Hired guns and bullet points

Being out of the (Inner Dispersal) Loop, I missed this particular mailing:

A couple of days ago someone sent out an apparently pseudonymous email attacking a local media personality. This email was sent to a whole bunch of local bloggers, activists, publishers, and competing media personalities, challenging us to have the courage to publish his allegations and expose this person as a phony: “Let’s see which of you have the stones to expose the truth about [media personality].”

News flash: it’s 2010 already. You should not feel so all alone. Everybody can get stones:

If you have confidence in this information and want it made public, publish it yourself. If you think it’s important for the public to know, put it on the web where Google will index it. Sure, if it turns out that your information is false and you know it, putting it on the web would be considered an aggravation of libel, but you’ve already committed yourself by sending the email to a couple dozen media people, so if it’s that important to you, prove it by publishing it yourself instead of expecting someone else to take the risk for you.

Besides, in this day and age, you hardly need character assassination by proxy: just wait a few days, and often as not the target will blow the whistle on himself. If there’s any reason for the whistle to be blown, that is.

And there’s one other reason not to send out “apparently pseudonymous” emails of this sort: the recipient might be sufficiently irked to go to the trouble to ascertain the identity — and, by inference, the objective — of the sender.





1 comment

  1. fillyjonk »

    6 April 2010 · 2:02 pm

    My response to an e-mail like that would be, “Seventh grade ended a LONG time ago, and no one can drag me back there.”

    Slam books are SO 1970s.

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