Longform

The Real Rip-Off Report

Page 10 of 10

But he's not above doing some damage control.

These days, when you Google Ed Magedson, the top hit isn't an attack on his methods and isn't even the Rip-Off Report. It's www.EdMagedson.com, a site devoted to defending Magedson and his advocacy.

"This site was posted by friends of Ed Magedson as a way to let victims know, Ed is real, he is human, and he does stand up for what he believes in," the Web site explains. "We will not fight the anti-Ed sites, we embrace them. Publicity on Ed (Good or Bad) helps expose people to the power of free speech and in the end, more people benefit from sites like RipoffReport.com."

There's only one problem: those "friends" of Ed Magedson.

The Internet, as it turns out, is not just filled with slurs and complaints and unverified information. Out there in cyberspace is a registry that shows who owns Web sites and who maintains them.

When it comes to EdMagedson.com, the answers are Ed Magedson . . . and Ed Magedson.

Even after being confronted with this evidence, Magedson denies writing the words on the site. But he also won't say who did.

In the end, it's hard not to conclude that no one is better than Magedson at framing his own biography.

The site refers to his "appealingly eccentric personality." And it offers this summary, littered with his typical typos, the Ed Magedson story told in the way Ed Magedson would tell it:

"Ed Magedson created a great thing. He dedicated his life to it, and now gets threats every week. Why? Because he is not afraid to stand up to corruption, he fights for his rights and ours to freedom of speech. That double-edge sword means other may speak freely about Ed as well. Some truth some fiction, but in the end, you may judge.

"That is the beauty about free speech. You get to hear it all."

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Sarah Fenske
Contact: Sarah Fenske