And what if when someone said “This is not okay,” we believed them?
June 14, 2015 8:32 AM   Subscribe

This is a long, complicated story. I want to take a moment, here in the middle, to remind you that as Champion harassed, stalked, and threatened various members of the literary community, he was, still, interviewing prominent writers, receiving advanced copies of new books (perhaps even from Graywolf), attending industry meeting and parties, writing for national publications. Champion continued the work that, while he loved, put him in contact with people he had already, or would later, hurt.
The exile of Ed Champion: how one man could be both a celebrated member of the NY literary scene and a serial harasser and why he could get away with it. By Molly McArdle for Brooklyn Magazine.
posted by MartinWisse (68 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
> “I still worry” he said, “but the evidence is pretty good. It will be a lifelong struggle.”

Oh, what a struggle it is to not go out of one's way to be an asshole and make other people's lives worse! Truly a Herculean task!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:55 AM on June 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


Together they add up to disturbing picture of a man who habitually describes or refers to women in a sexual manner in decidedly nonsexual contexts. Readers: this is misogyny.

*enthusiastic fist-pumping*

As other people begged compassion for Champion, Gould wondered: “Why are people worried about his mental health?” What about the people he hurt? “Why aren’t they worried about us?”

Reading this is so reminiscent of seeing the same stories, over and over, in other circles. So much of this echos Hugo Schwyzer's narrative, and bits and pieces read like the kind of thing Eron Gjoni might've done if he'd had one very loyal high-powered co-conspirator instead of an army of anons with sockpuppets.
posted by NoraReed at 9:12 AM on June 14, 2015 [26 favorites]


I love this article. It's a look at how harassment usually plays out in the real world in a niche that is nominally progressive and full of people who call themselves feminists. People who want to believe harassment comes from wicked Disney-like villains. When in reality it comes from people whose situation is a bit more complicated – people who can be likable, be in friendships or relationships with important people, people who get defended as "well meaning."

The reality is this creates an environment where it's often the people who complain who get branded the troublemakers, not the harassers themselves.

I don't know what the solution is, but it has to include people not making excuses for this kind of behavior and being willing to listen if numerous people tell you someone you like is harming them.
posted by melissam at 9:21 AM on June 14, 2015 [38 favorites]


It has long been known that to do anything but bootlicking around Sarah or champion was a quick road to perdition. Weinman is just as guilty as Champion, and has protected and enabled him for almost a decade. They are both horrible people who do horrible things, and I am glad to finally see a little light thrown on this nest of cockroaches.
posted by dejah420 at 9:33 AM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


That's an amazing read; I had known nothing about the situation, and now I feel awful for almost everyone involved in it (except, obviously, the enablers). Great conclusion:
The specter of the convicted innocent is something our justice system rightfully obsesses over. But as a woman, and as someone who witnesses how race and class-based systems of oppression operate in this country, I also know how profoundly hard it is for a person in a marginalized position to make an accusation. And so I am more scared of no one speaking up than of too many. I am more scared of silence than false or petty speech. At least, with the latter, we are talking.
Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 9:34 AM on June 14, 2015 [11 favorites]


What an interesting article. There is a pattern in these things of people in a community tacitly protecting bad people, through silence, shame, or because they are intimidated. Breaking that silence seems to be the best way to force change, but so often it comes at great cost to the people who speak out, especially the first people to talk.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:43 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you didn't scroll down far enough to see Champion's response to this piece in its comments, I encourage you to go back and read it. It's evident that he's changed very little except in circumstance.
posted by gladly at 9:44 AM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, his response is... Wow.
posted by rtha at 9:50 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh man, that comment of his. Snippet: "The suggestion that I would be coming after Maureen Murphy with a hatchet if she did not think is one of the most risible and needlessly labor-intensive forms of murder one can imagine. This was also the spirit behind the Emily Mandel tweet. Can one actually swallow a glass of cyanide? Think about the logistics." If his intent was to confirm pretty much everything the author says, mission accomplished. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:51 AM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


a community tacitly protecting bad people, through silence, shame, or because they are intimidated

Or, as the article makes clear, because they're friends with the abuser and, blindly or not, gleefully or not, tolerate or enjoy the bad because somehow the good, or just the pleasure of watching, balance it out. I don't think Weinman was the only enabler in the room.
posted by fatbird at 9:52 AM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do love that a maxim gaining acceptance in our new digital world is "never defend yourself in the comments".
posted by fatbird at 9:55 AM on June 14, 2015 [16 favorites]


It’s a kind of 1960s prototype: Abbie Hoffman, Paul Krassner, Hunter S. Thompson.

Yeah, that's it, he's like Hunter S. Thompson only people don't like or respect him and should he kill himself Johnny Depp won't be there to fire his ashes out of a cannon. Also, he doesn't seem to have produced any notable literary work or become a symbolic figure and inspiration for a generation of young people with journalistic/literary aspirations. But he does treat women like shit so I guess he is somewhat like HST.
posted by MikeMc at 10:15 AM on June 14, 2015 [12 favorites]


What a vile person. And a pretty textbook example of how a manipulator can play on the weaknesses of his circle (in the case of writers, economic vulnerability, introversion, unwillingness to confront, etc.) to allow abuse to continue. Weinman is clearly equally complicit, they're a sort of Bonnie and Clyde of hatefulness.

And maybe he came from an abusive home, but I've seen people claim that as an excuse whose upbringing was far from horrific. Sometimes, people just decide to be assholes.
posted by emjaybee at 10:23 AM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


“He never hurt anyone physically,” Levi Asher insisted over the phone. As far as I can tell, this is true. And Asher is right to make this distinction: Champion never used physical force to hurt another person. Fairly constant throughout his career, however, is the threat of physical violence, which seemed to hang about Champion like a shadow.

Blogger and novelist Mark Sarvas also felt it was important to note that the injury Champion did was not physical. “That is not in any way to discount the real fear he has instilled in his victims, nor does it excuse the astonishing vitriol of his public pronouncements,” he said, “but it’s a data point worth registering.”

I frankly don’t know how I feel measuring physical hurt versus psychic. Are they equal? Does one hurt, or matter, more than another? Physical violence is demonstrable; it can, to a certain extent, be proven. How do you prove a spiritual wound? (The testimony of the wounded is rarely enough, especially if she’s a woman.) Are provable violences worse than those that cannot be acceptably substantiated?

It’s interesting to me too that mostly men have made this point about the absence of physical violence...
I appreciated this point tremendously. I hope we're moving toward an understanding that verbal and emotional abuse is abuse. There's such a bizarre dividing line in place between emotional abuse and physical abuse right now; both are extremely damaging, and both should be taken seriously.
posted by jaguar at 10:31 AM on June 14, 2015 [35 favorites]


If the best defense you can muster is "Well he never hit anyone," I think that says a lot.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:40 AM on June 14, 2015 [15 favorites]


I had a brief internet run-in with Ed Champion back in 2006. He was reviewing Wholphin #1, which contained “Tatli Hayat (AKA ‘The Sweet Life’ AKA ‘The Turkish Jeffersons’)". I was one of the five writers the Wholphin editors contracted to write absurdist subtitles (none of the five, to my knowledge, knew any Turkish) for this show. Ed Champion took one of my lines and claimed it was racist against Turkish people. I was horrified and defended myself in the comments (the only time I've ever done that!).

That was the end of the run-in for me, though. A review, a comment, the end. My heart goes out to the people Ed Champion harassed, threatened and abused. That shit is not okay.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


MeFi's Own Ed Champion, "Middling Millennials" previously
posted by RogerB at 12:12 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is a pattern in these things of people in a community tacitly protecting bad people, through silence, shame, or because they are intimidated.

From Molly McArdle's twitter feed, "I pitched this piece last June, last September, & again this spring. No one wanted to touch this story."
posted by gladly at 12:17 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Please don't take this in a meta direction or hassle other people over who they've favorited.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:36 PM on June 14, 2015


I could only read about 3/4 of the way through that because it was so toxic. It reminded me of my own experiences with toxic personalities I've encountered in some activist circles, one in particular, who, like Champion, had a female enabler. Well really, a series of female enablers. The guy was (and is) a pretty decent writer, and very charming when you first meet him. In private, he'll suddenly pull his intimidation card on women, and then pretend like it never happened. Like Champion, he's been really good at insinuating himself into positions of power where people have to respect him as a gatekeeper. Even though his behavior is well known, people are genuinely frightened of him, and he has a legion of female admirers ready to shout down any woman who comes forward. Ugly. Guys like this are out there and it's pretty frustrating to watch them run around unchecked.
posted by wuwei at 12:50 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


This article made me think of the Jian Ghomeshi assault charges last year. Influential person in the arts and culture scene harasses and abuses women, gets away with it because of a culture of silence and fear that doesn't believe women when they come forward, and the abused women are afraid of retaliation. Well, Ghomeshi has been arrested and charged finally so perhaps there's hope.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2015 [13 favorites]


Influential person in the arts and culture scene

But Champion really has never been "influential" or important in careerist terms the way that Ghomeshi was; that's part of what makes his whole saga so particularly ugly. He's a totally marginal figure in publishing and even in the tiny weird world of alt-lit, a fairly unsuccessful freelancer by any of the usual professional/careerist standards. (Indeed this has sometimes led him to air, amid all the over-the-top abusive shit, totally legitimate critiques of the industry's atmosphere of careerism and self-promotional log-rolling.) Whatever "influence" he's ever had came as much by virtue of his monstrous behavior, and its power as a deterrent to public disagreement, as it did by his podcast or his girlfriend's job or anything else. It's arguably an even uglier story than Ghomeshi's in those terms — as if Champion were socially incentivized to behave this way because it got him so much traction for so long, not like the abusive/nuts behavior was borne along by his being powerful by virtue of the rest of his career.
posted by RogerB at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Note to self: don't get involved with the New York literary set.
posted by happyroach at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Note to self: don't get involved with the New York literary set.

Agreed. Never have I been so grateful for my failures as a writer.
posted by not that girl at 2:29 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


We were talking about these sorts of couples/people just last night. But the main character was a 'famous' illustrator.
The comments were, also, really revealing. I especially liked how someone called them a missing porch step.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:42 PM on June 14, 2015


I love this article. It's a look at how harassment usually plays out in the real world in a niche that is nominally progressive and full of people who call themselves feminists.

This entire post 100% applies to punk/diy/anarchist/"indie" scenes full of progressive-y hipstery types as well.

It's funny in a dark not-haha but sigh and stare at the floor that we had a post almost exactly like this about alt lit.

You end up with a circle of people who call people out, and are tired of it, while somehow the shitty people are still popular and even some of the people who call them out still go to their shows and essentially endorse them, or are kind of inescapably networked in with them.

I don't know how to solve this. It's one of those things that needs a "i don't mean to stop the wheel, i mean to break the wheel" solution that everyone also needs to sign on with even if it costs them cool points. And who knows when that will happen.
posted by emptythought at 3:13 PM on June 14, 2015 [10 favorites]


aaaand digging deeper i realize this is basically yet another guy is misogynistic creeper shithead in alt lit story in fact.
posted by emptythought at 3:21 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I talked to Ed a couple times in SF in the early zeroes and he made me uncomfortable in a way I can't really explain. I'm not surprised that he evolved into this person.
posted by bendy at 3:23 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


You end up with a circle of people who call people out, and are tired of it, while somehow the shitty people are still popular and even some of the people who call them out still go to their shows and essentially endorse them, or are kind of inescapably networked in with them.

Spot on. I was talking with an acquaintance who does stand up and they were complaining about male comedians who were "whipping it out" on stage. They said no one, including them, will talk about it to a journalist or speak out about it publicly because these guys doing it are popular and help organize popular events.

It's kind of amazing an article like this was even written. It has to be real real bad for people to be willing to talk.

I think with tech and other niches that are ostensibly bad for women at least there is a level of self-awareness that leads people to take harassment a bit more seriously from the outset.
posted by melissam at 3:26 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


“I feel terrible for him, and worse for the people he’s hurt,” blogger Richard Grayson told me. “I don’t think he means to do it.”

This is one reason why I am losing any interest in whether harassers and abusers "mean to do it." Better intentions don't matter. Hell, very quickly, intentions don't matter at all. Effects matter, and we need to pay more attention to this. Stop it with the endless benefits of the doubt.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:54 PM on June 14, 2015 [19 favorites]


Note to self: don't get involved with the New York literary set.

Or science fiction fandom. Or anybody, really.
posted by Naberius at 3:58 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, good grief, his comment. Is there a point at which jawdropping self-entitlement actually BECOMES pathological in and of itself?
posted by KathrynT at 4:05 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not that girl wrote: Never have I been so grateful for my failures as a writer.

OK, they don't count as Metafilter tag-lines if you're trying.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:27 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


So I can be a total asshole to people then just say it's "performance art" when they complain? Good to know; tomorrow will be fun (for me). /s
posted by sfkiddo at 6:14 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Any time you can write this about someone and it sounds more true than funny, you MIGHT be a jerk: "“Seriously, if you know Ed Champion IRL,” The Toast co-founder Nicole Cliffe added, “and there’s a room he won’t let you into, it’s full of HUMAN FEMALE HEADS call the cops.”"
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:32 PM on June 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


I had no idea he was now a literary elite. I remember him as an early blogger. A woman blogger told me he was a persistent creep; no one else in the "blogosphere" (as it was called) talked about this.

I guess he just kept iterating on this for a decade.
posted by ignignokt at 7:33 PM on June 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


So I can be a total asshole to people then just say it's "performance art" when they complain?

No. That's not how performance art works. Using performance art as an excuse to be a jerk is the highbrow version of "I'm a nice guy once you get to know me. I just don't BS like other people, I say it like it is."
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:04 PM on June 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gygesringtone: "I'm a nice guy once you get to know me. I just don't BS like other people, I say it like it is".

I've developed such an instinctual aversion to that constantly trotted out excuse that I actually just twitched reading this comment.
posted by pseudonymph at 8:19 PM on June 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Spot on. I was talking with an acquaintance who does stand up and they were complaining about male comedians who were "whipping it out" on stage. They said no one, including them, will talk about it to a journalist or speak out about it publicly because these guys doing it are popular and help organize popular events.

It's kind of amazing an article like this was even written. It has to be real real bad for people to be willing to talk.


It's not even that. Honestly, from everything i've seen, it feels like it's pinball or something. You have to land absolutely the perfect sequence of events and a lot of it is a game of chance, not just skill.

It not only takes someone speaking out and probably being excluded from the scene essentially forever. It takes them speaking out to someone who just happens to not only be outside the circle, but have their speech about it catch on and spread beyond it and become popular.

I've written about it before, how there was a situation in which it took tens of women coming forward that a popular punk-scene-dude was a fucking rapist before it got attention and anyone moved forward. Then he went to another city, and it took a few months before those people caught up with new outraged and victimized people to say "hey, he did this here, you gotta make a lot of noise and kick him out over there too"

And for literally years people had been going "hey, this popular guy is a shit" and everyone had been done something on the ok-meh-shit spectrum from "oh my god that's SO fucked i'm SO sorry" then nothing happens, to "oh, hmm, wow that's fucked up... uhhh", to even "Oh, well you're just his weird ex/fling and i know you guys had a drama filled relationship so uh..."

Tens of people. And this wasn't a huge community.

And i'm pretty sure that somewhere, maybe on another coast, this guy is still booking shows and being "cool".

You don't even need that much power, you just need backup. If you have enough "social capital" that if someone accuses you then you infinitely have not only a bunch of people to back you up, but enough people who are within that subgroup of people(women, minorities if someone says you're racist/sexist/homophobic/etc, punks/musicians/djs/photographers/etc if someone says you're not legit in that scene, combinations of the above, you get the idea) then even the shittiest bullshit excuse store is enough to defeat the shitty thing someone or even several people are saying you did because hey, there's all these other cool legit known people saying he would never do that!

The more of that you bank, the shittier you can be. You don't even have to be super famous or popular. You just need local backup.

I've lost count of how many times i've seen something like this work. Even worse, i don't even know how many times i was the fucking dunce who unwittingly gave an asshole like this backup because i just didn't know and he was someone i had known for many years.

It's a very, very efficient system that's extremely hard to derail and mulches a lot of people. It takes serious bravery to stand up to it and try and stop it.
posted by emptythought at 9:12 PM on June 14, 2015 [14 favorites]


I was never interviewed for this piece, nor did Ms. McCardle appproach me with any of her falsehoods. Most of the claims in this article are untrue. I have never been violent, have not raped anybody, do not go after people's families, and am certainly not a misogynist. If I were truly spending my years threatening people, would not the smart people in the publishing industry have tossed me out on my ass earlier? I made a tremendous mistake one night when I was drunk, had a nervous breakdown, and experienced long waves of homelessness and joblessness in which I was surrounded by or victimized by drugs, violence, humiliation, and countless other horrors that I would not wish on my worst enemy. The totality of my life, much of it good, is now viewed through that 24 hour prism. I lost everything and have done nothing objectionable in the last eight months, but that is clearly not enough of a price to pay.

I'm not asking for pity or redemption. How I work out parts of my life and become a better person on my own terms is entirely on me. But I do believe that everyone is deserving of dignity. If you want someone to change, or in this case a largely invented monster you wish to revile, you certainly don't trot out falsehoods and rumors and maintain that someone is always a villain. Pardon me if, after a long and ongoing therapeutic period following a suicide attempt in which I have been very lucky and am deeply grateful to be happy and alive and have worked very hard to find some self-respect that was absent from my core for years, if I defend myself, perhaps unwisely, against pellucid defamation, which is what this article is.

It is clear that no one has learned from Jon Ronson's recent investigation into public shaming. We are willing to condemn others, but not willing to examine our own complicity. I certainly don't wish to make this mistake and I have been much harder on myself, to the point of wanting to throw away my own life, than any of you could ever be. But positivism is how you find out what you're really made of. Had I not had that, I would likely be dead in a ditch right now. And I choose to receive your vituperations and your understandable condemnation with the hope that you might reconsider, as I certainly have with Emily Gould, that there is a person equally capable of amazing contributions to any community on the other side of the monitor.
posted by ed at 11:23 AM on June 15, 2015


We are willing to condemn others, but not willing to examine our own complicity.

sorry if i did something
posted by Greg Nog at 11:34 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I see nothing in his comments defending himself here and elsewhere that I haven't seen from other abusive men in similar positions as they figure out how to get themselves, yet again, in a position where they can continue to hurt people.
posted by NoraReed at 11:52 AM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Most of the claims in this article are untrue. I have never been violent,

McArdle agrees:
“He never hurt anyone physically,” Levi Asher insisted over the phone. As far as I can tell, this is true. And Asher is right to make this distinction: Champion never used physical force to hurt another person.
But:
Fairly constant throughout his career, however, is the threat of physical violence, which seemed to hang about Champion like a shadow.
have not raped anybody,

McArdle doesn't claim you raped anybody.

do not go after people's families,
“Ed was just very unpredictable,” former NBCC president John Freeman told me. Champion, who attended high school with Freeman, has written over 100 blog posts that mention the critic since 2004. After Champion moved to New York around 2006, he began to show up to Freeman’s events, taking pictures of him, confronting him. Freeman made it a practice to ignore Champion, and so the blogger started reaching out to Freeman’s family members. “I wrote some personal essays about my family,” Freeman told me, “and my mother was dying. Ed found my younger brother and started posting comments on his blog.” Freeman, who had already endured some of Champion’s most extreme attentions, was shocked by this last violation.
and am certainly not a misogynist.
Fun fact: if you search Champion’s website for the word “cunnilingus,” Google returns 187 results—twelve pages worth. Champion offers oral sex to women he wants something from, denies he wants to give it to women he interviews, fantasizes about performing it in different scenarios, and so on. (Sometimes Champion is straight up writing about sex, but it is not to those posts I refer.) The majority of comments are, by and large, made in jest. On other occasions he uses them as extreme but functional metaphors for being overly kind or flattering to a woman. Together they add up to disturbing picture of a man who habitually describes or refers to women in a sexual manner in decidedly nonsexual contexts. Readers: this is misogyny.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:09 PM on June 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


If I were truly spending my years threatening people, would not the smart people in the publishing industry have tossed me out on my ass earlier?

As has been demonstrated many times in many other "smart" industries, ed, a lot of awful people doing awful things can survive a long time within particular communities. Seniority is no defense.

It is clear that no one has learned from Jon Ronson's recent investigation into public shaming. We are willing to condemn others, but not willing to examine our own complicity.

This was not the lesson from Ronson's piece; neither was it "never publicly shame someone".
posted by fatbird at 12:09 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have never been violent, have not raped anybody, do not go after people's families

A response to things you are not accused of, already called out explicitly as misdirection.

I made a tremendous mistake one night when I was drunk, had a nervous breakdown, and experienced long waves of homelessness and joblessness in which I was surrounded by or victimized by drugs, violence, humiliation, and countless other horrors that I would not wish on my worst enemy.

I know a lot of people who have been through bad times with drugs and mental illness, myself included - nobody likes the guy who does what you're doing here. Get off the damn Internet, Ed.
posted by atoxyl at 12:20 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Regarding the misogyny claim, note that he's pulling the trick of trying to turn a "what you did" conversation into "what you are" conversation. Atoxyl points out that there's a lot of deliberate misdirection in that comment; this is another piece of that.
posted by NoraReed at 12:23 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I defend myself, perhaps unwisely, against pellucid defamation, which is what this article is.

Every one of those quotes is fabricated? Every person who says you've been creepy and frightening is lying?
posted by KathrynT at 12:25 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dear Ed,
I don't know you, we will likely never meet so let's this anonymous voice offer some advice either you take or leave -
Don't do it.
There's no advantage, nothing to be gained, you're not gonna change anyone's mind.
Have a great day, take care of yourself.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:33 PM on June 15, 2015


I'm most interested in the disconnect between McArdle's:
"Champion politely declined to speak with me for this article; Weinman never responded to my several requests."

and ed's:
"I was never interviewed for this piece, nor did Ms. McCardle appproach me with any of her falsehoods."
posted by Greg Nog at 12:33 PM on June 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Those are nicely consistent statements! If he declined to speak with her, then indeed, he was not interviewed. And "McCardle never approached me with any of her falsehoods"—well, if she approached him asking to talk, and not directly with, say, "I assert that you are a violent, abusive ass; how do you respond?", then, sure, that could be a true statement too.
posted by kenko at 12:42 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


It definitely falls within the Genie School of Making The Most Out Of A Technically True Statement
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The "politely declined" phrase appears to be recently added (or I missed it), but I acknowledged her half-hearted efforts to contact me in the comment I left on the article. But here's the way journalism works. If I am writing a long article accusing Greg Nog of a serious charge, I email him and say, "Look, Greg, I know you don't want to talk. But I have these stories and I really want to get your side." That doesn't mean you are partial to Greg. Truman Capote and Joe McGinnis took very little pity on their subjects, but they did go out of their way to spend time with them. But since you're so determined to demonize me, I'll take my positivism elsewhere and leave you with your unshakable bile. You see? Complicity.
posted by ed at 1:54 PM on June 15, 2015


Put the shovel down.
posted by rtha at 2:02 PM on June 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I never received such an email
posted by Greg Nog at 2:06 PM on June 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


So, it's her fault for not chasing you hard enough to get your take, and now it's Greg's fault for noticing your evasiveness. Lawls. Plenty of blame for everyone 'cept Ed, it seems.
posted by Ambient Echo at 2:08 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Her meaning Molly McArdle, I should clarify.
posted by Ambient Echo at 2:09 PM on June 15, 2015


Fess up Greg, we know you did it.
posted by Think_Long at 2:15 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


In fact, everything is Greg's fault. All of it, everywhere, forever!
posted by rtha at 2:16 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


That fucking Greg Nog. I always knew there was something - finky - about that guy...
posted by From Bklyn at 2:23 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Greg is just too powerful.
posted by kenko at 2:31 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Folks, this is not an open forum to take cheap shots at someone who is actually participating in the conversation. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:47 PM on June 15, 2015


Seems like a lot of bytes to spend on last year's seedy scandal. And given that Mr. Champion does not have a huge number of Twitter followers, the way the article argues for the ongoing importance of this podcast drama seems like a stretch.

"He regularly attended Book Expo America; he wrote for the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chronicle of Higher Education; he got advanced copies of books..."

I mean I used to get advanced copies of books just by having a small blog and not being able to get off mailing lists. And the number of times Mr. Champion appeared in those publications seems small -- showing up in book review sections is not a big deal in these days of slashed newspaper budgets. Mostly I feel gross for reading about this scene and spending the time to figure out what it meant.
posted by johngoren at 4:39 PM on June 15, 2015


no one is requiring you to participate in conversations you're uninterested in.
posted by nadawi at 4:45 PM on June 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


We are willing to condemn others, but not willing to examine our own complicity.
For what it's worth, I think that actually is the interesting question, although I don't think I was personally complicit in this particular situation. It doesn't really matter what drove Ed Champion: I don't think we'll ever have any idea what combination of mental illness and jerkishness makes someone behave the way he did, and I honestly don't know that it matters anyway. The question is why entire communities allow people to continue to behave that way and what we can all do in the future to avoid letting pathetic and/or evil people wreak havoc on the communities that we value. He's personally boring and irrelevant, I think. What's interesting are the dynamics that enabled him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:03 PM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


You see? Complicity.

Good grief, complicity? You are literally victim-blaming on top of "yeah but No True Journalist would stop at being declined for an interview" and a lot of other jaw-dropping displays of cognitive dissonance.

I never got a chance to hear from the guy who stalked and harassed members of my own family and ask wtf he was thinking. This thread is at least certainly an object lesson if nothing else.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:23 PM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


But perhaps the TRUE harasser... was...
[throws out back while attempting to turn large mirror toward reader]
posted by Greg Nog at 9:58 PM on June 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


[Folks, this is not an open forum to take cheap shots at someone who is actually participating in the conversation. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad 8 hours ago [+]


You're right. Sorry Greg, I got I got - caught up - in the moment. Sorry. Lost my head
posted by From Bklyn at 11:13 PM on June 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is the best thing to happen to a thread here in a really long time. It's like opening a box of cereal and finding $100.
posted by emptythought at 4:19 AM on June 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


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