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 Message
    From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
 Subject: Okay, I have now received a copy...
      To: GENIE  
    Date: 11/24/1992 10:06:00 AM  

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Okay, I have now received a copy of the rumor, which started over on
Usenet, then jumped to Internet, and now here. And it was not intended as a
joke. The person who wrote the original message _ the name on the message
was Woody Harper, but I doubt very much that's a real name, unless anyone here
can indicate otherwise _ claimed to be quoting an actual article in Variety.
Not that he'd heard something, but that he himself had seen the article, and
then proceeded to "quote" from it at length.

It's malicious, destructive, sick disinformation of the worst kind.
We've had some of this before _ I haven't talked about it because it's not
the kind of thing I think we need to bother people about _ and it's mostly
from aberrant Trek fans who perceive a threat and want to try and screw us up,
destroy the word of mouth building about the show.

(One sure way to tell about these things...the only time I've been
referred to in print as Joe Straczynski has been in SF stuff, most recently in
Cinefantastique, and it's doubtless no coincidence that this rumor surfaced
within days of the CFQ piece coming out. Whenver I've been mentioned in
Variety or the other industry trades, it's *always* been as J. Michael, NOT
Joe. So that alone would be suspicious...and all anyone has to do is go down
to the nearest library and check Variety; no such article ever appeared. But
rumors have a life of their own, and nobody bothers to check, and hysteria
results. Apparently a number of folks on Internet and Usenet actually
*believed* the story.)

There is a very destructive, very sick minority in fandom, of which this
is a part. I am now in the process of tracking down the alleged Woody Harper.
And he and I are going to chat.

And I suspect that I will enjoy it far more than he will.

Meanwhile...just to head this sort of thing off at the pass in future,
bear in mind that I have now been on this and one or two other systems for
just over a year talking about B5. Whether the news has been good, bad or
indifferent, I've been right out there with the facts. If something like this
had happened, or were even within the REALM of possibility _ which it ain't,
simply by virtue of my contract with Warners, if nothing else _ you would
have heard about it directly from me, here. If you come across something
bizarre, you can be sure it's bogus unless it's been mentioned here. There's
no *need* for these kinds of rumors; they usually arise only when there's no
access to the persons involved. But access here is 24 hours a day.

Having said he saw the article, and quoting it himself "verbatim," the
crank in this case has left no room for saying it was just a mistake. And he
has upset a lot of people. Me, I don't get upset. I am, however, a carrier.
This is just one more stupid fan prank, there will doubtless be more. That's
the one drawback in achieving even a modicum of visibility in SF, particularly
SF media...it brings out the loonies who think that this is Good Clean Fun.
Which is why a lot of SF writers and actors don't do cons anymore, and why
I've been cautioned against putting myself out so openly on the nets. But the
10% who are morons are far outweighed by the 90% who are great, so I have no
intention of letting this kind of stuff, or the other behind the scenes stuff,
interfere with this experiment...a direct communication between the makers of
a show, and the viewers of a show, on this kind of scale.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify where all this came from. I'll take it
from here....

jms

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