Pyrrhic “gotchas”

My long-term pseudonymous stalker and the two News Ltd bloggers for whom he/she/it acts as a shameless smearer of critics, are amusingly fairly excited today about what they apparently think are two excellent “gotchas” of, well, me.

1. Using a pseudonym. If you believe the attack, apparently the three Bs now think there’s something wrong with using a pseudonym – if you’re not them. My accusers have all either used (or still use) pseudonyms themselves (even when they wrote for a paid site) or regularly publish and link to people who do. So is it wrong or not? What arbitrary rules can they invent as to why they can use pseudonyms but not their critics? And since when do talkback callers have to fully identify themselves or give a real name? Is that a new rule Mr Bolt is going to demand of MTR before he returns?

2. Sending an email of support to someone being bullied who turned out (if you read the archives) to be a parody. So what? I didn’t read through her archives before sending an email, big deal. So she’s some lame parody; it might’ve been a minor gotcha if I’d written a post for Crikey without checking, but emailing her privately? Any critics want to open up their email outboxes for comparison? (And Andrew Bolt thinks publicly attacking my fiancee on news.com.au for a private email is legitimate, does he?)

Seriously – they think that’s a win? They’re not embarrassing to me at all.* But they are very embarrassing to the accusers.

The first should remind readers just how much they get away with using pseudonyms themselves, or by linking to cowardly, creepy attack dogs hiding behind pseudonyms doing their dirty work for them. And the second should remind everyone of the questions Bolt still hasn’t answered on his favourite hoax – did he mislead his readers by attacking a strawman lefty he knew wasn’t real, or did he not know and set out to bully an apparently vulnerable woman? Which is it, Andy?

Both efforts are spectacular own-goals for the B team. Hilarious.

*Except the, sadly true, allegation that I listened to a small amount of MTR on Monday morning. I have no explanation except that I was delirious with fever at the time. I apologise for doubling their ratings.

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14 responses to “Pyrrhic “gotchas”

  1. A pertinent question:

    Of whom is the photograph?

    Is the woman in the photo the victim of someone using her image as a nasty joke? How many layers are there to this?

  2. I wouldn’t dignify the bully-boys with any further response Jeremy. The Composta gotcha is childish and idiotic and everbody not already rusted on to the ‘B Team’ will see it that way.

    But a question. I’ve long seen oblique references made to “the Margo incident”, which clearly describes some sort of blow-up between Blair and Margo Kingston many years ago, but I’ve never been able to find out what happened.

    Does anyone know?

  3. But surely there’s a perfectly innocent explanation…
    maybe they were taken out of some unspecified context…
    maybe it’s an undercover operation to root out communists trying to gay-marry them…

    It must be…. aren’t conservatives the champions of probity?
    Aren’t the B Team (whoever the third B is) just standing up for the boga… erm… the little guy?
    Aren’t they?

    btw… MTR!!???
    Well!!
    If I’d known that…

  4. What I find staggering is that Blair and Bolt can go to town when other people get stung by a parody like this, when they have themselves fallen for similar hoaxes.

    I’m also amazed that Bolt can continue getting people to take him seriously as a conservative commentator at the same time as he resorts to such total childishness as this. If he genuinely gets his jollies out of this, good luck to him, but shouldn’t this disqualify him as someone to be respected in the field of political comment? Honestly, I might disagree with, say, Greg Sheridan on almost everything, but can you imagine him carrying on with this crap? Like I say, Bolty can knock himself out if this is what gets him going, but don’t have him on Insiders, Q & A, etc. Leave that to mature people.

  5. narcoticmusing

    On the pseudonym issue, I think it is important for free and frank debate for people to not have to fear the very sort of retaliation and BS that Bolt and Co dish out. It is a very different matter to be paid to provide comment and be officially published, to simply wanting to raise a view. I am being overly simplistic but I don’t think anonymity is a bad thing for the purpose of free and constructive debate; particularly in the current environment where criticism from the likes of Bolt et al are the least of my concerns when it comes to revealing my identity (I refer, for example, to the ongoing campaign of marketers to know your every breath and movement and the scammers that seem to resemble marketers in a very real and disturbing way)

  6. Hey Mondo. The Tim Blair/Margo Kingston thing goes back many years to when Margo started up Webdiary.

    I was there for the first four years and witnessed a relentless and viscious campaign by Blair against Margo Kingston.
    There wasn’t a week that passed when he didn’t attack her in a post and encourage his orcs to write the most disgusting personal attacks about her.

    Eg:
    Darlene, I’d personally be to scared to take margo’s pants down her clitoris is probably longer than my penis.

    Margo’s frequent breaks are so she can go to a substance abuse facility to dry out from her chronic alcoholism. She certainly writes like she’s drunk.

    Margo springs to the defence of her ex-lover. Try that rumour on for size. Paul McGeogh left his wife to shack up with the rancid lesbian litigator.

    If you go back to his pre-2004 archives, you will find far, far worse.

    {EDIT: Yup, you were right, I did have to cut that! -Jeremy}

    Cheers

  7. Hi Marek

    I also was regular Webdiary contributor and saw the way that Blair and his monkeys relentlessly bullied, taunted, abused and belittled Margo. This was despite, from what I could see anyway, her never actually launching personal attacks against him.

    But he seemed to hold a grudge against her for some perceived or actual slight thet he felt she had committed against him. I remember one of Blair’s first “I just hung out with John Malkovich” posts ending with him quoting John as asking “So Tim, what really happened between you and Margo?”

    It’s always been a source of curiosity for me. I mean, in addition to wondering why a respected Hollywood luminary would pursue friendship with a spiteful conservative bully-boy collumnist from Australia.

  8. Still no clue as to the identity of the woman in the photo.

    I ask mainly because she actually does look familiar to me.

  9. Well then you know as much as I do, Mondo.

    I just assume that Margo was an easy target.
    She was a fairfax journalist, a lefty, a lesbian, emotionally fragile and not blessed with a natural beauty.
    Perfect for Movement Conservatives to hate.
    And it’s telling that they took special joy in attacking her for those qualities that were out of her control.

    And you’re right, she had the grace to never stoop to their level of vitriol.
    Nor did she allow retaliatory comments on Webdiary.
    I think this made matters worse. Seeing that she wouldn’t hit back encouraged the orcs to hit harder.

    BTW, up until ten minutes ago, I liked John Malkovitch.

    Cheers

  10. Still no clue as to the identity of the woman in the photo.
    I ask mainly because she actually does look familiar to me.

    Me too RM.

    If you run her image through Tin Eye it comes up tagged; “wartrol-review-lady-jpeg”. If the original Wartrol Review blog was legit why would you name a photo of yourself as above.

    The whole thing smells of someone with way too much time on their hands.

  11. Alene Composta is the first commenter on one of the National Times articles today – about Baillieu’s backflip on teacher salaries.

  12. It’s always been a source of curiosity for me. I mean, in addition to wondering why a respected Hollywood luminary would pursue friendship with a spiteful conservative bully-boy collumnist from Australia.

    You don’t honestly think that John Malkovich would “hang out” with a self-important little turd like Tim Blair, do you, far less that he would know about Blair’s obsession with Margo Kingston and ask him about it? That Blair would think anyone but his small handful of fanbois would believe that bullshit is indicative of the extent of his delusion.

  13. What buns said.

    Bear in mind, though, that Malkovich is pretty conservative when push comes to shove.

  14. Well I may have simply fallen for a hoax, but Tim’s posted several times on his socialising with Malkovich (including photos). Certainly I think the “he asked me about Margo” comment was tongue in cheek, but I’d be legitimately surprised if it turned out Blair was fabricating the episodes entirely.

    Anyway – at the end of the day his man-crush on a (surprisingly conservative) actor is not particularly interesting or relevant in any meaningful sense. I’ve devoted enough of my limited mental energy to this little quandry.

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