by Irv Miller
It seems that email, that most ubiquitous element of modern life, can be a dangerous thing. Anyone can send e-mails that allege almost anything, that convey the most pernicious and malicious falsehoods.
They hit and zap – the contents of that e-mail begin to seep into the public consciousness. What’s interesting is that sometimes – and we know this from experience – those e-mails get recycled to cause a second and third round of headaches and heartaches.
There is, in fact, a problematic example that once again seems to be making the rounds. This one originally surfaced following the horrific events of September 11, 2001. It purported to list auto manufacturers who did, and who did not, contribute to 9/11 disaster relief.
It listed Toyota among those who had made no contribution.
This e-mail has resurfaced this month. The problem with it is that it was false when it first was sent and it remains false now. For a bit of verification of that, check http://www.snopes.com/rumors/cars.asp, http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blautomakers.htm, http://www.lexus.com/about/news/articles/2001/11/20011113_1.html
We try to be careful about trumpeting the good things we do – including the $1.93 million in disaster-relief funds we contributed following 9/11. But this e-mail is just wrong and we feel the need to point that out.
So if this piece of malicious gossip should make its way to you, just remember, please, that in this brave new world of information distribution, it’s not always possible to believe what you read.
So, permissum lector caveo – or, let the reader beware of lies and urban legends.