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John T. Reed letter to editor of the Fort Myers News-Press about their article on the Whitney-Reed dispute On 11/4/03, the Fort Myers (FL) News-Press published an article about Russ Whitney' lawsuits against me. Here is a letter to the editor I sent in response to that article. Your 11/4/03 article "Real estate guru entangled in Web battle" bends over backwards to be nice to your local businessman Russ Whitney and put me in an unfair bad light. For example, I did not dig up his "arrest." I found his conviction and seven-year prison sentence. The words you quote me as publishing "unverified" were opinion of one of his unhappy customers. As you know, opinion cannot be verified. I also removed them from my Web site them the day Whitney complained about them in January of 2002. You make it sound like I refuse to remove them. More people probably read those words in your newspaper than read them on my Web site. You quote a number of happy customers supplied to you by Whitney, but you quote not a single one of his unhappy customers, which are legion. Your omission of the fact that he withdrew his libel suit against me without any agreement or compensation is extremely misleading to your readers. Your statement that I make a "big deal" out of his unsatisfactory

Better Business Bureau rating is pro-Whitney spin. I reported the BBB rating and referred readers to the BBB Web site for more info. Whether I made a "big deal" would depend on the definition of that vague phrase. I did not say I would keep posting until Whitney stops his lawsuit against me or steps down. I said my motivation to keep investigating would continue as long as the suit does and that the only legal way he can stop me or any other honest critic is to become a private person, which would require him to stop being head of a public company among other things. I expect I will continue to post new things about Whitney after the suit ends. He is prominent in my field and people send me stuff about him all the time. I just won"t be as motivated to look so hard for information about him as when he is suing me. You overlook the one big fact that refutes Whitney' claims against me. They say I am publishing false things about them and that it is costing them millions. If so, they should obtain a preliminary injunction to have those false things immediately removed from my Web site. They have said twice that they were going to do so, but they never filed the required motions with the courts. Why? They apparently do not think they can meet the standard necessary get an injunction, namely, proving that you will probably win the lawsuit. John T. Reed John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, www.johntreed.com

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