Point / Counterpoint [UPDATED]
Again. Inside baseball. Read at your own peril — though this time, the post is much much shorter, I promise.
It’s been a rather emotionally draining week for me, and I shared with you my suspicions of what has become, since 2009 or thereabouts, the “fate” of this site. I wrote my post not to complain but to unburden, as I’ve mentioned now several times. Believe my motivation or don’t. It doesn’t much matter. I stand by what I wrote, and I stand by why I wrote it.
Having said that, one of the prosecutor’s staunchest supporters, known to many of you here, has written a defense of the good and honorable and righteous (and good. Did I already mention “good”?) man — taking issue with what he called my “analysis” — so I’m going to link it here, because you are all free to make up your own minds, and it’s my job (well, not really; we all know I’m a failed hausfrau who has no job other than to get my wife pregnant so I can buy some lazy time, time I use sitting at home and divining ways to destroy the honor of my betters. So just consider “job” a term of art) to provide you the means to do so.
This supporter, some of you will recall, was one of the last people still defending [the prosecutor's] accusation that I’d been sent some cease and desist letter for harassment, despite my nearly daily calls for proof, and my unflinching denial that any such thing had ever happened — at least, not where I was the actual culprit. I say what I have to say right here, thanks. I don’t use private backdoor “threats” or “menacing.” It’s just not me.
I will confess upfront two things: first, I haven’t myself read the post, and I don’t plan to. I learned of it through a Tweet that I was included in. Beyond its use value for “completion”, it doesn’t interest me.
Second, I disagree with the very premise as noted in the Tweet: I did not offer an “analysis” of [the prosecutor], or his character, or any such thing. Instead, I made certain assertions based on what I know to be facts, facts that I either linked to or provided other evidence in support of. I wrote the post after first trying to contact certain people — people who in the past had always made themselves readily available to me — because I needed to convince myself, finally, of what was an unpleasant (to my mind) “truth” that I’d long suspected.
Which is to say, the point of my post was not, as the Tweet I read implied, to “analyze” the prosecutor. And it certainly wasn’t to drag up old feuds. That, I’m afraid, was done for me by the release of the chat from Barrett Brown in the run-up to his being raided, held, and soon, it seems, federally prosecuted. And I sat on it for a week until after Brown was taken into custody, in the off chance that the reason for the chat had law enforcement implications that I wasn’t made privy to — none of which, though, would have explained why I was brought into the whole mess.
Rather the point of my post was to work my way through what I saw — anecdotally and through rather stark data passed to me, which I then passed to you — as a very real decline in outside support for a site that had long been a major player in the right wing opinion matrix.
Incidentally, after the release of the “chats” by Brown, I contacted him — recall, he used to post here often, and he and I worked together briefly at the online version of National Lampoon — and, for what it’s worth, he suggested to me that what he released was really just the tip of the iceberg. All well and good, but Brown is given to a bit of hyperbole and self-importance at times, so I took that with a grain of salt.
So. Unburdened. And finished with it all as a result.
Still, here’s the counterpoint, which made its way to my Twitter stream. Read and discuss, if such is your wont.
update: Via Twitter, I now learn that the supposed cease and desist letter was sent by famed conservative Scott Eric Kaufman, now of Lawyers, Guns, and Money, a site known for its intellectual rigor and fairness to competing views. Which means that, in addition to being in league with Barrett Brown and Anon to try to destroy my name, [the prosecutor], if the defense I linked can be believed, was also working with SEK.
I guess you cultivate your “witnesses” for the prosecution wherever you can, as a prosecutor.
So. Here’s what I’ve done in light of these new revelations (one wonders why these supposed emails weren’t released when I asked for them to be released; again, that way we could have checked the header data, etc, and established provenance. Curious that no such release took place, though now the accusation is once again surfacing): I’ve taken screen caps of my sent mail folders going back to 2009, using SEK’s email addy for the search. I will post those captures here.
I will also post the full text of all the email exchanges we had, including one very very surprising one that I’d forgotten about — mostly because I was never as invested in destroying a good man’s honor as, evidently, a good man was in making my punishment “linger” and making me untouchable.
Sometimes it pays to actually be the flawed but honest man you know yourself to be.
Screen caps (thumbnails. Click to embiggen):
And now, the full text of those emails, each and every last one:
Subject: Andersen’s email address
Date: September 25, 2009 7:06:10 PM MDT
If you have Andersen’s email address and are willing to share it, I will drop him a note myself and try to get him on record.
Subject: Re: Andersen’s email address
Date: September 25, 2009 7:25:20 PM MDT
No I don’t. If you don’t want to share the email, that’s fine.
All I can do is ask.
On Sep 25, 2009, at 7:19 PM, Scott Eric Kaufman wrote:
Unless my memory deceives me, you also know someone who works at the firm
that represents Andersen, Trident Media, and can have her forward your email
to him yourself.
Subject: Re: Andersen’s email address
Date: September 25, 2009 8:41:45 PM MDT
You wrote in a comment that you’d emailed both he and Cashill and that neither responded.
How did you email Andersen w/o his email address?
On Sep 25, 2009, at 7:39 PM, Scott Eric Kaufman wrote:
I thought you were at Hopkins with Mel Flashmen. Doesn’t matter, though,
because I don’t have Andersen’s email address, so I can’t give it to you.
Subject: Re: Andersen’s email address
Date: September 25, 2009 9:49:44 PM MDT
I asked the editor at American Thinker if he had Andersen’s email address. He said he didn’t.
I asked you because you said you emailed him. I assumed that meant you had an address at which you did so. If you don’t have the email address or don’t want to share it, that’s all that you need say.
On Sep 25, 2009, at 9:20 PM, Scott Eric Kaufman wrote:
You wrote in a comment that you’d emailed both he and Cashill
and that neither responded. How did you email Andersen w/o
his email address?
Your reading skills are for shit now. Here’s my first reply to you:
Unless my memory deceives me, you also know someone who
works at the firm that represents Andersen, Trident Media, and
can have her forward your email to him yourself.
Remember how you, to quote yourself, wrote “[H]ere’s the email I sent to the
editor at American Thinker (who sent it on to Mr. Cashill) along with his
response”? If you think about it for a second, you’ll realize that “the
editor at American Thinker” and an agent “at the firm that represents
Andersen, Trident Media” are dots that can be connected in the
If you have problems understanding why I’m reluctant to ask a friend to do
me a favor and forward an email by someone who thinks I’m scum to the client
of another agent, you need to spend more time around people and learn how
they work. (But by all means, continue to claim that my reluctance is based
on my desire to remain ignorant of Andersen’s relation to Cashill. It’s not
like I emailed Andersen to ask him—wait, actually I did.)
Subject: Re: Andersen’s email address
Date: September 26, 2009 10:27:03 AM MDT
I asked you for an email address, not your opinion of me or my character.
You are a liar and a fraud. And I don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone who respects you may think of me, because I haven’t any respect for anyone who would respect a disingenuous lying weasel like you to begin with.
You can add my email address to whatever kill file you have. I don’t know what that is, frankly — but it certainly sounds like something I’d expect out of “progressive”.
On Sep 25, 2009, at 11:50 PM, Scott Eric Kaufman wrote:
Once upon a time you were a decent guy, but since things turned against you politically, you’ve become an trigger sensitive dick. You lie about what I write and think and impugn my honesty—intellectual or otherwise—at every opportunity. Fuck, you even returned from self-imposed exile to prove how much you don’t care what I think by writing a post about me and spending an afternoon commenting on my blog.
To which I say, fine, whatever. Those are your issues.
But you’re so fucking blinkered you don’t even realize that I was trying to help you there, because I’d like to know what Andersen thinks as much as you do. But after the way you’ve maligned me without cause for the past few years, my friends—go figure—don’t want to have a fucking thing to do with you. I can’t ask them to do a favor on your behalf because they’re pre-pissed at me for even engaging with you in uncivil blog commentary.
But because I’m not a fucking asshole, I remind you that you did some graduate work with someone who currently works at the same agency that represents Andersen. How do I know this? Because the person in question told me once upon a time. I’m not going to give you my friend’s email address because that’d be pointless—apples to oranges she already has all permutations of your address in a kill file—so I point you in a direction of another agent there that might bear fruit . . .
. . . and you continue to be an ass. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected otherwise, but what can I say? I’m an optimist. Now please, write more baseless shit about me that’ll forever disabuse of me of benefits and doubts.
Subject: Fwd: No subject
Date: December 1, 2009 7:11:20 PM MST
Is this one of your email addresses? Because if it isn’t, someone is impersonating you. See text below.
Begin forwarded message:
Date: December 1, 2009 6:48:34 PM MST
Subject: No subject
You can say I’m a moral fraud but I’m a moral fraud with tenure and
a career (as opposed to some people who couldn’t cut it in grad
school) and I don’t have to run web-a-thons for petty cash and
cheap validation. I have a future, Goldstein, and you don’t. I
know that must bother you to know end, but that’s why I’m better
than you. Sure, maybe I don’t believe that everyone is as racist
as I say they are, but that’s the beauty of it: I advance my
career, become an increasingly important voice, and with it I can
further marginalize you because its personal now, Jeffy boy, and
I’m going to do what I can to make sure you’re never taken
seriously again. Why else would I enlist a soft conservative like
Frey if not to discredit people who are actual threats like you?
Who knows maybe one day I’ll be able to write diatribes against you
at HotAir and turn you into the next Sarah Palin, only without the
money and potential to change anything. Go behind your paywall you
coward, then you’ll only talk to your sycophants, and you can throw
a perpetual pity party forever. Taste your failure, Jeff. I know
I’m savoring it.
[ed - Look at what we have here: an admission that, along with [the prosecutor], SEK is out to destroy me and drive me from the internet as well! My, the company some people keep! That is, if Kaufman even wrote this. Note that I alerted him to it, and received no reply in return. Whereas, evidently, he was busy having lawyers craft letters that never reached me.]
Subject: Re: This email’s not to be reprinted anywhere…
Date: December 14, 2009 9:25:24 PM MST
Will send it on to my wife, who understands more about coding than I do.
And yes, I’m a douchebag. But in my defense, I happen to be a douchebag who is also a great father and husband, and a good friend to his friends. Whom I differentiate from my online friends. I’m old school like that.
Thanks for the tip,
On Dec 14, 2009, at 9:02 PM, Scott Eric Kaufman wrote:
For some reason, I feel compelled to write that. That said, I still think
you’re a douchebag, but in the interest of fairness, I think you’re a
douchebag who’s getting ripped off by a bigger douchebag. I can’t take a
screen-shot while the NoScript window’s up (clicking anywhere else makes it
disappear), but if you’re running Firefox, download the NoScript add-on and
then go to your site, right-click on NoScript and see what’s running. It
looks like Pajamas Media is still linked to your adclick account, which
means that even though you’re not getting paid by them, they’re still
profiting off you. I don’t know your arrangement with them, so I can’t
quite make sense your source code, but it does look like they’re still
“invested” in your traffic.
Anyhow, there’s my Good Samaritan act for the year. Don’t read too much
There you have it. My emails to SEK, mostly in response of his sent to me (or at least, looking for info to follow-up on a story) — some unsolicited, some strange and threatening and boastful and taunting. And some completely out of the blue.
If he is indeed the one who, with [the prosecutor], conspired to pretend there had been harassment charges leveled against me — refusing to release any of the emails, or even the name of the complainant — well, there you go. Kaufman writes me that he intends, like the prosecutor, to try to bring me down. Peas in a pod, with what I think you’ll now see are similar interests with regards to keeping me silent.
I have an uncanny way of driving such people who believe they sit atop life’s intellect pile absolutely batshit crazy.
It’s a gift. And a curse.
update 2: Kaufman fesses up to being the recipient of the emails:
He’s wrong. I did, and do exist. I’d been receiving daily, occasionally hourly, harassing emails from someone claiming to be Jeff. After getting fed up with having to deal with them, I did have a lawyer send a cease-and-desist warning to the address Jeff had provided me during this book event at the Valve. I mentioned this to Frey at some point, but I never gave him copies of the original emails or the warning, on the advice of my lawyer. Given that the emails stopped after I sent the letter, I was reluctant to identify myself for fear they’d start up again, but at this point, years removed, I doubt they will. So, there you have … something. I’m not sure what, but if it means I’m going to be receiving angry emails from Jeff again, I’ll likely regret having written this.
So, rather than emailing me and asking if I was sending him harassing emails daily or hourly, SEK decided to go to a lawyer and draft some letter, which somehow never got to me. Ever.
I asked at the time of the accusation for the publication of said emails. Now that we know the source, the publication of the emails is no longer a matter of keeping the source secret.
So. Publish them, SEK.
Include long headers and raw data. Let’s have them analyzed.
Because my guess? Is that you knew they weren’t from me (if you received them at all), but you liked having them in a file somewhere to spring as an accusation and implication — something you would be unable to do were you to actually confirm that the emails came from me.
You and the prosecutor deserve each other.
So. Don’t just talk about them. Post them.