One blog post that hasn’t received enough attention, though, is by Simon Owens at Bloggasm, who actually has spoken with both Ed Whelan and Publius. Are bloggers allowed to speak to people rather than just cursing at their computer screens? A radical thought.
Read the whole Bloggasm post, but my take away is that Publius‘ concerns about danger to his career and family are not as immediate or emphatic as one might have believed from all the hoopla surrounding his “outing” (italics mine):
“I think on one level I was mad because I saw it as vindictive,” Blevins told me. “When you combine the sort of pretext that Ed cited along with the email he sent me before outing me, I think it shows that he crossed the line, sort of an informal code of the blogosphere. It’s not devestating by any means, and any harm that would result is longer term. I don’t know if anything bad will happen, the fears that students might be hostile, the fear that it might affect future jobs, those are not things that I can know in the short term. To be honest I don’t know how exactly it will affect me.”
And Whelan’s justifications, well, don’t seem as immediate or emphatic (or logical) either (italics mine):
Whelan even objected to the term “outed,” which has been used by many (including me) to describe what he had done to Blevins. “I think the word ‘outed’ confuses understanding here. I think people are drawing on the ugliness of identifying that someone is homosexual. In this context, to say I outed publius, well publius doesn’t exist. I identified who’s hiding behind publius. I think to identify someone who is blogging behind a pseudonym is very different than exposing some private aspect of a person’s life. I think that the term outing confuses things.”
I think Whelan and Publius may deserve each other.
Maybe if they spoke rather than e-mailed, the whole thing could have been avoided. Maybe not, considering the people who constantly are biting at my ankles. But it did make for an interesting Sunday at Memeorandum.