For Whom Does the Paperboy Toll?

Shrieking harpy said what? “He’s a traitor, a turncoat, a plant. We may not know for years what actually happened.”

Insert sigh.

I have a few significant disagreements with the angle taken by Jonathan Dee in his profile for the New York Times, most of all his willingness to accept unverifiable anecdotal information from people who post comments on the Internet under fake names, to claim that their LGF accounts were blocked simply for disagreeing with me — a claim which, in the vast majority of cases, is simply not true.

It’s a little odd to point out at the beginning of the article that there were extremist comments posted at LGF in the early days of the blog, but then turn around and imply that I’m over-reacting today by taking a firmer hand toward policing said comments and commenters. Damned if you don’t, then damned if you do.

And it’s pretty surreal for a writer in the New York Times to be treating anti-Muslim Birther nutjobs like Pamela Geller as if their opinions are credible. Geller and the others Dee quoted in his article are the kind of people the Times would normally assign to the “wacko far right bigot” category.

Another nitpick: Dee implies that I link too much to blog posts and articles about myself — does that mean I shouldn’t link to his NYT article? Since I’m the guy whose name is on this blog, should I just ignore everything written about me? Or should I occasionally respond to the posts on other blogs that call me out by my real name?

A while back I decided it’s best to occasionally respond, especially when there are factual issues at stake (not just ad hominem nonsense), because the best way to deal with defamatory statements on the Internet is to make sure your defense shows up in a Google search too.

Note that if you go through the articles that appear on LGF’s front page, only a very tiny percentage fit Dee’s description; I consciously try to keep those “meta” posts to a minimum.

Guess I shouldn’t complain too much, though; I expected a negative tilt after some of the things I’ve written about the New York Times over the past decade. Could have been worse.

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