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As Ashlee Simpson is savaged by her fans on her own website (sample reaction: "your [sic] a talentless spoiled brat that only got where she is because of who her sister is."), dad Joe Simpson is engaging in some serious damage control before the entire TRL nation burns her in effigy. He jumped on the meal ticket-threatening landmine as he explained to credibility repair specialist Ryan Seacrest exactly why she needed to lip-sync:

He said it was his decision to use the tapes when it became apparent that acid reflux disease had swollen Ashlee's vocal chords. After consulting Wayne Newton's doctor, she received a cortisone shot to get her ready for the "Radio Music Awards," he said.

Well, that settles that. Ashlee's a helpless victim of a larynx-paralyzing medical condition, not a talentless MTV creation. We shouldn't be mocking her misfortune, we should be organizing a telethon!