The saga of Deborah Frisch, long-time comment troll and all-around kook, took another troubling, but not exactly unforeseeable turn in the last 48 hours. As far as we know, she is now the first troll of the political blogosphere to face criminal charges relating to such activity. On August 21 she was arraigned in an Oregon courtroom on charges of stalking and telephone harassment (PDF).***
According to Don’t Hire Deb, a blog devoted to documenting Frisch’s outrageous behavior while depriving her own site of traffic, Frisch posted either $4,000 bail or $400 to a bondsman and must reappear in court on September 25th. As is speculated in DHD comments and elsewhere, this likely stems not from Frisch’s well-publicized Jeff Goldstein-related misadventures (to the best of our knowledge she’s never called him) but rather, similar interactions with former colleagues at University of Oregon (where she was denied tenure in 1994 and served as an adjunct until July 2001) including calling, emailing, and a quickly-removed post to her blog.
If you have not followed the whole saga, you can click the link above and find an abundance of pieces detailing what happened. My take on the whole matter- what she said about Goldstein’s child was vile and contemptible, and for that, she deserves our scorn. However, it is abundantly clear to me that she has a number of mental problems, and I don’t like the glee I see in many of the posts flaming her. She is a sad character, and she needs our sympathy and our help- not to be poked, prodded, and taunted.
And that is all I have to say on the matter, and I won’t be following the issue anymore. Leave the poor woman alone, no matter how she lashes out at people. Hopefully, she will one day get over her problems, regret what she has done, and come to terms with her behavior and once again take up a productive role in society.