tmccarthy0's picture


    Dear David Ehrenstein:

    You really took it personally, when I told some Glenn Greenwald supporters that their vitriol against another commenter at has to stop. It was uncalled for you know, unneccesary, people are allowed to believe what they want to believe, even if you don’t believe it! Northwestwoods is an inarticulate bully, and I just asked him to refrain from that behavior as it was complete unnecessary.  Alex Parenee wrote a column yesterday, based on Peter Daou’s latest blog about liberal bloggers ruining President Obama’s chances to be reelected. Of course I don’t believe those bloggers have as much sway as they think they do, but that is beside the point now. However, Glenn Greenwald has a band of bullies who follow him, and they’ve been harassing another longtime letters commenter at Salon, they chase her around Salon, calling her names, attacking her constantly. Dick moves, that is what they are called,  dick moves and intimidation tactics are their methods.

    David, for several months I’ve witnessed, Mr. Greenwald and his band of fanboi followers attack this other commenter as though she were a troll and as though she should be shut down completely. It began to make me believe, they want to control what goes on in the comment threads at Salon and anyone disagreeing with them should be intimidated and shut down immediately. This other poster, bernbart, is never offensive, she just writes what she believes and yesterday at Parenee’s column it began with this:

    Hey bernbart

    Go fuck yourself.

    Your mindless, slavish obeisance to anything Obama makes me puke. He could eat a baby alive on TV and you and RusselM would make excuses for him. You are even worse than the loyal Bushies. Considerably worse.

    Ever hear that stupid term "obot"? It describes you two perfectly.



    So Mr. Northwestwoods, def, def, defininetly is a man who takes Greenwald seriously. I don’t have a problem with that, I have a problem with personal attacks of other posters, who are on topic. You know, many times if someone disagrees with your point of view, it shouldn’t matter; it doesn’t call for vitriolic, offensive attacks. So of course, I told Mr. Northwestwoods exactly that:

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 07:47 PM ET


    Really, why was it necessary to write a response like that in the form of a personal attack? This is why you folks are marginalized, because of the offensive, bully like tactics you use to scare people off, keep them from writing about their own opinions. All of you come from Greenwalds column, and you seem to follow her around this web site to attack her, and you all do this because it is sanctioned by Greenwald himself. You are a terrible excuse for a human being, I didn't see bernbart address you in such an offensive manner, and certainly your attack on her was not the required response. Why not just comment on the article and move on.

    —teresa Read teresa's other letters


    I watched over a matter of months, how Mr. Greenwald himself treated bernbart the frequent poster, in fact, even though she was rarely off topic, he began to limit her posting at his blog, certainly well within his rights to do so, but to do it simply because she disagreed with him, is quite thin skinned. So when I see them come out of the Land of Nod, and they are attacking her, I chide them, their manners are nonexistant. Tim Gunn would be proud of me.

    Not long afterwards, David, here was your articulate response:you know, articulate for a Neanderthal.  For a writer, you really have a way with words, and you sure are angry! I love that you go right for the fight challenge. I think you were trying to scare me because I am a woman, and the internet is often times quite misogynistic, and men on the internet seem to revel in intimidating women. But as a veteran of the UsenetWars, I’ve read plenty worse than this. But I think you should be called out for your inability to articulate how you really feel in a manner that might convince others to agree with you.  Instead you wrote what so many commenters write in Glenn’s letters forum, you express your anger in terms of kicking someone’s ass. That is the norm there, and you jumped in with both feet didn’t you, you jumped in to make sure I was shut down, as though I would never respond to you.  You’d think if someone with your supposed stature was going to threaten another commenter on the interwebs, you would you know that you should create yourself a sockpuppet and do it that way, but in your wisdom you decided to respond thusly, and under your own name:

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 08:31 PM ET


    If I knew where you lived I'd be sure to drop by, rip off your head and shit down your neck, CUNT!

    —David Ehrenstein Read David Ehrenstein's other letters


    So, I did laugh, because threats on the interwebs are hilariously funny! So I responded like this:

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 08:39 PM ET


    Oh, nice threat, keyboard warrior. Is that supposed to scare me? Well I am easy to find David, I live my life out loud, so if you are ever in Seattle, come on over, we'll just see what kind of tough guy you really are.

    —teresa Read teresa's other letter

    I mean, do you think you have the power of 4Chan? Hell if they were threatening me, I would be worried, but you, some old dude born in 1947, and all you have to say is if you knew where I lived you would come after me, and this is what passes for discourse?  And you are a so-called writer? But seriously, your response is indicative of the majority of those who comment at Glenn Greenwald’s blog, never take them to task and never take their leader to task, because threats will come in a steady stream.  Although, most participants in the comment sections will refrain from threatening bodily harm of other commenters some will not, like you David.  But David, this seems like a dumb thing to do, since you already have your own forum, and you are fairly well known writer, but you want to fight a 48 year old woman, because I don’t like the discourse of the Greenwald bully brigade. In the words of VP Joe Biden, buck up, and explain why you didn’t return to defend your most awesome threat? When will you be arriving in Seattle? Can I meet you at the airport? You’ll recognize me by the sign I carry, the David Ehrenstein Here I Am sign, I think I will have it professionally made, so you won’t miss it, it should be grand, so come on over, back up your threats David, let me know when you are arriving.  It is amazing to me this is what passes for discourse, even among those people who are supposedly professional writers! Wow David, your response was so incredibly intelligent and a good fist fight is what we are missing isn’t it! Although I haven’t seen you threaten any men. Why is that David? It isn’t all that surprising, because you think women are easy targets, easily intimidated, and will just go away. Guess what David, I am not going to go away, not ever, I am going to state my opinions,  and I am going to argue with folks just like you every day I am at Salon, you can’t chase me away.

    David Ehrenstein, why do you want to portray yourself as a violent, thin skinned, misogynist, who makes threats over the internet, even though there was no comment about your own writing, or your own followers. You felt the need obviously to portray yourself as the penultimate Greenwald follower, a man in the bully brigade, who believes threatening a 5'6", 122 pound woman is the best way to achieve your goals. I just don’t know what those goals might be, are they just to intimidate anyone who disagrees with  Greenwald? Shut down discussion, name call, and leave, to figure you can get away with anything you want? David, you can’t just get away with it, defend your posting to me. Defend yourself David, defend your words, and defend your threats, why didn’t you return to defend yourself? Oh, maybe you are you embarrassed by your own writing?


    I suspect he's probably afraid you'd do to him what he threatens to do to you.

    These characters are all driven by their fears.

    Hah! I am waiting for him to let me know when he is arriving! They certainly are driven by their own fears, you are correct about that one!

    Liberals unite!

    Whatever happend to the old Unity Pony from TPM cafe?

    There is a unity pony? Damn, I guess I missed it, again, serves me right for not paying attention while at the cafe!


    It is so clear to me.

    I know who the enemy is. AND IT AINT US!!!

    Jesus H. Christ, just listen to hannity and palin and the other corporate fronts at fox; just listen to rush limbaugh.

    I know who the enemy is AND IT AINT US

    So go ahead and attack the only chance of not permitting the bush agenda keep on keepin on.

    Thank you Mac


    Pretty amazing stuff goes on, on the interwebs, it's fun, I hadn't been interested in writing about anything lately. Just riding my bike, thinking about winter and skiing, dabbling at Salon.  So I should thank David, for making me write!

    Hi T!  Good to see you here though I'm sorry to be reading this particular post.

    Seems you've bumped into some very unpleasant characters over at Salon.  My experience, albeit limited, is that there are certain personality types that pull this sort of thing online and these folks feel free to dispense with any civility or common rules of discourse.  It seems that this mania, for lack of a better term, can manifest among people of all viewpoints and is not the exclusive province of any particular point on the political specturm.  Personally, I like Greenwald's point of view and find his analysis right on target and consistently tied to particular issues, values, and clear policies as opposed to personality which dominates much political discussion these days.  I do not know, because I don't spend lots of time in the letters at Salon, anything about the people posting over there or the circumstances you describe.  But, from reading your post it appears things have simply gotten out of hand.  The only thing you can really do about such folks is either complain to the people running the site or supervising it in some way or just to ignore them completely.  I wish there were some other means of dealing with such folks but I really don't think there is.  Anyone can lose their temper or be over the top, but that's different from the kind of stuff you are talking about which is a habituallly consistent, insulting array of pointlessly personal attacks and obscenity filled barrages against one or more or sometimes all persons they disagree with.  It's not productive.  It's not rational.  It's not necessary.  I hope this particular outbreak comes to an end soon.

    Whatever happens over there I sure am glad to see your name popping up here!  Be well!


    Hi Oleeb, long time! Yes things are out of hand, as they are everywhere. I want the comment to stand, it says everything one needs to know about Mr. Ehrenstein, but you'd think from a media critic and activist you get better prose! Hell the dude even has his own IMDB page! Ahh Salon, their letters forums are always a well, they leave a good deal to be desired.

    That is the reason I don't read Salon much.  Comments that use insulting language runs off readers who just read for information.  I am seeing more of it this past year on the news sites that I like to read.  The commenters that are having a rip snorting good time commenting like that, get skipped by readers who soon learn to recognize their moniker because the tone they set isn't worth reading the comment thread.  I just move on to another topic that has my interest.  

    Thanks for posting it.           

    Thanks Momoe. Yea and Mr Ehrenstein is a famous media critic and activist, you'd think he would be more careful!

    Just came across this clambake by chance.

    Most amusing.


    If this is really you, you ought to tear your own head off in shame, you pathetic coward. 


    This post shocks me, tm, and I'm usually unsurprised by how low things can go. 

    You've got guts, girl, and good on you for speaking your mind and sticking to it no matter what that asshole said. 

    But, Austin, nice that you're outraged for her.  This is outrageous stuff.

    Friends don't let friends get set on by chickenshit assholes like that without responding.

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