Saturday, December 4, 2010

Barrett Brown Cross-Posts Lame Response to R.S. McCain at Sick and Evil Little Green Footballs

There's little advantage for me in posting on Barrett Brown's cross-posting of a hit piece against Robert Stacy McCain to Little Green Footballs. That's because while Barrett is likely to respond, I'm not sure if he can link to my blog from Little Green Footballs (since Charles Johnson often refuses links to enemies). And it's definitely no linkage at Ordinary Gentlemen, which is home to sleaze-blogger E.D. Kain. It's okay actually, since I often refuse to throw links to those who're unworthy --- the lying dirtbag RepRacist3 comes to mind. But in this case the stakes are fairly high. Barrett Brown has threatened Robert Stacy McCain with a libel suit. I sometimes communicate with Barrett Brown, and of course I'm a long-time blog buddy to Robert, so I thought I'd just throw out a few thoughts for the heck of it. Maybe there's some utility in this as an excursion in the blogospheric politics of flame wars.

I do link to Ordinary Gentlemen, as folks will recall. It's hilarious when E.D. Kain checks out my blog while analyzing his stats. E.D.'s ashamed to this day of once being the proprietor of a boldly neoconservative webzine known as
NeoConstant. He got tired of it just as the ideological winds were shifting toward the Democrats in 2008. Long-time readers will recall that in response to my series of essays on E.D.'s craven ideological and moral machinations, he launched a campaign of workplace harassment at my college. I had bestowed upon him the "Conor Friedersdorf Wannabe Award for Faux-Conservative Punditry!", and no doubt that didn't sit too well. (See, "Sleaze-Blogger E.D. Kain Reaches Pinnacle of 'Conservative' Blogosphere! Simultaneously Linked by Andrew Sullivan and Charles Johnson!") And while I often hear folks still refer to E.D. as a libertarian-minded conservative, the truth is he's a dyed-in-the-wool progressive. He finally gave up the ghost at Balloon Juice a few months back, "Why I am Not a Conservative." E.D.'s obviously on a search for acceptance --- by someone, anyone, no matter how deeply immoral and without possibility of redemption. It's pretty bad.

And that's why E.D. refuses to link me at Ordinary Gentlemen. I've hammered him mercilessly. The truth hurts, seriously. And ignoring me is his way of admitting he's a tool of the even cheapest sleazeballs higher up the blogging chain, like
RAWMUSLGLUTES and husky ├╝ber narcissist Charles Johnson.

Anyway, I'm perplexed that Barrett Brown has decided to go all out with the cross-post to Little Green Footballs, linked here and here. (And the Confederate illustration appears only at LGF, although Ordinary Gentlemen is not above those kinds of base smears.) Barrett's post is the basis for his accusation of libel against Robert. And folks can read the latter's original post here: "Narcissism, Isolation and Trolls." And Robert's response to the libel threat is here: "Nothing Says ‘Merry Christmas’ ..." All of this entails a lot of reading, and frankly I don't really see where Barrett's case for libel can be found. Robert's a judicious blogger, and having made a living as an established journalist I'd expect he knows how to avoid litigation. But here's a quote in any case, for a flavor:

Brown pretends to disprove my skeptical remarks about his characterization of Vanity Fair reporter Michael Hastings as his “colleague.” What I wrote was that, in using this term in his YouTube video lecture to National Review editor Rich Lowry, Brown was “expressing a collegiality that probably exists mainly in Brown’s mind.”

The jury will please note the word “probably” in that sentence. Of course I could not know the extent of Brown’s acquaintance with Hastings, despite Brown’s having written sundry things about that relationship, for we have already established that by his own admission Brown perpetrates falsehoods on the Internet. (See defense Exhibit B.)

Given Brown’s confessed use of online deception (his phony “alter-ego,” etc.), his mere assertion as to any particular state of affairs — e.g., an alleged professional relationship with Michael Hastings — proves nothing, as an admitted liar has no credibility. Therefore, skepticism toward such an assertion by Brown was entirely warranted. And what does Brown say of his relationship with Hastings?

We talked on the phone several times and exchanged some number of e-mails . . .

Brown does not say, “We’re best buds,” or “We hung out and had beers together.” No, it’s e-mails and phone calls. By that standard, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’ve got a whole crapload of “colleagues,” including several members of Congress. But you’ll notice that, so far as we can tell from Exhibit A, Brown and Hastings have never met in person, thus sustaining my assertion, in the blog post that the plaintiff claims is libelous, that “while Brown and Hastings were both True/Slant contributors, it wasn’t like they were hanging out around the office coffee machine, swapping stories.”

My credibility once more vindicated, I next call to your attention this statement by Brown:

. . . the rest can be confirmed by Andrew Sullivan, with whom I discussed the events after he linked to my piece.

Andrew Sullivan. Andrew Sullivan? Does the plaintiff really wish to bring to this honorable court’s attention his professional collaboration with Andrew Sullivan? Your honor, the defense would like to introduce at this time Exhibit C, showing that this same Andrew Sullivan has a criminal record for possession of illegal drugs. We also introduce Exhibit D, a blog post from Ace of Spades HQ, containing certain relevant information about Suliivan’s other behaviors, although there is perhaps no need to discuss this information at this time.

So far, then, we have established that Barrett Brown is a confessed drunkard, by his own admission “arrogant and narcissistic,” a deceptive Internet “troll” who is friends with others who engage in similar deceptive activity online, and an associate of a criminal drug abuser, Andrew Sullivan.

Given all this, your honor, it is the belief of the defense that Barrett Brown is a person of such infamous ill-repute that any negative comments made about him on the Internet could not possibly be considered defamatory.

I'm now going back over Barrett's response, and I see that he's quick to engage in race-baiting allegations against Robert and the latter's ties to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, ad nauseum. And Barrett has a book coming out on all of this as well, with an entire chapter devoted to McCain, Hot, Fat, and Clouded: The Amazing and Amusing Failures of America's Chattering Class. (In recalling this I'm understanding why Robert has something to be pissed about.)

And for a flashback, here's Barrett Brown attacking me as dishonest earlier this year. I later updated a post he criticized (don't remember which one), so I guess this is mostly of entertainment value at this point, if that. Related: "
Barrett Brown Doesn't Read Well."

Footnote: For the origins of the "sick and evil" reference to LGF, see "Ace of Spades Smacks Charles Johnson in a Post Every New* Blogger Should Read."