Time For a Blogger Ethics Panel!

Shameful, but to be expected. I mean, after all, Publius was defending a racist latina! He had it coming. Good thing Whelan heads a group that deals with ethics. That kind of experience could come in handy during a situation like this.

And I’m just dying to find out what Publius wrote that could be considered “irresponsible,” as that was Whelan’s excuse. All he did was link to Eugene Volokh.

I’d say Whelan should be ashamed, but that, like empathy, isn’t an available feature in this current strain of Republican.






71 replies
  1. 1
    Jon says:

    Publius’ article that got Whelan so bent out of shape was partially laudatory:

    “he’s a smart guy with outstanding legal credentials. He just enjoys playing the role of know-nothing demagogue.”

  2. 2
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I think Whelan has just had his 15 minutes of fame. That one’s going to stick, I bet. “The right wing blogger who outed someone because he had criticized him”.

    Nice.

  3. 3

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Or, yet another WATB fReichtard who hides his taste for shaved barnyard animals behind a Bible and an impenetrable wall of stoopid.

  4. 4
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I like Whelan’s technique of modifying his original post with italicized sections to accomodate criticism of its failings too!

    I’m surprised the Wingosphere hasn’t taken that one up before now.

    Somehow I think just adding an “Update:” section is more direct and less misleading, letting the original stand in all its erroneous glory.

  5. 5
    Matt says:

    The thing is nobody on The Corner will have an objection to what Whelan did. There will be no push back or cautioning, nothing. The Cornerites will ignore and spend the rest of the day discussing Obama’s fascism and the conspiracy theories of Andy McCarthy.

  6. 6
    SGEW says:

    I think we’re going to wind up seeing more and more pseudonymous bloggers forced into this situation as their exposure and influence expand, so long as they’re critiquing people with thin skins who are unfamiliar with (or contemptuous of) online etiquette.

    I really wonder how long psedonymity will be a viable choice in ye olde blogosphere. It’s a god damned shame, really.

    It’s not a left/right thing either: after all, it was a Democrat who outed Mudflats. As to the progressive bloggers at ObWi being outed while the conservative ones weren’t, well . . . honestly, the progressive ones are much more well known (von isn’t nearly as widely read as publius, let alone hilzoy), and, therefore, are more likely to be forced into the spotlight. [this in reference to the previous observation]

  7. 7
    Victory says:

    I’d say Whelan should be ashamed, but that, like empathy, isn’t an available feature in this current strain of Republican.

    Those features are coming in the RNC 2012 Electora 4 door sedan.

  8. 8

    As you pointed out in last nights Hockey thread Whelan was at OLC during the period that torture was being approved of–or at a minimum not prohibited–by DOJ attorneys. This NYT piece has a good run down on those involved although the author does not mention Ed Whelan. He is also living proof that intellectual firepower does not guarantee emotional maturity.

    Publius is a big boy and knows that the intertrons is a rough and tumble place where assholes like Whelan may do exactly what he did. It’s a damn shame he got outed but that is life on the blogosphere. The only real guarantee in the blogosphere is that you will run into some Grade A WATB’s like Whelan and nothing good can come from that.

    OT but nonetheless ironic here is a headline from Cap’n Ed:

    Obamacare plan finally released; Update: Goodbye, 4th Amendment

    While I share Ed’s concern over information gathered by the government, I do find it interesting that the righties have suddenly rediscovered the 4th amendment with a Democrat in the White House. No one could have predicted that, could they?

  9. 9
    kid bitzer says:

    how long before the so-called “john cole” is exposed?

    his real name, his guilty secrets, even his species-membership, revealed to a shocked and disbelieving world!

  10. 10
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Those features are coming in the RNC 2012 Electora 4 door sedan.

    Nice to hear they’ll be switching things up for the first time since the hugely successful 2000 Electora Coup.

  11. 11
    kid bitzer says:

    “2000 Electora Coup.”

    that’s first-rate, dbmt.

  12. 12
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Death By Mosquito Truck:

    since the hugely successful 2000 Electora Coup.

    We have a winner.

  13. 13
    SGEW says:

    I’m suddenly very, very curious as to what Glenzilla will have to say about all this (if he has anything to say, of course). How does this interact with his advocacy against anonymity in reporting? Yes, I know that anonymity is quite different from pseudonymity, but I’m interested in what he (and others) find relevant or contentious in the overlap.

    Also interesting, via commenter John at Anon Lib, is that it appears that Whelan was “reliably informed” of publius’ identity without naming his informant. Anonymous sources to out a pseudonymous blogger! Meta, man.

    New Media Journalism is gonna be weird, whatever it winds up being.

  14. 14
    jcricket says:

    how long before the so-called “john cole” is exposed?
    his real name, his guilty secrets, even his species-membership, revealed to a shocked and disbelieving world!

    I have it on good authority that John Cole is actually Meghan McCain.

    I feel bad for publius (wonder how long before hilzoy is outed now), and think what Whelan did was reprehensible.

    But as I said on one of the other threads, it seems like all Republicans have decided to go effin crazy as an intentional strategy to counter the election of moderate Democrats. They think the solution to their electoral woes is pissing off more constituencies and conducting a scorched earth campaign to burnish their “conservative” credentials.

    I do think in a year or so it will be quite clear to Americans what conservatism means – but I don’t think that will be the end result that Republicans want.

  15. 15
    Margarita says:

    anonymity in reporting

    Well, in addition to not being anonymity, it’s not reporting. Other than that …

  16. 16

    Hilzoy’s identity has been relatively well known for a while.

  17. 17
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @jcricket:

    Yes, I know that anonymity is quite different from pseudonymity,

    I think there’s part of it, and also commentary by a blogger is different from anonymous “reporting”. That is, someone didn’t use Publius as a source for material about Whelan while allowing him to remain anonymous. For example if Publius were quoted as a colleague of Whelan’s trashing him or something, as in the Sotomayor article from TNR, that would be different.

    I read the whole snail trail here and this just felt like pure juvenile acting out, vengeance for having someone call you stupid, basically. The issue of identity had zero, zip, to do with Publius’s critique of Whelan, he just went looking for some way to damage him.

    He has a right to investigate and reveal the identity, sure, which is demonstrated by the fact that he just did so and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. That wasn’t really the issue though IMO.

  18. 18
    HRA says:

    IMO there is no gain that I can comprehend in outing a blogger who wishes to be anonymous. His reasons for doing so are very justified according to what I read in his blog moments ago. I did forward some of his comments to friends during the campaigns. They were very well received. I hope he continues to blog as Publius.

  19. 19
    David Hunt says:

    My first impulse when reading about this whole brutish affair was to leave a comment about how “Whelan needs to DIAF (die in a fire).” But then I remembered: I’m against wishing death and/or injury on anyone, even an amoral immoral hack like Whelan. Even if most people would realize that I’m being rhetorical, it just strikes me as wrong to be hoping for some injurious/deadly calamity to befall anyone…at least a calamity that could conceivably befall someone in reality.

    Therefore, in honor of the highly thugish behavior of Whelan I am instituting a new epithet for people in his category. Ed Whelan needs to be Eaten by Zombies, henceforth EBZ.

  20. 20
    JimPortlandOR says:

    If you can’t win on the message, destroy the messenger – that’s the conservative/Republican way. Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, anyone? I can’t immediately think of an example where this hasn’t been the tactic in the last 8 years (or 30).

    Many are saying that Whelen is a dick, but that’s not strong enough IMO. He’s Joseph Goebbels! (Is that strong enough?) No, he’s Joe Stalin, conducting a purge. That’s better.

    Any anonymous centrist or liberal blogger should pay attention to what Joe S. did to Trotsky via remote control.

  21. 21
    SGEW says:

    @Margarita: Ah, but what is “reporting” nowadays? Or, rather, what precisely will draw lines between “reporting,” “analysis,” or “opinion” in our brave cowardly new era, and how will anonymity, pseudonymity, and “full disclosure” fit in? As “new media” (viz. teh wild and free internets, so well epitomized at its best by ObWi) interacts and counteracts with the establishment media (Ed Whelan is blogging at an actual brick and mortar news magazine, after all) and its hybrid chimeric offspring (e.g., Salon, The Daily Beast), what new forms and features will emerge? Fascinating stuff.

  22. 22
    MikeJ says:

    IMO there is no gain that I can comprehend in outing a blogger who wishes to be anonymous.

    Keeping amateurs out of the game. If you get paid for having opinions, it’s to your advantage to have your name attached to all of your opinions no matter how stupid. Stupid opinions generate at least as many page views as smart ones, just ask Thomas Friedman.

    If you make your living doing something useful for society, you might wish to keep you political views separate. That’s fine as long as you don’t show up your betters. When you step on the pros, the pros will step on you.

  23. 23
    Ed Whelan's Conscience says:

    Help! I’m still in here, please let me out!

  24. 24
    steve s says:

    The Cornerites will ignore and spend the rest of the day discussing Obama’s fascism and the conspiracy theories of Andy McCarthy.

    And smart people will spend the rest of the day ignoring The Corner.

  25. 25
    Victory says:

    Reading all the sites commenting on this (through Memeorandum) I can see it now…….Monday night, 6:30 newcasts on all the major networks……second to last segment….

    “And on Teh Internets this weekend there was an on going debate on whether bloggers should be able to do what they do anonymously……”

    (For some reason as I write I hear Charlie Gibson’s voice in my head….)

  26. 26
    kid bitzer says:

    25–

    you need to see a doctor about that. stat.

  27. 27
    bago says:

    Like I said, even 13 year old /b tards know the difference between a-non-nym-nity and pseudo-nym-nity. If Ed Whelan, member of the OLC wants to forever be known as “schooled by pedo-bear”, then I leave him to it.

    You might not want to be at work, or at least be using wikipedia when researching what a /b-tard is or pedobear.

  28. 28
    Jay C says:

    And just in case we might be suffering from a deficiency of irony:

    ALL the commenters on the ObWings thread who felt the need to defend Ed Whelan’s action did so under pseudonyms: mainly sneering “gotcha” gloating about the “cowardly” publius getting his desserts.

    Except for one guy who actually posted a well-written and reasoned defense against Internet anonymity/pseudonymity. Under the handle of “Anonymous Blogger”

    It gets better, though: He re-posted the comment in the discussion thread at Washington Monthly; only this time, signed.

    As “John Hancock” .

  29. 29
    MBunge says:

    What if Whelen started posting online under a pseudonym? Not to engage in sock puppet discussions with himself, but simply so he could make his arguments without them being affected by the fact that Whelen was making them? Would that be okay? Would “outing” him for doing that be just as outrageous as what was done to publius?

    The saying is that if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. If bloggers want their comments to play a serious role in our political discourse, they’re going to have to play by the same rules as everyone else and not hide from the BS everyone else has to deal with behind an Internet Tradition.

    Mike

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    holy crap.

    you know a Republican has gone too far when Ed Riehl criticizes him.

  31. 31
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Cause knows no rules, no norms, no manners. Everything must yield to the Cause. The Cause is bigger than all of us.

    Reagan lo vult!

  32. 32
    bago says:

    The whole anonymnity / pseudonymnity was a way bigger deal when you could get killed for it. The pseudonym publius is in fact part and parcel of that debate with respect to the american revolution.

    If I were an obsessed dick, I could correlate information about a pseudonymous blogger incredibly easily, as by virtue of using a pseudo-nym instead of no-nym I could easily incur a sea of correlations. This fact is often why people would use a pseudonym to speak, as you can use correlative behavior matching in your analysis of the data. If I wanted to be mean I could use such data to isolate an address, find a physical region, sniff everything thrown out, install a keylogger, gain access to all accounts, and track his movements via GPS.

    That’s only being a stalker.

    By selectively transmitting assumedly private data one could sign a target up for all kinds of spam, gain access to any accounts captured, enlist in a bot-net, warrant the unwanted attention of the FBI and CIA, etc.

    In essence, you could do the kind of things that a stalker could do if they saw where you kept your spare key.

    To say this conduct is un-professional is an understatement. To call it criminal, we’ll have to see how the Tiller case turns out.

    If you want to play the petty political games of a 13 year old, be prepared to get paid the wages of a 13 year old. As such, I think a google bombing of Ed Whelan is the decent thing to do.

  33. 33
    kid bitzer says:

    @29–

    “If bloggers want their comments to play a serious role in our political discourse, they’re going to have to play by the same rules as everyone else”

    mike, you do know there’s a history behind the name “publius”, right?

    that’s the pseud that hamilton, madison, and jay used for writing the federalist papers?

    and they were attacked in turn by anti-federalists who took as their pseuds things like “brutus”, “farmer”, and so on? and some of these guys–brutus, for instance, still have not been positively i.d.ed?

    so your claim that pseudonymous writers have no role in our political discourse is just completely wrong. and your idea that the use of pseudonyms in american political discourse is a creation of the internet age is also completely wrong.

    americans have been influencing political debates by writing under pseudonyms since before the u.s. existed.

    (i can also remember when i learned a lot reading richard strout at the old new republic, who wrote under the pseud ‘trb’.)

  34. 34
    kid bitzer says:

    …and i now see that my 33 is turned up about three notches harsher than i meant it to be. and the edit period has ended.

    sorry about that, mike–i’m just keyed up from the rest of the debate. didn’t mean to be a jerk to you.

  35. 35
    bago says:

    @kid bitzer: It’s ok, you weren’t a jerk to him, you were only a jerk to “Mike”.

  36. 36
    Lesley says:

    When the neighbourhood Chihuahua nips at Whelen’s ankles, does Whelen threaten it with a gun?

    I’m surprised Whelen didn’t call for Publius to be waterboarded.

  37. 37
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    The funny thing is that, aside from the fact that the “updated” comment was completely unreadable, Volokh said it was still wrong. And it was.

    Absolutely no idea why this guy is braggin’ on his legal skilz.

  38. 38
    Persia says:

    @bago: The whole anonymnity / pseudonymnity was a way bigger deal when you could get killed for it.

    Why don’t you Google Kathy Sierra and then tell me why it doesn’t matter.

  39. 39

    I post under my own name partly because the blog started as my political election site – name being important – and I just continued for my regulars. As a construction contractor my politics are pretty immaterial and my readership isn’t just exactly whay you ‘d call large, other than on occasions.

    As was noted our early history was rife with roiling battles under psuedonyms. Hamilton’s death was likely the outcome of such debates getting a bit hot.

    I’m intemperate enough to be quite willing to take things up personally if someone is that stupid. It is a matter of my own personal ethics to take both the heat and the credit for my stuff.

    That stuff is relevant to me, not to people like publius whose careers and family life can be badly impacted by stupid and unethical blowback over issues that are immaterial to that.

  40. 40
    bago says:

    @Persia: Why don’t you wiki publius and see if you understand my point?

  41. 41
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Persia:

    Not to mention this.

  42. 42

    I wonder if the domain “edwhelanisawhinypunkassbitch.com” is available. You know, I really want to give the Republicans something to cry about. Really, I do. I want to be like the stern father who says “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to really cry about” and then just beat six kinds of holy hell out of them until they shape up and stop being such whiny ass titty babies.

  43. 43
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    So Whelan has posted an incredibly self-serving and dishonest “response” here.

    Law professor John Blevins (aka publius) and others seem to assume that I owed some sort of obligation to Blevins not to expose his pseudonymous blogging. I find this assumption baffling. A blogger may choose to blog under a pseudonym for any of various self-serving reasons, from the compelling (e.g., genuine concerns about personal safety) to the respectable to the base. But setting aside the extraordinary circumstances in which the reason to use a pseudonym would be compelling, I don’t see why anyone else has any obligation to respect the blogger’s self-serving decision.

    Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

  44. 44
    Shade Tail says:

    @MBunge:

    What if Whelen started posting online under a pseudonym? Not to engage in sock puppet discussions with himself, but simply so he could make his arguments without them being affected by the fact that Whelen was making them? Would that be okay? Would “outing” him for doing that be just as outrageous as what was done to publius?

    That absolutely would be fine. And outing him *would* be just as outrageous. If he wants to be anonymous, then that is his decision and nobody has the (ethical, at least) right to out him.

    Did you expect a different answer?

    The saying is that if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. If bloggers want their comments to play a serious role in our political discourse, they’re going to have to play by the same rules as everyone else and not hide from the BS everyone else has to deal with behind an Internet Tradition.

    The saying is also, “Don’t be a dick if you don’t want to be treated as one.” You keep whining about how it is “tradition” or “fair” or whatever that people speak openly rather than behind pseudonyms. You made the claim over at Steve Benen’s blog also. But you never justify it, you just assert it.

    It is easy to say that being pseudonymous makes someone unserious, but I think you just use that as an excuse not to deal with the substance of their arguments.

  45. 45
    D-Chance. says:

    I see no problem with anonymous commenters. After all, we’re the peanut gallery. When I go to a football game, I don’t know who’s sitting behind me, three rows in front of me, or across the field in the opposing stands; and, quite frankly, it’s none of my damn business. If you wish to post your real name or e-mail, fine; if not, fine.

    But it is my damn business to know, or have the right to know, who’s on the playing field. And once you go from commenter to player, once you walk out of the stands and onto the field and set up your soap box or accept an invitation to step onto someone else’s soapbox, it is incumbent upon you to identify yourself. You are now a player, even if in only a very minor and insignificant role. Blevins should have made clear his identity himself. It was classless that Whelan “outed” him; it was irresponsible (and, by the way, quite telling of the man) that Blevins didn’t trust himself or his family or his students or his bosses OR HIS READERS enough to stand up and say, “this is my forum, this is who I am, and this is what I believe”, as have thousands of other participants in the blogging world.

    But, in the end, this event is insignificant. Whelan is a C-level contributor, at best, to NRO and given NRO‘s history, will be another in a long line of short-termers; Blevins (or “publius“) is a second or third banana at a lower-rung site on the blogospheric ladder.

  46. 46
    jcricket says:

    How many anonymous sources does the MSM use when spewing the line of one party or a group of lobbyists or corporate weasels? Apparently, even when those people flat-out lie, their propaganda must continue to be spread, and if anonymity is what they want, they get it.

    But some basically powerless blogger says something that pisses off a wing-nut blogger and HE MUST BE OUTED IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT’S HOLY!

    Just like when Malkin was stalking the Frost’s and spewing forth on their supposed countertop choices, this recent incident proves that Republicans have no decency, shame or respect for others. Funny how that’s what they’re always claiming of Democrats – it all comes back to projection, doesn’t it?

  47. 47
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @D-Chance.:

    And once you go from commenter to player, once you walk out of the stands and onto the field and set up your soap box or accept an invitation to step onto someone else’s soapbox, it is incumbent upon you to identify yourself.

    Why?

  48. 48
    cleek says:

    But it is my damn business to know, or have the right to know, who’s on the playing field.

    no it isn’t. and more importantly, this isn’t game.

  49. 49
    kid bitzer says:

    @45–
    and furthermore, there is a very important *positive* benefit to be gained from pseudonyms:

    they force readers to ignore the source, and look at the argument.

    you want people to “stand up and say, “this is my forum, this is who I am, and this is what I believe””

    yeah, you know, that’s exactly the stuff that does *not* matter to me.

    i don’t much care who brings me facts and arguments. i don’t care if they are expressing their deepest most authentic soul or not. and i sure as hell don’t want them trotting out their irl authorities to try to persuade me.

    i want facts, figures, graphs, charts, and arguments. i want clear writing. and i don’t care what the writer does in real life, or what their real name is.

    that’s what i get from publius. or hilzoy. or lots of other pseudonymous people on the web. good arguments, well-supported by solid facts, with lots of links and citations.

    give me that, and you can keep your authenticity.

  50. 50
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kid bitzer:

    that’s what i get from publius. or hilzoy. or lots of other pseudonymous people on the web. good arguments, well-supported by solid facts, with lots of links and citations.

    Not to mention Annie Laurie, TimF, DougJ, or MichaelD.

  51. 51
    kth says:

    It’s fine for people to discount the views of pseudonymous bloggers, as it would have been fine for Whelan to write, “STFU, Publius, if you won’t post under your real name”. But attributing less credibility to the pseudonymous doesn’t remotely justify outing them.

  52. 52
    kid bitzer says:

    @50–

    did i not mention them? ooops! i should mention them, too!

    thanks for kicking me under the table.

    also that pseudonymous doofus who goes by “john cole”.

  53. 53

    I wrote a passionate defense of AKM after the outing on the ‘flats, and I still stand by it. To me, someone’s words are credible or they are not. If I read someone, say hilzoy, and find her words to be well-researched, thoughtful, and scrupulous, then I don’t give a shit who she in in real life. I would say the same if it were someone on the right who was blogging under a pseudonym. The merit of the blogger should be the words, not the person.

    In addition, I can completely understand why someone would want to blog under a pseudonym in order to protect his/her livelihood or family.

    This was pure petulance on the part of Ed Whelan, and somewhere deep inside, he knows it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have reacted so vindictively.

  54. 54
    The Crafty Trilobite says:

    What Whelan is (purposefully) missing is the concept of manners.

    Of course he has the right to publish publius’s real name. Of course he has no enforceable duty to safeguard it. Whelan can also call up the mother and the employer of anyone he disagrees with and tell them the guy is a jerk. He could dig up whatever dirt there is (unpaid parking ticket, nanny taxnonpayment, drunk driving charge in college, whatever) and publicize it. He could publish an upskirt photo of an opponent and sneer about her looks, without naming her specifically. He could dig up any embarrasing tweet they ever wrote and re-publish that. He could lurk around and record their conversation when they’re sounding off at a bar and publicize anything embarrassing they say. And so forth. Just as any of us could do exactly these things to Mr. Whelan, or to the next guy who cuts us off on the highway. No law prevents this sort of petty not-quite-harassment. What prevents it, usually, is simple good manners.

    Also, self-respect. To move the dispute from the marketplace of ideas into the realm of personal life shows a profound lack of faith in the strength of your own ideas. We have gotten used to people exposing embarrasing secrets of certain very high-profile political figures, but there is at least some thread of justification there: we reasonably don’t want a sleazy president or whatever, we think their life choices show a lot about how they will govern, they generally open the door by touting themselves as guardians of public morals — and the information at issue sheds light on those particular concerns. For example, when Sarah Palin presented her supposed strong family values as important qualifications for a vital office, her various family scandals had at least some relevance to her competence. But nothing like that is true here.

    Publius’s comments about Whelan, however little Whelan may have liked them, were all about Whelan’s ideas. As John and others here said, publius’s identity was simply irrelevant to his critique of Whelan’s posts and to his postings in general. Whelan didn’t even try to pretend he had a point about publius’s identity or life. Apparently, he doesn’t think his ideas can stand on their own. He can only win by cheating. It’s sad to watch someone admit that.

  55. 55
    gil mann says:

    I want to be like the stern father who says “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to really cry about” and then just beat six kinds of holy hell out of them until they shape up and stop being such whiny ass titty babies.

    Hey, have you guys checked out this abyss yet? It stares back, how cool is that?

  56. 56
    gwangung says:

    Of course he has the right to publish publius’s real name. Of course he has no enforceable duty to safeguard it. Whelan can also call up the mother and the employer of anyone he disagrees with and tell them the guy is a jerk. He could dig up whatever dirt there is (unpaid parking ticket, nanny taxnonpayment, drunk driving charge in college, whatever) and publicize it. He could publish an upskirt photo of an opponent and sneer about her looks, without naming her specifically. He could dig up any embarrasing tweet they ever wrote and re-publish that. He could lurk around and record their conversation when they’re sounding off at a bar and publicize anything embarrassing they say. And so forth. Just as any of us could do exactly these things to Mr. Whelan, or to the next guy who cuts us off on the highway. No law prevents this sort of petty not-quite-harassment. What prevents it, usually, is simple good manners.

    And the fact that this sort of thing usually boomerangs on the perpetrator.

    Methinks Whelan is so cocooned and so self-important that he didn’t think this would happen.

  57. 57
    SGEW says:

    From Whelan’s response:

    A blogger may choose to blog under a pseudonym for any of various self-serving reasons, from the compelling (e.g., genuine concerns about personal safety) to the respectable to the base. But setting aside the extraordinary circumstances in which the reason to use a pseudonym would be compelling, I don’t see why anyone else has any obligation to respect the blogger’s self-serving decision.

    This guy works for the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

    Ethics. Fail.

    [edit: well put, gil mann.]

  58. 58
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @The Crafty Trilobite:

    Not being familiar with Whelan’s stuff, I took a gander through some of his more well-known Bench Memo writings (see this and this, for instance).

    What strikes me is the underlying smallness and personal vindictiveness of his style. Not to mention the superficiality of his reasoning.

    But then again, he is an NRO poster.

  59. 59
    rachel says:

    Does anybody else think it’s funny that an anonymous blogger–someone whose opinion is easily scoffed at or ignored–turns out to be a former lawyer and current professor of law? That, IOW, Whelan has revealed publius to be someone who has real-world credibility as far as matters pertaining to Whelan’s own area of supposed expertise are concerned and whose opinion in this area should be respected as much as Whelan’s?

    Can I call Whelan “Special Ed,” too?

  60. 60
    Yutsano says:

    That, IOW, Whelan has revealed publius to be someone who has real-world credibility as far as matters pertaining to Whelan’s own area of supposed expertise are concerned and whose opinion in this area should be respected as much as Whelan’s?

    I’d call that icing on the cake. Of course if anyone had been paying attention they would have realized that Plubius might just be smarter than the average blogger.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    Someone needs to mail order some dildos and send them to Ed at the Ethics and Public Policy office.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    @Chris: Don’t suggest nonsense like that. Come on. You don’t respond to someone being petty and small by returning the favor.

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  64. 64
    Johnny Pez says:

    @rachel:

    Can I call Whelan “Special Ed,” too?

    I believe Ed Morrissey is already known by his fans at Sadly, No! as Special Ed.

    I prefer to call him Failin’ Ed Whelan.

  65. 65
    josefina says:

    Grrr… “anonymous” is not the same as “pseudonymous”. And it’s not as simple as saying “Oh, a pseudonym is something you use repeatedly.”

    If that were the case, no one would’ve ever heard of Mary Rosh.

    Anonymity means that I don’t want you to have any way to address or engage me. And if I want, I can devote my online life to spouting my opinions and/or pissing off my audience. I’ll morph into whatever I have to, to keep them from getting a handle on me. (Hey there BOB!)

    Publius has a long-standing, consistent online presence, totally available to anyone. If he’s making contradictory or hypocritical statements–call him out on that.

    You can do that on ObWi, which allows comments (unlike NROnline). In fact, Weelan Esq. posted a taunting comment in the original thread before he “outed” Publius. He did not stick around to address or challenge anything Publius said.

    The only reason Weelan revealed Publius’s identity was to fuck with him in his new and untenured job. That’s beyond despicable.

  66. 66
    Mainer says:

    One good thing is that this will follow Whelan the rest of his legal career, so his hopes for a federal judgeship or a high level political appointment are damaged.

  67. 67
    Vincent says:

    Good arguments are good arguments whether I know who makes them or not. Privacy means the right to keep certain information out of the public eye. Nobody has any obligation to do anything on the internet. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

    How are any of these statements anything other than completely obvious?

  68. 68
    skippy says:

    how long before the so-called “john cole” is exposed?

    i don’t know, but i might as well be pre-emptive about my own identity.

    “skippy” is really duncan black.

  69. 69
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Mainer:

    Given examples like this, I’d say his chances were pretty low to begin with.

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    Jrod says:

    @D-Chance.:

    In other words, D-Chance thinks that he has a right to remain pseudonymous, but that Publius guy had it coming because he doesn’t have that right. Because blargle blargle poot.

    Hey D-Chance, fuck you and your shallow justifications. You and Publius are both people writing on the internet. The only difference is that Publius wrote things that were worth the electrons it took to transmit them.

  71. 71
    Cain says:

    I’m outing myself right now. I am the ghost of Hoffa. You know who killed me? John Cole’s Mom’s sister’s cousin’s (on her husbands side) great grandmother’s son’s friend in college, whose roommate’s brother killed me. He’s still alive too. I hope someone outs him! Until then, I’m going to keep fighting the good fight here.

    cain

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