Friday, February 27, 2009

Because Waldo (who remains anonymous for pretty good reasons) can read...

... and apparently many evangelical Christianists cannot. Or simply prefer to lie.

First, the anonymity thing.

We've had a variety of discussions on this topic around the Delaware blogosphere, and the upshot is that a lot of our most valued bloggers (kavips, pandora, liberalgeek, etc.) chose to use internet handles, while others (Tyler Nixon, Matt Matthews, Dana Garrett, John Feroce) do not.

But there is general agreement here that outing an anonymous or pseudononymous blogger is, as BrianShields pointed out:

Outing someone’s pen name in a blogosphere argument is the equivalent of calling an African American the N word in a verbal argument.

Unfortunately, I'm not as refined as Brian, so I will actually use the N-word. Adam Fogle of the Palmetto Scoop has found himself, apparently once too often, the subject of Waldo's wit, and is running around South Carolina's blogosphere shouting, Nigger, nigger, nigger at Waldo and other bloggers who use pen names.

Here's the justification he uses:


It’s no secret that The Palmetto Scoop was an anonymous blog for the first three months of its existence. But then I decided to do the right thing and reveal my name.

After all, it was only fair to the folks of whom I was critical — and those I praised — to have a name to respond to. Plus, since I “outed” myself, I’ve been having a whole lot more fun blogging.

And now I want to help some folks in the South Carolina blogosphere who are desperately clinging to the shadows of anonymity see the light by revealing their real identity.

Many of these individuals have engaged in very nasty, personal and borderline libelous attacks on countless individuals in this state and beyond. In an effort to give their “victims” (I use the term loosely) a chance to fight back, I need your help to find information that leads to finding their identity.

Adam has even developed a tip line and an email you can use to out bloggers.

Waldo has reached number one on his list, and this is the extent of my old friend's crimes (aside from being gay, which is apparently a primary offense in SC):

This person came out of nowhere at some point in the spring of 2008. Not much is known except that they are gay, probably male, hail from Washington State or Oregon and currently live in the Upstate. The mere mention of homosexuals in a negative light is enough for this person to make someone an enemy for life. And like the others on the"Most Wanted" list, that means an onslaught of hateful, cowardly personal attacks with a hefty dose of curse words.

The ironies here abound: most of the information that Adam thinks he has is ... well, I'm not going to tell him, since I've been proud to count Waldo among my best friends for over thirty years. And it's equally tasty that Adam's little let's out the queer so we can throw rocks at him campaign seems to result more from a worry about competition than anything else. According to blognet news, Adam's little effort is the number one political blog and the number one conservative blog in the State, while Waldo is the number two political blog and the number one liberal blog in the State.

Besides, it is always easier to portray yourself as taking the high road than to admit what is manifestly true about Adam Fogle: he can't answer Waldo's arguments on the merit, or write Mencken-like prose to compete with him in the level of invective.

Impotence is a terrible thing, especially in male homophobes.

Oh, and yes, Adam, since I'm straight and therefore enjoy the full measures of society's protections, unlike Waldo, I post under my own name. You can find me right here, but before you start slinging around idiotic charges of libel, you really ought to understand that you--and the people Waldo discusses--are public figures and pretty much open to criticism under than old fragment of the Constitution called the First Amendment.

Second, evangelicals and hate crimes legislation.

I don't like hate crimes legislation. I've said that before. But I like liars even less.

Here's Waldo quoting some evangelicals about the dire consequences of two proposed Federal hate crime bills:

Why should you be fuming and taking action before you even finish reading this? Because these two bills that are going to be sent to President Barack Obama's desk will silence Christians from speaking against homosexuality or teaching our children that it is wrong. You would quite literally be committing a Federal crime and convicted. If these bills get passed, not only will Christians be silenced -- but, the government is scheduled to swoop in with $10 Million dollars to drive a stake right into the heart of Christians by making sure your children hear and are taught everything against Judeo-Christian beliefs.

The two bills that I am talking about are the David Ray Ritcheson Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 262)coupled with the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 256). These two bills were just introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee and are expected to be signed by President Barack Obama who has supported this legislation at the state level in the past. These two bills CANNOT get to President Obama's desk! No way Christians! You must act now if you want to continue practicing your Christian faith and teaching it to your children. Sign the petition against Hate Crimes Legislation!

Only, as Waldo points out, these assholes (oops, yes, Adam, I used a curse word) either can't read or outright lie about the content of the bills, which you can find here and here.

Because the only way a Christian could be convicted for trying to tell somebody about the evils of queer buggerers or lesbians with artificially enlarged clitorises would be if you used a firearm, a knife, or a hammer to educate them.

Strangely enough, neither of these bills addresses words as vehicles of hate crimes; in fact, they concentrate on support services for victims.

Note that I borrowed the term Christianists from Waldo and my friends at Delawareliberal. I am a Christian, but there are a lot of folks out there these days for whom religious and political identity have apparently become ... confused.

What was it FDR said, We have nothing to fear but queers themselves, right, Adam?


a most peculiar nature said...

An outrage !

FWIW, I commented (if it gets in).

Anonymous said...

Outing? This is a "witch hunt" masquerading as some sort of blogger principle. It's disgusting, and Adam can pretend all he wants that he has the "moral high ground" but it's apparent the only ground he holds is a playground.

He's an immature, little brat who actively seeks to inflict harm, and is in desperate need of a time out.

Tyler Nixon said...

The denial of civil rights and equal protection of law any minority group is definitely an issue about which : No, we can't all just 'get along'.

Keep up the fight, Waldo. The homophobe bastards (or bitches, as the case may be) are on the wrong side of justice and enlightened human progress.

Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

I am grateful for Steve's post and the comments here.

Mostly Waldo stays anonymous because he likes his privacy and, unlike most SC political bloggers, is neither a Republican party activist nor a political consultant using a blog to drum up bidness.

But Waldo is also a realist,and lives in a county where a gay basher who decked a guy coming out of a gay bar and left him to bleed to death got a slap on the hand sentence. He's also aware of just how hard some of Palmetto Scoop's flying monkeys were digging around. TPS's fatwah was just a Rovian exercise in looking for a name to attach to the prepackaged smear.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Steve, you share a masthead with an adolescent, Mat Marshall, who thinks that "outing" and threatening to out commentators are perfectly acceptable parts of blogging. Not to mention that he practices smearing commentators through by stealing internet identities and publishing bogus posts under other commentators' Internet identities.

The fact that he and Mike Matthews feel that it is perfectly acceptable to use these techniques to "teach a lesson" to commentators with whom they disagree has destroyed any credibility that had as a safe or credible place to comment.

Of course, they had no problem publishing a blog post calling gays evil and saying they should be denied civil rights but they have a big problems with me calling the writer of that post a bigot.

So, yes, I get that Mat is your friend, but his ethical compass points in the same exact same direction as Adam's. Is that the policy of "Delaware Libertarian"?

Steven H. Newton said...


Close, but no cigar.

Mat posts here on fairly rare occasions, and there never has been a requirement that the people posting here or commenting here agree with my views. Many times they don't.

If you go over to DWA, you will struggle to find any comment by me that agrees with what happened to Anonone. Mike Matthews runs his own show over there, and Mat and Dominique seemed to agree with him in that case.

I don't out people here. I don't support outing people as much as I think a lot of posters in the blogosphere hide behind their anonymity not because they're afraid for their jobs or anything, but because it allows them to say things they'd never own in real conversation.

I don't think that's a good thing, but I'm not going to enforce that one anyone here. In fact, the only posts that have ever been deleted here are (a) accidental duplicates; (b) span; and (c) one case in which someone attempted to out someone else.

Mat, Tyler, and Brian all know the (very few) rules I have here, and that's one of them: you may not like anonymous posting but you don't out anybody.

You, however, are not free to characterize my policies based on those of another blog which happens to share one part-time writer. Well, you obviously are free to do so, but I've pretty much listened for as long as I'm going to.

Anonymous said...

Can we please not go down this road again, anon? I think there were lessons learned by all, and enough blog blame to go around.

It seems to me that what started as a joke simply went on too long and too far and feelings were hurt. What's happening to Waldo is very different, and I don't see it stopping until the end goal is achieved. Cooler heads will not prevail.

As far as DE Blogs, let's hope we learned from our mistakes and try to move on.

downwithabsolutes said...

10:1 anonymous is, in fact, anonone. The tone is pure anonone.

Anonymous said...

Here's what we should do:

Feed data to the Adam Fogle. Feed very bad data to Adam Fogle. I am certain that Adam does not have the resources to track down 100 people, where one of the MIGHT be the real Waldo. I think once he incorrectly outs a few people and suffers their wrath, he will change his tune.

I can certainly help do this, as I have many IP addresses that I can send info from around the country. Even in the Carolinas.

Oh and thanks for the kind words, Steve.

Anonymous said...

I love that idea, LG. Count me in!

Anonymous said...

In the words of Michael Steele, my bad! I was so caught up in the outrage of the post that I missed the compliment. (LG is always showing me up!) Thanks, Steve.

Bowly said...

I understand and agree with Waldo's decision to remain anonymous. I also agree with Steve's comment that "...I think a lot of posters in the blogosphere hide behind their anonymity...because it allows them to say things they'd never own in real conversation." I don't read Waldo except when Steve links him (nothing personal; 123 blog feeds is my limit), but does Waldo do this?

you really ought to understand that you--and the people Waldo discusses--are public figures and pretty much open to criticism under than old fragment of the Constitution called the First Amendment.

What makes Adam Fogle a public figure, but not Waldo? Because of where his paychecks come from? I would argue that the blog is a larger public front than his campaign work.

Again, I'm not defending the despicable attempt at outing (which could lead to real physical harm), and I think Adam Fogle's young age is showing in his tantrum. But young, excitable people are by definition immature and excitable.

It's tough to be both public and anonymous. Just ask Stephen King or Joe Klein.