On December 30th, Robin Hansen reported on Zakh Price's story in the Examiner. Since then, numerous blogs have written stories on this, over 1600 people have joined the original Zakh facebook group, and other Zakh support groups have popped up and have several hundred members.
We've raised over half the money Carole needs for Zakh's legal defense, and we've written countless letters, emails, and left dozens of comments all over the various news media trying to get attention for Zakh.
Through out that, part of the autism community has remained virtually silent, with the lone exception of Jonathan Mitchell (and while we have quibbles and have blogged on those quibbles, it does not go unnoticed that Mitchell belongs to the Zakh facebook group, or unappreciated).
I know what you're thinking, where's AoA in all of this. After all, they are the daily newspaper, right? Says so on their website, says so on their facebook fan page. Surely, they have been all over this story, out front and center and sending a request of assitance to all their loyal readers? What, they haven't? Other than a measely little retweet over the weekend, they've been dead silent on this? Nah, that isn't possible! After all, they are the daily newspaper.
The daily newspaper. And yet nothing. Nothing at all.
And when members of Zakh's group joined AoA's facebook fan page and began posting today, what happened? AoA rallied and immediately put a post out, right? Did the right thing? Rallied the troops, made sure that Carole had all the help she needed? Maybe even some free MB12 pops, too, since she's undoubtedly running tired. Why no.
They deleted everyone but Carole. Her comment they left. Thelma came in when she saw that, posted and suggested they leave it. Three minutes, she tells me, is all it took for her comment to go poof. No problem, she said, that's what screen captures are for.
Look, another comment gone, but new ones. Will they still be here in the morning? We'll see.
A newspaper covers the news impartially. Well, ideally that's what happens. We've learned in the last week, though, that this is not in fact true. Not of just AoA, which isn't a newspaper and isn't journalism, just a blog, a sad blog run by people more fired up over vaccines than the true injustices of the world. We've learned it's true of the local media in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where there's been no coverage of Zakh's story, and where one local anchor seems intent on making sure the story doesn't get told at all and who has done what he can to poison the well.
Through out this journey that many of us in the autism community are committed to being on with Carole and Zakh and the rest of their family, we are learning about the character of others, the integrity of others. We are learning that there are many in the community who care and who will back that up with action. And we are learning who would rather let ideology drive their agenda rather than a true concern for real people.
Age of Autism could have made a difference in Zakh's life this last 13 days since the story broke. They could have reached far more people than my small blog does. Far more. They could have gotten the story out there to thousands upon thousands of people. They could have made a positive difference.