amateurs, but Coulthart couldn't or wouldn't.

This is not a case of espousing opinion as fact to fast. Relevant thread below:

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ro...reverse-engineering-program-at-area-51.13109/
 
For context, from an Australian witness. CAUTION: CONTAINS OPINIONS AND NUTS
Edited for brevity and clarity but basically correct (my house style).

The journalistic ethics and techniques used by a journalist (regardless of their actual abilities and actual ethics) will tailor closely to their audience. Whether you work for the Daily Worker, The New York Times or Fox News, the corporate environment and the tastes of the audience will determine the quality of the journalistic output, to ensure the audience gets a heapin' helpin' of whatever they have a taste for. And the journalist's ethics and techniques are irrelevant to their remuneration which varies in direct proportion to the size of the audience.

Coulthart won much praise, credibility, and respect, and many awards during his time at the Australian ABC (radio and TV network analogous to the BBC) reporting for the weekly current affairs program 4 Corners. The 4 Corners program rotated journalists who, while not over-generously remuned, were permitted to spend weeks or months or longer on a story if it was important information for citizens and voters, and it was what the story required. The ethics and methods used by their journalists were stipulated by the ABC, in writing and to be monitored and abided by; their journalists had to abide by them at the risk of their jobs. 4 Corners valued its credibility and its role in our democracy.

As with many popular, successful and credible ABC identities (trained and nurtured at public expense), Coulthart was lured away to a commercial network by the offer of a multi-multiplied paycheck and eventually found himself on 60 Minutes, a Nine Network weekly current affairs program, with a very sensationalist, almost tabloid nature and a lowbrow audience. 60 Minutes reporters were expected to file a story fortnightly sometimes weekly, and the unforgiveable sin was low ratings. Almost any other aspect could be shed in pursuit of that ambition.

And we all know where Coulthart is at today.

I know that he knows how to recognise a credible claim or a credible source; maybe he no longer cares, maybe he has just become lazy. I don't know anything about his actual ethics and truthfulness, beyond his ability to adapt to the stipulations of his employer to manifest them if required to.

In the example of people like Sean Hannity and erstwhile Tucker Carlson, we know that they know that there was no outcome-determining fraud in the 2020 US election. But Fox News will pay them millions to say there was, for as long as the audience that wants to hear it stays as big as it is.

Coulthart is now speaking to his biggest audience ever, that knows what it wants to hear; he knows what they want to hear and no doubt it also equates to the biggest paycheck of his career.

If this thread is about the skills, ethics and truthfulness of Coulthart, I would have to say that (as with most journalists) context is key, they are situational variables.

(CharlieWiser, cooee from 3083)
 
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p.s. , a 4 Corners journalist, when ready to go to air would occupy the entire 50 minutes of an episode's duration. A 60 Minutes reporter would have to fit their story into the 15 minute slot between ad breaks for dog food and ED pills.
p.p.s. , 4 Corners would be analogous to BBC Panorama or PBS Frontline.
 
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, yet the search engines don't seem to be able to find that exact quote
really? what search engine are you using?


So, maybe it's accurate to say that Coulthart used to be a good journalist?

He may have been a good journalist in the past,

In fairness he did say "HISTORICALLY". Not everyone in the world is familiar with the UFO world. I'm more familiar than most of the public and i have no idea why charlie is so fixated on Jim's ball. (or what the hell it is)

No one is presenting "opinion as fact" concerning Coulthart's work
To be fair, a certain someone in the thread the OP statement was made, was doing just that. and i saw this person doing it on Twitter as well. I think perhaps you just forgot since you've been away.

(and for the record, i- dont really think (ie opinion) the patch is EG&G related, i think it is JT3/JT4..not that you stated that as a fact, just reiterating)
 
In the example of people like Sean Hannity and erstwhile Tucker Carlson, we know that they know that there was no outcome-determining fraud in the 2020 US election. But Fox News will pay them millions to say there was,
actually, they -specifically Tucker and Hannity- didn't ever say that.
 
actually, they -specifically Tucker and Hannity- didn't ever say that.
I would have to put that argument (however much it might be literally true) under the heading "specious".

I shan't bother explaining why.

My standards of guilt may be looser because my metasolution is putting them against a wall to be shot.
 
OT but;
My post #62 began with a caveat, " CAUTION: CONTAINS OPINIONS . . . Edited for brevity and clarity but basically correct . . ."
The Fox News bunch gave an unfiltered platform for election fraud claims and let them go unchallenged. Dozens of times via many speakers, without platforming a contrary view. So to say the Fox crew made the claims themselves is brief and clear, and basically correct. If not technically correct according to a literal, last-ditch, shyster defence of "I never said that". So I don't feel chastened.

My own words may have thrown an unfavourable light on me, so to be clear, I oppose capital punishment absolutely. I oppose private gun ownership etc etc. I used the term "metasolution" referring to a second US civil war, a possibility to which I shudder to give voice.

My sense of the word "metasolution" is in the sense of solutions to chess problems; a metasolution to a chess problem being to kick over the board (a usage I stole from Thomas Pynchon Gravity's Rainbow).

". . .a genius of meta-solutions - knocking over the chessboard, shooting the referee." p102 in my treasured first edition.
 
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It's fine that you forgot, but I am still curious about the intent of the question. Idle curiosity? That's OK. But some people might read a suggestion that non-US residents can't or shouldn't hold opinions about the possibility/likelihood of another civil war. In respect of possibility, being the second one it would not be inconceivable surely? In respect of likelihood, I offer no opinion.

(subsequent edit p.s.,) deirdre, I don't need a reply because of OT
 
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I'm not a debunker or believer, but someone who takes things on a case by case basis. I take the points about Ross. I absolutely hate when people say "someone told me there's (insert UFO claim here). Do you expect us to accept this at face value?

However, as I'm new to this area I'm seeing things that maybe debunkers aren't seeing, and that is that they too associate with shoddy (allegedly racist) journalists such as that Greenstreet guy. Sometimes there seems like an awful lot of dodgy characters on both sides of this debate.
 
However, as I'm new to this area I'm seeing things that maybe debunkers aren't seeing, and that is that they too associate with shoddy (allegedly racist) journalists such as that Greenstreet guy. Sometimes there seems like an awful lot of dodgy characters on both sides of this debate.
I'm wondering what there is, specifically, about Greenstreet's work that leads you to apply the terms "shoddy" and "allegedly racist".
 
I'm wondering what there is, specifically, about Greenstreet's work that leads you to apply the terms "shoddy" and "allegedly racist".
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Greenstreet was caught out with some old Reddit posts. Verified as him but he refuses to deal with them. As regards his journalism he comes to conclusions from a purely personal bias, he doesn't even seem to use sources. He also writes for a tabloid, so certainly not on the same level as Ross Coutlhart.
 
Greenstreet was caught out with some old Reddit posts. Verified as him but he refuses to deal with them. As regards his journalism he comes to conclusions from a purely personal bias, he doesn't even seem to use sources. He also writes for a tabloid, so certainly not on the same level as Ross Coutlhart.
And people had to go back nine years to find them? Tell me, are you the same person you were nine years ago?
 
And people had to go back nine years to find them? Tell me, are you the same person you were nine years ago?
No, but I'm still a minority and still entitled to find Greenstreet a lowlife for using terms like this.

Also could you show me where he apologised?
 
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