Complaints Lodged as Jeromie Williams Violates Google News Policy

Pet Pardons EnquirerBack in January, this blog revealed Jeromie Williams‘ long history of fabricating events, people, and even witnesses to serious crimes in his Examiner.com articles. Like the National Enquirer, he simply makes things up, the more sensational the better, in order to attract attention, collect more accolades like this, and to con his way back onto Ezra Levant’s show on the Sun News Network (now featured prominently on Jeromie’s CV on his site). And the more sensational the story, the more clicks, and the more pennies he can earn.

For example:

  • On May 2, 2011, Jeromie published an article claiming that the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, had violated election laws by campaigning on the day of the election, and that he could be imprisoned, or his party deregistered. One problem: campaigning on Election Day is entirely legal.
  • On July 24, 2011, Jeromie published an article about a fake witness, implicating a man in breaking the jaw of his girlfriend, 17-year-old Chelsea Bossons, during the Vancouver riot. The witness did not exist, and the man was innocent. To say nothing of the impact on this young woman, her family, her boyfriend, his family, and so on, this apparently caused great trouble for the Vancouver Police Department and Crown prosecutors in British Columbia, who were stuck chasing phantom witnesses instead of the thug who actually attacked Ms. Bossons so brutally.
  • In late 2011, Jeromie wrote a series of articles about “Shelly Comeon,” a Montreal woman who supposedly created the Facebook group 100,000 strong to ban Nathan Kotylak from the Canada Olympic team. He even “interviewed” her. The only problem is: She doesn’t exist. “Shelly Comeon” is one of Jeromie’s sock puppet accounts.
  • On December 22, 2011, Jeromie published an article about a fake plea bargain for Nathan Kotylak, the notorious Vancouver rioter. He claimed, falsely, that his source was a USCIS agent, and then (when caught in a lie) claimed that it was Kim Johnston, the creator of this blog.

Unfortunately for Jeromie, this blog (along with actual journalists like Shane Woodford at CKNW, Peter Meiszner at Global BC, and Daniel Dickin at the Prince Arthur Herald) refuted his false stories, and the Examiner soon fired him.

Jeromie then threatened Kim Johnston, her sons, and even her dogs, using homophobic epithets, and The Gaily then fired him as well.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to see that Jeromie is now working as Director of Operations at Pet Pardons Canada and the “Managing Editor” of Pet Pardons News. What reputable news organization would hire a known and serial liar as an editor, let alone manager? Let alone one who has threatened women, children, and dogs, and used homophobic epithets?

The answer is simple: None would.

Pet Pardons News is not an honest, reliable news service.

Indeed, it has violated Google News policies for months. While Google News requires unbiased, original reporting on real news, Pet Pardons News articles are generally copied from real news sites, and parts are simply made up out of whole cloth. Some articles cannot be described as “news” at all (“Cat falls in love with puppies on internet!!!“). Many articles are also as sensational as possible, with ridiculous photos, including dogs in ovens, as you might expect from a tabloid, not a real news source. Most egregiously, Jeromie Williams has used Google News to spread slanderous lies about others, in some cases actually inciting death threats.

On April 17, 2012, Jeromie Williams published a story on Pet Pardons News slandering the Operation Sled Dog (OSD) rescue group. (While it has been deleted from Pet Pardons News, it is still available on his personal blog). He claimed, falsely, that OSD had killed puppies during their rescue operation. What Jeromie did not disclose, however, was that he had embezzled several thousand dollars from OSD, and that when Facebook groups and petitions were started to demand that he give the money to OSD, Jeromie began a long campaign of criminal harassment and death threats against OSD members (including this slanderous article on Google News).

More recently, a series of disgusting articles by Cayr Ariel Wulff (and edited by Jeromie) in August 2012 claimed that employees at the Fairfield County Dog Shelter in Ohio are burning dogs alive, based on unnamed “eyewitness accounts.” Given Jeromie’s history of simply making up fake witnesses, we called the shelter to enquire. As we suspected, the director confirmed that there were no complaints of dogs being burned alive at Fairfield. In fact, this issue was not even mentioned at the County Commissioners’ meeting, as Wulff had claimed. Reports from reputable news agencies, such as NBC, do not mention it either. Think about it: If there were eyewitness reports of dogs being burned alive, that issue would have dominated the meeting, and the subsequent news coverage. Instead, it showed up on only one site, which happens to be run by one of the least trustworthy men on the internet.

Disgustingly, Wulff’s articles give out the contact information of the shelter and county commissioners, and incite harassment and death threats against them, all based on a lie. And indeed, as she notes herself, the commissioners and the shelter have since received many harassing calls, including death threats. We urge them to retain counsel and consider all legal options available to them. We’re sympathetic to the goal of ending euthanasia in shelters as much as possible, but we cannot see how making up fake witnesses and phony stories can help advance those goals. In fact, these lies will almost certainly be counterproductive, as they divert much needed attention away from real animal rights abuses in other shelters.

We also have to note the irony that a group supposedly dedicated to “Pet Pardons” didn’t take the opportunity to try to get any of these dogs adopted. Instead, Cayr actually advocates lethal injection:

According to the Change.org website, to kill an animal by carbon monoxide poisoning costs $4.98 per animal versus $2.29 per animal by lethal injection (EBI=Euthanasia By Injection). The argument to continue gassing can only be made as a means of convenience, since a group of animals can be done at once, as opposed to individually by injection.

Amy Bogart, with the Humane Society of the United States, said if the only thing preventing the county from going to a lethal injection form of euthanasia is the cost of training, her organization is willing to pay the cost of the training and setup.

Lastly, even some Pet Pardons supporters are outraged at the strong anti-GOP bias in Pet Pardons “News” articles smearing Mitt Romney and Steve King. As Barbara Spiegel notes, these articles are clearly biased and partisan, in violation of the policies of Google News.

You may make your own complaints about Jeromie Williams and Pet Pardons “News” to Google here.

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