Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bye Lee

Media Needle has a farewell gift for Siegel.

On the general subject of sock puppetry I do agree it isn't necessarily such a big deal, though the details matter. Simply having an alternate identity online is fine. What isn't fine is when there's implicit deception involved which is almost automatic if you're assuming a new identity to defend yourself. There's no reason I have to be "Atrios" everywhere on the internets, but if I assume the name "Atrios Rulezzzz!" and run around the internets talking about how Atrios is human perfection defined then I will have succeeded in making a supreme ass out of myself. And if one, Mary Rosh-like, starts inventing tales (I was in John Lott's class and he was the best professor ever!) then you've moved into the realm of explicit deception, which presumably those in the news media business frown upon or at least pretend to (cough Fred Hiatt cough).

It is, as Ezra suggests, a rather fascinating spectacle. Some people really do have their identities and egos completely defined by their elite writing gigs and are disturbed by the fact that their Authority has been taken away from them.