by William Skink
Long-time readers of this blog know over the years I have cultivated an open disdain for Intelligent Discontent, now rebranded to appear like a journalistic online media endeavor called The Montana Post. There are many reasons for this, some on the policy level and some on the personal level.
When I started blogging nearly a decade ago, the progressive blogosphere was much more populated than it is now. There were plenty of skirmishes back then, much of it stemming from my contention that to preserve a sense of progressiveness one had to point out where the Obama administration deviated from progressive ideals.
As Obama neared the end of his tenure things came to a head when I engaged in some audacious speculation that the progressive fire burning for Bernie was ultimately being tended by a sheepdog who would lead them into the psychopathic, neoliberal embrace of Hillary Clinton.
That was too much, so Jay Stevens pulled the plug at 4&20 Blackbirds. With help from the Missoula Independent, a more general story of the decline of the progressive blogosphere was told, one that included erroneous claims about 4&20 Blackbird’s traffic that, when pointed out, caused the Indy to at least print an online update.
One of the points of criticism levied at myself and fellow blogger JC was our use of anonymous pseudonyms. I was outed several times, so clearly it was an issue important enough to try and cause me personal harm by disclosing my identity when I had legitimate reasons to want to stay anonymous.
Because comment threads can get quite heated, and because trolls increasingly poisoned online discourse, anonymity itself was one scapegoat used to either close down comments altogether, or at least try to attempt to moderate. When moderation proved too difficult, especially when a blog’s own standards weren’t followed and moderating appeared too close to censorship, a move to Facebook offered the requirement that comments would be issued under a person’s real name.
The Montana Post made that move and now, in an ironic twist, the tables have been turned. A person or persons with administrative access to The Montana Post’s Facebook page can now engage commenters, commenting under their real name, from the safer distance of anonymity.
I mentioned this in the comment thread of my last post about partisan derangement over Russiagate. After posting, whoever has administrative access to The M-Post’s Facebook page gave me a curious suggestion, curious because I referenced sometimes M-Post contributor Josh Manning in the post, who was recently called out by Glenn Greenwald for conspiracy theorizing.
Here was the comment directed at me:
I think you should probably stop reading so much Glenn Greenwald. You don’t understand what he’s trying to do. You are not him, be yourself and quit parroting.
Is this Josh Manning? Is it the even more obnoxious partisan, Nathan Kosted? Is it Don Pogreba, perpetual media scold and Montana Democrat foot soldier? I don’t know, but I think the identity is worth knowing. For a blog that has made such a big deal of anonymous writers expressing themselves under pen names and pseudonyms, to not be more transparent should be explained, otherwise the easy accusation of hypocrisy will be made. By me, Travis Mateer, aka William Skink, continually.
Because I’m interested in what people tell me not to read, I’d like to link to a preview of a showdown between Glenn Greenwald and fellow Intercept contributor, James Risen. For the record, I don’t trust Greenwald or his billionaire funded journalistic project, The Intercept. I do appreciate Greenwald putting his neck out to dampen the increasing hysteria over Russiagate because I believe, like Greenwald states, there are incredibly dangerous implications to the stoking of Cold War-like tensions with a nuclear-armed Russia. But don’t take it from me, parrot that I am. Here is Greenwald himself, pushing back against Risen’s series of articles that starts out asking if Trump is a traitor: link.