As if it’s not enough to be sick with this damned disease and working too long to get the September issue out, right before Labor Day we ran into a buzzsaw. MPN-NET apparently got its knickers in a twist over our forthcoming profile of their enterprise in MPNforum, an article not yet published!
You have to respect Ian, Antje and Bob’s tenacity and dedication in providing high level MPN patient support every single day of the year. But that doesn’t mean we have to be blind to their occasional lapses. This tightly disciplined patient support site slipped badly by permitting wild accusations to spiral out of control and hit the list, publicly.
Here’s what happened:
In a private e-mail Bob Swanson, an MPN-NET manager, out of the blue, suggested Zhen may have taken money to write a favorable 23andMe article. Zhen responded, privately.
Matters escalated as Bob Niblack, CEO of MPN-NET, posted publicly on the MPN-NET digest that he was “offended by the personal attacks made on the list Managers,” although, as one MPN reader noted, no such attack ever took place
Marcia Gilliam jumped in the following day on MPN-NET – again, publicly, to 3000+ subscribers — to claim responsibility for Swanson’s accusation…. although how anyone could know about it beyond list owners remains a mystery. ” I may be the one who triggered that,” she said. ” I wrote to one of them offline and asked if Zhen had a source of funds for his glossy new e-zine that seemed (to me) to be plumping for certain things. If I caused a problem with my request, I apologize, but I still do wonder if he’s getting dollars from somewhere to push an agenda.” MPN-NET published her comment immediately.
Zhen responded in a public posting which was published Sunday night before Labor Day in the MPN-NET digest…probably not prime time for the small screen. So does that mean there are lingering doubts in our MPN community that the MPNforum is uncorrupted? Credit is due to Antje and the boys for posting Zhen’s response and Molly’s analysis. It would be even better if the List managers would acknowledge there was something a little awry in publishing nasty calumnies and innuendoes without the slightest substantiation.
Short of that, we’ll take responsibility for clearing the record and maybe follow that by clearing the air with a little absurdity.
Here is the unvarnished, simple truth
Not one dime has been taken from any individual or organization to support or finance the operations of MPNforum or compensate or otherwise reward anyone. The idea that a corporation like Incyte or 23andMe would make such an offer or that Zhen or anyone on MPNforum would accept it is naïve and deeply repugnant. MPNforum is entirely produced from the brains, hearts and hands of MPN patients without a dime from any outside source. Operating expenses are covered by Zhen, personally and entirely.
(BTW, MPN-NET can’t make the same claim)
And here is the varnished version for the MPN audience that likes its news hot….
This just in….
Zhen on the Take!
MPD- NET exposes massive payola plot. So does MPN-NET.
(Hey, MPD-NET got there first. )
23andMe reportedly paid billions for Zhen’s support of their DNA research initiative , sputters one speechless representative. “Trillions” says an assistant speechless representative.
Many are “spitless with shock.”
Secret photos from overseas banks….money laundering suspected. Maybe worse… Read on.
“I just forgot to put it back,” Zhen is reported to say. Investigators are searching his Russian origins to see if they can find any unspent funds in the Arctic deep sea oil exploration pipeline. . The Sierra Club has been alerted. Stay tuned for this fast-breaking story.
By hanging on to his solid gold Rolex watches strapped to his wrists, MPNforum reporters were able to stop Zhen before he slipped away in his black 2012 Maserati GranTurismo on the way to his private Learjet…
MPNforum: Zhen, how could you? All the donations made to this magazine, all the bequests, the sacks of drug company money poured into your publishing empire, why wasn’t that enough? Why did you have to extort the subjects of your articles for more money, Why?
Zhen: My unemployment ran out..
MPNforum: Why not call your bankers?
Zhen: I forgot it was Labor Day and weekend rates applied..
MPNforum (turning to the camera): This case broke wide open when Zhen made a run for one of his country mansions sited by a private railroad spur to escape the hordes of reporters, SEC investigators, Tea Party representatives and political fund-raisers on his tail. Bob Swanson, formerly an ace airline pilot, decided to surveille the..
Zhen: Surveille? That’s not a word.
MPNforum: Yes it is.
MPNforum: It comes from surveillance.
Zhen: That’s a noun. You’re trying to use it as a verb.
MPNforum: See, That’s why nobody likes you and accuses you of stealing.
Zhen: I didn’t know that.
(The scene fades as Zhen leaves determined to forget grammar, fair play, and reason itself in order better to get along with the MPN mainstream. Can he do it? Stay tuned.)