Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why I Deleted a Very Old Comment from a Scott Pullins Post.

Few would probably have noticed this, but in case someone does, better I lay all this out now.

The comment was in response to a now-famous post in which I publicly declared Scott Pullins a douchebag for flogging the "Ted is gay" whisper campaign during the election. An anonymous commenter posted an argument that went like this:

  • Pullins "pitched 16 kinds of hissy" when someone posted a rumor about his wife on a local message board.
  • Using Pullins' logic and facts he has provided, I can make the same insinuations about Pullins and his wife that he is making about the Stricklands.
A second comment made additional remarks along the same lines.

Generally I don't favor posting unsubstantiated rumors on blogs. I've done it, regretted it, pulled it. I've challenged people on a couple of occasions to back up claims they make in comments. And I especially don't like rumors posted by anonymous commenters.

In this case the comment was different because the Anonymouse was reporting the fact that the rumor had been posted elsewhere and the fact that Pullins had gone thermonuclear over it to make an argument about his hypocrisy. The poster wasn't endorsing the rumor, and in fact his argument is stronger if the rumor is not true. I read the post carefully with the cursor hovering over the "Delete" button before deciding it was OK.

Until yesterday when Scott's wife Kathy emailed. She has gone through an emotional ringer because people around them keep running out the rumor. She says they tracked it down to a former employee.

I explained to Kathy why I left the comment up and my reading that the comment doesn't endorse the rumor. All the while I assured her that the comment would be deleted because keeping it up is not worth her emotional pain. Her only role in this is having married Scott Pullins. She hasn't stepped out, she's not part of his political activity. She doesn't deserve this. I know from Sitemeter hits that every once in a while my post gets a link on the Knox County bulletin board and people from around there come by and read it. If the post is leading people to believe that a rumor about an innocent third party is true, it's not worth it. It comes down.

One final note to my friends in the lefty blogosphere. In her two-day email exchange with me, Kathy Pullins has been nothing but class. She could have rolled into my life blasting away with "How dare you" and "John Brunner" and "You're a hypocrit," but she didn't. She was measured and civil throughout. As far as I could tell, she was acting on her own, appealing to me as a human being to help her out of an ugly situation that was not of her making.

So please, let's not have any nasty posts that make Kathy regret approaching me. You know what I'm talking about. None of the "Scott send his wife to do his dirty work" or "Scott Pullins, henpecked" or anything else like that. This was between Kathy and me, she agreed to let me disclose that as part of bringing down the post and I'm telling you; Kathy is OK. OK? OK!

As for Scott Pullins? Still a douchebag.

4 comments:

matt r. said...

i never did hear the final word. is ted strickland gay?

redhorse said...

brilliant send-off.

Pho said...

Matt:

Frances says no.

Lisa Renee said...

Not that I'm sure it makes a huge bit of difference, but given the circumstances I would have done the same thing. I don't normally delete comments at all but if a similar scenario came up, it would seem to be the best way to handle it.