Friday, December 22, 2006

Is CU ethnic studies prof serial slanderer "John Moredock"?

Benjamin Whitmer, an adjunct professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, may be the anonymous blogger "John Moredock," who for nearly two years at his "Try-Works" blog specialized in the slander of critics of Ward Churchill.

Documentarian Grant Crowell apparently discovered that "Moredock" was Whitmer by examining the IP addresses of e-mails sent to him by Moredock. Soon after Crowell informed Moredock of his discovery, the Try-Works site was taken down.

Lots more coming on this one.

Update: The e-mail that exposed Moredock apparently came in an exchange with Crowell after this Try-Works post, in which Moredock and frequent contributor "Charley Arthur" accuse Crowell of, among other things, hiring people to illegally record Churchill's speech at the New School last week, and then staging interviews with the same people for Crowell's upcoming documentary on Churchill.

Update II: One of Moredock/Whitmer's favorite targets was editorial writer Vincent Carroll of the Rocky Mountain News. Here's one not atypical sample out of many (sorry, you have to scroll through the cached entries):
The late Rocky Mountain News editorialist, race-baiter and suspected pedophile Vincent Carroll—he did recently die of AIDS, didn’t he?—once tried a variation on the same theme, opining that those attempting to halt public celebrations of genocide on the streets of Denver every October were the equivalent of Hitler’s “brown shirted thugs.”
"Moredock" also once posted a picture of Carroll with a photoshopped swastika on his forehead.

Moredock also enjoyed accusing Dan Caplis, of the popular (I think--too lazy to look) drive-time double-lawyer radio show "Caplis and Silverman," of "beating up pregnant women with flagpoles," an accusation which had its start nearly 30 years ago when Caplis was a student at CU, and which Caplis had already sued another person for making.

Probably Moredock/Whitmer's favorite target, though, was Jim Paine of the anti-Churchill blog Pirate Ballerina. Moredock actually had a separate category for his rants about Paine, whom in his kindest moments he would refer to as "Pony Pimp" (Paine raises horses in Colorado).

Moredock even went after me a few times, though spotless is my escutcheon, saying, for example, that my personality might be improved by a lead injection, that my wife was having it off with a Pabst Blue Ribbon salesman, and that I often fellated employees and managment of the Rocky Mountain News. Here's a post accusing me of racism, imaginatively titled, "John Martin's a bigot, blah, blah blah" (again, scroll down a little; you can't miss it). And here's a piece of invective I rather liked:
You're the worst of a type. A shitty little character assassin; a bottom-feeder with all the critical faculties of a ball-peen hammer. You're the reason the rest of us get stuck with the shit that passes for news around here, because you're exactly the kind of half-literate cocksucker they cater to. Stick to photos of your fucking dog, and we'll leave you alone.

Update III: Pirate Ballerina:

The identity of "Moredock's" sometimes-coauthor, "Charley Arthur", remains unknown; the only clue being "Arthur's" remarkably intimate knowledge of Ward Churchill's private and public life stretching back for decades.
Is Arthur Churchill himself? It would sure fit. In any case, one can only hope, as "Moredock's" hero Hunter Thompson used to say, that whoever these guys turn out to be, they get the bastinado for this.

Update IV: In response to "Moredock's" accusations, Crowell has posted an interview with a student he hired to cover Churchill's speech.

Update V: Title of this post changed to reflect (slight) fear of being sued for everything I've got.

Update VI: Grant Crowell received this e-mail from Moredock/Whitmer today:
Good Lord, get some sleep, sir. Look, I'm rather ambivalent about this. I like being anonymous, but if (and I think it's a pretty if) you manage to get the local media in this, it'll give me a hell of a platform to expound on all those dirty tricks played in the Churchill coverage - from William Bradford, to NAIM and Anna Mae, to Jim Paine as the Rocky's genealogist, to your paying for interviews - which is all I was after in the first place. I'll make sure my side of the story gets out. As to whatever you have to incriminate me with, it ain't much more offensive than the average Wonkette posting, so I ain't too worried. So, do what you're gonna do. I'm not gonna call you, I'm not gonna bargain with you, I could care less. Cheers.

"Ain't much more offensive than the average Wonkette posting." Uh-huh. (See above quote concerning Vincent Carroll.) As a commenter at PB (where I got this e-mail) said, "the bluster is instructive." Westword's Michael Roberts, who once described the Try-Works blog as "fiercely funny and proudly profane" (he forgot "assholily anonymous") is a "local media" type who might be interested in Moredock's unmasking.

Update VII: I inserted the Caplis example of Moredock/Whitmer's nastiness and a couple more instances of it towards me to balance the quote about Vincent Carroll, which seemed to stick out a little too much, as if it were something unusual for the creep to say. Of course, he wrote equally bad things about anybody at any time.

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