Friday, 28 October 2016

"Harassment" Part 2.

You have to love the online media these days, nothing is more fun than calling them out on something and then watching them double down instead of maybe admitting that they got it wrong. In the case of the late Gawker Media, pride certainly came before a fall and in some of the other organizations out there, I feel it can only be a matter of time.

After I first wrote about the cancellation of Marvel's Mockingbird and the alleged "harassment" of its writer, Chelsea Cain, it was still noticeable that none of the reporters that covered the story could show a single tweet that could have been classed as "harassment" and all seemed to fall silent. Cain herself eventually responded via a post about the whole thing on her website and I have to say it is one of the most respectable bits of writing I have seen for a while. Notice that she doesn't play the victim card once, she says that "I was not being targeted, it was just a lot of people being Jerks, per usual, but in greater numbers", it was also noticeable that the word "Harassment" did not appear ONCE. Granted she did mention "daily abuse" and I can sympathize with that totally, but "Harassment?" not a single mention. I read the rest of the post and agreed with her assessment of Twitter at the end because I have given thoughts to quietly slipping away from the site as soon as Gab is more operational and has an app because Twitter really is a sinking ship these days. In the end, Cain handled the whole situation better than the media as she was just telling her story, not fishing for clicks.

I thought it had ended there but low and behold, another story popped up from David Betancourt, a reporter for The Washington Post, and it read pretty much like the rest. It was basically a support piece for Cain but once again showed no evidence of these "harassing tweets", only a couple of ones written in support. Myself and a couple of others called him out on it and over various tweets he was as evasive as he possibly could be with us, it became evident to me that he really had nothing to support the story besides his claim that he based his article on "reports and statements from the head EIC of Marvel and support from top industry talent". However, that only added up to the tweets on display in the article and that I found quite interesting: why wasn't anyone quoted on what they had said? I can only wonder.

I would love to show how the conversation ended but he blocked me after I mocked him on his spelling (which was bitchy, I know) but I couldn't help myself. I had done it before with Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool after he thought it was ok for his reporters to act like school children at press events, you can see the conversation here. Modern journalism really has become putrid these days and it is hard to tell who's work you can trust anymore, I wish I had some recommendations but I'm still trying to come to final decisions on some of them myself. Ironically, this whole fiasco really has shown that "Listen and Believe" really doesn't work when it comes to the online media, "Trust but Verify" really is the only way forward.

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