by John Hawkins | July 11, 2012 10:24 am
Over at Salon, Alex Pareene, who has apparently managed to parlay riding Ana Marie Cox’s coattails at Wonkette into a career, was puzzled by the fact that conservative bloggers are up in arms about Brett Kimberlin. This isn’t surprising since Pareene isn’t smart enough to analyze anything that requires brainpower and is such a mediocre writer that he couldn’t explain it if he did. He’s like Andrew Sullivan’s thought process mixed with Conor Friedersdorf’s writing ability.
Anyway, badly written piece short, Pareene is to the surprise of no one, completely baffled as to why conservatives bloggers would care that a former terrorist funded by deep pocketed liberals is filing nusiance lawsuits against conservative bloggers and successfully managing to get some of them fired from their day jobs while attempts to murder them via SWAT-tings seem to follow in his wake.
Of course, liberals don’t care about this stuff. Why would they when they start with the presumption that anything liberals do to conservatives is completely justified? If you pin a liberal blogger down, you MIGHT get a bloodless condemnation of some of the harassment that goes on, but most of them find it hilarious as long as they’re not worried they’re going to get the same treatment. Hell, I’m surprised Brett Kimberlin hasn’t been offered a job at the University of Chicago yet. He’d fit right in on a faculty with Bill Ayers.
Getting beyond that, liberals in the new media get funded while most conservatives don’t. Because of that, we live in two different worlds. If someone like Alex Pareene gets hit with a nuisance lawsuit, Salon gets him a lawyer and takes care of everything. No muss, no fuss. If most conservative bloggers face the same thing, they have to hope it doesn’t impact their day job, get a lawyer, and worry about the consequences of ending up with an imbecilic judge who doesn’t understand how anything on the “Internets” works.
As to the SWAT-tings, if they’d happened to liberal bloggers instead of conservatives, it would have been front page news in every newspaper in America and we’d have already seen dozens of earnest editorials demanding that the Department of Justice investigate to protect the First Amendment.
Here’s Pareene’s breezy take on Kimberlin’s potental involvement in the SWAT-tings,
He succeeded in getting a judge to prevent one guy from blogging about him, for a while, and this led to everyone deciding to blog about him extra hard. Meanwhile, some prominent bloggers were the victims of terrifying (and potentially dangerous) false 911 calls, which most of the bloggers claim – without a shred of evidence – to be related, somehow, to their brave decisions to blog about Kimberlin.
Let’s see, Mike Stack was SWAT-ted after he got on the wrong side of Neal Rauhauser, who like Nadia Naffe and Ron Brynaert, has been associated with Kimberlin. Patterico has been repeatedly harassed by these same people. Erick Erickson wrote about Kimberlin and then was SWAT-ted. Aaron Walker was SWAT-ted after winning a court case against Kimberlin.
Does that mean Brett Kimberlin made those calls or was behind it all? No, but it sure is coincidental that there have been four SWAT-tings and all of them are connected to the same group of people. In any case, since we all seem to agree that this is potentially dangerous and only a police investigation has the potential to clear it up, the DOJ needs to put the FBI on the case. If Brett Kimberlin is behind it, shouldn’t we all hope he’s busted? If he’s not and they catch someone else not affiliated with him, then that would clear his name. That would also be a good outcome, wouldn’t it?
Now some people have made a big deal over who said what to whom on Twitter or by email, but unless it’s legally actionable, it doesn’t matter very much. That’s what blocking is for and honestly, there are some people who’d be better off doing that rather than engaging with malicious nuts who have no goals other than to hurt them and/or spread disinformation. At the end of the day, these stories don’t do much other than muddy the waters.
So, summing it all up, as a conservative blogger, I do care a great deal about other conservative bloggers who are being harassed, sued, and apparently even SWAT-ted because someone or some group of people doesn’t like them getting on the wrong side of Brett Kimberlin. If conservative bloggers aren’t going to make a big deal out of that, then who? Liberal bloggers are either laughing it up or, like Alex Pareene, basically saying, “Oh, this is tough to figure out and it’s happening to conservative bloggers anyway, so who cares?” You may have a First Amendment right to say what you want, but when there are attempts to silence people with frivolous lawsuits and people’s lives and their families are being put at risk via SWAT-ting, it’s time for everyone with a conscience to put a spotlight on what’s going on.
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