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Fact-Checking for Dummies. And Breitbart.

Several folks have pointed me to the article SJWs Are Purging Politically Incorrect Sci-Fi Authors From Bookstores over on Breitbart, where my name is mentioned in connection with allegations that the ISIS-like liberals are working to censor works and authors who “represent something that falls outside a rigid, intolerant ideology.”

Nathan Fillion - Head Shake Gif

The article opens with the claim:

“File 770, the blog of three-time Hugo Award winner Mike Glyer, reports that bookstore owners in Toronto are being approached with negative information about authors who participated in the Sad Puppies Hugo Awards campaign.”

Breitbart doesn’t provide a link, but the “report” in question was actually a comment on the File770 site, from user Dexfarkin, who said:

“…someone is sending out Jim Hines roundup of the SP/RP affair. As a result, they are stopping making orders for Correia, Wright, Torgersen, Williamson and others of the worst broadcasters who have supported homophobic statements. I would assume the originator is part of Toronto’s gay community (which was oddly intertwined for years when Baka Books and the GLAAD bookstore were next door). It’s only the independents that I’ve heard so far, but if it hits Book City or Indigo, that could be a big repercussion.”

In other words, Allum Bokhari’s article is based on a comment someone made on the internet.

Fair enough. A comment can be a good starting point, and I’m sure there was further research to verify the comment and do some fact-checking before running to the internet to denounce the horrible SJWs, right?

Han Solo gif - Whatever

Yeah, not so much. No links, no verification, none of the simple steps that could have saved this piece from being such a delusional, masturbatory trainwreck.

Let’s start with that Jim Hines roundup of the SP/RP affair. It’s a blog post I did in June of last year, called, “Puppies in Their Own Words.” You know what words never appear in that article? “Williamson” and “Wright.” That’s right, my roundup post is being used to try to destroy the careers of authors who…um…weren’t actually included in the article.

To be fair, Wright’s name does come up in the comments. Williamson? He doesn’t show up at all.

But hey, maybe there’s something here, right? Let’s do a little more digging. Commenter Dexfarkin posted a follow-up:

“I don’t have any real proof either. I was at a local Meetup just before Christmas when the Hugos came up and one of the people there was a shop owner. He mentioned that he’d gotten a printout of a round up (that sounded a lot like Jim C. Hines) which had the various homophobic parts highlighted and a request to not stock the authors responsible and he was going to do it. I was down in Seekers this week and the guy at the cash mentioned hearing the same thing from another store owner…”

Other commenters note:

  • “Bakka Phoenix had Larry Correia’s latest in its new arrivals section as of Saturday.” (Source)
  • “I passed by a Toronto Indigo (Yonge & Eglinton for the Torontonians) on my way from the dentist to work this morning. Two titles each for Wright (Tor) and Correia – in both cases their latest hardcover and their latest paperback.” (Source)
  • ETA: Toronto bookstore Bakka-Phoenix posted on Facebook, “…from a Canadian perspective, Breitbart looks more like an outlet for the borderline-lunatic fringe than a credible news source … But if you were wondering, we can assure you that we ourselves carry many books we find personally or politically reprehensible … We’re in the business of selling books. Good books. Bad books. Titles some people love; titles others hate enough to throw across the room. Some books will transform readers minds and lives and be remembered for decades. Others will be forgotten immediately upon reading (or even partway through). We don’t have to like a book, its author, or its message in order to sell it.” (Source)

This is what rates an article on Breitbart. “Hey, a commenter on the internet said that some unnamed person is talking to a couple of Toronto bookstores and showing them what some of the Sad/Rabid Puppies have said and asking them not to stock a  said puppies. Oh, and yeah, there’s no actual evidence of it having any effect.”

Harry Potter Eyeroll Gif

For bonus points, Bokhari goes on to say:

“The commenter is, of course, incorrect to suggest that the authors have made homophobic statements. Williamson is a self-proclaimed libertarian, and there are no records of Correia or Torgersen making controversial statements about homosexuality … The only one who could plausibly face such an accusation is Wright, who has described homosexuality as an ‘aberration.'”

Oh, sure. I mean, Wright is also the one who said “I have never heard of a group of women descended on a lesbian couple and beating them to death with axhandles and tire-irons, but that is the instinctive reaction of men towards fags,” but it’s not like that’s homophobic, right? (Screenshot) And yeah, Torgersen’s best-known attack against John Scalzi was to imply that Scalzi might not be straight, but what’s homophobic about suggesting the worst thing a man can be is anything but straight? (Ironically, Torgersen’s homophobic remark is documented in my Puppies roundup post from last year.)

Bokhari wraps up his article by pointing to the “persecution” of Theodore Beale, who was banned from Goodreads.

“Politically unorthodox authors are also facing persecution on Goodreads, the foremost social network for book readers. The controversial author Vox Day was recently banned from the site after creating a “Rabid Puppies” group on the site…”

Persecution. Interesting…

you-keep-using-that-word

This brings us full circle back to File770, which recently reported on Beale getting booted from Goodreads. Not as a result of Evil SJW Conspiratorial Badthink, but because Beale clumsily attempted to manipulate Goodreads ratings by targeting the books of his enemies. (Screenshot 1, 2, 3)

Hermione Idiot

On the bright side, as far as I can tell, Allum Bokhari did manage to spell his name correctly. So he got that much right, at least.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
mtlawson
Jan. 25th, 2016 04:16 pm (UTC)
I sometimes wonder if Breitbart is comprised of people who couldn't cut it as a journalism major, but figure that if they shout loud enough their lack of logic and cohesion wouldn't matter.
chris_gerrib
Jan. 25th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
I would say I'm gobsmacked by the article, but damn it, Jim, I'm tired of getting smacked by gobs! ;-)

(What is a gob anyway, and why do they smack people? Inquiring minds want to know.)
mt_yvr
Jan. 25th, 2016 05:43 pm (UTC)
I actually went and looked...

1980s: from gob1 + smack1, with reference to being shocked by a blow to the mouth, or to clapping a hand to one's mouth in astonishment.

Huh. I knew it mouth was in there... ("Shut your gob" contextualizes it for me) But huh.



What? Questions like that make me go and find out. :P
jimhines
Jan. 25th, 2016 05:49 pm (UTC)
And now I have learned something new. Thank you, sir! :-)
ethelmay
Jan. 25th, 2016 10:10 pm (UTC)
Cf. also "gobstoppers" for large sucky candies that are difficult to talk around.
learnsslowly
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
"Gob"= mouth
Gob-smacked = like being hit in the mouth.
Unlike "He/she hit me in the gob"which implies actual physical assault.
Would a normal term when speaking Scouse, but would be perfectly comprehensible to non-Scouse UK English speakers.
Other phrases including the word are "gobby" =loudmouthed or even "he/she has got a gob on him like the Mersey tunnel"
and "shut yer gob!" = desist from speaking!
I know more about plants than linguistics but the higher variety of gob related phrases in the Merseyside area does suggest to me that the word truly originates from here and it isn't just a matter of local pride.
newandrewhickey
Jan. 26th, 2016 11:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, my family are Scouse, and even thirty miles away in Manchester where I live "gob" isn't used as a synonym for mouth in the same way it is where my family come from.
I think it comes from Irish Gaelic, so it's likely that the word did originate in Liverpool, as the centre of the Irish diaspora...
funwithrage
Jan. 25th, 2016 06:00 pm (UTC)
And also, if this *was* happening...well, the bookstore owners still wouldn't be doing anything wrong. I know that I, as a consumer, have marked all the Puppies down as people whose works I will never pay for, and will cheerfully notify others of that, because I don't need my money going to support awful human beings; if bookstore owners did decide that they didn't want to carry books by awful human beings, that'd be their right. They own private businesses: this is the free market that the Breitbart crowd chafes themselves wanking over, isn't it?

Once again, the right wing totally fails to understand what "censorship" means.
starcat_jewel
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:09 pm (UTC)
And y'know, if books by certain authors stop selling, bookstores will stop carrying them. Again, that whole "free market" thing.
funwithrage
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:59 pm (UTC)
Exactly. I'm sorry, Larry Correia, but the nanny state isn't going to intervene and oppress the small-business entrepreneurs in order to make sure you can make a living doing what you like. If you don't like it, maybe educate yourself and get a better job? ;P

(Deleted comment)
jimhines
Jan. 25th, 2016 06:27 pm (UTC)
No apologies necessary. I don't think you did anything wrong by sharing the comment. It was a comments section, for crying out loud. That's what people do. No worries :-)
martianmooncrab
Jan. 25th, 2016 06:50 pm (UTC)
bookstores stock a lot of the crap I wont read, but they do carry the crap I do read... I just dislike having to wade through the other stuff to get to mine.
starcat_jewel
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:06 pm (UTC)
There's a response from an independent bookstore in Toronto, which says pretty much what you'd expect.

Based on one of the linkbacks, this is already being spun by the Puppy pack into the bookstore "being intimidated into issuing a denial". O_o

Remember Rule #1 of Conspiracy Theory: There is never any evidence which would prove the theory wrong. There is only evidence which proves it right, and evidence which would prove it right if it weren't for the insidious power of the conspiracy!
flake_sake
Jan. 25th, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
O.o They attempt to rewrite history like instants after t happened. Amazing.

Here I was hoping they would behave a little more down to earth this year.
beccastareyes
Jan. 25th, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC)
So apparently filtering out the 'Make $$$$ Working from Home' and 'Natural Viagra Supplements' posts* from comment threads is what gets the big bucks for writing at Breitbart.

* Also, you know, anything that doesn't support their story about being the most put-upon of people.
Vica Kuechle
Jan. 25th, 2016 11:28 pm (UTC)
Okay
Vica Kuechle
Jan. 25th, 2016 11:27 pm (UTC)
Nice
ariaflame
Jan. 26th, 2016 01:35 am (UTC)
"Gob" is Scottish Gaelic for "beak" so that may be the origin.
barb27
Jan. 26th, 2016 02:26 am (UTC)
Fact Checking for Dummies. And Breitbart.
First, I am stealing all the memes and GIFs from this post. Second, I'm somewhat amazed that "Breitbart" would get involved in a literary canon dispute. Maybe they saw the Bat Signal - the one that shines when even the tiniest part of the straight white (Christian) male dominion is threatened.
beccastareyes
Jan. 26th, 2016 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: Fact Checking for Dummies. And Breitbart.
I thought they did an article on GamerGate last year. Apparently they are willing to fight for their dominion even in the off the road locations like geek culture.
wolf_shadow
Jan. 28th, 2016 12:39 am (UTC)
Because I couldn't help it, OED etymology for "gob"

n1: "Apparently < Old French gobe, goube (modern French gobbe ), a mouthful, lump, etc. (in modern French only in the special senses of a food-ball for poisoning dogs, feeding poultry, etc., and a concretion found in the stomachs of sheep), related to the verb gober to swallow"
n2: "Of obscure origin; possibly < Gaelic and Irish gob beak, mouth, but compare gab"

Gobbet: "Old French gobet (plural gobez , gobès ), diminutive of gobe gob n.1; compare gobbon n.
For the development of sense compare morsel n. In French the etymological sense seems always to have been the prevailing one, whereas in English the more general meaning ‘portion’, ‘lump’, is earlier and commoner than that of ‘mouthful’."

Gobbet has the earliest noted uses (14thC). My semi-uneducated guess would be that it's a convergence of the Gaelic down through the slang of northern England (cf gobshite etc.), and the posher French meeting. Hell it might even have PIE roots, but I have no energy to search more tonight :)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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