A FAQ about HillBuzz vs. Rumproast (and Me)
Starting this weekend the proprietor(s?) of HillBuzz.org launched an attack against Rumproast and, more specifically, my wife (who has absolutely nothing to do with this blog) and me. You can head over there to read what’s been going on. The first related post (“Thank You For Your Support”) was published on January 23rd. There has been a steady stream of posts about the “attack” on the main HillBuzz blogger (whom I will refer to as “Mr. HillBuzz”) since then that contain several false accusations about Rumproast, me, Betty Cracker and Mrs. Polly’s long dormant Snarkopolitan blog. What follows is a quick, FAQ-style rundown of facts related to this debacle.
Q: Was Mr. HillBuzz “attacked”?
A: A UK blogger named TheBigotBasher, who has no affiliation with Rumproast aside from occasionally commenting here, used Mr. HillBuzz’s real name on the internet and referred to him as a “racist.” From what I gather, TheBigotBasher posted this info in the form of blog entries, diaries and/or comments at his own WordPress blog, StupidPumas.com (currently offline—don’t know why, don’t care), Daily Kos and Democratic Underground. I won’t link to specific citations because the ones that remain contain Mr. HillBuzz’s real identity. Mr. HillBuzz is also claiming he was subjected to various forms of offline intimidation (calls to his employers, physical threats, etc.), but since I’ve concluded that he’s an unrepentant liar I don’t believe any of it without proof, which he hasn’t provided.
Q: Did TheBigotBasher attempt to reveal Mr. HillBuzz’s identity elsewhere?
A: Funny you should ask that. Yes, TheBigotBasher attempted to leave a comment with that info here (including the identity of HillBuzz.org’s domain name admin, who appears to have nothing to do with HillBuzz’s blogging activities) a week or so back, but I deleted the comment the minute I saw it and basically told TheBigotBasher to bugger off. I do not support, nor have I ever supported, the outing of people who blog or comment under aliases, regardless of what I personally think about them. This occurred before I was aware that TheBigotBasher was posting this info elsewhere and before Mr. HillBuzz went public about his “attack.” Mr. HillBuzz was informed that I deleted the comment in my very first email to him (more on that below) but he continues to write that Rumproast actively promoted TheBigotBasher’s accusations. That’s simply a bold-faced lie. I also banned TheBigotBasher from commenting here based on that comment as well as past issues I’ve had with him.
Q: But didn’t Mr. HillBuzz originally think you were TheBigotBasher?
A: Yes, he did. I have no idea how he came to that conclusion (nor can I figure out most of the conspiratorial nonsense he’s currently confabulating over at his blog), but early in the morning on Sunday January 24th he published a post at HillBuzz containing my full name in the title and several times in the body of the post, pictures of me, and my entire work history that he culled from my LinkedIn profile (which he also linked to). He also wrote about my wife, asking where she works and if “her employer know [sic] what her husband is doing,” even though, as I stated earlier, she has absolutely nothing to do with this blog or the blogosphere in general. Because he’s classy that way.
Q: What did you do?
A: I immediately sent an email via the HillBuzz email account demanding that he take the post down and threatening him with legal action if he didn’t do so.
Q: Did he take it down?
A: Not until I sent a second email to his personal email address. The post came down at approximately 4:15 AM after being online for at least three hours. Yes, I had to stay up all night and I was really sick.
Q: Was he apologetic?
A: Not at all. He just made more wild accusations.
Q: Do you have screenshots of the posts?
A: Hell yeah, I was taking screenshots and saving HTML the entire time the post was live. His readers, at his direction, were scouring the internet looking for info about me, including analyzing and writing about the LinkedIn profile of one of my former bosses and debating whether going after my wife was fair game.
Q: Have you heard from him since then?
A: Yes, he sent me a threatening email at 4:23 AM on Wednesday 1/27 that mentioned my wife several times and someone he thinks is my current employer twice. It included the lines “I look forward to meeting you both in person soon.” and “Please give my best to [my wife’s name].” Imagine the hysteria that would have resulted if I’d sent him an email with similar lines. I would instantly and loudly be branded a thug and/or a murderer.
Q: What does he want from you?
A: I’m really not sure. He seems to have come to the conclusion that I’m a master puppeteer orchestrating a mass attack on him that’s ultimately being masterminded by the DNC, OFA, the White House, the Chicago political machine and George Soros (bases=covered). Or something like that. He would like me to stop all of it (I’m just that powerful, apparently). But there’s nothing for me to stop as I’ve never accused him of racism using his real identity nor have I encouraged (or, I don’t know, ordered) others to do so. And, I mean, really, do you think David Axelrod, Tim Kaine or Soros would be dumb enough to associate with a blog called Rumproast? Hell, I’m embarrassed to be associated with a blog called Rumproast.
Q: Are you shitting me? He really thinks entities like the DNC and the White House are conspiring to “attack” him?
A: Yes, go read his blog. I’m not joking. Seriously. He thinks he may have enough evidence for a RICO case. He really, really does.
Q: Does anyone else believe him?
A: Unbelievably, yes. Several big rightwing bloggers like Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin and Robert Stacy McCain have been driving a lot of traffic his way. He’s also been getting a steady stream of traffic from several other conservative blogs including HotAir and RedState. Here, check out the Google blog search.
Q: Why is he doing this?
A: Who in the hell knows? Maybe that very prominent PayPal button and donation plea that are permanently lodged at the top of his blog has something to do with it. I’m guessing playing the victim really pulls in the sawbucks. It’s certainly garnered him a lot of traffic.
Q: He seems to think you run several different blogs. Do you?
A: Good Christ, one is enough and anyone around here can tell you I’m always complaining about just managing that. I have had zero involvement in the first incarnation of Stupid PUMAs at WordPress or the 2.0 version at StupidPUMAs.com. I haven’t so much as commented at either place and I removed Stupid PUMAs from my blog roll in the spring of ‘09 because I thought that blog had gone off the rails. Mr. HillBuzz also seems to think I could be the long-retired Wonk Hussein who quit blogging on Election Day of ‘08. Once again, that’s not me nor do I even get what Wonk, who stopped blogging nearly a year and half ago, has to do with anything related to what’s happening to Mr. HillBuzz in 2010. I’m also not Betty Cracker or Mrs. Polly. They are both wonderful women and co-bloggers here. Real live individual human beings who have also been subject to Mr. HillBuzz’s wild accusations. But I may be Ellie Light. The jury’s still out on that one.*
Q: Are you getting pissed off about this?
A: Yes. Very. Especially since this lowlife is making veiled threats against my wife. I HAVE DONE NOTHING TO HIM and she most certainly hasn’t. My wife is, obviously, pretty stressed out about all of this. I haven’t published Mr. HillBuzz’s name or a list of his employers. I wouldn’t go after his partner if he has one. I haven’t asked my readers to plow through his internet history and determine his home address.
Q: Are you seeking legal counsel?
A. Yes. Mr. HillBuzz was warned I would do so on Sunday if he continued to harass me. The email on Wednesday was the last straw. I’m currently reviewing this issue with a lawyer. And, no, that’s not a bluff.
Q: Anything else?
A: I think some prominent rightwing bloggers should read this and possibly contact me for more info about HillBuzz before they continue to promote that blog and Mr. HillBuzz’s reckless behavior. HillBuzz is pulling a scam on their readers and treating them like personal ATMs. There isn’t some grand, orchestrated conspiracy to take out Mr. HillBuzz or his blog. That just plain isn’t true. It’s just one out-of-control blogger from the UK, who I have no association with or control over, cross-posting crap about Mr. HillBuzz at a handful of sites. That’s it. End of story. And, unfortunately and inexplicably, I’m getting harassed and blamed for it—and, as a result, Mr. HillBuzz did something just as bad to me (and my wife), if not worse, than what TheBigotBasher has done to him. I’m grateful that some prominent conservative bloggers like Warner Todd Huston (“Publius” at the bottom of this comment thread) are seeing through HillBuzz’s dangerous cash-generating charade. I wish more of them would because Mr. HillBuzz is playing them all for chumps.
PLEASE NOTE: I am keeping the comments closed on this post because tempers are running pretty high over this mess and I don’t want it spiraling out of control more than it already has. I’ve already wasted a tremendous amount of time on this and I don’t want to babysit a potentially volatile comment thread. I may update this post with more info, but for now I’ve said all that needs to be said about this and all I can currently say about it. Comments open for as long as I can stand it. (1/30 9:30AM)
* Note to dull-witted online investigative goofballs: The Ellie Light thing is a joke. Settle down.
MORE (1/31): For the past week, encouraged by posts published by Mr. HillBuzz, his readers have continued to post (in the comments) information about private citizens, many of whom are being targeted due to truly sloppy and erroneous “investigative” work, including posting names, places of employment, home addresses and phone numbers. The Hillbuzzers have already terrorized a woman WHO HAS DONE NOTHING TO HILLBUZZ so much that she took down her long-dormant blog and is consulting a lawyer. Yesterday they tried to out my co-blogger Mrs. Polly WHO HAS DONE NOTHING TO HILLBUZZ by trolling her long-dormant blog Snarkopolitan looking for clues about her real identity and place of residence. Here is just one comment related to the “sleuthing”:
UPDATE: A sincere thanks to Thers at Eschaton (here, too), John Cole (and DougJ) at Balloon Juice, and Lambert from Correntewire for their support. We’ve banged heads with Corrente on a number of occasions, so their support is genuinely appreciated.
MORE: Let’s bake a crackpot casserole!
MORE (1/31 10:45PM): Just received confirmation that a police report was filed against Mr. HillBuzz earlier today. At the request of the person who filed the report, this is all the info I can provide you with at this time.
UPDATE (2/2 4PM): The ghouls/stalkers at HillBuzz are still “sleuthing” to try to find out Mrs. Polly’s real identity and exact address even though SHE HAS DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO MR. HILLBUZZ. Take a look at how low they’ll go:
They did something very similar while “sleuthing” Wonk Hussein. Ghouls.
Categories: Rumproast Related •