Thursday, September 4, 2008

Megan and I are communicating

this is weeeeeeeeird.
She replied, to my email closing out the previous post;

I don't really care why you do what you do, since I'm not really planning to act on that information. I'm pleased you have a hobby. You just can't engage in that hobby on my blog.
She really cares that I understand how little she cares.
Being a brat, I couldn't let it end there, and responded;

Well, since you're so civil I'm sure that means you won't be writing any more posts calling those who criticize you some flavor of misogynist, since you won't be giving us a chance to defend ourselves and wouldn't be that kind of dishonest bully.

And what a reply it generated. I have just sent off my response, mixed in with her words, so I'll provide them in combo here.
I'm not deleting people for criticizing me. I'm deleting them for being uncivil. You'll note that your coblogger's comment still stands, despite the turn towards bomb throwing at the end, and there are plenty of vigorous liberal commentators who are in no danger of being banned, even though they often get quite passionate in their opposition. Nor am I stopping you from defending yourself. I am refusing to give you bandwith for venomous insults directed at me, or other commenters, whatever their ideological stripe. You are perfectly free to continue your criticism. Freedom of speech does not mean I have to buy you air time.
I wasn't disputing your right to do it, I'm surprised it took this long. I'm saying if you're going to mute certain voices and call yourself civil you should restrain yourself from describing their (my) activities in offensively inaccurate terms. I revel in the company of strong, intelligent women, and I am so unrestrained in my criticisms because I view you as a person, not a woman who needs to be treated as some delicate flower. i don't expect you to think well of me or those who agree with me, but don't call us misogynists, especially if you're not going to let us respond directly.
What you want, I gather, and think that you are entitled to, is my readership for your bile. Well, I spent six years building my readership, and I am under no obligation to turn over the fruits of that labor to the trolls who are destroying the comments--trolls who are vastly outnumbered, I might add, by the people saying they are glad I am banning said trolls. If you want a wider audience for your invective, then figure out what that audience wants to read, and write it, if you can. But you're not going to write it on my blog.
Nope. The truth is I wanted to learn to blog, and you provide a target rich environment. In the past I tried not to comment over at your place very often because I have my own spot to spout. But that bit you and Ann Althouse did provoke [sic]* me to get in your face a little. FMM is a niche blog that I intentionally don't promote, a hobby, as you said. I'm not looking to leech off your.. success, nor would I want it to be something that got me fame. (which is not to say I'd ever deny it is my doing.)
I'm afraid I'm not going to trim my writing to suit you in any way, including the current implied request. But you can be pretty certain I'm not going to talk about you. Not to be insulting, but your blog isn't something I read or think about a lot.
My intention has never been to have any influence on your output. I think your employment should be terminated, not that you should change your ways. Neither do I think you read us. I'm just saying that you are being dishonest in several regards when you call your critics sexist. I don't doubt that you face the occasional genuine sexist assault, but I do know that you are wrong when you try to use them to tar a wide swath of your critics.
You may well think otherwise, but my point is if you're going to choose not to allow certain folk to speak, you should not speak of them in such contentious ways.

No reply as of yet.

*- Yes, I correct and am critical of myself, too.

And yes, I realize it's not exactly necessary that I post this email chain, but I feel like I should share.


Anonymous said...

When Megan gets passionate she gets (I never thought I'd say this about her writing style) lucid.

spencer said...

She's lying when she says she doesn't spend any time reading or thinking about this blog. But oh, how she wishes it were true.

Adam Eli Clem said...


brad said...

Well, I suspect she at least occasionally stops in, Spencer, as evidenced by hits from wherever she's on vacation while she's there, but those hypothetically could just be from people who just met her and Googled her soon after.

Adam Eli Clem said...


Anonymous said...

Pure speculation, but I think Megan will be gone from the Atlantic in the near future. The blogs there are generating little to no advertising (nearly all the ads are "house" ads for the Atlantic itself). They are spending a lot of money and have little to show for it. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they winnowed the bloggers down to 3 or 4, and Sullivan and Fallows are guaranteed to stay because they are the biggest names and produce a lot of material for the print magazine.

Anonymous said...

Anon - you think that's lucid? The whole time I was reading it, the only thought I had was "christ, even in e-mails she writes like shit."

"You are perfectly free to continue your criticism."

Gee, thanks for your permission, Megan. No shit, I'm perfectly free, you condescending idiot.

If she says she doesn't read this site, she is lying. There's no arguing with that. Sorry for being presumptuous, but even someone without an ego as enormous as hers would not be able to resist regularly checking in on ""

Susan of Texas said...

If you want a wider audience for your invective, then figure out what that audience wants to read, and write it, if you can.

Cool. Megan's philosophy in a nutshell: Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

Anonymous said...

She's spent six years building a readership of how many people- 100? 200?

Until I started reading Sullivan's blog and investigated the other "voices" at the Atlantic I'd never heard of her. Which come to think of made my life a less dominated by banality. Can I return to that happy state? Is there a way you can unknow Megan McCardle?

Anonymous said...

One of the most important rules for a lot of political bloggers is an overestimation of both importance and readership.

I doubt her numbers are as low as 100-200, but it can't be more than a couple thousand at the most generous guess.