Outing Liberal Blogger – Bad; Outing Prop 8 Donors – Good
posted at 12:09 pm on June 8, 2009 by Laura Curtis
The big blogospheric flap right now is the fact that Ed Whelan outed an anonymous blogger, apparently in a fit of pique. Is “ankle biting” and demonstrating “a dismal understanding of the legal matters he opined on” sufficient cause for an outing? Vote here. May I suggest that if said blogger demonstrated such a dismal understanding of his topics, he’d be self-refuting and therefore safely ignored? Although I don’t follow either blogger, I’m guessing that the outed blogger hit closer to the mark than his exposer could stand. But I’m guessing. I don’t care enough to do any, you know, actual research.
The Other McCain suggests that since there’s evidently no harm, there should be no foul. There are a few bloggers – Rusty Shackleford, for instance – who really should be anonymous because of safety issues. There are people who would materially benefit from killing him since he exposes terrorist websites and helps get them shut down. Anyone who exposed Shackleford would fairly be accused of signing his death warrant. But the vast majority of anonymous bloggers simply want to spew invective, free from real life consequences. Why should we permit that? Eh… why not? I’m content to mostly disregard people who choose not to identify themselves.
What I’m really enjoying is how some of the same liberals who cheered on the “accountability” of exposing Prop 8 donors now have their panties in a knot over the exposure one of their own. Trig Truther Andrew Sullivan said that “information wants to be free” with regard to publishing information on Prop 8 donors and wrote,
And that is surely one useful element of the map. It helps one see whom to engage. And I don’t get the fear. If Prop 8 supporters truly feel that barring equality for gay couples is vital for saving civilization, shouldn’t they be proud of their financial support? Why don’t they actually have posters advertizing their support for discriminating against gay people – as a matter of pride?
Ed Whelan, on the other hand, “will target others mercilessly if they dare criticize his hackish Hannityesque legal screeds.” Evidently Sullivan does not expect Publius to be proud of his formerly unaccountable free speech, nor thankful for the increased opportunity for political engagement. Publishing a name and job is merciless targeting; publishing a name, job and address is just good politics. Glad Sully cleared that up for us.