April 11, 2004

Internet Discontent

WE HAVE SPENT a good portion of this Easter Morning catching up on our favorite blogs as opposed to parking ourselves in a church pew for an hour-and-a-half. So instead of having a religious message -- as we would prefer on Easter Sunday -- we shall instead stoop down to the level of the secular; and look at a particular bit of nastiness making its way around the Internet.

Specifically, we refer to this whole blow-up between Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs and Kathryn Cramer of ... um, Kathryn Cramer. Now it appears that Mr Johnson has taken much issue with some of Mrs Cramer's words, and has linked to them accordingly; and Mrs Cramer has pointedly taken exception to the fact some of Mr Johnson's readers are a bit nasty in their remarks. Arguably, a couple of these remarks are little more than death threats; and as such things are relatively subjective, we can say that Mrs Cramer may feel a bit unnerved by it all.

Given all this, we would say it is particularly unfortunate that some persons fail to see the importance of expressing opinion in a civil matter. So we would say to such people: kindly grow up, would you? You're not in the eighth grade any more. Quit it. And since you're not in the eighth grade any longer, you should be aware that such things may lead to involvement with your local police. We do not care what the topic or the comments were; there is no call for that.

But, that said, we found it interesting that we had rather a lot of trouble finding out what exactly it was that sparked the whole uproar. After all, one would think such a thing is central to the whole donnybrook. Then we found it.

It would appear, according to Mr Johnson, that Mrs Cramer identified one of the civilian contractors killed at Fallujah, Iraq, with a white supremacist of the same name.

Yikes. Now, we have not seen Mrs Cramer's post on that -- but based on the above, we can say that doing so was just indecent -- to say nothing of pretty stupid.

For as folks have pointed out, in a nation of 300 million people, there are plenty of Americans who share the same name. For instance, we can assure you that there is more than one Benjamin Kepple. (We have never learned what our second cousin thinks about The Rant, but we can imagine he is probably annoyed we got the domain name first. Heh). And there are a lot more folks who share this contractor's name compared to our own situation.

However, as Mrs Cramer has apparently deleted the offending post, we can only but assume she has realized she was in the wrong. Whether this saves her trouble from the dead fellow's estate, we shall see.

We do find it amazing, though, that Mrs Cramer has not -- at least, as far as we can tell -- bothered to say that she is sorry about the whole mess. After all, the man had a family. Instead, we note with displeasure that Mrs Cramer has instead attempted to get Mr Johnson's site thrown off-line -- a tactic which has apparently failed rather spectacularly.

That this has failed is a good thing, as we find it unseemly and gauche that Mrs Cramer would attempt to silence someone who has done nothing but point out her ... caring thoughts on the matter.


CORRECTION, 8:25 P.M. We have been informed that Mrs Cramer had in fact apologized for her original post, via Sheila O'Malley, who pointed us in the direction of this entry at "A Small Victory." (See comments on our entry, below). However, the page on which Mrs Cramer made her apology is either unavailable or has been deleted.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 11, 2004 11:25 AM | TrackBack

Ben -

I know - I've been having a hard time figuring out what is going on - mainly because people keep taking down their posts or deleting offensive posts - and so it's hard to keep track.

Cramer DID apologize, though - I read the post. Michele at A Small Victory linked to it, because she got into a brou-haha with this poor Cramer woman as well.

She said she had no right to make such assumptions about someone - and also she didn't want to add ugly speculations to the situation, and besmirch a good man's name - She recognized that that was a very very disrespectful thing to do.

I mean, I think the Cramer woman is a complete bone-head, and also completely unprepared for having more than 10 people read her blog a day ... but I did read a post where she apologized, sincerely. I wonder if she took THAT one down as well.

Posted by: red at April 11, 2004 02:58 PM


I saw Michele's link to the apology but for whatever reason, the link did not work. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, though. I've put up a correction.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at April 11, 2004 08:25 PM

The whole deleting-posts frenzy has made it very difficult to track the argument.

Posted by: red at April 12, 2004 10:27 AM

I'll say. And doing that, of course, says something about portions of the argument.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at April 12, 2004 10:23 PM