May 1, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Sayre bloggers take offense

One paragraph from my blog post yesterday began "I was taken aback by the hostile reaction of some pro-Sayre bloggers to the endorsements received by Hanger." Today I was really taken aback to see how much outrage was sparked by one or two innocuous comments I wrote. One thing is clear: You do not want to get on the Sayre bloggers' bad side. Let's go to the reactions, one by one:

Alton Foley, one of the pro-Sayre bloggers with an open identity, took the time to post a comment on my blog (a rare event), but violated my cardinal rule of using polite language. It's too bad, as he seems like an interesting character, from having read his blog off and on. For the record, the fact that I aspire to high standards does not mean that I am an "elitist," or that I look on others with disdain. To each his own. Furthermore, I do not have contempt for Republicans who are working for Sayre. As I wrote on April 19, "

I should state that I have no problem with those in the Republican ranks who are working to elect the political novice Scott Sayre, just as I have no problem with those who sincerely object to the Bush administration's policy in Iraq.

But I'm afraid Alton went way outside the norms of propriety in accusing me of "Chutzpah Squared" and "hypocrisy," even casting doubt on my academic credentials. He also revealed the contents of a personal e-mail message in his blog post, which is very bad form, to put it mildly. As for my application to join the Old Dominion Blog Alliance earlier this year, I never raised a peep about the unusual rejection, in stark contrast to other bloggers I know who have protested loudly about getting excluded from this or that blog roll or aggregator. "Sour grapes"? Not me.

"Johnathan Maxfield" got carried away with his retort, badly misconstruing my remarks. All I can say is, I did not mean to be "disparaging" pro-Sayre bloggers, just that I won't pay very much attention to the ones who hide behind pseudonyms.

Scott White weighed in, saying my blog is "weird." Guilty as charged! (It comes from taking Apple's "Think Different" slogan a little too seriously, I suppose.) Scott cited one passage I wrote, but it was not based on the paragraph from the New Dominion article he cited, but rather from the following paragraph, which began, "'We have a situation right now where we have several chairs who have agendas of their own,' said Hanger."

For the sake of balance, however, I probably should have mentioned Sen. Hanger's remark (which Scott cited) about party officers who do "somewhat thankless jobs that we kind of hand over to anybody who says they want them..." First, there is a lot of truth in that, as I can attest from personal experience, and second, it is not the sort of thing that should be said openly.

I was surprised that Alton and Scott thought taking a screen shot of my blog post would be necessary, since no one has ever accused me of altering previously posted text. I adhere to a clear set of blog practices, occasionally correcting misspellings and factual errors, in which case I use [brackets] to indicate it. Clicking on the permalink for each blog post shows a time stamp at the bottom to show when the last change (if any) was made.

I was also cited by the lefty C-ville wunderkind Waldo Jaquith, who spotted some Rose-breasted grosbeaks today. So did I, yesterday.

Frankly, I didn't think my reference to "anonymous or dubious" identities would hit such a raw nerve. What are those people so sensitive about? It brings us back to my blog post on February 11 which listed my top criteria for assessing which blogs deserve the most credibility. Right at the top is "Open identity (not anonymous)." If a person has good reason for using a pseudonym, that's one thing, but misrepresenting one's own background is grounds for banning a given blog, as far as I'm concerned. And, yes, Alton, I am a doctor.