Sock Puppet-gate

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When it comes to anonymous/pseudonymous commenting scandals, our little Northern VA imbroglio a few days ago has NUTHIN' on the Glenn Greenwald expose going on at Ace of Spades HQ.

It's got it all: Sex, lies, international intrigue, handwriting analysis and, of course, good old-fashioned IP gumshoe work. It's a sock puppet mystery worthy of Agatha Christie. Or at least Penn and Teller.

Plus Ace is funny as hell, so it's good reading. Give yourself a solid 20 minutes to get through the whole thing. It's fascinating - really.

From beginning to the current time, as of early am on July 21, here's the saga in order. (I can't think of a less awkward way to post this because in another day it'll be partially off the front page):

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

That takes us up to 12:05 am on July 21. Go check out Ace's front page to see if it continues.

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zimzo said:

You are actually coming to this story in the middle, Joe. Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece on Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler's call for the lynching of the five Supreme Court Justices who voted to uphold the Constitution in the Hamdan case.

He used this as an example of the hypocrisy of many in the right-wing blogosphere, who spent much of the July 4 weekend attacking a clearly disturbed commenter on Jeff Goldstein's site Protein Wisdom, named Deb Frisch, whom no one on the left had ever heard of before and who was condemned by mainstream left-wing sites as soon as they found out about what she did. In Greenwaqld's piece he gave examples of how mainstream right-wing sites regularly use the most extreme kinds of rhetoric, regularly throwing around words like "treason" and calling for the execution of "traitors" such as the New York Times, judges and Supreme Court Justices.

Members of right-wing blogosphere then began attacking Glenn Greenwald personally for disagreeing with them because apparently they believe that anyone who disagrees with them deserves to be personally destroyed. Greenwald responds to their attacks here:

Note that many of the attacks against Greenwald, who is openly gay, him are homophobic and actually serve to point up an issue we have been discussing here. Because his partner is Brazilian they are unable to live in the U.S. together for more than 6 months at a time because of immigration laws, something that a heterosexual married couple of course doesn't have to worry about. So he spends half the year living in Brazil. Note also that Greenwald and his partner were involved in a lawsuit that points up another problem gay couples have, which is that they do not have protection from being forced to testified against their spouse in a legal proceeding the way a heterosexual married couple does. These are just two examples of how gay couples are unfailrly penalized by unequal marriage laws.

I think this whole episode demonstrates what I have been talking about as far as your aligning yourself with extremists (who sadly represent the mainstream of the right-wing blogosphere) who have rejected intellectual debate in favor of personal attacks that would disgust most reasonable and moderate people. That is not to say that the left-wing blogosphere does not engage in its own extreme rhetoric, which I think is, frankly, embarrassing, but the mainstream left does not go so far as to call for the execution of its opponents or give out their personal information to incite others to attack them as mainstream right-wing sites have, nor does it engage in the kind of homophobic and racist rhetoric that is becoming more and more commonplace on right-wing sites.

I was aware of the backstory on this but there was no way I would commit the time to telling it all going all the way back to the Frisch affair. I figured those who wanted would probably find links back from the entries I linked to.

So thank you for the background and links!

And hey, don't sell the mainstream left blogosphere short! Save for a couple sites, it disgusts me almost continually, and I would put nothing past most of those guys.

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