Monday, June 04, 2007

Have I Lost Credibility?

According to one anonymous poster, I've lost credibility because I defended Peter Porcupine's right to remain anonymous. Pretty funny, eh? Funny how someone's basis for an attack is sort of like casting stones when their house is glass. It's also funny like a group of legislators who say 'we're only voting on this amendment because we have to,' and then go and block another amendment procedurally.

When I defended PP's right to remain anonymous, I was afraid that I'd lose the respect of some of my readers. However, I've always been the type of person who writes what I think is true - based on my life experiences, my studies and my personal code of ethics. I'm not going to write things purely to appeal to the base of people who read my site: then I'd truly be singing to the choir. I'll get things wrong and have gotten things wrong, that doesn't mean I should lose credibility or respect - it just means people will respectfully disagree, which is something I absolutely support. Healthy debate is what makes the blogosphere interesting and worth reading - or is being personally challenged out of style nowadays?

I'm sorry if people disagreed with my feelings on PP, but "outing" her wasn't something I supported then or do now. I support PP's right to remain anonymous - as I support the rights of the anonymous poster who just attacked me to remain hidden behind his or her comfy desk. However, here's what really rubbed me: instead of saying "well, Ryan, I disagree with you there," the commenter went much further. Read the whole reply for full effect:

Tell that to Ryan's BFFs David "let the people vote" Kravitz and Peter "I'm not anti-sodomite, I'm pro-constitution" Porcupine. Or any of the host of 'phobes (EaBo, MCRD, John Howard) Laurel is gamely battling over at the Blue Cess Pool. Ryan, you've sacrificed some of your own credibility standing up for these creeps, especially PP. Maybe it's time to call in some favors...
First, let's start off: I've never stood up for EaBo, MCRD or John Howard. If I had a blog like BMG, which is more of a community than a place where people come to read someone's thoughts, I'd remove the cancer from my blog's body. I've been at the forefront in defending against their hate. Feel free to read my comments and the high proportion that have been dedicated to debunking EaBo, MCRD and John Howard. It's a dirty job and, like Laurel, I realize someone has to do it.

What's more odd is the fact that one day, at Boston Latin during a Deval event, I was cheered by lefty bloggers all the state over for having the guts to take Blue Mass Group to task and say a lot of the things people were thinking privately (and emailing me about), but not saying out loud. The next - and David Kravitz is suddenly my Best Friend Forever? Does that person really read my blog? Have people forgotten that I have criticized BMG strongly for allowing the trolls to take it over?

How did I go from the person the entire lefty blogosphere in Massachusetts rallied around because of my hardline stance, to being called soft on that stance when I haven't done anything to indicate a change in said stance? Furthermore, people will do well to remember that I challenged David Kravitz on his "let the people vote" opinion as early as last summer. I was so harsh and angry, I later apologized.

However, some of my points remain valid to this day: I like David, he's a bright guy, but he needs to be a little more progressive and a little less legalistic. The "process people" were wrong then, wrong now and will be wrong until there's a process that actually works. David should at least recognize the fact that the ballot initiative process is long-since dead and we shouldn't resurrect it just because it gives people the chance to step on them queers. As we saw last January, the legislature was willing to let the process die once again - just about five minutes later - for any bill but the one that effected gay and lesbian people. But wait, I forgot... how could I have possibly written that stuff? I'm supposed to be David's lap dog. /sarcasm off.

Is this how people really feel? Or, is this one, anonymous commenter just some crazy outlier? In truth, it doesn't really matter: I'm never going to stop writing what I think is right, but I don't want my name to be tarnished either. Unlike completely anonymous posters (even without an alias), I have a reputation that I can actually value. I can actually take pride in my body of work because it's there for everyone to see. I'm not ashamed of the fact that I defended someone's right to be anonymous - and I'd do it again, whether it's PP or some random Joe who thinks it's a good idea to write a bunch of baseless attacks against me. Heck, Laurel was so worried about PP being able to retain her anonymity that she appealed to me to delete my BMG diary because it alerted a number of people to who PP really was - something I agreed to do. Would that same commenter now like to call Laurel a PP/David BFF?

The world isn't so black and white. Everyone needs to realize that. With the marriage amendment, tensions are high right now. I get that. But, as both bloggers and readers of blogs, let's try to remain informed and make informed opinions. If we can't do that, it hurts our cause. The amendment needs to be stopped at all costs. I'm trying my hardest to do that - working night and day. I've opened the silos on Senator Murray for not having the right priorities as Senate President - and have urged others to do the same: it's one of the few things we can do to win now, with just a few days left and a number of solid "yes" votes no amount of lobbying will change. Let's just stay on focus and actually get the job done, instead of going on the attack on one another. We each have a role to play, so play it.


Anonymous said...

If anyone does decide to call me a PP/David BFF, please let me know what BFF means, kay? I'm not very up on insults in acronym.

Ryan, I wouldn't give much credence to one anonymous poster. They are either truly pissed at you, or they are fishing for you tender underbelly. Either way, their approach and perhaps purpose are not very constructive.

I will agree with one thing they said though: anyone, ANYONE, who has connections - now is the itme to call in favors.

Mass Marrier said...

Well, as a technical communicator, my first question would relate to your metrics. Did you have a base measurement for your credibility before this smack down?

Also, have you and David sent each other emails ending in best friends forever?

Oh, I'm already signed into Blogger. I guess it's too late to be anonymous.

Anonymous said...

My god, Ryan, stop whining. I, for one, don't care who is behind the PP handle, nor do I care where she lives, or what her telephone number is.

But it is of interest to know that she apparently (from what I have read here and at BMG) was or may still be a paid apparatchick of the state Republican party. That is an indication of bias that should be taken into account when evaluating the contents of her posts. If she is still a paid apparatchick of the state Republican party, she may be paid in part to drop her little points here and at BMG. It has been clear to me for some time that political parties--particularly those on the right--actually pay people to post on oppositions' message boards and weblogs.


Ari Fertig said...

Don't feed the trolls!

One anonymous poster said something totally inane and stupid - and this sparks a huge post in which you rehash flames of the past. That is pretty much the definition of a troll's success.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fertig, what in god's green earth are you referring to?

bostonph said...


I could be off-base, but I read the poster you're reacting to as being tongue in cheek. No one over the age of 12 uses BFF seriously. Going from that post to defending yourself against being David's lapdog seems a little over the top.

Thinking back, I did find your defense of PP on the naive side. She was nice to you, so she's not homophobic? Puh-lease. Still, the real loss of credibility is BMG's. They're the ones providing a platform for every right winger with a keyboard. (I was going to say "in town" but, as John Hosty just pointed out over on KTN, Paul Jamieson doesn't even live in this state.)

I have to agree with Laurel -- if there are any favors to be called in - now is the time. If PP or David listen to you, please use whatever influence you've got.


Ryan Adams said...

LOL well, I admit this post was a very strong reaction, but I was geniunely curious to know if I lost credibility to some... and I'm glad to know, over all, I haven't. I suppose with each new post I both gain and lose credibility, depending on whoever happens to be reading, but it was still a post that received strong reactions and wasn't popular, so I guess I was just being a little defensive. Shoot me (Please, with a water gun only =p)


PP is a member of the Republican State Committee. I doubt it's a paid position, but it still is a conflict of interest. I've never had any problems with that information being out there and wouldn't keep it a secret because it does matter.

bostonph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Adams said...

It's entirely possible, though I really do doubt she's using multiple aliases. However, David, Charley and Bob should always check to make sure their primary users aren't employing that tactic - and ban anyone that does.

bostonph said...

Dang it - here's the post Ryan was replying to. I was foolishly trying to fix a typo.

I agree with Ryan 100%.


Never mind on reaching out to PP. A friend just forwarded her BMG comment agreeing with John Howard on same sex conception. The style is suspiciously like that of your troll. Interesting.

I'm the one who voted 'no' at the time...
...and I told John that this wasn't a gay/straight issue, but a rich/poor issue, as the first designer babies will certainly be for the economically advantaged/intellectually challanged. Just imaging Paris having Nicky's baby, as real proof of true friends forever!

Do we need a law? I dunno. But I voted no because I think it's a bad idea to screw around with Mother Nature (pun possibly intended) to that extent when more old fashioned means of perpetuating the species is at hand and generally free.

Yr. Obedient Servant, Peter Porcupine, Republican

bostonph said...

p.s. I suspect PP of being multiple people, not using multiple aliases. Could be wrong.

If she's not, her ability to keep her own blog, respond to almost every thread on BMG, and still find time to (apparently) respond to every derogatory mention of Mitt Romney on a MA political blog is impressive.

Anonymous said...

A Paul Jamieson did sign the petition. This isn't the same individual who trolls under that name?

Ryan Adams said...

I'd say I write more than she does, but then again I don't currently have a job =p I'm sure most of my comments (but probably not my blogs) will stop as soon as I'm employed.

bostonph said...

The creature calling himself "the patriot" on KTN, whose posts are word for word identical with Paul Jamieson's posts, past and current, just posted this:

I make no effort at all.

seeing that you are about 1% of the population, and even les than that are married or in a civil union, we really don't run into you all that often.

Also I live in the Bergen County burbs with my family and go to a conservative church with other families.

plus you are an in your face out activist

most people who may be gay just don't care or are not running around with a trumpet proclaiming it like you.

I am sure its different in Cambridge MA

but everyone knows that about the People's Republic

no matter how hard you try to convince people, you are still a very small group of people

Posted by: The Patriot | June 04, 2007 at 07:55 AM

John Hosty's reaction is priceless.

shawn said...

Ryan, as far as I am concerned, you are dead wrong on PP and her "outing" of 74 years ago that she's just getting upset about now. However, not that you care about a stranger's opinion I'm sure, I don't think that you've lost credibility. Who hasn't been wrong?

Still, she is one of the people who's really helped get this "oh golly, golly, golly, I'm so pro-equality, I just love the gays personally, but Jesus if we don't take away their rights life as we know it will cease," into the zeitgeist.

She's been pushing this meme forever, refining it everywhere, and getting tons of support for it at BMG as elsewhere. As has been mentioned, she's not a free agent, she's a party hack, she knows exactly what she's doing in getting the message they want out there and spinning it their way (we're not bigots, we just LOVE the constitution). So sweet old lady who shook your hand or not, let's not kid ourselves in what she's doing, that she knows exactly what she's doing, or how much harm she's trying to do. It's not your fault how slimily she operates, but let's not be naive.

"still find time to (apparently) respond to every derogatory mention of Mitt Romney on a MA political blog is impressive."

LOL Nobody ever said our girl doesn't earn her money. What's tht horror movie where you say the guy's name three times and he appears? Say "Mitt" once and here she comes! Zoom!

Anonymous said...

Shawn, have you seen the Mitt shrine pictured on her blog? She is to Willard what Michele Bachmann is to Bush

Anonymous said...

bostonph said...

have you seen the Mitt shrine pictured on her blog?

That's the crux of it. The shrine photo is attached to a mash note to both Romneys. Of course, being PP, she can't help manipulating the truth to benefit her boys:

Of course, speech has been a problem for father and son. A throwaway remark that 'the Generals really brainwashed us to make us think VietNam was going well', and an assertion that 'I've been a hunter pretty much all my life', show that the Romney style of speech is peculiarly vulnerable to gotcha politics. In both cases, everybody knew what they meant, knew they were guilty of hyperbole at the worst, and ignored everything else they said in favor of the one remark. Mitt may be more cautious than George, but he has good reason to be.

In reality, the Romney's big gaffes stand out because they're part of a pattern of dissembling.

George actually said "When I came back from Viet Nam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get." It wasn't a throwaway remark, it was a defense of his waffling on the war.

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