I admit it. I’m sometimes unkind, perhaps occasionally mean. Take, for example, my snotty remarks about Scott Gordon on my top ten list.
Note: I do not know Scott Gordon and have never interacted with him. My understanding was that he claimed to have been involved in “outing” David Twede. Scott Gordon may be a lovely person. I wouldn’t know, but if he really did what he is said to have claimed, yeah, that’s pretty crappy.
Is it hypocritical of me to decry Louis Midgley’s attack on C.L. Hanson, given my occasional “nastiness”? No, not really. I kind of expect bitter ad hominem from Midgley, but I expect substance, not distortions, along with the vitriol. What made Midgley’s attack so egregious wasn’t that he went looking for dirt or that he presumed to judge the intellectual content of her personal blog, though both of these actions had nothing to do with what she had written. The bigger problem is that Midgley did not engage her essay at all. In fact, the only times he even mentioned what she had written was to dismiss her as arrogant and insincere.
Allen Wyatt suggested that Midgley’s blog post was an academic paper subject to academic standards. When I was teaching English composition, expected my students’ papers to have something to do with the topic at hand. It’s bad enough that Midgley ignored her essay, but he repeatedly attacked her character.
I’m sorry, but I can’t be hypocritical here because I have never written a “review” of anything that was not only unrelated to the literature I was reviewing, but was nothing but ad hominem. Perhaps the folks at FAIR and Mormon Interpreter approve of such tactics, but I don’t. I may be snarky on occasion–or maybe more often than that–but I try to deal with issues. I certainly don’t go fishing for dirt.