So, my good friend, Matt Cavanaugh responded on this blog to my post about the doxxing of “Skeptickle”.
I thought that since most people don’t bother reading comments , I would go ahead and post his (oops! gendered pronoun!) comment.
Now, I did rant about the inadvertent mention that eventually had one of The Usual Suspects show himself to be even more vile than anyone thought.
I am not calling for shunning anyone as I really believe that the best disinfectant is more speech. The more The Usual Suspects vomit their hate and divisiveness, the better others will be informed.
Here’s Matt’s response:
I try to make it my practice to provide h/t whenever someone has provided me with information, if it would otherwise appear I’m taking credit for the labor or expertise. I’d given Skep tickle a couple of h/t on my sex difference posts, and did so on this latest one without stopping for a moment to reflect.
Given the intentionally provocative nature of my post, I was remiss in not taking the time to reflect. I knew that Myers, Benson & Watson were despicable characters without a shred of human decency, and I correctly guessed that my lampooning of Myers would bruise his fragile ego. I should therefore have anticipated a vengeful response via any underhanded means at their disposal. I was perfectly prepared to take the brunt of their ire. My carelessness redirected the attack to someone more vulnerable than myself, and I am mortified by that. My sincerest apologies go to Skep tickle for my lapse of forethought.
In hindsight, I also erred by assuming the intent behind the reference in question would be obvious, Whereas I simply wanted to turn a PZ-like scurrilous insinuation back on him to exemplify his hypocrisy, many people seem to have assumed I was making a serious accusation, especially as it directly followed a list of actual, accurate claims.
This may well be closing the barn door after the horse has left, but in future I will strive to be more clear, and will always confer with anyone before mentioning them.
The ease of satirizing Myers & gang has lulled us into dropping our guard. Though their actions & words are truly laughable & ridiculous, they are still venal, unethical people. Their putsch has failed, their public reputations are in free-fall, and they find themselves up against a wall. We must anticipate that they will lash out. And not in kind: with reason, evidence or wit; rather in increasingly nasty, unethical, and possibly illegal ways.
I fully intend on continuing my efforts to thwart the FTBullies in my own style, and hope that others also continue to apply logic, evidence and humor in that effort. But the conflict has entered a new, more unpredictable phase. We must all be vigilant.
I agree with Matt that none of us that write or speak should be intimidated by the tactics used by some. We all know if someone on “our side” did the same, there would be a series of virulent attacks on that person. Then, as we always say about The Usual Suspects, it’s okay when they do it.
As Matt said in his last sentence, yes, we should be vigilant.
One thought on “Matt Cavanaugh Responds to the Doxxing of Skeptickle”
I heartily commend Matt for his response and thank you, consskep, for posting it here. And I cannot fault Matt for the “error” of thanking SkepTickle for her obvious joke post; I probably would have made the same mistake in underestimating the venality of PZ, Watson, et al. If it provides any soothing, I will try to keep this incident in mind and not provide The Usual Suspects with the same chance. I would also add that I found absolutely classless how SkepChick (Watson, I assume) retweeted SkepTickle’s apology but didn’t offer one in return. In my opinion, doxxing by tweet requires a much larger apology than making a joke in a little-trafficked blog.