Josh Trevino (a.k.a. Tacitus, a.k.a. The Marble Douchebag), in the conclusion to one of his patented ‘I’ll Concentrate On The Mote In Your Eye If You’ll Please Ignore The Huge Pole Up My Ass’ diatribes (perfectly summarized here), states:
One closing note: when the major left-bloggers — including but not even nearly limited to Hamsher — began their campaign against the nonpartisan, nonideological Online Integrity, one major excuse given (besides the Ackbar thesis) was that the blogospheric left is more than capable of policing its own â€” and does so with alacrity. So, Georgia10, Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller, Stirling Newberry, Oliver Willis, dKos editors, et al.: let’s see it. Let’s see the left enforce some basic decency in its own ranks. I, for one, have the greatest confidence in your integrity and your word.
Now let’s set aside the fact that Tacitus’s demand for decency from the Left was written in ostensible defense of a true shithead, Jeff Goldstein, a man who deserves most everything he gets — on the grounds that, well, he earned it after he seriously threatened another blogger with sexual assault (scroll down). Let’s also set aside the fact that most of the bile in Tacky’s post comes from his obsession with Jane Hamsher, who had the temerity to call a spade a spade in characterizing Goldstein as psycho. Hamsher had already earned Tacky’s eternal enmity when her muckraking skillz helped usher-out the gloriously brief Ben Domenech era at the Washington Post‘s website — Domenech being Tacitus’s great and true pal and all. Tacky’s also still probably pissed about this, one of those great hoisted-by-your-own-petard moments that gives delight to those of us who like to see the intolerably pompous cut down to size. Let’s set all that aside (I promise to deal with such things comprehensively in a future post). What I want to address now is Tacky’s Online Integrity scheme that he’s using to bash the Left with.
It’s a tool. Period. Which makes sense, for a tool, Tacitus, authored — or helped in authoring — it. Chris Bowers writes on its uselessness with regard to its purported intent:
I have no plans to out the identity of anonymous bloggers. I have no intention of posting the private, personal information of anyone online. I am definitely not going to report people who post on my site to their employers. If I post information about someone and they feel it is inaccurate, I will post a correction, and respect the wishes of the person in question. To my knowledge, I have never acted in contrast to these principles. If I have, point me to the instance, and I will gladly correct it. I have even banned several people form MyDD because they did not follow these principles. The reason I act this way is because I believe it is the right way to act. However, I am also not going to sign a pledge declaring that I will continue acting in a manner that is obviously the ethically right way to act, just because a bunch of bloggers are shoving that pledge in my face.
Why should anyone have to sign a pledge saying that will they act in a manner that is obviously the right way to act? Why have so many people signed this pledge even though they still link to people who have obviously broken that pledge, and even though part of the pledge indicates that “violations of these principles should be met with a lack of positive publicity and traffic.” What purpose does this pledge really serve? Little Green Footballs already used the pledge as a means to indicate that those who did not sign the pledge are somehow lacking in moral integrity. And then they promptly removed themselves from the list of co-signers anyway.
Chris also writes on its utility with regard to its tactical (real? original?) intent:
I have a very strong sense that pledges of this nature are used to tear people down who refuse to sign them, rather than to uphold the principles of whatever the pledge may claim to be upholding. I do not need the online ethics police to tell me how to act ethically online, and I certainly do not need the online ethics police to imply that I am unethical for not signing their “pledge.” Isn’t that the real implication here–that I, or whoever else refuses to sign their pledge, isn’t into “online integrity?” For that reason, isn’t this pledge a means to try and de-legitimize anyone who does not sign the pledge? I think it is, and that is why my name will never appear on the list of co-signers. Ever.
Bowers called it right. But then his suspicion, almost immediately confirmed, was just common sense: the people who push this thing are congenitally despicable. More specifically terming their pathology: they are hypocrites, and I’m not just talking about Michelle Malkin; I’m also talking about the guy who would:
[Hope] that mentioning where I teach several times embedded in his trademark vacuous pomposity might cause people not to notice that he didn’t have a substantive argument.
[Attempt a] reprehensible Horowitzian intimidation.
And who’d write such things as:
Don Quijote, let it be noted that you were banned from my site for publicly mocking a dead American soldier in Iraq. You are utterly without honor, and I find your whining implying that you were booted merely for dealing out “rebuttals or disagreements” — to say nothing of your braying insults — particularly egregious in light of my agreement to protect you from possible retaliation from your employer on this matter. Shame.
Which was rightly seen as blackmail — and no less so because it was fig-leafed with the flag and peculiarly (but characteristically, given the source) written in a stilted tone stinking of Klingon phrases best left to the Comic Book Guys of the world.
And (also in his own words),
Hmm. Looks like Billmon has deleted my post replying to him above. Probably because I used his real last name.
The final two quotes come from comments to this post at Billmon’s. The author is Tacitus, a Tool who can’t live up to the standards of his own pet tool that he presumes to chastise Jane Hamsher and Lindsey Beyerstein with.
PS — It’s nice to see Tacky is still in Star Trek mode. From his post at Pork Swords Crossed:
So there: as Hikaru Sulu said, “Now we’ve given them something else to shoot at.”
Right. Which reminds me of this:
The fly in your ointment, Tacitus, as is readily apparent, is that you are, in fact, a bloviating reactionary, intent upon extracting, as much, partisan lynching, as possible. Your motives, are not, as well hidden, as you would think. In fact, they are, as obvious and nauseating, as your William, Shattner, style of amateur prose.
**Update from comments: Another instance of Tacky‘s hypocrisy.
Also: As a Tacitus-troll prophylactic, I’ve corrected a few typos.
*** Another update: Tacky apologizes to his past victims Billmon and spartikus, because he wants us to take his pet tool seriously. Not feeling particularly charitable to such a tooth-extracted apology, I think he’s more concerned about preserving the future partisan-hackish utility of his OI toy than he is contrite over his past atrocities.