"The barbaric buffoonery of online discourse"
March 6, 2013 7:12 AM   Subscribe

The Trials Of Nadia Naffe
Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream. For a time, she was. Naffe served as a campaign coordinator in Florida for George W. Bush’s re-election effort, hobnobbed with conservative superstars like Andrew Breitbart, and joined the production team of James O’Keefe, the shock-videographer whose pranks humiliated NPR and made ACORN a dirty word. ...And then, in a single night nearly two years after they first met, Naffe’s life became a nightmare.
She says O’Keefe took her to a barn and drugged her, then turned on her — setting off a campaign of intense harassment. For bloggers like Breitbart and his followers, hounding Naffe became a crusade. “RUIN HER,” wrote one commenter on a right-wing blog, in just a small example of the flames fanned at Naffe over the past year and a half. “Burn her f*cking world to the ground, and salt the earth as you leave. Make the wasteland a memorial to all who would consider pulling that kind of bullsh*t.” Indeed, Breitbart hounded Naffe to the end of his life. On the day of his death, one year ago this week, his final tweet was a snide jab aimed directly at her.
Via
posted by the man of twists and turns (79 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is O'Keefe in jail yet?
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on March 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


What is this "reactionary band of left-wingers" mentioned? The middle class?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:19 AM on March 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


“I just thought that Terri [Schiavo] was done wrong, and now they wanted to pull the plug on her,” she says. “Her husband did her dirty, and I felt like Republicans were the only ones sticking up for this woman.”

Tube-feeding saints to the hospital rescue for the big win!
posted by Brian B. at 7:24 AM on March 6, 2013


On the day of his death, one year ago this week, his final tweet was a snide jab aimed directly at her.

Respect.
posted by three blind mice at 7:25 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's more to this than meets the eye. She fell in with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser, and has been tossing around nuisance lawsuits. For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:30 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the day of his death, one year ago this week, his final tweet was a snide jab aimed directly at her.

"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee."
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:35 AM on March 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


Single-link (print)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:38 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's more to this than meets the eye. She fell in with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser, and has been tossing around nuisance lawsuits. For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico".

Wow, that is a confused mess of social media this-and-that. Are these like right winger livejournal spats?
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I read that the other day. What I can't get over is Naffe's gullibility, and complete lack of creep radar. She jumped at the chance to work with some of the plainly sleaziest characters in contemporary politics and seems shocked that they're sleazy.

Unless that's just an act. Which crossed my mind after the involvement with that ridiculous Patterico drama from last year.

BTW, how is it that Patterico has managed to keep his day job without becoming the absolute embarrassment/laughing stock to his employer? I live here in L.A. and I can't figure that out.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:39 AM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


While this is an ugly story, it's disingenuous of Naffe to be shocked and hurt when the people who she assisted in vicious, unethical, and likely illegal activities driven by the basest of partisan politics attack her in vicious, unethical, and illegal ways when she stopped being useful and tried to draw lines of behavior. When you cozy up with racists who hate women, finding out that they hate you for being a black woman is... Watching the Republican apparatus chew up talented and bright minorities is just bewildering to me. Why is it so difficult to see that people who despise the categories you represent will not have your interests at heart?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:41 AM on March 6, 2013 [54 favorites]


The article refers to the clique that O'Keefe and Giles belong to as "one dedicated to core Christian values, but also hellbent on operating outside the antiquated establishment."

...Christian values like bearing false witness and stealing?
posted by notsnot at 7:42 AM on March 6, 2013 [23 favorites]


There's more to this than meets the eye. She fell in with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser, and has been tossing around nuisance lawsuits. For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico".

Ah yes, I'm sure Patrick Frey's blog is a perfectly unbiased source of information about lawsuits involving Patrick Frey.
posted by kmz at 7:42 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Mostly we'd like to not have people kick off threads with zingy one-liners instead of substantial comments. If you want to talk about moderation, please reach us at the contact form or metatalk but don't do it in the middle of a thread.]
posted by cortex at 7:47 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel really bad for Naffe.

In her place, the only silver lining I could imagine is the hope that I maybe made Breitbart SO mad he had a heart attack, which is actually kind of rad.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:50 AM on March 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


"Naffe’s bad memories of working for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 had led her to re-evaluate her standing as one of the rare black women in an overwhelmingly white, male-dominated party. "

I'm sorry to be sounding like I'm blaming the victim but...I guess she didn't re-evaluate it hard enough. Also guess she's never heard of the parable of the scorpion and the frog.

This has long been my theory about Black women aligning themselves with today's GOP: among the Democrats they're just one of the gang but in a crowd of Republicans they have a greater chance of standing out and getting attention as an oddity. That is until the good ol' boys turn on them and they get stomped on like the subject of this FPP.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:51 AM on March 6, 2013 [14 favorites]


...Christian values like bearing false witness and stealing?

And setting up rape boats, which might take on a new even skeevier light given the business at hand.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico".

Yes, that's covered substantially in the linked article. It's up at the top of the page if you feel like reading it.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:51 AM on March 6, 2013 [27 favorites]


There's more to this than meets the eye. She fell in with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser, and has been tossing around nuisance lawsuits. For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico".

Did you actually read the article? Because it spends several pages discussing all the Frey and Kimberlin ridiculousness.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:52 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Remember back when mainstream thought was that being a liberal (or hell, even center left) was the naive, dangerous political philosophy that young Americans were supposed to wake up from eventually.

But seriously, like most racist/bigoted assholes, the older I get, the more seriously I get angered not for what they could do to me (and not just because I'm probably as privileged and comfortable as an openly gay guy can be but because I've developed a pretty thick skin and bullshit-radar) but for what they can do to other people. And this just hits all my buttons. Sometimes I think the thing I hate most about people like Breitbart and O’Keefe is that they make me hate them at all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:54 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "they make me hate them at all."

I just feel sorry for them, that their life work is to destroy good things while toadying for power that cares not a whit for them beyond their usefulness.
posted by notsnot at 7:58 AM on March 6, 2013 [11 favorites]


I see the article includes a BUT THE LEGT IS JUST AS BAD for fairness and balance.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on March 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


not sure what you mean by "more than meets the eye," CP. Kimberlin shows up in the piece here.
posted by mwhybark at 8:05 AM on March 6, 2013


I see the article includes a BUT THE LEGT IS JUST AS BAD for fairness and balance.

Of course. Did they mention ACORN has been gone for two years, or did they bring up that bogeyman too?
posted by zombieflanders at 8:07 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Funny you should mention that particular bogeyman...
posted by delfin at 8:10 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I was going to link to that as well.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:11 AM on March 6, 2013


Are these like right winger livejournal spats?

No. Brett Kimberlin is the Indianapolis Speedway Bomber - an all-around vile piece of shit, would-be-murderer, and a probable pedophile - and he and his disgusting band of hangers-on have been responsible for a campaign of intimidation via SWATting and other forms of harassment. Brett Kimberlin has also been responsible for constructing several front organizations in which he gets paid by duped, generally moderately left-leaning foundations in support of vaguely defined mission statements and thereby is able to earn enough of a living to keep his vile campaign alive. Popehat has some good coverage.

Brett Kimberlin may be petty, but basically he has changed from trying to kill people directly to trying to use proxy SWAT teams to do it for him. Nadia Naffe is one of said hangers-on. This Breitbart coverage is a distraction from a much larger, uglier problem.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:25 AM on March 6, 2013


Brett Kimberlin is the Indianapolis Speedway Bomber - an all-around vile piece of shit, would-be-murderer...

...also a prolific litigant, you may want to note.
posted by goethean at 8:29 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Quite the story, where every named character is an amazingly grotesque asshole.
posted by codacorolla at 8:30 AM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm sorry to be sounding like I'm blaming the victim but...

I felt this a bit while I was posting, but then I realized I was being unfair to victims. Yes, Naffe was targeted by an out-of-control hate machine, and she should have legal recourse, but she helped build that machine. Thus quote is telling:
“I had always thought that — and I know this is horrible to say — I always thought these things happened to bad girls who went to bars and picked up guys they didn’t know,” says Naffe.
In other words, the people whose lives she damaged "deserved it." You know, like "bad girls." I see no sign that she admits the ghastliness of her participation, only bitterness that she got treated the way that her victims were treated. Apparently, it's not the system that is disgusting, only the targets.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:33 AM on March 6, 2013 [23 favorites]


That doesn't make someone deserving of what very much sounds like attempted date-rape and attempted cover-up though.
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on March 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


...also a prolific litigant, you may want to note.

Yes. There are numerous pro bono counsel who represent people harassed by Kimberlin's merry band of sociopaths and they've been successful in doing so. I'm not afraid of a kook who no longer has enough of a spine to do his own killing.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:35 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's just no bottom to the UGH in this story, is there?
posted by yoink at 8:47 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That doesn't make someone deserving of what very much sounds like attempted date-rape and attempted cover-up though.

You are correct, and I hope her lawsuits are successful. I'd just like to see a person who spent quite a bit of item assisting sociopathic behavior maybe admit that the crime is the problem rather the target.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:48 AM on March 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


Impressions I had that this article has further solidified:

1. Rank and file right wingers are really the naive ones in many ways, as MCMikeNamara noted. Naffe perfectly demonstrates the answer to that question of why people support conservative policies that seem to be counter to their best interests. She believed the rhetoric, instead of trusting her gut and her observations of people's actual behavior. Considering standard US childrearing practices (do as I say, not as I do; no, you don't have personal autonomy over your own body, you must let this or that relative kiss you), this is sadly normal.

(This is the thing that bugged me about whistleblowers for a long time: from my outsiders perspective, it was usually obvious that the organizations they were whistleblowing against had problems, so why would you even work for such organizations in the first place if you had decent ethics? Recognizing that not everyone has the same access to multi-sourced information or training in critical thinking as I do allowed me to be a little more compassionate. Which is important; whistleblowers and folks like Naffe have their use, in addition to it being a good thing that people convert to more reasonable political views at least at some point in their lives.)

The last couple paragraphs of the article seemed to indicate that Naffe was starting to realize some of her misunderstandings at least. In your pull quote, GenjiandProust, and the rest of that quote, she was noting that she had been wrong in thinking that "these things" only happened to "bad girls" engaging in risky behaviors. It sounds like she still has a ways to go toward a more accurate, nuanced, and compassionate view of the world, but hey, it's a start.

2. Right wingers seem to have this idea that if it's not illegal, it's not wrong (until it happens to them and they feel upset and violated and maybe start to appreciate the distinction between illegal and unethical, if they have any capacity for self reflection). Could be related to all the lawsuits these folks are slinging around at each other.

3. Also, this article further cements my impression that right wing commentators'/bloggers'/talk show hosts'/politicians' conviction that everyone is always out to game the system or get some sort of unfair advantage based on their race or sex or class or something says a lot more about their personalities and behaviors than it does about reality.
posted by eviemath at 8:51 AM on March 6, 2013 [21 favorites]


Are these like right winger livejournal spats?

Not wishing to downplay the severity of the actions described, but this does feel sort of like being stuck on a table at DragonCon with someone who is breathlessly telling you about the acrimonious explosion of the fandom of an anime series you've never really seen...
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:11 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I mean, I know it's ridiculously naive to think that people go into politics motivated purely by a desire to serve the public, but... what do these people think they are accomplishing with this stuff?

Where do you have to be in your personal journey to find yourself thinking "You know what would really advance my view of the best course for America? Boat full of dildos!"
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:22 AM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I mean, I know it's ridiculously naive to think that people go into politics motivated purely by a desire to serve the public, but... what do these people think they are accomplishing with this stuff?

It's rightwing American politics as usual, a small group of snake oil salesmen milking the rubes for all they're worth, with a larger group of wannabes having to proof their credentials by being even nuttier than the people they hope to impress for a slot at Pajama Media or whatever, all fueled by a huge reservoir of resentful, racist, sexist, hateful fucks and other dupes, most of whom are just cosplaying Red Dawn.

Thy have sad, shitty lives just like the rest of us, but that much a stronger a desire to roleplay in an epic struggle between good and evil and a diminished sense of what is evil.
posted by MartinWisse at 9:33 AM on March 6, 2013 [19 favorites]


I see no sign that she admits the ghastliness of her participation, only bitterness that she got treated the way that her victims were treated. Apparently, it's not the system that is disgusting, only the targets.

I'd give her some time on that one. She's got a lot of work to do dealing with immediate trauma.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:50 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, the next generation of Lee Atwaters and Karl Roves.

Nothing but power hungry weasels!
posted by ericb at 9:56 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


and a diminished sense of what is awareness that they are evil.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:04 AM on March 6, 2013


Where do you have to be in your personal journey to find yourself thinking "You know what would really advance my view of the best course for America? Boat full of dildos!"

You know, I don't think O'Keefe really wants to move America one way or another. He just gets his kicks offending liberals. The hatred of, and awkwardness with, women, combined with the preposterousness of his stunts, suggests that if he weren't a talking head, he'd be online shouting /b/igotry.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:09 AM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Offending liberals is the raison d'etre of many right-wing political commentators in the US.

Why do you think right-wingers hate organic food?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:18 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, I don't think O'Keefe really wants to move America one way or another. He just gets his kicks offending liberals. The hatred of, and awkwardness with, women, combined with the preposterousness of his stunts, suggests that if he weren't a talking head, he'd be online shouting /b/igotry.

Exactly. He's a troll in real-life as opposed to just online, and he's a lucky troll in that he's connected enough and useful enough to the powerful that he can do it full time and so far, get away with it without much in the way of serious consequences.

Naffe is just roadkill under the wheels of the rightwing monster truck that is determined to pull all of America off the goddamn cliff. Being black is no protection against gullibility or screwed up political ideals, sadly. And conservatives always reach out to sufficiently useful minorities and wimmins to use as human shields against the charge of racism and sexism; the ones they tend to get are the gullible, messed-up, rich and clueless, or possibly insane, for obvious reasons. Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, etc; it's not a proud tradition.
posted by emjaybee at 10:23 AM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why do you think right-wingers hate organic food?

Because it represents the wussification of America along with most other liberal things.

The comparison to trolls for conservatives isn't far off actually. Trolls' self story is that they're puncturing an illusion and doing people a favor by hardening them to the painful realities of life. That life is actually fairly pleasant and they themselves provide 90% of the pain that they're trying to protect people from never occurs to them.

Still, from their perspective showing compassion to people is actually, truly harmful to them. It can be every bit as hard for them to watch a person suffer, but the have a moral obligation *not* to do something and in many tragic cases even make the situation worse so that the people in it will wake up and deal with reality.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:05 AM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"There's more to this than meets the eye. She fell in with Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser, and has been tossing around nuisance lawsuits. For instance, she's sued Patrick Frey who blogs under the name "Patterico"."

…for allegedly using his position as an assistant district attorney to obtain sealed documents from a pervious lawsuit that was settled with the Bush campaign for an EEOC complaint, and releasing those documents with her social security number on them in an effort to intimidate and harass her.

Describing that as "tossing around nuisance lawsuits" is bullshit. Try again.
posted by klangklangston at 11:29 AM on March 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


that is a confused mess of social media this-and-that. Are these like right winger livejournal spats?

And as I recall, Jeff Goldstein hates Frey* and sides with Kimberlin. Or did. I have trouble keeping up. The Atlantic produced a handy scorecard of conservative feuds recently, but it lacks a lot of the minor players.

(*It's worth overlooking the rampant insanity of that piece to note that, according to Goldstein, at least, he was the target of similar kinds of persecution (minus the dildos and rape boats).)

what do these people think they are accomplishing with this stuff?

I went to college with a guy who attended Morton Blackwell's "Leadership Institute." Apparently, the spirit there was all about "do it to them before they do it to us." The "technology manual"—a book of dirty tricks, basically—that each enrollee received was like a catalog out of some fervid Fox Alinskyite nightmare, exactly the kind of thing that would appeal to bright, arrogant, poorly socialized nerds with chips on their shoulders.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:37 AM on March 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Why do you think right-wingers hate organic food?
Like John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods?

I see the article includes a BUT THE LEFT IS JUST AS BAD for fairness and balance.
Why ISN'T the Left 'just as bad', i.e. using comparable tactics to win friends and make enemies miserable. Why haven't a hundred new ACORNs been planted, with misleading Statements of Purpose to attract contributions from RightWingers who think they're funding the opposite cause?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:44 AM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The "technology manual"—a book of dirty tricks, basically—that each enrollee received was like a catalog out of some fervid Fox Alinskyite nightmare

The Protocols of the Elders of -- ?
posted by localroger at 11:48 AM on March 6, 2013


I knew it! Freemasons!
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on March 6, 2013


Lay down with dogs and you will wake up with fleas.
posted by Foam Pants at 12:00 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


After reading the article, I'm left baffled by the personal/public spat between Naffe and Breitbart, and later Frey. Did Breitbart really flip his shit simply because Naffe became a "traitor" when she made accusations against O'Keefe, or is there something more here?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:15 PM on March 6, 2013


BTW -- came across this website, IndictBreitbart.org, from reading the Phoenix article. A useful resource to learning more about what O'Keefe et al have been up to lately.
posted by ericb at 12:17 PM on March 6, 2013


Naffe posed a very real danger to Breitbart's golden boy, who handled his attempted date-rape about as well as he handled tapping Senator Lendrieu's phones. He was probably hoping to wait until the roofies kicked in so she wouldn't even remember anything happening, but as soon as she called "the other guy" he lost deniability. Then Naffe made it clear she wasn't going to be a team player about it. With a thug like Breitbart you're either an us or a them, and there it was. She now had the power and refused to deny willingness to destroy O'Keefe, so she had to be destroyed before she could do that.
posted by localroger at 12:37 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Right wingers seem to have this idea that if it's not illegal, it's not wrong

This is a direct consequence of having an authoritarian world view, and furthermore is why they NEED to have their religious beliefs turned into actual laws--without the threat of men with guns to back up what they're merely told is the right thing to do, many find it impossible to follow through.
posted by maxwelton at 12:40 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


In her place, the only silver lining I could imagine is the hope that I maybe made Breitbart SO mad he had a heart attack, which is actually kind of rad.

From the article:
On March 21, Naffe was prohibited by a judge from sharing any of O’Keefe’s emails. Since he’d logged into his Gmail account on her cell phone, O’Keefe had sought and obtained an immediate temporary injunction against Naffe releasing anything in the emails — his application for the injunction had actually alleged that “the material is so provocative that it caused Andrew Breitbart to suffer a fatal heart attack.”
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


From this and the Palin thing is say these guys have rubbish data security and are way too reliant on free email accounts.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on March 6, 2013


Brett Kimberlin may be petty, but basically he has changed from trying to kill people directly to trying to use proxy SWAT teams to do it for him. Nadia Naffe is one of said hangers-on.

I can't find any example of Naffe being a hanger-on of Kimberlin that isn't from an angsty right-wing site. Do you have one?
posted by oneirodynia at 12:48 PM on March 6, 2013


Well, the OP does say that.
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on March 6, 2013


The comparison to trolls for conservatives isn't far off actually.

if you think your political orientation is intrinsically a vaccine against shitty dudes, you are naive

"trolling" can be any wing it chooses, left or right, and to claim that it is restricted to one is merely a way to spare yourself the pain of self-examination
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:22 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Neal Rauhauser's (read: chief Brett Kimberlin booster/historical revisionist/etc.) complaint about Frey discusses his interaction with Nadia Naffe. Links between Kimberlin's harassment/litigation campaign and Rauhauser are well-documented, see e.g. complaint against Aaron Worthing. He and Naffe also use the same attorney in their various shakedown/intimidation attempts.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:26 PM on March 6, 2013


"Well, the OP does say that."

Does it? I didn't see it in the article, just that he was linked by an incidental relationship to someone who was also linked to Naffe.
posted by klangklangston at 1:26 PM on March 6, 2013


I'm not sure I buy that SWAT team thing for a second.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on March 6, 2013


"He and Naffe also use the same attorney in their various shakedown/intimidation attempts."

That's rather begging the question, isn't it?
posted by klangklangston at 1:29 PM on March 6, 2013


That's rather begging the question, isn't it?

No, not really. Rauhauser has on several occasions (see "complaint" link in that post) referred people to that attorney as part of what appears to be an attempt to orchestrate litigation against Frey. The point would be the same if I had written "their various efforts" - Rauhauser's whole involvement in these situations is suspect given his involvement with Brett Kimberlin.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:32 PM on March 6, 2013


Well, yeah, it is, in that it characterizes Naffe's lawsuit as a shakedown/intimidation attempt by assuming that since it was the same lawyer who has worked with Rauhauser before, it must be a shakedown/intimidation attempt. And your entire chain is based on the idea that anything that Brett Kimberlin does is tainted, but that's both an ad hominem fallacy and demonstrably untrue: Kimberlin's Justice Through Music non-profit seems to be on the up-and-up, even if it's of dubious value.

It's worth being skeptical of anything Kimberlin claims, but your comments here seem to suffer from a surfeit of credulity regarding the claims of right-wing bloggers. Salon has more on Kimberlin versus the right wing bloggers.
posted by klangklangston at 1:54 PM on March 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, yeah, it is, in that it characterizes Naffe's lawsuit as a shakedown/intimidation attempt by assuming that since it was the same lawyer who has worked with Rauhauser before, it must be a shakedown/intimidation attempt.

No, Naffe's lawsuit against Frey is a shakedown because all the evidence points to it being a shakedown and Naffe is a nutjob. I consider Ken at Popehat to be a credible source, not least because he has been both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, is not a knee-jerk partisan of any stripe, and is not a fan of James O'Keefe and company (although others may find his association with Frey to be a problem, I think Frey is getting unjustly pilloried on MetaFilter for political reasons rather than evidence of actual misconduct). I likely disagree with Frey more often than I agree with him, politically.

Kimberlin's Justice Through Music non-profit seems to be on the up-and-up, even if it's of dubious value.

We're going to have to disagree there. "Affiliated with convicted serial bomber/terrorist" is a disqualifier for "up-and-up" in my book.

It's worth being skeptical of anything Kimberlin claims, but your comments here seem to suffer from a surfeit of credulity regarding the claims of right-wing bloggers.

I rely mainly on the litigation documents as well as the fact summaries/commentary from Ken at Popehat. I deliberately avoid relying on postings at Patterico etc. even though on this subject I am inclined to find them credible. To the degree Ken is a "right-wing blogger", I believe that most people on MetaFilter would nonetheless find him credible because he appears to be a stand-up guy - in sharp contrast those sitting across the table.

Additionally, the elephant in the room is that both Frey and Ken at Popehat, as members of the bar, are subject to sanctions above and beyond what their opponents might encounter for bullshitting, fraud, or deceit (Frey in particular and additionally given the office in which he sits). No evidence of such disciplinary proceedings or other indications of trouble have surfaced to date despite a series of events that appear to me to be a well-orchestrated smear campaign.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:12 PM on March 6, 2013


Gosh, absolutely nobody in this piece is likable or relatable or anything are they?

And Naffe strikes me as dumb as a box of hair. In what way is working with O'Keefe not the ultimate in sleaze and odious? Is THAT what she likes about being a Republican?

I sort of agree with her assessment that "I always thought these things happened to bad girls who went to bars and picked up guys they didn’t know."

Well YES. That's EXACTLY what you did, metaphorically, isn't it? You're a bad girl who went to a bad place and picked up guys you didn't know. Now you want me to give a shit about it?

No one deserves to be roofied and raped, and that's not debatable. But her incredulity about how odious her former "friends" are being is disingenuous. Again, dumb as a bag of hammers.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:12 PM on March 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


It increasingly seems to me that the best way to destroy the right wing would be to simply lock them in a room with each other. Like rats with nothing else to eat, they will swiftly turn on each other, even before the first pangs of genuine hunger hit.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:16 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"trolling" can be any wing it chooses, left or right

Obviously there can be outliers, but in general I think you're incorrect. "Trolling" is specifically about causing pain and as I mentioned above there are circumstances where that is not only acceptable but actually desirable from a conservative standpoint.

I'm not talking about people wandering around the Internet poking at one another, I'm talking about a core ethic that suffering is good for people and that making their lives difficult is a moral imperative. Take for example abstinence only education, a self-fulfilling system where they attempt to teach youthful celibacy by demonstrating that the only alternative is early pregnancy. What better than a flood of suffering young mothers to illustrate why abstinence is important? And the young mothers are suffering the consequences of their actions so that's good too.

The liberal ethic has its own issues but "causing pain is good" is not part of their social policy. In fact much of what they're about is softening the blows that the world deals us.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:34 PM on March 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"No, Naffe's lawsuit against Frey is a shakedown because all the evidence points to it being a shakedown and Naffe is a nutjob. I consider Ken at Popehat to be a credible source, not least because he has been both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, is not a knee-jerk partisan of any stripe, and is not a fan of James O'Keefe and company (although others may find his association with Frey to be a problem, I think Frey is getting unjustly pilloried on MetaFilter for political reasons rather than evidence of actual misconduct). I likely disagree with Frey more often than I agree with him, politically."

The Popehat article you linked to has no mention of Naffe. And you seem to want to have it both ways: A distant association with Kimberlin makes Naffe acting in bad faith, but an association with Frey doesn't mean that an account is unbiased? Not only that, but on further investigation, Ken at Popehat is acting as an attorney for Frey. Using his position to support the contention that the lawsuit is meritless is the very definition of begging the question.

So, again, you're begging the question.

"We're going to have to disagree there. "Affiliated with convicted serial bomber/terrorist" is a disqualifier for "up-and-up" in my book."

Sure, as long as you realize that's ad hominem fallacy and represents your personal feelings rather than the proof of anything or any support of a rational argument.

"I rely mainly on the litigation documents as well as the fact summaries/commentary from Ken at Popehat. I deliberately avoid relying on postings at Patterico etc. even though on this subject I am inclined to find them credible. To the degree Ken is a "right-wing blogger", I believe that most people on MetaFilter would nonetheless find him credible because he appears to be a stand-up guy - in sharp contrast those sitting across the table."

And again, Ken's Frey's lawyer. Being skeptical of his arguments has nothing to do with whether he's partisan or not — no one should ever take a lawyer's advocacy for their client as impartial recitation of the truth.

"Additionally, the elephant in the room is that both Frey and Ken at Popehat, as members of the bar, are subject to sanctions above and beyond what their opponents might encounter for bullshitting, fraud, or deceit (Frey in particular and additionally given the office in which he sits). No evidence of such disciplinary proceedings or other indications of trouble have surfaced to date despite a series of events that appear to me to be a well-orchestrated smear campaign."

Meh. That Frey hasn't been formally disciplined by his office nor the bar isn't strong evidence of anything, especially because the suits are still pending. Not only that, but Cooley's boss used his office to lodge charges against a political opponent and lost a suit against the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for anti-union and First Amendment violations. He's not the guy who I would expect to jump-to when faced with allegations about Frey's behavior. (And, of course, absence of evidence != evidence of absence, etc. etc.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:42 PM on March 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Something else that's worth noting, as I get further down this rathole, is that Naffe has multiple claims against Frey. Some of those claims appear to be unmitigated bullshit, like that Frey was offering legal advice to O'Keefe by posting to his blog. However, that doesn't address the more serious complaint of, essentially, doxxing her.
posted by klangklangston at 3:53 PM on March 6, 2013


Posting from phone so can't quote well, but Ken working for Frey is the association to which I refer above. Ken is part of a group of attorneys who consistently step up to shutdown bullshit artists, censorious types, etc. If I thought he was just regurgitating advocacy I wouldn't cite to him, but compare Frey's pleadings and other filings to those of Naffe and compare their narratives. People with meritorious claims don't bury them in falsehoods and frivolous claims. That's the significance of Rauhauser's involvement: Kimberlin is notorious for bad faith litigation and it seems likely that he or Rauhauser are procuring litigation against Frey. Look through the other filings from Naffe linked from Popehat (search Naffe); that is the evidence that makes me think the case is unfounded and brought for bad motives.

Also Frey's boss is not involved with bar complaints and is likely not the party handling reports of misconduct to the office, and those complaints if filed were made a while ago (the separate civil suit is ongoing). As you note not hard evidence but seems suggestive to me.

Ad hominem sure but I think character is relevant here; organization likely has paperwork in order but purpose seems to be part of Kimberlin effort to rehab image from terrorist to activist. It is a conpanion to his attempts to silence critics with frivolous litigation.

The primary issue here is not one of partisanship but the use of the courts to silence protected speech and harass opponents. Naffe's connection to Rauhauser, participant in Kimberlin's activities, is not a coincidence.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:19 PM on March 6, 2013


"Trolling" is specifically about causing pain and as I mentioned above there are circumstances where that is not only acceptable but actually desirable from a conservative standpoint.
perhaps you and I are not acquainted with the same leftists
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:00 PM on March 6, 2013


That Frey hasn't been formally disciplined by his office nor the bar isn't strong evidence of anything

Except the ridiculously lenient standards of a state bar of which even Orly Taitz is still a member in good standing.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:10 PM on March 6, 2013


I see the article includes a BUT THE LEFT IS JUST AS BAD for fairness and balance. Why ISN'T the Left 'just as bad', i.e. using comparable tactics to win friends and make enemies miserable. Why haven't a hundred new ACORNs been planted, with misleading Statements of Purpose to attract contributions from RightWingers who think they're funding the opposite cause?

posted by oneswellfoop at 1:44 PM on March 6


Because the Dem's base isn't composed of bitter old people resentful that whites are now less of a privileged class in America?
posted by goethean at 11:15 AM on March 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Report: James O'Keefe To Pay $100K Settlement To Former ACORN Employee.
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on March 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Trolling" is specifically about causing pain ...

Related (posted today at Esquire): How Online Trolling is the New Punk Rock.

It's an article regarding a recently released study in The Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication:
Uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric, and this trend has expanded beyond traditional media to online sources, such as audience comments.
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on March 7, 2013


The Phoenix: The Not-So-Shocking Latest in the James O'Keefe Saga.
posted by ericb at 10:23 AM on March 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafiltera: a rabbit hole wrapped in an enigma flushed down a rusty toilet in a soiled rubber
posted by localroger at 10:50 AM on March 10, 2013


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