Patterico's Pontifications

7/10/2012

Salon Does Damage Control for Brett Kimberlin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:46 am

Alex Pareene is a former writer for Gawker. He once published a post defending Gawker’s decision to publish emails from Sarah Palin, including Bristol Palin’s phone number. His post that featured a photoshopped picture of Michelle Malkin’s head on someone else’s bikini-clad body at Manzanar.

He wrote a later post assuring readers that his mom approved of publishing Palin’s emails. He thinks it’s funny to joke about Michelle Malkin and ping-pong balls. Pareene now works for Salon, where he has to pretend to be a Serious Journalist.

This is who Salon chose to publish today’s piece that gives cover to Brett Kimberlin under the guise of being objective.

Pareene did not bother to contact me for the piece, and he does not say that he attempted to contact any other victim of Kimberlin’s besides “charming neo-Confederate blogger Robert Stacy McCain.” But he did interview Kimberlin, and his post has many self-serving quotes from Kimberlin, complaining about being “Swift-boated” and about how this is all politics. And Pareene gets numerous facts flat-out wrong. For example, after describing my SWATting, Pareene says:

Erickson’s story was similar: Someone claimed there had been a shooting (this time accidental) at his home, and sheriff’s deputies showed up to investigate.

This displays Pareene’s lack of research, because the shooting reported by Erickson’s SWATter was most certainly not “accidental.” In fact, the caller said he had shot his wife, and ended the call by saying he was going to go shoot someone else. Erickson initially reported that the caller had said the shooting was accidental, based on a misstatement by one of the officers who responded to the scene. But the call has since been played — on CNN, no less — and Pareene apparently hasn’t bothered to listen to it.

I guess he was too busy playing stenographer to Brett Kimberlin.

Pareene also says:

The SWAT-ing accusations seem particularly irresponsible, as their connection to Kimberlin is incredibly flimsy. The first victim, Mike Stack, had not, as far as I can tell, written about Kimberlin at all. When Patterico was SWAT-ed, it had been months since he’d written about Kimberlin. Kimblerin [sic] claims he’d never heard of Erick Erickson and had no clue where he lived.

But most importantly, even if you don’t believe a single word Kimberlin says, no one has ever presented any evidence, at all, that Kimberlin is behind the “SWAT-ing” — at this point, they mainly insinuate it really hard. Or they claim that one of his allies is responsible. Or something. (Erick Erickson said he suspected it was a member of Kimberlin’s “fan club.”) Patterico accused two Kimberlin “associates” of being responsible, though he doesn’t even have evidence that they’re “associates.”

Actually, I have accused nobody. I have presented evidence. And the idea that Neal Rauhauser is not an associate of Brett Kimberlin’s is hard to square with Brett Kimberlin calling Rauhauser an “associate” in court, or Rauhauser showing up to numerous different court proceedings involving Kimberlin, handing him documents during the hearings, and such.

Is there any mention of Rauhauser’s obsession with Mike Stack, myself, and Weinergate? Any mention of the fact that Rauhauser wrote Stack at the same wrong address used by the SWATter? Any mention of the connections between Rauhauser and the “Gaped Crusader,” who threatened to “out” Aaron’s identity before it happened, published my home address, published a picture of a nude man claiming it was me, and cyberstalked several of us in other ways?

No. And Pareene never asked me about any of it.

Note how Pareene describes Kimberlin’s decision to “out” Aaron Walker:

This Walker guy is a lawyer and minor (formerly pseudonymous) conservative blogger. He helped out a guy Kimberlin was suing — a DailyKos comment troll, as best as I can tell — with some legal advice. Kimberlin then subpoenaed Comcast and Google to get Walker’s real name and tried to compel Walker to testify, in what Walker says was an attempt to get him to stop blogging about Kimberlin and his past. According to Kimberlin, he was merely seeking Walker’s real name because he thought Walker had threatened his life, or had incited others to violence against him.

Actually, Kimberlin claimed that he had wanted to call Walker as a witness in a contempt hearing. When Walker showed up to that contempt hearing, Kimberlin didn’t call him. Meaning Kimberlin just wanted Aaron’s identity to hassle him. When Aaron accused him of trying to get his identity, according to Aaron, Kimberlin smiled and didn’t deny it, instead boasting that he had gotten Aaron’s identity. The alleged incitement by Walker of violence against Kimberlin did not occur for several more months. But why let facts get in the way of a good narrative?

Pareene says:

Similarly, while Walker says he’s lost his job because of his bosses’ fear of Kimberlin and his criminal past, Kimberlin says Walker lost his job because when his real name was revealed (in court, by Kimberlin), Walker was forced to reveal to his bosses that he was behind a website devoted to cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. “I never contacted his work or anything,” Kimberlin says.

Kimberlin did, however, contact Walker’s local law enforcement and claim that he was concerned that Walker was in danger because of Kimberlin’s decision to out all of Aaron’s personal information. Kimberlin apparently gave Walker’s information to that detective, resulting in a visit by the detective to Aaron’s workplace. The detective was sympathetic to Aaron but the visit spooked the bosses, who were concerned about the possibility that a convicted bomber might show up at their place of business. I talked to someone at Aaron’s HR department about this, and she said nobody wanted to work the reception desk out of fear over Kimberlin. Also, somehow a Muslim group ended up contacting the workplace and threatening to picket and take other action if Aaron wasn’t fired. (He already had been.) The idea that Kimberlin had nothing to do with that, I submit, is a stretch.

Pareene might have learned this if he had talked to anybody but Kimberlin.

There are numerous uncritical references and links to the Breitbart Unmasked site — but no hint that Breitbart Unmasked has been used, for example, to publish personal information about one of my commenters, such as divorce records and a photo of the commenter’s home from Google Street View.

Pareene describes Kimberlin’s victim’s as people who “receive a great deal of joy from pretending to be the victims of unprovoked and terrible persecution.” Ask Aaron Walker how much joy he received when he and his wife lost their jobs, he was arrested, and spent money defending against frivolous actions from Kimberlin. It was not “joy” I experienced when Kimberlin’s site published photos of my house and my address; when he filed a state bar complaint against me; when he attempted to file frivolous criminal charges against me with the California Attorney General and the stalking unit of my office; or when he complained to my office numerous times about me.

And so on and so forth.

Pareene mentions Kimberlin’s main defense to the bombings — that some of the witnesses were hypnotized — without mentioning the damning evidence against him, such as his possession of timers and explosive materials consistent with those used in the bombings. Nowhere is there a mention of the wrongful death judgment obtained by Carl DeLong’s widow, or the fact that Kimberlin refused to pay it while collecting over a million dollars from the Tides Foundation, Barbra Streisand, and other liberal marks.

There is so much more I could talk about, but I have to get to work.

This piece pretends to be journalism, but it isn’t. It’s cover to Brett Kimberlin, pure and simple. Pareene repeats Kimberlin’s allegations and doesn’t bother to talk to any of his victims.

It’s Gawker-style “journalism,” at Salon.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

UPDATE: Aaron showed up to a contempt hearing and not a damages hearing. The error has been corrected.


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