In the continuing fuss over the ‘last Alan Moore interview?’ on Slovobooks a few weeks ago, there’s been a lack of response from the people Moore generally slags off in his interview, that is apart from Laura Sneddon threatening legal action towards Moore, and one assumes, Pádraig Ó Méalóid for running the interview. That’s changed today with Sneddon releasing a blog in which she states:
I would like to correct the various defamatory remarks and factual inaccuracies regarding myself in the latest interview with Alan Moore.
As a freelancer I unfortunately do not have access to the same legal support as an employee when pursuing the publication of remarks that are defamatory towards myself in my profession. This makes pursuing the publisher of such a defamatory work costly and time consuming. I have sought legal advice and am now pursuing some of the available avenues open to me.
Given the cost of taking things further at this point however I sincerely hope that having presented the facts as below that these corrections are made available wherever the original piece has been reported and that the defamatory remarks are appropriately removed.
Considering that I’m one of those places that has commented heavily upon the original piece, I assume that I’m also to make these corrections, but let’s look at the facts she presents here.
- I have interviewed Alan Moore twice, once for The Independent on Sunday, and once for SciFiNow (which I spiked with the support of my editor).
This is a fact. It is however only relevant in that she’s interviewed Moore far, far less than she has Grant Morrison. A quick check on The Guardian’s site reveals 53 results for the search term ‘Laura Sneddon’. including an extraordinary amount of coverage of Grant Morrison. This proves nothing about anything but is presented purely as a fact.
- I confirmed prior to publication of the review of Century 2009 with the publisher, Knockabout, that it was ok to mention the elements of the plot related to Harry Potter.
One assume Knockabout though it was ok to mention it when interviewing Moore and they didn’t think it’d be slapped in a feature in The Independent before the book was released. What seems to have been missed is this Guardian article quoting Sneddon’s blog printed a day after The Independent piece. This is again before the book is released.
- Century 2009 was not an embargoed title in book shops, and was on sale to the public two days prior to the review being published.
This is journalist speak, and it’s downright dishonest. Sneddon would know what the embargo was for and she’d know that not all the readership would have bought or received their copies. It’s also moving the goalposts a tad so the allegation that she broke an embargo is no longer an issue for her because, hey some readers may, possibly have had the book.
- At no time did I show my review copy of Century 2009 to any other party.
- The news story relating to Century 2009 was not what I expected, but was not written by me. I did however provide a quote.
So ok, she didn’t show her copy to anyone, but she provided a quote, blogged about it and generally shouted about it to anyone listening.
- I reached out to Moore after being made aware he was unhappy with the coverage of Century 2009.
I don’t doubt she did. However this is something that’s never going to mean anything unless you’re Sneddon or Moore, or indeed, know what form the contact was.
- Shortly after publication of the review I received correspondence from Knockabout (publisher of Century 2009) stating that it was the suggested headline in the review, which had been picked up and run with, which had caused the upset. They also stated that had I not made such an observation somebody else most likely would have and that otherwise the review was great.
- I parted on good terms with Knockabout and continue to pitch coverage of their titles to various publications.
Moore comments that Sneddon wouldn’t have been the only person responsible for the Independent article. Whether she’s on good terms with Knockabout is between her and Knockabout owner Tony Bennett.
- I have never spoken to Melinda Gebbie (Moore’s wife) on the phone.
This is something where you have to take the word of Gebbie and Moore, or Sneddon. One says one thing and the other denies it. It’s never going to be proven unless there’s a recording and I don’t think GCHQ will have kept that one if it exists.
- I attended Melinda Gebbie’s talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival, which I wrote up for The Beat.
- At Melinda Gebbie’s book signing at the Edinburgh Book Festival I mentioned the write-up for The Beat and how helpful her talk had been for my PhD studies, and when she paused at the name on my press badge I apologized for any upset that had been caused in relation to the Century 2009 review – Gebbie was pleasant and friendly and I thought no more of it.
Gebbie doesn’t seem like the sort of person to smash a Buckfast bottle in your face while shouting ‘come on then, who wants some!!?’ at the top of her lungs. I’ve been pleasant to people in a work, or a semi-professional setting, who I disliked or couldn’t fucking stand the sight of because, well, I’m an adult. This is I assume what Gebbie was being when she met Sneddon.
- I did not request an interview with Melinda Gebbie at the Edinburgh Book Festival, nor did I mention any of the publications whom I was freelancing for at the time.
If Sneddon introduced herself as a freelance journalist then she surely would have mentioned who she worked for in order to add credibility but if she didn’t ask for an interview then why would Sneddon mention she didn’t mention any publications? This doesn’t make sense to me and as someone who’s spent much of the last 14 years teaching salespeople I can spot a fib a mile off and this sets my Spidey Sense tingling.
- I have the complete support of my editor at The Independent on Sunday, and the editors of the other publications that I work for.
I’d be shocked if she didn’t as The Independent, etc should back a contributor. However at the same time this comment seems more for her own benefit than ours.
There is however no response to the allegations that she aided Will Brooker in his online slagging of Moore’s film , Act of Faith, which he hadn’t seen and opinions seemed to be derived only from what he’d heard and the film’s trailer.
After the evening at the Prince Charles cinema, Brooker took to Twitter to make a series of comments that were designed to whip up a fuss, and Twitter is a perfect place to create a firestorm. Sneddon added to this by putting Brooker’s Tweets on Storify in a page now deleted, but the internet is a cruel thing so the cache is here with all of Brooker’s Tweets along with (I assume) the reaction he was expecting.
Now all of this is people throwing shite at each other online, and frankly it’s sad, if somewhat interesting to see the reactions play out but I assure you, I am not going to remove the ”defamatory” remarks from the links to the Slovobooks Alan Moore interview because none of what Sneddon has given as ‘proof’ is just hearsay, or incredibly desperate in it’s attempt to create credibility for someone who, frankly, has seen much of what credibility they had go swimming away.
There’s a good debate waiting to break out in the wake of Moore’s interview, and frankly, little of that has broken out, but before it does lets make clear that although Moore obviously has no agenda beyond putting his own points forward against the serious allegation he’s a racist and a misogynist, while others involved with this seem like they’re more interested in creating controversy to help promote their own agendas. So for the sake of all sanity, lets have an informed debate.
This is probably the last I’m blogging about this unless the mood takes me or I think of something interesting to say. I’m going back to talking bollocks and annoying UKIP…..