Friday, April 14, 2006

Gone for Good this Time

Blogging is a hobby. Sure, I would love to write for a living, but I don't. So it is a hobby. I golf. I read books that no one else would ever read. I used to occasionally write book reviews for a newspaper where I lived. I write a blog.

The problem is that my golf, while poor, and my reading habits, while dull to some, don't pose a threat to my livelihood. It appears that blogging now does.

I am not as widely read as Bill Hobbs, though I have thought that I would like to be. I am also probably not as argumentative as Bill, though I don't shy away from controversy. Now that paid media in Nashville have shown a willingness to take down voices that they disagree with, or that they find uncongenial, I am going to have to pay attention. I have an employer who could be pressured. I have a family and bills.

So, here goes: I won't ever put anything publicly in writing on the internet or elsewhere again unless it is a part of a job for which I get paid. It's just not worth the risk.

Overly dramatic? Perhaps. But no more over the top than paid media intentionally going after a person's job. Someone will likely point out that my blog is not that big, but I don't want to assuage my fears by assuring myself I will always be insignificant. I have too much ambition for that.

Oh, and the next time someone over at the Scene decides to write on a right winger threatening free speech, they should take a careful look in the mirror. Fascism can be found on both ends of the political spectrum.


Donna Locke said...

Just put it in a country music song and it'll fly, lucratively, without criticism from one-note conglomerate media.

Glen said...

Your a class act Harry. God bless you and good luck.

Sharon Cobb said...

You are one of the very few bloggers who maintained his dignity and civility at all times.

I have the highest regard for you and your style.

Better days are ahead for all of us, though. I believe that.

In the meantime, thank you for being a classy person instead of a hateful, harmful name all too many of the bloggers have become.

The Liberal Avenger said...

If the Muslim PR spokesman for the [imaginery] Tennessee Islamic Institute was discovered to have drawn and distributed a cartoon showing Christians loading Jews into an oven, how might his role at the institute be adversely effected?

Stan said...

It's a shame, I often wonder if a similar situation will arise from my blogging. Enjoyed your posts by the way and it is too bad it's my first time here. But good luck.

Jerry said...

Liberal Avenger -

He'd be praised for speaking truth to power. And anyone who complained about it would be accused of insensitivity and racism.

newc said...

Thank you for standing where others just stand silent in fear.

Thierrion said...

No need to quit. You could always reinvent yourself, blog under a pseudonym, and laugh at the MSM's futility in trying to harm you.

The world needs people who care enough to give their time. This story inspired a big "I don't care" from the "good" folks at the Knoxville news.

"I don't care". While we're at war. While we're being invaded.

We need you.

Svolich said...

El Conq, the SKBubba episode illustrates that being "anonymous" on the internet is actually very hard to achieve. In this day, when your cell phone records are for sale for $100, how hard to you think it would be to bribe someone at an ISP?

Back in the early days - 1995 - I got into a minor flame with a lunatic on AOL. He used a small claims suit he had against his dry cleaner to generate a subpoena to AOL for my records. It was just a subpoena - it didn't have a judge's signature, or even a lawyers. AOL gave him my home address, phone number and credit card account numbers. He flew to across the country and put a clip full of 9mm through my door.

AOL is better now (several people were fired over that one) but to really, really be anonymous you have to act like Al Quaeda - use pre-paid credit cards, go online at internet cafes (never the same one twice) host your website overseas, etc.

The MSM is out for blogger scalps. They've taken too many hits, bloggers have made them look like clowns too many times. If they see one that's vulnerable, they'll take him down. If you're not a tenured law professor, you work for a an organization that's sensitive to public pressure and you're to the right of Ted Kennedy, you're a target.

Thierrion said...



Although, on the other hand, fake ID'S & such are just as accessible....

I understand, though.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me but you HAVE to be kidding me. "Fascism"? Would you mind explaining or are too busy hammering out childish hyperbole?

Just how does the Scene doing its job (even if you disagree) and Belmont doing what they feel they must do, change what you do even one iota?

Fact is - you want to limit the Scene's speech. And you seem to want to play the victim and there's no reason for it. Life is tough - sometimes people have to be accountable for their poor decisions. That's all this is about. Buck up - if you can't weather this cup of water, then you should do something else.

Anonymous said...

Life is tough - sometimes people have to be accountable for their poor decisions.

I agree wholeheartedly. Illegals that can't make a living in their original country should have to go through the process of becoming legal or stay home.

Life is tough

People who can't get a job or healthcare or housing shouldn't get gov't help..

After all... life IS tough.


Harry J. Monroe, Jr. said...

Miz Otis, yes fascism. A bent toward authoritarianism that seeks to silence dissenting voices.

I have no interest in limiting the speech of the Scene or anyone else. Had the Scene published a story severely criticizing Mr. Hobbs for making the cartoon, I might have wondered why they didn't have something more significant to write about, but I would have never bothered to write a word about it in this space. I do, however, think that urging an employer to evaluate its relationship with an employee on the basis of speech that had nothing to do with his employment is reckless, irresponsible, and chilling toward free speech.

And, by the way, I assure you I have no interest in "playing the victim." However, I also am not interested in having a hobby that subjects me to those kinds of threats. If I was getting paid for this, I would accept criticism and give it back to them. I am not.

Anonymous said...

I realize I'm judging someone I don't know but this makes zero sense to me.

If you're this hysterical about Hobbs leaving a Christian college where I'm fairly certain wild-eyed authoritarian thugs are NOT in charge - then I wonder how you feel about the carving down of civil liberties by our president.
Hobbs is perfectly free to write whatever he likes. Perhaps more free. He's just not working at Belmont. And don't you wonder if there's not a bit more to the story than a cartoon?

People, including journalists, are fired all the time for making bad decisions. (Remember Bill Maher?) Such seems to be the case with Hobbs. Unless he's lying, he said it was a foolish decision.

The Scene expressed an opinion . I don't think they threatened a boycott (as some RWers suggested to do against the Scene) and I just can't see that their opinion had an influence on Belmont. I may have missed it, but I haven't seen that backed up with evidence.

This sounds harsh but for heaven's sake - if something this tiny makes you fold up your tent - fine. You should probably do something else.

I think the second Scene article had a very dead-on line. Bloggers want attention until they get it.
Hobbs got attention. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

And those who whine about the "MSM" have to be kidding.

Good luck at another hobby but I hope it's not built around making yourself into a sort of martyr. JMO, though.

(And Chuck - whattheheckever. I'm not quite sure what that has to do with anything.)

Harry J. Monroe, Jr. said...

Miz Otis, I never accused the fine folks at Belmont of being what you said -- though that college is less Christian than their PR might suggest. The people at Belmont were merely cowards; the Scene worked thugishly to silence dissent.

Maher was removed for a while for saying something on his program. That differs substantially from non-work related speech.

Finally, the Scene's follow up was self serving nonsense. It is not "attention" that bloggers object to; it is calls for people to lose their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I never accused the fine folks at Belmont of being what you said -

You didn't say it outright but that's been the undercurrent in every complaint about this incident. Politics is mentioned as if Belmont is a hotbed for lefties. Of course, that is ridiculous.

- though that college is less Christian than their PR might suggest.

Really? It might be interesting to know where you came up with that. Seems like everyone who disagrees with you about this has some kind of enormous fault.

The Scene was correct, IMO. The same sort of thing just happened with Michelle Malkin. She was irate about criticism, and refused to acknoeledge her responsibility as a journalist.

Buck UP, people. You live in world with differing opinions. And people must take responsibility for their actions. (Maher did, and it wasn't that different. His actions reflected on his employers, also.) Deal with it. Or don't - but don't whine about it.

Harry J. Monroe, Jr. said...

Mz. Otis, most of your comments have nothing to do with what I have said.

I can't speak for others who have called Belmont liberal. I never have.

My comment about Belmont being "less Christian" was not intended to call them unChristian or to accuse them of some "enormous fault." Most modern Christian colleges are not distinctively Christian. They are more or less secular schools with Christian names.

I have neither defended or criticized Malkin. That is a different issue. If the Scene discussed Malkin, I have not read it, but I don't read the Scene often.

Maher's actions did not merely reflect on his employers. It was done in the course of his employment.

For someone who insists on personal responsibility for actions -- even when those actions have nothing to do with the penalty levied -- it is interesting that you, yourself, have chosen to remain anonymous.