Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Malkin & 'themole' update

Chris Chittleborough in comments points out that at least one lefty blog posted Michelle Malkin's personal info, including her home address, independently of "themole" and the One People's Project. (Chittleborough is the same Chris who was very helpful in tracking down the Michael Crook connection in the original post on Parrotline analyzing the sequence of events leading to Malkin claiming an unspecified group of people were "plastering" her address all over the Internet.)

Chris calls the revelation that a lefty blog posted Malkin's info "bad news" for me, by which I assume he means that it hurts my theory that almost all of the "plastering" of Malkin's details was done by the mysterious comment thread troll "themole" ... and not by "unhinged lefties" as has been thundered throughout the right blogosphere.

I disagree. But first I'll go Chris one step further - I'd be willing to bet there are more lefty blogs than the one he points to that published the info, and certainly more commenters other than "themole" who published it in various comment threads. The Internet's a big place, and while myself and others have conducted some pretty deep searches into where and when Malkin's info was posted, there's simply no way we could peek into every dark and dingy corner.

And if we could, well, we'd probably be business-planning the shit out of our killer search algorithm and watching Google stock plummet instead of writing snarky blog posts.

Fact is, I knew about the blog Chris points to before today, both from my own research and from Bas-O-Matic's discovery of it independently of me. I chose not to link to it directly, out of the same principle that led me to scrub the "killthebitch" (who is almost definitely "themole" with a different username) comment in the comment thread to this post.

My only regret is that I didn't clarify to readers that while I believed "themole" to be the principle "plasterer" of Malkin's info, he or she was surely not the only one. In the original post I tried to use non-encompassing language that would let the reader know this was the case ... in retrospect I should have stated that directly.

That said, it still remains clear to me - barring the unearthing of a lot more evidence than Chris provides - that "themole" was and is the overwhelming bulk of the "campaign" to post Malkin's details in the blogosphere. (One People's Project is a different kettle of fish, read the original post for my take on it.) A few low-traffic lefty blogs posting the info does not change that.

For a good example of how lefties handled the whole Malkin affair, check this post by Steven Gilliard and the ensuing comment thread. While Gilliard condemns outright any payback in kind for Malkin's posting of the UC Santa Cruz students' contact info, many of his readers disagree, proclaiming that Malkin deserves whatever she gets in return from people publishing her details.

What's interesting, though, is that despite these various commenters' zeal for eye-for-an-eye retribution, none that I can see after wading through 185 comments actually posts Malkin's details or even links to pages that have them.* I agree very much with Gilliard's take on the matter, and disagree just as strongly with several of his commenters' opinions ... but it's also somewhat heartening to see that despite their bluster, none of those commenters actually seems to have followed through with the actions they claimed to find justified.

In his comment, Chris also talks about the perils of assuming a strictly "left-right" dichotomy in politics. He's right.

*A perusal of many of the homepages linked by commenters who have them reveals no Malkin info published, either.

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