Patterico's Pontifications


Being Thankful

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:55 pm

Everyone should have a friend like my friend, alert reader hank k. I have known “hank” for about 10 years, and he has known Mrs. P. for almost as long.

He may have his faults, but here’s what I like about him: he reminds me to be thankful. He was in my office the other day and said: you know, you have the greatest wife in the world. And of all the guys in the world she could have picked in the world to marry, she picked you. Frankly, I think that’s amazing. Because you don’t really deserve her. You are really lucky.

He’s right. And it’s good to be reminded of these things. Often.

Annotated WuzzaDem: The Facts Behind the Greenwald Sock-Puppetry

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:17 am

This post sets out the evidence suggesting that Glenn Greenwald has engaged in sock-puppetry. With the permission of John from WuzzaDem, I will be relying heavily on the WuzzaDem sock puppets. Consider it an annotated version of John’s recent Insta-linked post.

Why this post? Because it ties it all together in a way that I haven’t seen before. And it’s another chance to see the WuzzaDem puppets again.

Keep in mind that sock-puppetry is, as Instapundit says, a “venial sin” (as opposed to a mortal sin). Yes, there is an element of dishonesty to it. But really, it’s mostly goofy and laughable — which is why the puppets are on hand to help me make the point.

As I noted the other day, Greenwald shared an IP address with sock puppets named “Ryan” (posting at Riehl World View), “Ellison” (posting at Ace of Spades), and “Thomas Ellers” (posting at Q&O).

Greenwald shared a second IP address with a sock puppet named “Wilson” (posting at Protein Wisdom).

I’ve since learned that 3 comments from a “Rick Ellensburg” at a February 2006 Right Wing Nuthouse post originate from the same service provider that Greenwald was using at the end of 2005 and in January 2006.

All of the IP addresses are based in Brazil, where Greenwald spends much of the year with his boyfriend. That fact led Ace to publish this excellent poster:


No actual people have come forward claiming to be Ellers, or Ellensburg, or Ellison, or Ryan, or Wilson. And in addition to IP address evidence, other factors point to the sock-puppets being Greenwald. Remember that the reason I checked the IP addresses to begin with is because someone (Ace’s commenter Shawn) saw similarities between the style and content of the sock-puppet comments and Greenwald’s style and content.

A thorough examination of the sock-puppet comments, which I perform below, shows that the sock-puppeteer is either Greenwald, or a person who is his carbon copy in personality, writing style and verbal tics. His English is every bit as competent as Greenwald’s own comment prose. The commenter is fully conversant with idiomatic expressions, including some that are specific to the blog-world.

Also, the commenter is quite Greenwald-like in his obsessive interest in (and encyclopedic knowledge of) Greenwald. He has a truly astounding knowledge of Greenwald’s posts, Greenwald’s updates, and Greenwald’s enemies. He knows all about Greenwald’s commenters — including which ones like Greenwald and which don’t, and which ones used to, but suddenly changed their minds.

Sounds kinda like me!

Under assumed names, the obsessive Greenwald fan simply helicopters into a comment thread. He defends Greenwald under an assumed name, and then helicopters out. Some of the names used by the commenter never appear on the Internet again.

Although Greenwald often comes on to comment threads to defend himself under his own name, Greenwald and his sock-puppets don’t seem to show up in the same threads. Apparently, when a same-IP commenter shows up to defend Greenwald, Greenwald himself doesn’t feel the need to defend himself in the same threads. The fact that people support him in those comment threads isn’t enough to keep him from commenting; only the excellent defense provided by the sock puppets is sufficient to keep Greenwald from participating. (Indeed, Greenwald and his sock-puppets have almost never appeared on the same blog — almost as if they thought that the IP addresses couldn’t be cross-checked if they posted on different blogs.)

Furthermore, as Ace has shown, it has happened that a suspected sock-puppet says things in comments one day, and these observations show up in Greenwald’s posts the next day.

Uh-oh. Did I really do that?

Finally, the sock-puppet commenter has been quite protective of Greenwald’s reputation, following critics from thread to thread to defend the good name of Glenn Greenwald. Yet, if we are to assume that he is a different person from Greenwald, such as Greenwald’s boyfriend, he has all of a sudden chosen to let Greenwald twist in the wind. The boyfriend, formerly so concerned with Greenwald’s reputation, is now leaving thousands believing Greenwald guilty of some silly sock-puppetry. Where is the sock-puppet’s regard for Greenwald’s reputation now?

Let’s get to the details, starting with the confirmed IP address matches.

    IP address

The posts from IP address began on July 13. Blogger Ace of Spades wrote a post about Glenn Greenwald, and his commenters were chiming in. WuzzaDem provides the visuals:

What’s up, homesock?

How’s it hangin’?

Hey, did you hear what Glenn Greenwald…

At 6:14 a.m. Pacific time (10:14 a.m. Brazil time), someone named Ellison (a name similar to suspected sock-puppets “Rick Ellensburg” and “Thomas Ellers”) left a comment on Ace’s site, in this thread. (Ace’s timestamps are on Central time; all times are Daylight Savings Time.) The comment read as follows:

Greenwald only has a New York Times Best Selling Book on the Bush Administration and its abuses of power. And he has one of the most-read blogs on the Interent, after 9 months of blogging. And Senators read from his blog at Senate hearings and his posts lead to front-page news stories in major newspapers.

Why would anyone think what he has to say matters? It’s not like anyone listens to him. It’s not like he’s Ace, or Jeff Goldstein, or Patterico, or Sister Toldjah or Glenn Reynolds, or someone who really matters.

Great advice, you super-important bloggers should only to each other and about each other. Don’t bother with anyone in the Left because if you ignore them, they’ll just go away.


Jealous, much?

The comment left by Ellison hits what I like to call the Four Pillars of Greenwald’s Greatness: 1) bestselling book; 2) 9-month rise to Internet mega-success; 3) Senators read from his blog; and 4) newspapers print front-page stories based on his blog. Remember the Four Pillars; you’ll see them again. Here is how John from WuzzaDem sums them up:

That’s right. I’ve written a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority, broken a story on my blog about wiretapping that led to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country, and Russ Feingold read from my blog during the Censure hearings.

Well, John got only three of the four. But John isn’t Glenn Greenwald. I bet Glenn Greenwald knows all Four Pillars of his own Greatness by heart. It is quite possible that, as he drifts off to sleep every night, he recites each of the Four Pillars in his head.

But it wouldn’t do for Greenwald to go around talking about the Four Pillars using his own name. It smacks too much of excessive self-adulation, which turns people off:

Don’t you think it’s a little unseemly to be bragging about yourself?

Greenwald is a smart guy, and he probably knows this. It’s much better to have “Ellison” say it:

For your information, Mr. Greenwald has written a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority, broken a story on his blog about wiretapping that led to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country, and Russ Feingold read from my blog…

Yeah, that sounds a lot better.

D’OH! Except for the “my” part!

Don’t you mean his blog?

Let’s fix that:

Right, right – Russ Feingold read from his blog during the Censure hearings.

Much, much better.

This “Ellison” character knew the names of many of Greenwald’s blogger critics at that particular point in time: Ace. Jeff Goldstein. Patterico. Sister Toldjah. Glenn Reynolds. He rattled them off with an amazing familiarity. [UPDATE 7-27-06 5:33 p.m.: Ace writes to note that all these people were specifically mentioned at the end of his post, so this point is not particularly compelling.]

All of these bloggers had recently published posts about Greenwald, and “Ellison” was familiar with them all. Evidently, Ellison was savvy about the Internet, knew who Greenwald’s critics were, knew how to get to their sites, and remembered all of their names as he constructed a blog comment.

Note that, while Greenwald often shows up in blog comments that criticize him, he didn’t show up in Ace’s comments. It is somewhat uncharacteristic of Greenwald not to show up in the comments of a post by a major blogger that criticizes him.


Hey! Are you criticizing me?!?!


And Ace’s post is brutal. It calls Greenwald “foaming and insipid,” and suggests that he is a no-name:

Not even Glenn Greenwald knows who the fuck who Glenn Greenwald is. The other day, he was buying some batteries at Radio Shack, and, per their procedures, they asked him his name. “I have no idea who I am,” he’s reported to have said.

That must have upset Greenwald, who (as we will soon see) read Ace’s post and the comments to it. After all, none of the Four Pillars of Greenwald’s Greatness apply to Ace! Greenwald had to have wanted to point this out. Yet, as Ace explains in his classic ironic fashion: “Like an e-Gandhi, [Greenwald] refused [to] respond to my verbal violence in any manner whatsoever.”


I like to remain above the fray, you dishonest hypocrite.


It is Greenwald’s great fortune that “Ellison” was able to do this for him. Unfortunately, he did it from Greenwald’s own IP address.

Remember this, because it’s a common theme: when the sock-puppets appear in a thread about Greenwald, Greenwald does not appear.

(One minor point: Ellison uses the term “super-important.” Greenwald says “super important” here.)

Seventeen minutes after Ellison’s comment at Ace’s site, Greenwald left this comment on my site under his own name. This comment used the same IP address as the Ellison comment. The comment was left at 6:31 a.m. Pacific time. In the comment, the famously civil Greenwald made a false accusation about my supposedly removing comments from my site (I didn’t), called me a “liar,” and called my comments obsessive, hypocritical, hysterical, petulant, and shrieking.


Good DAY, sir!


Greenwald then spammed the same comment to four other threads involving him, to make sure everyone coming to my blog to read about him would see it. The comments were left at 6:39 a.m., 6:40 a.m., 6:41 a.m., and again at 6:41 a.m.. Later, at 7:19 a.m., he left another comment on the first thread, again calling me a liar.


Good DAY, sir!


The spamming of the same comment on five different threads of mine shows something significant about Glenn Greenwald: he is obsessive about defending his reputation, even in blog comments.

That’s no big deal. A lot of bloggers are the same way, including me — and plenty of other bloggers I could name. I bet a few names are already popping into your head as I say this. You know who we are. If you criticize us on your blog, more likely than not we’ll pop up to defend ourselves.

It’s a personality trait. And Greenwald himself has that personality trait in spades. Say anything bad about him, and BOOM! there he is.


That is such a lie. You right-wingers are such dishonest hypocrites.



Hey, now that I think of it, he looks kind of like…


Back to the timeline:

Later that same day, Greenwald left two comments under his own name at this Villainous Company thread, at 11:13 a.m. Pacific (2:13 a.m. Eastern), and 12:15 p.m. Pacific (3:15 p.m. Eastern). (Villainous Company’s timestamps are on Eastern time.). In those comments, Greenwald gave himself a little pat on the back for his extraordinary civility, and criticized Cassandra for suggesting (in the aforementioned Ace of Spades thread) that he was a “whack job.”

This is how we know that he not only read the Ace of Spades post, which was brutal in its derision of Greenwald, but all the comments to Ace’s post as well. He actually talked to Cassandra about it that day. Yet, as noted above, Greenwald did not respond to Ace, leaving those duties to “Ellison.”

Four days later, on July 17, someone using the same IP address used it to leave three comments under the name “Ryan” on Dan Riehl’s blog.

I guess it’s up to me to set you straight about Glenn Green…

The first comment was on July 17, at 1:31 a.m. Pacific (Dan’s timestamps are on Eastern time):

What’s happening here is obvious. Instapundit is so full of frustration and anger towards Greenwald’s criticisms that he links to every loser and sicko who writes a single negative thing about Greenwald, no matter how extreme, deranged, bitter, etc.

So now they’re all trained that if they want attention and traffic from their master, they need to be good little attack poodles and write about Greenwald – the more personal and inane, the better. Insty has linked to 10 posts like this, at least, in the last week.

Dan needs attention and traffic – he doesn’t exactly have a lot of either – and this is the only way he can get it. Greenwald is his meal ticket.

I don’t even know why I’m talking to you – you’re not published. You all rely on me for traffic. Good DAY, sir.

Ryan, like all of the suspected sock-puppets, speaks colloquial English, like Greenwald. He sets off phrases with hyphens, just like Greenwald. He calls Instapundit “Insty” — a strange phrase for a Brazilian. He knows how many posts Instapundit has posted about Greenwald in the previous week. He also uses the terms “sicko” and “attack poodles.” The phrase “attack poodles” — an invention of James Wolcott — is a favorite of the American left in general, and of lefty bloggers in particular. It is far more likely to be used by a devoted blogger and blog reader than by someone who isn’t.

Again, these comments are something that Greenwald may well be thinking — but it wouldn’t do for them to be posted over his name. So they were posted from a different name — from Greenwald’s IP address.

The second “Ryan” comment was left on the same day, at 6:42 a.m. Pacific. It mocked Xrlq’s takedown of Greenwald, as well as Xrlq’s 200-visitor-a-day traffic. As evidence of the alleged weakness of Xrlq’s takedown, the comment cited a leftist satire web site that features a writer named “Retardo Montalban.” The “Retardo” web site is a Greenwald favorite which he had linked frequently in recent weeks, pointing specifically to a “Retardo” post about Jeff Goldstein as evidence of Goldstein’s allegedly violent rhetoric.

I do like that “Retardo” guy.

Coincidentally, so do I!

The next day, July 18, “Ryan” left a third comment, at 7:24 a.m. Pacific. This one is my favorite of all the sock-puppet comments. It responded to allegations regarding Greenwald’s career — something that “Ryan” at Greenwald’s IP address pretended not to know about. So “Ryan” used the device of “e-mailing” Greenwald, who “responded” in an e-mail that Ryan could then print:

I e-mailed Greenwald yesterday about this, pasted BumperStickerist’s accusations, and asked Greenwald if it was true. This is what I just received in response:

“Thanks for sending that.

I worked at Wachtell, Lipton as a Summer Associate after my second year at NYU, as a pre-Bar Associate during my entire third year at NYU and once I graduated, and then as a practicing Litigation Associate once I was admitted to the New York Bar.

Anyone who says that I did not practice law there after I passed the bar is lying — and deliberately so, I would think, since nobody who says such a thing could possibly have any basis for knowing that.

In any event, I can’t imagine what point anyone thinks they’re making. Wachtell is known to be the most selective law firm in the country. What point do they think they’re making, exactly?”

You people are morons, seriously. You run around claiming things without having any idea if there true. And then when you get exposed as liars, you slink away and repeat the next lie.

WuzzaDem explains it this way:

Well, I’ve never met the man personally, but I did recently e-mail him, and this is the reply I received:

Dear person I’ve never met personally: Thanks for your note. As a matter of fact I did write a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority, and I am indeed the person who broke a story on his blog about wiretapping that led…

Yeah, yeah, we get the idea. Listen, why don’t you just quit while you’re ahead. You’re really making an ass out of yourself.

Ryan, remember, posted from Greenwald’s IP address. To get the information he needed, he didn’t need to e-mail Greenwald. All he probably had to do was shout across the room to Greenwald — probably to a mirror.

Right about the same time, the same IP address was used numerous times by a Thomas Ellers in comments to this Q&O post.


Did someone mention Glenn Greenwald?


(Note that the name “Thomas Ellers” is similar to “Ellison” and “Rick Ellensburg.”) The Q&O post is from July 17; we don’t know exactly when the comments were left, and certain of the Q&O people have conspicuously refused to provide that information. There are no permalinks to the Ellers comments, but here they are:

I love how Franks claims not to know who Greenwald is and never reads his blog – “I really have no idea who Glenn Greenwald is” — but somehow also claims to knows that he’s just a “lefty-boy” who only writes “pretty much what you could read at the Democratic Party’s web site.” Wouldn’t you have to know who he is and read him to know that?


I love how you’re so dishonest and hypocritical!


As we will see below, beginning the comment with the phrase “I love how . . .” is a “tell.” That’s how Rick Ellensburg began his comment at Right Wing Nuthouse: “I love how you criticize the post for being too long and then criticize it for not including enough examples.” This is a phrase that Greenwald himself uses in a comment at Wizbang on July 4: “I love how Lorie Byrd thinks she knows more about the security concerns of Rumsfeld and Cheney than the Secret Service and Rumsfeld himself know.”

More Ellers from Q&O:

David S. used to go to Greenwald’s blog every day and write paeans to Greenwald that made Mona’s praise look mild by comparison. Then one day, Greenwald ignored a bunch of questions David S. was posing and David S. had a very bruised ego (“I know he has 250 comments every day, but I’m different and must not be ignored!”). Then he announced he would never come back and now goes around the Internet bad-mouthing Greenwald. From a fan to a hater, overnight.

Which brings up an interesting point: isn’t a lot of this hatred of Greenwald jealousy-based.


Jealous, much?


“Ellers” has an encyclopedic knowledge of Greenwald’s site, including Greenwald’s arguments, his commenters, and the content of his posts and updates. Evidently, “Ellers” has read Greenwald’s blog so religiously that he knows when “David S.” was a Greenwald fan — and when he turned against Greenwald, and why.

It’s the weirdest thing; Ellers has an amazing familiarity with Greenwald’s blog and with David S.’s history as a commenter . . . yet if Ellers ever commented on Greenwald’s blog, I can’t find any evidence of it. I assume that if any of his defenders can, they’ll let me know.

The comment continues:

The Bestselling book, all the media attention, the overnight blog success, etc?


Do I really have to recite all Four Pillars?


The comment continues:

I’d be the first to say his style can be bombastic and he can be overly aggressive. But nobody denies that he’s very smart, and among liberal bloggers at least, very moderate and rational in his view, and unusually willing to engage debate. So it’s hard to figure out what there could be about the guy that generates such strong emotions.

Here Franks want to pop up out of the blue and announce that he doesn’t care about Greenwald, and does so by creating yet another post with his name in the title and then calls him a series of names. Not exactly the sign of someone who doesn’t care about Greenwald. So what’s really going on here?


Are you obsessed with me??


Recall, by the way, that Ellers’s theory — that any criticism of Greenwald is based on jealousy — is a theme we saw in comments from “Ryan” using the same IP address. This is not the first time this theory will emerge, and it won’t be the last.

Q&O commenters try to take on Ellers:


You are aware that Mr. Greenwald has written a New York Times bestselling book on executive…


We know, we know. Listen, why don’t you just tell “Mr. Greenwald”…

But Ellers persists:

From Shaughnessy’s blog:

I am a great admirer of Glenn Greenwald. I think he is constructively trying to direct the power of the internet into public affairs and politics. Further, having just endured the Sunday talk shows, I am affirmed in my opinion that the quality of debate is significantly higher in this blog than that offered by the TV news outfits. Putting those two things together, I think Glenn has embarked on a worthy undertaking in trying to enlist grass-roots internet support to impact politics and political changes.

And another post:

You can find my comments at Glenn Greenwald’s blog, Unclaimed Territory. Mr. Greenwald, in my opinion, runs the most respectful, thoughtful, and intelligent politico-legal blog in the whole dang blogosphere.

I will add this. I believe that blogs like Mr. Greenwald’s demonstrate the awesome democratic potential of the internet. Such innovations are how we, as a united people, can proceed.

But today:

I could not care less what Glenn Greenwald thinks or says.

Tell me there isn’t something going on here on an emotional level in terms of the response to Greenwald.


I’m get — I mean, Mr. Greenwald is getting to you! You can’t respond to the substance!


and this:

Oh, as for Greenwald’s “best-seller,” (self-decribed as such on his website, just above the review by the high-school girl in the Mercury News) well here’s a free tip for you, Mr. Ellers: Don’t believe everything you read.

Can you elaborate on this accusation? I’ve clicked over to the links I’ve seen on his site and saw the book, right there, on the Times Best seller list on several different weeks. Are those pages fabricated? Has his book not really been on the Times’ Best Seller list like he claims, or at #1 on Amazon? If so, this is a big story, so I’m interested in your support for this accusation.


I do too have . . . I mean, Mr. Greenwald does too have a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority!


Let’s move on to the next IP address — because Greenwald and the sock-puppets share two of them.

    IP address

Kevin at Wizbang has confirmed for me that Greenwald used IP address to leave a comment at Wizbang on July 4, here, that begins: “I love how Lorie Byrd thinks she knows more about the security concerns of Rumsfeld and Cheney than the Secret Service and Rumsfeld himself know.” As we already saw, the “I love how” language is characteristic of suspected sock-puppet Thomas Ellers. As we will see, it is also characteristic of suspected sock-puppet Rick Ellensburg.

On July 8, Greenwald posted at Confederate Yankee under his own name, in this thread, using the same IP address. As the civil Mr. Greenwald is wont to do when he wanders onto conservatives’ blogs, he called Confederate Yankee a hypocrite: “It’s difficult to put into words what a hypocrite Confederate Yankee is.”


I’ll give it a shot: you, sir, are a HYPOCRITE.


The same IP address was in evidence on July 12, when Greenwald left three comments on my site under that IP address. The first was left at 5:01 a.m. Pacific. This was the comment in which he told the following lie about me: “You certainly were vigilant in railing against those irrlevancies, even though you’re way too busy to notice or condemn any of the far more significant, vile rhetoric pouring forth regularly from the higher echelons on the Right — a glaring inconsistency which, incidentally, was the principal point of my post.”


Good DAY, sir!


Greenwald left two more comments on my site using this IP address on July 12: this one at 5:10 a.m. Pacific time, and this one at 6:54 a.m.

Enter “Wilson,” later that evening. It’s a name made famous as the name of a ball that Tom Hanks talked to while stranded on a deserted island.

Are you talking about Glenn Greenwald?

(h/t Pablo.) It’s a good name for someone who’s talking to himself. Anyway, on Jeff Goldstein’s site, using the same IP address as the above comments by Greenwald, “Wilson” said:

What I don’t quite understand is, why do so many, almost all on the extreme Left, consider Greenwald some kind of great constitutional authority.

Lets see, a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority. Breaks a story on his blog about wiretapping that leads to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country. Russ Feingold reads from his blog during the Censure hearings.

Maybe that has something to do with why. Any conservative bloggers with credentials like that? All compiled in 9 months or however long its been since he started blogging?

Jeffy’s funny poems are great and everything, and im sure your anonymous lawyer friends are really smart and all, but hard to say they compare to those things.

In other words . . .

For your information, Mr. Greenwald has written a New York Ti —

No, wait — wrong puppet . . .

For your information, Mr. Greenwald has written a New York Times bestselling book on executive authority, broken a story on his blog about wiretapping that led to front-page stories on most major newspapers in the country, and Russ Feingold read from my, uh, his blog…

There are the Four Pillars emphasized by Ellison and (as to three of the four) Ryan above, under another IP address shared with Greenwald: the best-selling book, the front-page articles, Senators reading from the blog, and the meteoric rise of the blog in 9 months.

By the way, “Jeffy” seems like odd terminology to use for someone unfamiliar with Goldstein’s blog. Of course, Greenwald is very familiar with Goldstein, having engaged in numerous debates with him previously.

The final suspected sock-puppet, Rick Ellensburg, shared an address space with Greenwald on the Brazilian Telemar Norte ISP in late 2005 and early 2006. This is based on Greenwald’s having posted comments under that address space on numerous blogs in early 2006, including Protein Wisdom in January 2006. Ellensburg’s comments were posted in February 2006.

Meet Mr. Ellensburg:

I guess it’s up to me to set you straight about Glenn Green…

Knock it off, already. We know it’s you.

He looks just like that guy who was just here.

I’m sure I don’t know who you’re talking about. None of the other puppets have these ultra-cool Groucho glasses.

Oh, brother.

The name “Rick Ellensburg” is, of course, similar to “Thomas Ellers” and “Ellison.” And the writing style and content is remarkably similar to that of Greenwald. Let’s look at one of Ellensburg comments in this post:

I love how you criticize the post for being too long and then criticize it for not including enough examples.

I also love how you criticize it for not having enough examples and then ignore most of the examples Greenwald gives.

I love how much I sound like Glenn Greenwald!

Ellensburg’s comment continues:

The article about Barr makes clear that the whole room hated Barr for criticizing Bush, not just one imbecile.

And if you’re not familiar with the way in which even life-long conservative Senators are no longer conservative when they jump out of line, it’s only because you don’t read the papers. Should he have included every instance of that in his single post?

And Michelle Malkin already advocates internment camps. It’s hardly “baseless” to think she would advocate new ones.

And you need to learn to read. Greenwald said that Goldstein and Goldberg would likely support far more extreme measures than the ones already revealed, but that they would likely NOT be without limits at all as to the powers they’d be willing to give Bush (unlike Malkina and Hinderaker). You mock that statement as some sort of contradiction. Do you really not understand the difference between advocating further powers but not advocating absolute powers? Apparently not.

And they just had a conservative event and the whole place erupted in cheers when Ann Coulter urged violence on ragheads and called for the deaths of liberal supreme court justices and bill clinton. Is that conservative to you or a cult?

And he said it’s not just the excess spending but the total lack of distrust in the federal government, as shown by the huge powers they want to put in Bush – FISA, torture, renderings, Guantanomo, etc. Where is the distrust of Government?

And Bush wants gov’t in every aspect of our lives – Schiavo, gay marriage. Everything is federalized, nothing left to the states. This is all in his post; you ignored it.

Ultimately, you’re just oversensitive. He didn’t say all people who support Bush are slaves and cult members. Many are. You acknowledge that yourself in your own post.

Ellensburg is certainly familiar with Greenwald, his blog, and his positions. Yet I can find no evidence that he ever commented on his blog.

I’m a lurker!

Describing conservatism (and respect for Bush) as a “cult” is a major Greenwald theme. For example:

Conservatism in some circles really has morphed into The Cult of George Bush, which is why any criticism of the Leader — even when the criticism is based on conservative principles — is deemed to be blasphemous to the Cause.

or this:

In many ways, over this time period, the GOP more closely resembled a cult than a political party, and the cohesiveness of the cult was centered around Personality — a glorification of, and blind reverence for, George W. Bush.

So? It is a cult!

It sure is!

And my goodness, these arguments are certainly rather U.S.-centric for a guy posting from a Brazilian ISP:

And he said it’s not just the excess spending but the total lack of distrust in federal government, as shown by the huge powers they want to put in Bush – FISA, torture, renderings, Guantanomo, etc. Where is the distrust of Government? And Bush wants gov’t in every aspect of our lives – Schiavo, gay marriage. Everything is federalized, nothing left to the states.

Ellensburg, whose name is (like all the sock puppets) very American-sounding (and not very Brazilian-sounding), seems mightily concerned with things that affect the U.S. He knows all about the issues facing the U.S., including Schiavo, gay marriage, etc. Indeed, his call for distrust in government is a view that is largely idiosyncratic to the U.S.

Ellensburg shares some other verbal tics and subject-matter obsessions with Greenwald. Another Ellensburg comment reads:

And one other thing – in his update, he provides an example of conservatives who HATED FISA under Clinton and thought that eavesdropping on Americans, even with judicial oversight, was a dangerous threat to freedom.

Now, under Bush, conservatives not only love eavesdropping, but think that it’s fine that Bush is eavesdropping with no judicial oversight.

To recap:

Conservatives under Clinton – “eavesdropping with judicial oversight = fascism”

Conservatives under Bush – “eavesdropping with no judicial oversight = OK”

if you’re going to argue Greenwald’s point, you should argue the points, instead if pretending he had none.

To recap: stop PRETENDING that I’m not great!

Ace has shown that Greenwald absolutely adores the “To recap:” construction. Ace pulled six examples from just one month on Greenwald’s blog before Ace got bored with the exercise. In the same post, Ace showed how Ellensburg and Greenwald both love to set off phrases with hyphens.

Well, so do I (with dashes, not hyphens). Each point by itself is not damning — but it becomes so when you look at all these points in their totality.

In Ellensburg’s next comment, he manages to predict Greenwald’s exact arguments for the next day:

Even funnier – looks like Andrew Sullivan agrees with Greenwald, since he took the paragraphs you quoted and called it the “Quote of the Day,” saying Greenwald “diagnosed the situation accurately”:

This is pretty good evidence that more than just Brent Bozell has called Sullivan a “liberal” for failing to lick George Bush’s ass enough.

And believe me, dogs know about licking ass!

As Ace has shown in this post, Greenwald’s post the next day cites Sullivan’s praise (go here and scroll to February 13):

Ironically, Sullivan, shortly after Moran posted this, took the precise paragraphs quoted above [Greenwald’s quotes, the ones Moran had attacked] and made them the “Quote of the Day” on his site, concluding that my post “diagnos[es] the situation accurately.”

Many other Ellensburg points end up in Greenwald’s post, including 1) the way that long-time conservatives are no longer considered conservatives if they don’t worship Bush; 2) conservatives don’t seem to be for limited government any more; and 3) the bloggers who criticized his post didn’t respond to his argument that conservatives had changed from “angry opposition to warrant-based FISA eavesdropping” under Clinton to “the stirring defense of warrantless, oversight-less eavesdropping now engaged in proudly by the Bush Administration.”

I didn’t even get a hat tip!

[UPDATE: Ace calls this “PREgurgitation — and it’s a good expression for what is happening here.]

Greenwald cites numerous commenters in the Right Wing Nuthouse thread — but the one commenter who so presciently predicted the content of Greenwald’s post, Rick Ellensburg, didn’t merit as much as a whisper of thanks for his cogent arguments on Greenwald’s behalf.

Because, as Ace says, you tip your hat to other people — not to yourself.

Greenwald’s post the next day is so Ellensburgian, he even uses the “So, to recap” terminology!

Ace has also documented that, despite Ellensburg’s extensive knowledge of Greenwald’s posts and arguments, Ellensburg has appeared on the Internet only once, to defend Greenwald in this one situation.

And, as I said, Ellensburg’s IP address comes from the same address space Greenwald was using just one month before, in numerous comments left in a January Protein Wisdom thread.

Wow. Even I’m convinced. Rick Ellensburg sure does sound a lot like me!


What does all of this show?

Greenwald has all but admitted that the sock-puppet comments are coming from his IP address. But he has denied that he made the comments, and insinuates (but does not affirmatively claim) that it is someone else in the household — presumably his boyfriend.

Some have argued that it is more likely that Greenwald’s boyfriend posted the sock-puppet comments, and not Greenwald.


He’s right, you know. I read that at Wizbang!


More likely?!?!

I have just demonstrated at great length that the sock-puppet commenter shares several factors with Glenn Greenwald. As Ace says:

Yes, yes, yes, I know… it just so happens that Glenn Greenwald has been blessed to be living with a perfect Spirit Twin who spends all of his day doing what is actually Glenn Greenwald’s job (i.e., defending Glenn Greenwald, recruiting for the cult of Glenn Greenwald), and also seems to do this while Glenn Greenwald is known to be active on the Internet, and is fully committed to, and fully conversant with, all of Glenn Greenwald’s arguments and beliefs, and furthermore does not merely content himself to briefly tout his lover’s accomplishments, but rather argues all of his points in full on his behalf, and furthermore is capable of mimicing his lover’s writing style, with its various gramatical and word-choice tics, at will.

For the sake of amusement, let’s assume this to be true for one moment. Assume that Greenwald’s boyfriend is just as dogged in defending Greenwald as he is. Just as prone to make the same points in idiomatic, blog-centric English. Just as apt to frequent the blogs that criticize Greenwald. Just as familiar with Greenwald’s arguments, posts, updates, and commenters — including facts about when Greenwald’s commenters liked Greenwald, when they stopped, and why. Just as rabid in the utter fanaticism for defending Greenwald that Greenwald feels himself. And just happens to have landed on all the comment threads that Greenwald himself overlooked.

If that’s really true, then the boyfriend’s fetish about protecting Greenwald’s reputation appears to have landed Greenwald in hot water.

Wouldn’t you think the boyfriend would step forward to take the heat?

The boyfriend was fanatically loyal before, spitting out the Four Pillars of Glenn’s Greatness to anyone who would listen, because Glenn’s Reputation Must Be Defended.

Now, Glenn’s reputation is taking as big a hit as it’s probably ever taken — all due to the boyfriend’s actions. Yet the boyfriend, previously so rabidly defensive about Greenwald’s reputation, is now suddenly silent.

Is this believable?

It’s much more reasonable to believe Greenwald was using sock puppets, got caught, and lied about it.

If this boyfriend is so obsessive about protecting his boyfriend Greenwald from personal attacks, why is he letting him twist in the wind now?

Why does this matter? Let me quote from an earlier post of mine, about the sock-puppetry of Michael Hiltzik:

Why does this matter — or does it? After all, I’m obviously not objecting to use of pseudonyms by bloggers and blog commenters. How could I be? I mean, you’re reading a post by someone who calls himself “Patterico.” And, while I made the decision to make my real name public long ago (it’s Patrick Frey), many of my commenters use pseudonyms. So what’s the big deal?

Here’s the thing. I am actually a strong defender of people’s right to comment anonymously, or pseudonymously. I myself was semi-pseudonymous for the first several months of this blog. But I don’t think that commenters should use pseudonyms to pretend to be something or somebody they aren’t.

Speaking of Hiltzik, it’s worth saying a word about motive. Some have argued that there is no reason for Greenwald to resort to sock puppets, since he posts under his own name.

Talk to former blogger Michael Hiltzik. He admitted his sock-puppetry (though he initially denied it, until I posted irrefutable evidence of it). And Hiltzik was not shy about expressing strong opinions under his own name — even quite rude and confrontational ones.

In Greenwald’s case, the motive was even more obvious: there were things he wanted to say that would be unseemly to publish under his own name. So he did it under a different name. Simple as that.

Can you explain it any better, Mr. Greenwald?

To recap:

I love how it’s super-important for bloggers – who are part of the cult of Bush and act like good little attack poodles – to continually ignore these facts, which I learned by e-mailing myself:

Greenwald has a New York Times bestselling book. And he’s broken front-page newspaper stories. And senators read from his blog in Senate hearings. And in just 9 months, he has become a super-blogger.

So good DAY, sir!

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