Blogger Patrick Frey has recently revealed details of how he was nearly murdered for being Conservative While Blogging.

As I read this story, I had a creeping sense of horror. And my oft-stated sentiment that maybe I made a mistake ten years ago by blogging under my own real name became a genuinely fearful reaction.

Really, this should be called terrorism.

I’ve been known to call some people who comment anonymously on the internet cowards, at least when they make vicious inflammatory comments that they know no one will be able to call them out on. I’ve always been proud of the fact that, even when I’ve embarrassed myself by losing my temper or drunkblogging, writing things I regretted, I could always say without shame that at least I wasn’t hiding myself and was willing to take the heat for whatever I said. Even if I was harshly critical of a person, you knew who I was, I wasn’t hiding under a fake name so I could say nasty things and not have to own up to it.

But in my ten years of blogging, I know I’ve been professionally slandered, that it has at times hurt my career, and I’ve known people who lost their jobs just through saying things online (including commenters and guest posters on Dean’s World) that someone didn’t like. I have been targeted for online harassment, including sometimes-innocent but sometimes obviously-intentional out-of-context quotations of my work, but I shrugged it off as “just part of the internet, man.” I have received threats, but usually shrugged them off although occasionally feeling the need to note, “by the way, I do own a gun and know how to use it in defense of self and my family.”

But this appalling attack on Patrick Frey has me wondering if I shouldn’t simply pull my blog completely offline, root and branch, and start over somewhere else with a different name that no one will know. There are times when I’m pretty sure blogging here has hurt my career, and now I begin to wonder if it could hurt me or someone I love in a much more direct way.

This is not a f*n joke: they could have KILLED Patrick Frey. For the audacity of having opinions they don’t like, and for committing shameless acts of journalism they didn’t care for.

I worry about it now. I write something someone doesn’t like: about feminism, about AIDS, about Islam, about Fundamentalist Christianity and its Rapture Cult, about the Tea Party, about Occupy Wall Street, or Obama, or Bush, or the Iraq War, about men’s rights, or abortion, and not only might some lunatic come looking for me, but worse, someone might attempt what could be called “murder by cop” just because they don’t like my opinion?

The cops could have killed this man. Not because the cops were bad, but because they were doing their jobs and some slimebag who hated him filed a phony police report. One wrong move by Frey there, one rookie cop whose training slipped for just a second, and we might be talking about the man’s f*n FUNERAL.

I want to vomit.

I offer a prayer for you and your family, Patrick. We may have had our agreements and our disagreements these last 10 years, but my God man. I’m so sorry. I hope they not only find this bastard but that he does hard, serious time. They probably can’t call it attempted murder, but whatever the maximum penalty for filing a police report is, and anything else they can book him for, I hope that’s what he gets.

And by the way, let’s not forget to call this what it is: an assault on journalism and free press.

(This item cross-posted to Dean’s World.)

Dean Esmay, Guest Voice Columnist
Sort by:   newest | oldest
rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 4 months ago

LOL – P Frey is lucky he wasn’t wearing a hoody and came armed to the door with Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea…

Shaun Mullen
Member
4 years 4 months ago

It is somehow . . . uh, refreshing is not quite the word, to see some people on the left doing what a goodly number of people on the right have been doing.

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 4 months ago

re not quite refreshing to see people on the left committing terrorism

Really?

re this assertion: people on the right have been committing domestic terrorism which targets bloggers and their families

Really? Can you cite an instance?

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 4 months ago

I am impressed with the blogosphere’s response to this domestic terrorist. The research, conducted by bloggers, has been impressive. I am impressed at the proactive “Everybody blog about…” day. Kudos to you, Mr. Esmay, for blogging about it.

rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 4 months ago
While not socialist bloggers, Malkin’s and the Rights treatment of Graeme Frost comes to mind as something worse than what this post addresses. Michele Malkin slandered the Frost family and became obsessed with their counter tops. … One critic, in an e-mail message to Graeme’s mother, Bonnie, warned: “Lie down with dogs, and expect to get fleas.” As it turns out, the Frosts say, Graeme attends the private school on scholarship. The business that the critics said Mr. Frost owned was dissolved in 1999. The family’s home, in the modest Butchers Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, was bought for $55,000 in… Read more »
zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 4 months ago
John Cole at Balloon Juice sum it pretty well I think: “Although I guess it was bound to happen, when you have out of control and reckless paramilitary units all over the country who shoot first and think later just itching to see action. Even worse, even when they screw up, they aren’t punished. Regardless, whoever is responsible for this swatting of people are very sick and evil people, and they need to see the inside of a jail cell for quite some time.” This sort of incident would be a lot less likely A.) if there weren’t so many… Read more »
rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 4 months ago

FreeRepublic also trashed the family, even posting personal info about the Frost family.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1907687/posts
A Google search of FR and Graeme Frost yields 637 hits.
Google-GraemeFrost-FR

The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
4 years 4 months ago
Nobody has got back to me on the Blogger Bullies thread so I’m still in the dark, but it sounds like rival bloggers have, like rival biker gangs, have moved into a whole new phase where, while not using violence themselves, (except in “yeah, so’s your mother” posts) to manipulating the police into “swatting” each other. I’m sure the FBI and State Police are able to sort this all out and bring charges (and better yet, fines) against all the perpetrators. This all sounds like a Rovian plot (complain about nasty lefties while utilizing nasty righties) which is getting out… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

How about this one:

“The co-owner of a major Pentagon propaganda contractor publicly admitted Thursday that he was behind a series of websites used in an attempt to discredit two USA TODAY journalists who had reported on the contractor.

[::]

Susan Weiss, executive editor of USA TODAY, said the newspaper would continue reporting on the information operations industry. “I am glad to see that we now know who was responsible for these false attacks on Tom Vanden Brook, Ray Locker and USA TODAY. We stand behind our reporters and our stories,” she said.

Read more:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-05-24/Leonie-usa-today-propaganda-pentagon/55190450/1

DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
4 years 4 months ago

Harassment of any type is uncalled for no matter who it’s aimed at and who’s doing it, but there’s something about the Patrick Frey story that makes me wary. We’ve all seen enough stories that didn’t happen exactly the way the initial reports made them sound, so I’m inclined to reserve judgment.

HART WILLIAMS
Member
4 years 4 months ago

It is disgusting and despicable to see The Moderate Voice turned into another “meetoo” zombie site for this Right Wing, coordinated attack with intent to destroy one person who allegedly caused Robert Stacy McCain to flee with his family in “fear” and raise a LOT of cash by screaming for donors to contribute.

The particulars do not matter. Only the psy-ops operation, scheduled for today and utterly dominating Memeorandum. And it is despicable to see the Moderate Voice acting as an unwitting accomplice. As to whether Mr. Esmay “knows” that is for him to declare.

davidpsummers
Guest
davidpsummers
4 years 4 months ago
It is somehow . . . uh, refreshing is not quite the word, to see some people on the left doing what a goodly number of people on the right have been doing. It is clear to me the premise the left hasn’t been doing such things is wrong. However, it doesn’t matter if the right was doing it, it is still wrong take pleasure at such tactics. At best you are saying it is something like refreshing to see someone harassed simply because he may share some views with others who have harassed people. Guilt by association is just… Read more »
The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
4 years 4 months ago
dps If it’s so clear that the left has been doing such dangerous things previously, you are welcome to give us any information you have. If you are here to try and erase all the onus of dirty tricks with the mantra “everybody does it”, it won’t wash – not everybody does it. If you are here on the behalf of the psy-ops people Hart references, let them know that they need to spread out the buzz so as not to be noticed and called on it. (This is the second thread in two days on this subject). We are… Read more »
DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
Editor
I just read Frey report which had many pix and audios. He is an Assistant DA, and has (just usual workaday environs) armed court officers surrounding him at each of his court appearances, and may have such escort him also to his car, as have many judges and other principles of the court, which means, in part that some of the police of his district would be familiar with his name and his uprightness. But the men who came after him via twitter, emails, blog posts and eventually by allegedly making a phone call to local police pretending to be… Read more »
repsac3
Guest
4 years 4 months ago
Best comment i’ve seen on this so far… “Brett Kimberlin is a leftist in the same way Charlie Manson is a hippy.” When I see more legit reporting on Kimberlin’s recent activities–by which I mean, reporting not tied to a partisan cause–perhaps I’ll be more sympathetic. (If true, the allegations against him are terrible… But between knowing some of the bloggers involved and that they have a penchant for “stretching the truth until it’s unrecognisable”–I myself, am apparently some kind of Svengali who can make folks (my henchmen) do anything I say, even while actively saying the opposite (google “repsac3″… Read more »
HART WILLIAMS
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Thank you, Dr. Estes.

zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 3 months ago

Thank-you Dr. E for the perspective and the reality check.

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
On the base level, this is not a story of left vs right. Sociopaths are too sick to be genuinely focused on particular political opinions. Kimberlin, the domestic terrorist, is not so much a political animal as he is an opportunist who exploited others (Dems and left) for his own gain. Being targeted, by a sociopath, could happen to any of us. If there is any instance in which left and right can stand together, this is it. To the extent that this is a political story, it is a lesson for Dems and the left about being overeager to… Read more »
HART WILLIAMS
Member
4 years 3 months ago

One doesn’t need to know whether or not the target is guilty or innocent to know that lynch mobs are WRONG.

If the fellow broke the law, it’s a matter for law enforcement. If not, then the actual “high tech lynch mob” is even MORE off base.

Who appointed you people jury, judges and high executioners? If that doesn’t get through, nothing else needs be said, but, all observation tells me, it won’t get through.

We can call it the “Fox Bow Incident.”

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago

What is the “lynch mob” doing, other than pointing to the record of the actions of Brett Kimberlin and associates? You are equating the shining of light, on a nest of rats, to a “lynch mob”.

zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 3 months ago

Agreed, this story is more about right and wrong than it is about left and right. That said, it’s been picked up almost exclusively by conservative blogs, which are presumably anxious to push a story they see as portraying political sociopathy from the left. Given the deeply entrenched and ubiquitous sociopathy infecting thier own odd collection of ideologies, it’s understandable they would get excited about such a rare “opportunity”.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

@ zephyr

I have tried to stay out of this “firestorm,” but I just have to agree with what you say.

Just go to memeorandum and see the outrage by the right blogosphere — more posts on this than on any other national issue.

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
zephyr, I disagree that the right is primarily motivated to push a story of sociopathy on the left. I believe the right is primarily motivated to find a way to fight back against Brett Kimberlin’s terrorism. Internet warfare is almost impossible to fight back against. Even if the perps are ever convicted (a rare occurrence), the victims are nevertheless stuck with a lifetime of misleading Google search results which are attached to their names. Lawfare, also, i.e. the waging of warfare via numerous nuisance lawsuits, is also almost impossible to fight back against. Even if the perps are legally defeated… Read more »
Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
This story should be picked up by liberal blogs. If they are not picking it up, then they are reasoning in misguided fashion. This is an opportunity for liberal blogs to show they are strong and independent thinkers, i.e. that they do not merely dance to a tune which is called by Media Matters, Think Progress, and a few other huge liberal blogs. re this story, those huge blogs might be compromised by their financial relationship to Soros. But, the remainder of the liberal blogosphere are not mere parrots, are they? This is an opportunity for the remainder of the… Read more »
rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 3 months ago

Gotta love Reason’s response to the Rights flame up over this story.
http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/25/patterico-brett-kimberlin-and-the-super

The Patterico post is part of an effort promoted by Instapundit, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, The Other McCain, and others as “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.”

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago

I’m not certain you comprehend the point of the blogpost you linked to. Nick Gillespie, author of the Reason blogpost, is endorsing “Everybody Blog About Bret Kimberlin Day”? Gillespie is not issuing a “response” to what he considers a “flame up.” Rather, Gillespie thinks that blogging about Kimberlin is a good idea.

Are you trying to be ironic? As in: Reason Mag is so unreasonable that they endorse an idea promoted by unreasonable bloggers such as Instapundit, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, The Other McCain. Is that your point?

rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 3 months ago

@Simp
You miss the points between the lines. Reason waited a couple days to post about this flame out. Some of the comments address Patterico as a less than sympathetic person. If they can show direct links to the Speedway bomber and the swatting, then there is a story.

JMNash
Guest
JMNash
4 years 3 months ago

Sadly, what started about a small group of individuals who went far, far beyond the bounds of reasonable behavior turned into an attack on the left in general.

It would be nice if we could ALL get together and say that there are some things that will not be tolerated no matter who does it.

But that would require both sides to ‘police’ their own, at the expense of solidarity. And neither side is willing to be first.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Wow! Progress!

Memeorandum has gone from posting nearly one hundred links to articles about Brett Kimberlin yesterday, on “Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day” to zero this evening.

Perhaps we can now turn our attention to the real important issues facing America, such as Terrence P. Jeffrey’s 1,170 word post today on President Obama misspeaking twice –saying “my sons” instead of “my daughters” — in two campaign speeches over the last two days.

Read this earth-shattering news here:
http://cnsnews.com/blog/terence-p-jeffrey/obama-twice-mistakenly-mentions-my-sons-while-defending-contraception-mandate

And, of course, while you are there, don’t forget to make your tax-deductible gift so that Jeffrey can continue to report such important news.

rudi
Guest
rudi
4 years 3 months ago

@JMN
What makes one think that BK is behind the SWAT of Patterico. An AD in a large city makes many enemies. With caller ID why would police not verify that a call was local? Things just don’t add up in the fire/flames…

zephyr
Guest
zephyr
4 years 3 months ago

Thanks Dorian for the “earth-shattering” news. 😉

Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
rudi, within 24 hours of the Pattterico SWATTING, another enemy of Kimberlin was also SWATTED. Second, when Patterico was SWATTED, at 12:30ish in the night, he was on simultaneously on the phone with the man he suspects of calling in SWAT on him. The pretense of the call, that the man had big information to disclose to Patterico, turned out to be false. The FBI told Patterico that it is common for a perp to attempt to be on the phone with a victim when the raid happens. Third, Patterico had a voice analyst analyze the suspected perp. The voice… Read more »
Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
JM Nash says: “It would be nice if we could ALL get together and say that there are some things that will not be tolerated no matter who does it. But that would require both sides to ‘police’ their own, at the expense of solidarity.” Your first premise is that both sides are acting as unified entities. I disagree. If we assume that both sides are acting as unified entities, your second premise is that both unified entities are more interested in political victory than in objectively moral behavior. I disagree. If we assume that both sides do prefer political… Read more »
Simplisme34
Guest
Simplisme34
4 years 3 months ago
The argument, for refusing to stand against terrorism, is a “greater good” argument, i.e. supporting the Democratic Party is a greater good than is standing against terrorism. I do not think the Democratic Party is so fragile as to be incapable of standing up under the weight of criticism, as to be incapable of having misdeeds revealed. Anyone, who actually believed the Democratic Party was this fragile, would leave the Democratic Party. Anyone, who wants to be in the Democratic Party, also wants the Democratic Party to police up its misdeeds. If there are misdeeds which are related to Kimberlin,… Read more »
The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
4 years 3 months ago
Simp You might as well give it up. This is a moderate site and we are well able to sort through all the innuendo and red herrings thrown at us including the “It could be Soros, but then he is an honorable man” excreta. Swatting is a new and terrible thing and is as apt to get someone hurt or killed as Tea Party rallies with gun-toting second amendment wackos. But we here are able to judge for ourselves and completely incapable of considering ourselves unable to understand motives of authors and commenters. Nice try, though. You are very good… Read more »
davidpsummers
Guest
davidpsummers
4 years 3 months ago
The_Ohioan says: May 25, 2012 at 9:51 pm dps If it’s so clear that the left has been doing such dangerous things previously, you are welcome to give us any information you have. Well, I have to say that I find it unlikely the someone would think the left has _never_ done _anything_ wrong in this regard. But it don’t want to let it distract from my main point. So we assume that is true. What does that mean? Is it OK for someone to target any conservative (regardless of whether they have themselves done something like this)? Do we… Read more »
wpDiscuz