Thursday, February 19, 2009


The powers that be at Crikey obviously didn't bother to research the credentials of their new Pure Poison bloggers; if they had they never would have taken on this particular group of hyper-sensitive no-talents. Melbourne barrister Jeremy Sear is a notorious cry baby with so little confidence in his writing he arranged with Google that his blog would not be cached. And look what happens when Tim Blair gets stuck into judgment-deficient Jeremy: co-poison-penner Scott Bridges steps in to fight Jeremy's battles for him.

Scott, a primary school teacher, has Jeremy's glass chin. Back in October he sent me an overtly threatening email (subject line: defamatory statements on your website) demanding the removal of "defamatory and damaging statements from your website immediately, and to never make such statements about me again." To cut a long story short, my posts remain online, as does every post I've ever written.

The same can't be said for Scott, who disappeared the archive (if they're still available online I can't find them) of the live cutting-edge irrevrent humour Grodscasts, including those featuring Jeremy Sear. Yep, Crikey is on a winner with these guys.

Update: Scott again goes all threatening (in comments):
I can post our email conversation, along with before and after screenshots of the posts if you want.
Please do. In the interest of full disclosure here's an email exchange between brave Scott and Tim Blair – Bridges went crying to Blair about me being a meany:
Hi Tim,

I know we're not the best of Internet mates, but I was hoping we might be able to put that aside for a few minutes. A blogger who I assume you have had dealings with from time to time, J.F. Beck, has written a post about me that is quite clearly defamatory by suggesting that I have paedophilic thoughts. This is in addition to a previous post where he makes a similar suggestion. Now, I'm all for political name-calling on the blogosphere, but this has the potential to seriously damage my name, reputation and career. The word "paedophile" is about as bad as it gets.

I have emailed Beck and asked him to remove the posts. I would like, if possible, to avoid having to take the matter further. I'm sure that you can see that these posts cross a line and perhaps you might have a quick word to Beck for me and encourage him to take the posts down.
Tim Blair:
Hi Scott,

Considering that your site has labelled me a racist male prostitute who fucks dogs, I'm probably not the right person to ask about this. I have difficulty finding the "line" you believe has been crossed.


Scott Bridges:
I have certainly never called you a "male prostitute" or somebody who "fucks dogs". I can't recall calling you racist, although I'm prepared to be proven wrong on that. I can't recall any of the other authors calling you those names either, although I can't speak for them.

If those accusations have appeared in the comments at Grods, and you want me to take responsibility for things other people have written, then I expect you'll take responsibility for everything that's appeared in your comment threads -- something you've previously declined to do.
Tim Blair:
My position on comments is that publication doesn't indicate support or endorsement. Responsibility is another matter. That's why -- at my new site, where I'm exposed to increased legal danger for defamatory content -- comments must be moderated.

You ARE responsible for comments at your site, because they've been published at your site. It's simple. In legal terms, bloggers have no choice but to take responsibility: you're the publisher. Again, this doesn't mean you agree with those comments, but that's beside this particular point.

A defamation case against Beck would be interesting. You'd have to establish damage to reputation, which might be difficult given the nature of material you've published (the post in question would be problematic, for a start).

In short, if you're going to write (and publish) as though defamation laws don't exist, it's a bit rich to turn all worried and middle-class when you believe you've been defamed. A jury would be directed to look at the standards you've applied in your own work.

Oh, racism:


Scott, the big girl, then had a cry in my direction.

Update II: Apparently thinking his comment above (see original update) lacks intimidatory oomph Scott this evening emails:
Hi, Beck.

I'll post the screenshots and the emails if you want me to.

Let me know.

I told him to go ahead but he's dragging his feet, subsequently commenting:
I'll send you the screenshots if you don't have copies yourself.
Go for it Scott; show everyone how you forced me to back down.

Update III: Scott never did post the exchange so I had to do it. It's here. By the way, I did not, and do not, acknowledge that I ever implied he has improper thoughts regarding children.

Editing Note: I chronically transpose letters in certain words, poison, for example. Misspelling of poison in the post's title corrected.


Anonymous J F Beck said...

Scott, please do publish; it'll save me the effort.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking of gutless cowards with 'glass chins': who the fuck is 'J F Beck'?

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

I'll send you the screenshots if you don't have copies yourself.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Get a life said...

Post them Scotty, for fuck's sake just hurry up ...

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Gold Beck, GOLD!!!!

4:22 AM  
Anonymous Margo's Maid said...

Man, I am really hanging for these screen shots.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous The Brute said...

Like watching monkies flinging crap out of the bars. Get too close, some of it is bound to stick. What has always had us confused was what part of the equation Wally the Simpering Simian was. The gibbon or the crap?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous jc said...

So is Scott afraid of being accused of being a kiddie fiddler. Why?

10:24 AM  

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