Subject: burn the NYT clown
“Violet – the largely-fictional NYT needs no protection. It’s coasted on an undeserved reputation for far too long.
Print his e-mail. Burn him, and burn that little bung who excreted the xenisucks site.
Chechen rules apply:
Subject: Post it!
“Why in the hell is a journalist telling you that a conversation is ‘off the record?’ Aren’t these the same people who say blogs aren’t journalism or a source of news? Seems to me he wants to have his cake and munch on it too. Post it, darlin’!”
I’m telling you something, but it’s totally off the record.
Of course, this is all in reference to the New York Times writer who starred in my post when a man hates a woman, who wrote me an epic email response a couple days ago but prefaced the whole thing with “this is off the record”. I’ve heard this twice in the past week, and each time it’s been from someone who just publicly did something really shitty to me or someone I care about. But what’s really troubling about this line of thinking in regards to the xenisucks site, and what it represents in regards to white naked hatred of women, and the culture of silence in which the NYT has participated in by sending them traffic and painting it as a humor site, is something (I think) the world really, really needs to stop being silent about. “Don’t talk about it” is tantamount to the tacit agreement made between abuser and those who witness abuse; like the victim somehow deserved it, and silence = shame.
Well, fuck that. Why did the NYT writer send me an epic email “off the record”? What’s he afraid of — what his male peers think of him — or is he worried he won’t have the friendship of the xenisucks guy anymore? Why would someone be afraid of distancing themselves from someone like xenisucks guy? Especially since in his email to me, he claims to desire distance from xenisucks. Lots of questions, no answers. I have more than a few answers, after the jump.
* * * * * * *
Here’s the email, with my responses to his criticism and questions (noted with **asterisks**).
II hope you are well. I just want to clarify a few things, if I may.
This isn’t for publication or anything, and I am speaking only for myself.
**Good to know. Since this is a blog and not journalism, it’s technically not publishing then, is it? Also, most writers understand not to write down things that are off the record and send them to strangers.**
I don’t mind you criticizing my column, but, first of all, I wish you
wouldn’t lump me in with the xenisucks cretin. It’s a completely
wrong and unfair characterization. Just for starters, I’m a big fan
of Xeni’s, and I often cite Boingboing’s fine work in my column. But
worse, the guy is a creep, and I don’t think I am a creep.
**You made it very easy for me to lump you in with him because you literally made his hate into the equivalent of “dipping pigtails into the inkwell” (your words), you gave the guy a link and tons of traffic, and made it seem humorous. Looked like you thought it was funny. If you’re such a big fan of Xeni’s, why didn’t you link to her site instead of xenisucks?**
This item wasn’t by any means a “pat on the back” for Sharp. Quite
the opposite — he was there because I thought he had made a
ridiculous ass of himself. The headline, after all, was “Worst. Hate
site. Ever.” I hinted that I thought he had a crush on Xeni and that
this was his emotionally stunted way of acting on it. And your blog
item is the first time I’ve ever heard that a comparison to Comic
Book Guy could actually be interpreted as a compliment.
**Maybe it’s time to explain the weird ways of blogging and the web to The Real Journaists. When you write about someone, you are validating what they do — how you validate that depends on what position you take. You express your position on this validaiton by clearly stating your position. You had a choice: you could have said this is weird and fucked up and linked to Xeni, who is not weird and fucked up. But instead you *joked* about it and linked to the weird and fucked up guy. This, to us bloggers, means you like this guy enough to use the New York Times and all it represents to give the xenisucks asswipe an Offical Link. You gave him traffic, dumbass — you gave him all the validation he ever needed that what he was doing is Good and Right. When a blogger sees their stats spin out of control, they think “yeah, people agree with me!” and they go further with whatever they are doing. Which is why when you LINKED HIM FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES you gave him the blogging equivalent of a blowjob.**
I know there has been some backlash about the item, and while I
appreciate much of it as fair criticism (like, should I have included
the item at all? I still think it was fair game, but I acknowledge
and appreciate the opposite viewpoint) but some of it is simply not
fair. Worst is the idea that I was in any way endorsing the guy.
Writing about something is not the same as endorsing it.
**Actually, it is. Ssssh, it’s a big secret — bad publicity is still publicity. See above, as this is where you and the world of blogs differ in a major way. I’m not saying you should not have written about it, I’m saying *the congratulatory way you wrote about it* made me sick to my stomach. I am not advocating silence.**
claim that the item is full of errors. I’m all ears on what those
errors were. If I got something wrong, please let me know and I’ll
request a correction.
**I have a difficult time beleiving you’d rush to fix errors on my behalf when you’re clearly too embarrassed about contacting me to even do so “on the record”. Here’s one: I’m no expert on the internets, but I used Google to find out that Rick Karr hadn’t been at NPR for over a year and had only infrequently been on NPR since 2005, so him and Xeni are not the “colleagues” your piece claimed, not by a long shot. (“with Ms. Jardin’s colleague, Rick Karr, who reports technology and culture for public radio.”) She has a weekly gig as a regular contributor; to say that they are colleagues is a stretch and a very sneaky way for you to give readers the wrong impression that ‘even her co-workers agree with xenisucks’. Without you leading the reader in this questionable manner, it gives a different impression entirely.**
Also, at the time I wrote the item, which was the day after Xeni
herself linked to it, the guy hadn’t gone beyond merely being an ass.
An enraged ass, yes, but not a dangerous one that I saw. If I had
seen anything that seemed like it could be threatening or truly
disturbing, I would not have included this item at all. If he started
hinting at violence, or whatever, it was after I submitted my column.
I didn’t really comb through the site after that, though I did
quickly look at it (mostly just to make sure it was still there
before publication), and never saw anything like that on there. All I
saw was idiocy, And it was getting a lot of attention online — the
blog was cited and heavily discussed on Metafilter and Wikipedia
before I had ever heard of it. Idiocy that gets a lot of attention
online is often the subject of my kickers.
**It was a real kicker. This goes back to the original point in my first post — you don’t take women being threatened seriously, at all. You don’t SEE what a woman sees when she is stalked and threatened. Did you link to it because Xeni did? Did you get the context of her link? It’s a lesson in blog linking to people who hate you and mean you harm.**
I hope I was able to clarify my position a bit. Ironically, I had
assumed that if anyone were going to be upset over the item, it would
be Sharp himself.
**Is this part a joke?**
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