Thursday, January 04, 2007

He's baaaaack!

But only sorrrrta! CU lecturer (or "adjunct professor" or whatever he's calling himself) of English Benjamin Whitmer, unmasked recently as Try-Works blog's serial slanderer "John Moredock," has begun blogging again--minus, of course, all the actionable baggage the old blog carried. He even made a little comeback speech:

Those six of you who pay attention to this site will be wondering why we’ve been down for the last couple of weeks. Those of you who’ve skimmed around the Internet will figure it had something to do with a Try-Works contributor being outed as Benjamin Whitmer. That’s partly true.
"Partly true" is right. Note the ducking of responsibility by reference to himself (in the third-person, yet) as merely a "contributor" to Try-Works, when of course he was the hate-filled heart of the thing. Also note that it wasn't Whitmer's "outing" that caused Try-Works' sudden disappearance, but the libels he wrote and published there under the name of his alter ego.

When Mr. Grant Crowell, the anti-Churchill documentarian received the sloppy email that outed me, I pulled the Try-Works and emailed those folks involved, asking them how they’d like to proceed . . . .
By running away, apparently.

Though I was tagged as a member, I didn’t feel comfortable providing ammunition for those who would continue to pick at other contributors’ postings, looking for identifying marks.

Why, the man's absolutely selfless.

But first, a bit of history.
Uh-oh. You know what happens when these goofs start talking history.

When the Ward Churchill scandal broke, much of what was said in the MSM could barely be credited as news at all. The coverage ran from the absurd, like the ridiculous genealogy crafted by two anti-Churchill bloggers and published as fact in the Rocky Mountain News; to the sublime, like right-wing hoax William Bradford being propped up in the local media as the “responsible voice” of Indian country; to the impressively sleazy, like the ongoing speculation that Churchill had been responsible for the demise of his late wife. There was no low to which the local media wouldn’t stoop. To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens (and why not?) beneath every gutter lay a whole new sewer.
There's something missing from that paragraph. Evidence, maybe. Actually, the News' Churchill geneaology hasn't been questioned by anyone but Moredock and his pals at Try-Works; William Bradford was just an old-fashioned Vietnam War liar in the mold of Joseph Ellis (or for that matter, Ward himself), and the only "local media" I can find who said anything about him, let alone "propped him up," was Pirate Ballerina, who also owned up to his mistake when Bradford's lies were exposed; finally, nobody in "local media" speculated (in print at least) about Churchill's allegedly wife-murdering ways, let alone in an "ongoing" way.

It was the worst kind of smear campaign, and it had only one intended consequence: to get Churchill canned from CU for his legally protected free speech. And even worse, all attempts at setting the record straight were blocked. Dozens of people, including myself, wrote letters to the papers, but they were ignored. Others tried to provide some kind of context on talk-radio, but they were brayed off the air. Anything considered inconvenient to Professor Churchill’s lynching was simply disappeared.
Once again a radical confuses "we're not listening anymore 'cause you're full of sh*t" with "what you say is dangerous and must be suppressed." I'm not going to bother finding even a pixel of the gazillions wasted in Churchill's defense to refute this nonsense, but you have to wonder: why do jerks like Whitmer always think that merely writing a letter qualifies it for publication? Particularly the sort of letter Whitmer would write?

So I started the Try-Works. And within months had a rotating cast of (at least) seven contributing members. I didn’t know who most of them were.

At its height, the Try-Works was a glorious free-for-all, with dozens of posts and comments popping up daily, each funnier and more obscene than the last . . . .
At its height.

Our point was not only to point out the horseshit at play in the Churchill coverage, but also to give the local media a taste of their medicine. We’d already learned that discoursing reasonably could and would be ignored, so we cranked up the pitch as high as it would go, and went to work. We were a satire site. . . . The ridiculous innuendo we posted was never accepted as fact, nor was it meant to be.
Oh, please.

I don’t have much sympathy for those we went after. The local media makes its bread and butter on the smear campaign, as do the slimy little blogs that wag their tail . . . .
Etc. He claims he'll be as free and easy with the invective under his real name as he was under the name "Moredock," but I doubt it. Just remember: this clown is once again scheduled to teach a class at CU.

(via Snaps, the only commenter ever banned at both Try-Works and Pirate Ballerina, who alerted me to a comment on my own blog.)

Update: Jim Paine reminds in comments that Whitmer is a lecturer in English, not Ethnic Studies. In setting the record straight Paine uses the instantly immortal phrase, "academic greasetrap." He's not, needless to say, referring to the English department. Text fixed.

Update II: The question you're always left with in dealing with pseudo-rads like Whitmer is, "Do they really believe what they say? Reallyreallyreally?" The arrogant, not to say flaunted dishonesty of their arguments says no, but who the hell knows? They'd certainly have prospered (until duly purged) in Stalinist Russia.

Update III: Whitmer says William Bradford was touted on Caplis and Silverman's radio show before he was exposed. I didn't hear it, but if so, they surely qualify as local media. How they reported it when Bradford's lies were revealed I don't know either. In any case, it doesn't detract from the point, which is that there was no "smear campaign" against Churchill, unless of course the truth constitutes a smear.

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