Et Tu, Brute? An Open Letter In Response To The Founder of Liberal America

...a full measure of ire, unleashed.

…a full measure of ire, unleashed.

     I don’t usually do this type of thing with my weblog. I try to stay as close to stories and editorials as I can, without airing personal issues or using The Cybersattva as a forum for redressing grievances, if it can be at all avoided. This time however, the offending party has left me no other choice, no alternate avenue for an in-kind, personal response; therefore I am  forced into the open. (The rules set by Ms. Willis, seem to indicate that a personal attack can be launched, with the avenue for a personal response immediately being closed off, thereby necessitating a public response. So in essence, I am now playing by her rules. So be it, id est quod id est.) With Sinead as my inspiration, I proceed…

Now I'm the Bad Guy.

Now I’m the Bad Guy.

“You want me to be the bad guy? Fine…now I’m the bad guy.”
(Mother Gothel, “Tangled,” ©2010, Walt Disney Pictures.)

     This all stems from an article that was written for the “Liberal America” website, a decidedly biased commentary on a news story from August of last year. I, in turn, composed a rebuttal piece, in which I expressed a fair amount of disdain at media bias from both right and left-wing sources. Let me make this abundantly clear: at no time, and in no way, shape or form, did I ever set out to besmirch Liberal America on the whole. I merely had strong opinions with regards to one article, and expressed them accordingly. No, on the contrary. I like a lot of the stuff coming out on LA, Ms. Willis has managed to accumulate a fine stable of writers.

     As a result of last night’s piece, Ms. Willis sent me the following message via Facebook, which I will be parsing and answering ammodum:

“Willis

Did you seriously write an article on your blog targeting my site? With a screenshot of the Facebook post from my site? And the phrase “certain publications”? And call me partisan media? Which we are, unabashedly biased. Hence our name. And called it a “spin”? Can you not give your opinion – however stupid it may be – without smearing a friend’s website? First you get all in my business with an employee with whom I’m facing a legal issue. You didn’t know her. In fact, you don’t know me. And now this? Let me get on my soapbox: screw you. With friends like you….I dump them and get new friends.”

Willis

Side note: you’re narcissistic, self-promoting, and you’re not British, so drop the fake “apologise.””

     So let’s delve into this, shall we, Ms. Willis? First, you asked this of me;

“Did you seriously write an article on your blog targeting my site? With a screenshot of the Facebook post from my site?”

     The answer to your first question is no. I did not write an article on my weblog for the purpose of “targeting your site.” I wrote my article as a refutation of one article at Liberal America, and not Liberal America on the whole. As to your second question, yes. I employed the use of a screenshot, from my own newsfeed, which referenced the article in question. (It’s fair use, and perfectly acceptable.) You went on to inquire:

“And the phrase “certain publications”?”

     Yes, I employed the phrase you mention, not only with regards to Liberal America, but also publications on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Had you read my article thoroughly and objectively, you may have noted that.

“And call me partisan media? Which we are, unabashedly biased. Hence our name.”

     Very well, since you just so much as admitted to being partisan, then I fail to see why you should be up in arms regarding my assessment. In addition, I did not call you “partisan media,” I referred to your website thusly. I had no idea that you and your website were the same entity. (Ms. Willis, you are not merely your website. The sooner you reach that epiphany, the easier your lot in life will become.)

“And called it a “spin”?”

     Absolutely. What would you call an article with a misleading title, meant to incite bias? Is that not “spin”? I’ve witnessed this enough from Faux News, to recognise it when I see it from publications on the opposite end of the spectrum. It should be noted that I referred to the article as “spin,” and not the site itself.

“Can you not give your opinion – however stupid it may be – without smearing a friend’s website?”

     So now it gets personal. So now, my own opinions are “stupid.” That, Ms. Willis, is an immature, cheap shot. Again, and I’m tiring of saying this, I wasn’t out to “smear your website,” I published a rebuttal to one piece.

“First you get all in my business with an employee with whom I’m facing a legal issue. You didn’t know her. In fact, you don’t know me.”

     Since you went there, then by all means, let’s go there. The information that I was made privy to, came from Ms. Smith. At no time at all, did I dig into your business. If calling one of your writers a “dumb bitch” in Facebook chat is your method of engaging in “business,” I would seriously look into changing my business model, if it ’twere me. In addition to that, I would not be referring to my stable of writers as “employees.” They’re the “talent.” They’re the ones who are fueling the Liberal America vehicle with the gas of articles, and making it go. Heaven forbid that they should walk en masse, then your fledgling endeavor would cease to be. While you are “Gene, Gene,” they are “Jo, Jo.” Don’t become “Art, Art.”

“And now this? Let me get on my soapbox: screw you. With friends like you….I dump them and get new friends.”

     Ms. Willis, I had no idea that you were this thinly skinned, or I might have approached my rebuttal even more gingerly than I believe I did. As for “screwing me,” while I’m flattered by the offer, I’m afraid I must refuse. As to the “unfriending,” that I cannot prevent, and Godspeed. Then again, you couldn’t simply leave it at that, could you? It seems that you added a…what did you call it?

“Side note: you’re narcissistic, self-promoting, and you’re not British, so drop the fake “apologise.””

     You will find no sidenotes here, only mainline responses. I’m narcissistic? I took a little impromptu poll, and the consensus is that no, I’m not. Self-promoting? Sure, no one else is going to promote me, so I might as well. As for the cultural requirement that you’ve placed upon my spelling, who in the blue, bloody hell are you to tell me how to spell “apologise”? I am, in point of fact, part English. I’m also 1/2 Hispanic, 1/4 Dutch, and a mix of Scots-Irish and English. The refinements that I employ when I write are my own, and you are in absolutely no position to presume to dictate to me when and where to employ them.

     Ms. Willis, if you were under the impression that I would sit by, in silent acquiescence of your invective-laced, “third degree” personal attack, then I regret (meh, not so much) to inform you that you were, putting this in Halloween terms, “frightfully” mistaken.

“If you think I’ll sit around while you chip away my brain,
Listen I ain’t foolin’ and you’d better think again.
Out there is a fortune waitin’ to be had,
You think I’ll let it go, you’re mad…
You got another thing comin’.”
(Judas Priest, ©1982, Columbia Records.)

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2 comments on “Et Tu, Brute? An Open Letter In Response To The Founder of Liberal America

  1. Mark Caesar says:

    Having read the article you wrote a day ago that evoked this response I was not left thinking bad things about “Liberal America” at all. I don’t think you were targeting either Liberal America or the writers/talent.

    Everyone has the opportunity to jump to the wrong conclusion, and occasionally does. I think Ms Willis might have been having a bad day or something mundane like that.

    I enjoyed your original article and think you pointed out a messy situation and the circumstances, presenting a reasonably complete and unbiased view.

    Do you have any grains of salt?

    • Salt? Typically, I eat a low-salt diet…

      No, I believe I’ve lain it bare here, with as much salt as I could retrieve from the seasonings cupboard. (And as much restraint as I could muster.)

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