Jacobinghazi Part Deux

I’ve been asked by a number of people to take this down just to cool things off. I wrote the post because there was a lot of confusion swirling around specifically about me. The stuff I saw in the immediate aftermath of the initial post makes me pretty confident that those confusions have cleared up. Since I don’t particularly care that much about this or have any significant involvement in it beside a single tweet (one of the things now cleared up), I don’t see much value in keeping the post up when others insist it is crucial that it be taken down.

On to more election prognosticating with the best team in town.

What would it take to make Sarah Kendzior admit this is not true?

Sarah Kendzior is a liar. But this is old news, with the Jacobinghazi affair perhaps the most high-profile example thus far. I toyed with a piece going through a history of her unhinged deception, but instead I think it’d be more interesting to keep things simple.

So here is a fun question: what would it take to make Sarah Kendzior admit that what she said in this tweet is not correct?

In this tweet, Kendzior claims Megan Erickson, editor at Jacobin magazine, advocated that Kendzior be raped. This did not happen. Nobody besides Sarah Kendzior thinks this happened on account of the fact that it didn’t happen. Even with Kendzior, I can’t be sure if this comment is an intentional lie or genuine but delusional. Her behavior on this topic is right on that edge where it’s cogent enough to think she may be in touch with reality, but deranged enough that you wonder if she’s mentally well.

In addition to not being true, this is a rather vicious smear to put on someone. It seems then, at the very minimum, Kendzior should be expected to recant this lie. But what would it take for that to happen? Would her sycophants have to turn on her? Would she refuse until the very end even after all the social capital she calls upon in these lunatic episodes dries up? I am genuinely curious.

Here’s another question: what would it take for Kendzior to admit this isn’t true either?

If you wonder why Kendzior suddenly stops tweeting when certain people get on her case, it’s because she goes to the DM to continue her usual silliness. In this case, she’s said people have told her Doug Williams — a black fellow in Alabama it should be pointed out only because that matters in this world — wants to hurt her. Is this true? I suspect it isn’t true because Williams has denied it, there is no evidence of it, it’d be crazy if he did do it and he doesn’t strike me as crazy, oh and because Kendzior is a liar, as we know.

What would it take to get Kendzior to recant this, do you think? My hopes are somewhat buoyed by the fact that there is a strong case to make, as Sarah Slamen did, that a white woman filling up people’s DMs saying a black man wants to hurt her when he doesn’t is pretty racist. Something about lynching and false accusations regarding black men’s behavior towards white women. It’s in the history books. I haven’t the time to explain it here. Anyways, surely this is the sort of lie that is seriously unconscionable, so much so that some of the people unconcerned about the lie pertaining to Megan Erickson could be moved. But maybe not. The social capital and wagon-circling go deep and it’s quite possible nothing could ever jar it open.

In these latest Kendzior episodes, I have been interested to see what exactly her defenders have to say about them. It’s not often that you have someone making vicious, over-the-top accusations about others that the public record of events show to be demonstrably false. Normally, there is enough grey area that people can carve out some theory as to how she’s not lying, but not in this case. So what do they say?

I expected that the people arguing that what she is doing is not heinous would just insist that everything she says is true and then dissemble when people point out it isn’t. That’s a common and easy strategy. But, interestingly, that’s not what has happened.

In the Jacobinghazi episode of the Sarah Kendzior Show, many of her supporters (most prominently @davidgraeber and @caulkthewagon) ultimately came around to the position that, although she’s clearly lying, the spewing of lies is driven by the trauma she is currently experiencing. The argument was that Jacobin running a post that links to her public tweet about bros sending rape threats was so traumatic an experience that she just could not control herself. Like a Vietnam Veteran who starts shooting people when he hears a car backfire, being linked in that Jacobin piece caused her to start shooting lies.

I thought this was a clever theory when I read it, even if a bit implausible given her track record of lying about others, which does not always correspond with any claimed trauma event. But given the fact that she has continued to say, now months later, that Erickson is advocating that she be raped, it would seem the “trauma-responding” theory of why she says lies about others doesn’t really hold up. I went back to see how @davidgraeber and @caulkthewagon were handling this apparent blow to the trauma-responding theory and I found this.

Graeber, I guess to his credit, has backed off his trauma-responding arguments. Kendzior is no longer under attack by links and phantom threats, so it’s fair game to wonder why she continues to lie.

@caulkthewagon, it seems, is holding steady to the trauma-responding defense even as the lies keep coming months later, when there is no conceivable trauma-related excuse for it. Shrug.

Joshua Foust: also a dumbass

Before reading this, it’s useful to see yesterday’s spectacular Jacobinghazi recap. During Jacobinghazi, a deluge of provable and unhinged lies thrown out there by one Sarah Kendzior about public text of all things managed to tar three women as misogynists and rape apologists, one for saying rape should be taken more seriously than “bro” implies, another for defending the first woman, and the last for writing something totally unrelated to the matter altogether that somehow got sucked into the jaws of pure malice.

The recap briefly mentions Joshua Foust’s strange involvement in the matter, but it deserves greater elucidation. Foust is reportedly a friend of Kendzior’s and got right out in front of the whole whirlybird of lies with the most spectacular lie of all:

A typo or inadequate summary due to the constraints of twitter? Nope:

Elias Isquith, Salon editor, pipes in to this facially absurd suggestion to clear his name, and Foust mercifully clarifies that he doesn’t mean editors like Isquith:

Gosh, Elias, why can’t you read?! Clearly Foust doesn’t mean you. He means Salon writers who aren’t editors that are involved in this spectacle. That means either Elizabeth Stoker (who recall from above did not even write on the Jacobinghazi affair at all, but was sucked into it by the delusional rantings of a pathological liar) or yours truly. It’s not clear who the Jacobin writers he is referring to are. Megan Erickson and Amber A’Lee Frost?

Are Foust’s accusations the rantings of a mad man or does he have some basis for them? He has hard evidence you see, plenty of it in fact:

Well, “emails and deleted tweets” refers to specific things. Foust is claiming to have seen specific identifiable things here.

Two-and-a-Half Days Later

Somehow Foust, who recall has plenty of evidence of this absurd claim that he has specifically enumerated, got it wrong:

What the fuck, Joshua Foust? Are you a cold-blooded liar, dumb as shit, or something else?

How could he possibly have come out firing these bold accusations, claiming he had evidence? There are three possibilities:

  1. Foust just made the whole thing up out of nothing. He never saw any evidence. He never spoke to anyone. He just intentionally pushed out this lie, perhaps out of some misplaced sense of solidarity with Kendzior.
  2. Foust actually did see things that he somehow massively confused. This means he is a severe idiot. It also means that there are specific identifiable things in the world “emails and deleted tweets” that he should share with the rest of us, so that we can understand the depth of his illiteracy.
  3. Somebody lied to Foust and told him that Jacobin and Salon writers were, themselves, sending rape threats to Sarah Kendzior. Foust never saw the evidence to this effect, but was assured that it existed by somebody he trusted. I wonder who that could have been.

I don’t know which of the three it is. There is culpability on someone somewhere though. If it’s (1), Foust is a seriously fucked up person. If it’s (2), Foust is so incompetent that he probably shouldn’t have a job that involves reading. If it’s (3), then I wonder if Foust feels bad for having been used, like so many others were, to orchestrate this unhinged smear campaign built upon a mountain of provable falsehoods.

Finally, whether she was involved in feeding the bullshit to Foust or not, Kendzior almost certainly saw Foust making these accusations that she personally knew were untrue. If so, one wonders why she didn’t correct it? Such mystery!

More opportunistic misreads

I wrote previously about the dust up caused by Sarah Kendzior’s penchant for intentionally misreading things. She does that a lot. It’s pretty silly.

Anyways, she’s at it again:

Last RT is re: Elizabeth Stoker, who said that I had to be “disciplined” through “character assassination”, as I received rape threats

This tweet is in reference to a post Elizabeth Stoker wrote titled “Disciplining Women.” In it, she makes a very lucid argument regarding the heinous ways in which women with unorthodox views are disciplined into shutting up:

But unorthodox views can, especially for women in left academic feminism, result in precisely that form of discipline: withdrawal of community, overwhelming assassination of character, a very sudden onslaught of negative feedback and demands for apology. It strikes me that this method of disciplining members is another symptom of the problem Amber gets at in her article: the community is not so concerned with what is true or false as with who is good and who is bad.

This has been a facet of the left academic community I’m associated with (and do enjoy the fellowship of) that has distressed me for sometime, and I’m glad Amber took the time to flesh the problem out, even if the process turned out to be a bit more performative than she may have intended.

There is no mystery as to the point here. It is that when women express unorthodox views — e.g. Frost’s objections to certain usages of the word “bro” — a huge swarm of outrage bots are sent their way to discipline them. Through the proximate mechanisms of “withdrawal of community, overwhelming assassination of character, [and] a very sudden onslaught of negative feedback and demands for apology,” non-conforming women are disciplined away from speaking their minds.

This does not say that Sarah Kendzior should be “disciplined” through “character assassination.” It doesn’t come even remotely close to saying that. Nobody could ever confuse it for saying that.

(Somewhat amusingly, Kendzior has actually provided a perfect example of the sort of disciplining — by any means necessary including obvious lies — Stoker’s point is remarking upon.)

But like I said before, this is par for the course for Kendzior. Frost’s argument regarding the inappropriateness of using the cutesy tag of “bro” when describing seriously heinous violence against women was not unclear. Kendzior intentionally misrepresented it. My prior argument about the asymmetric way class and gender identity is treated within the anti-oppressive language framework was not unclear. Kendzior intentionally misrepresented it. And here we are again. Nobody who can read would ever derive from that blockquoted text above what Kendzior tweeted it as saying.

Either Kendzior is a deceptive moron or she has literacy problems. I can’t say for sure which it is, but I suspect it’s more the former than the latter.