CoOrDiNaTeD aTtAcKs!

Cast your minds back to April 7 2015. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were beaten by the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship and Senator Rand Paul announced he was going to run for the Republic nomination for President of the United States. Meanwhile, in Sad Puppy related news, Larry Correia posted this:

“To the the SMOFs, moderates, new comers, and fence sitters I addressed yesterday, yes, we have disagreements with you. We’re happy to discuss them. We are not, however, happy to be libeled as the vilest forms of scum to walk the earth, and we are not happy to live in fear of career destruction. You want my part of fandom to coexist peacefully? You want to work out our differences and keep the awards meaningful? So do we. Though we disagree on the details and the issues, we also love this stuff. But coordinated slander campaigns, lies, character assassinations, threats, witch hunts? No… We won’t stand for that.” [CF: my emphasis]

“Coordinated slander”, oh my golly gosh! The issue being that the Sad Puppy campaign had become notable enough that its impact was being covered by the mainstream media. You’d think that was predictable — make a loud enough noise, eventually pay attention — but no, for Larry the news coverage must have been because of some hidden layer of coordination. A week later he was on the same theme:

“So here is a question for you.  What term would you use to describe the shared politics of the dozens of reporters, columnists, and bloggers who have run similar articles this week with obvious false accusations that Sad Puppies supporters ran an anti-diversity slate, motivated by racism, sexism, and homophobia? Jerks? Yes, they are, but that is a bit too coordinated for mere jerkage. That was a political attempt to establish a political narrative.” [CF: my emphasis]

Changing topics but not themes and sticking with a Sad Puppy outlet for a moment, fast forward to February 3 2017. Milo Yiannopolous’s star had risen high with an invite to the Conservative Political Action Conference and a book deal with Simon & Shuster when anti-Trump Republican group The Reagan Battalion released an edited version of a 206 video in which Yiannopolous justified sex with 13 year olds. At Mad Genius Club, Kate Paulk was unhappy about Yiannopolous’s book deal being cancelled:

“What I care about is that someone who has – objectively – done not one damn thing wrong is the subject of a coordinated effort to not merely silence him, but disappear him. I’ve seen this happen in the past. It happened to Larry Correia. To Brad Torgersen. I didn’t get the full force of it last year, but instead got the cold shoulder of people doing their best to pretend I’d already been disappeared.” [CF: my emphasis]

The theme being coordination obviously, the idea that if multiple sources are saying similar things it must be because of hidden coordination. Of course, some people really do plan things and approaches. Obviously the Reagan Battalion planned their media campaign against Yiannopolous but the “coordination” claim is stronger than that and proposes that the subsequent fuss and related outrage was also somehow coordinated.

I was initially planning this post yesterday after I read a series of tweets from Ethan Van Sciver, the right wing comic book artist who claims the mantle of ‘ComicsGate’®™. EVS was the guy who had the big falling out with Vox Day in September. In a series of tweets he disappointed me slightly by using the word “organized” instead of “coordinated”. I shan’t link to the tweets because it messes with the WordPress layout but the combined message was this:

“This Wave of Organized Attacks on ComicsGate consisted of:
1. The rise of @sinKEVitch as leader of AntiCG!
2. Jeff Lemire calling pros to arms against us!
3. Darwyn Cooke’s widow baiting CG!
4 Three Bleeding Cool hitpieces on me!
5. Hit pieces in the Washington Post, & INVERSE
6. Hit piece in The Guardian! The Daily Dot!
7. Robbi Rodriguez sending me a photo of his anus!
8. Vox Day trying to co-opt ComicsGate for the Alt Right!
9. Patton Oswalt condemning ComicsGate!
10. Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm compares ComicsGate to the KKK!
11. John Layman spews bile at 21 year old CG writer Nasser Rabadi for 21 consecutive tweets!
12. Kieran Shiach penned hitpiece in POLYGON!
13. Marvel Comics Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada weighs in to debate @DiversityAndCmx and EVS: Loses debate.” [CF: my emphasis]

Rather like the Yiannopolous defence, the charge of coordination here crosses political lines. EVS suggests a conspiracy between a disperate group that includes the Guardian and Vox Day. The Yiannopolous piece suggested coordination between the left and the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Like I said, this post was going to concentrate on a theme among culture wars and be a break from writing about the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court. However, the morning news presented this to me:

“These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service. As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be. I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out.” [CF: my emphasis]

It’s an interesting principled-tone Kavanaugh strikes whilst simultaneously accusing two different women of inventing ‘smears’ against him. And there is that tic again. Of course, yes, clearly the Democrats coordinate their opposition to his nomination just as the Republicans and other conservative groups have coordinated their support of him but the ‘coordination’ here is intended (as it does in the examples above) to imply that criticism is not just illegitimate but sinister and underhand.

“They” are out to get me and it doesn’t matter who ‘they’ are or that ‘they’ are a superfluous hypothesis to describe events. By casting events in this way, a call to action is made against the shadowy Them — who, to quote Kavanaugh, are a threat “any man or woman who wishes to serve our country”.

Personally I like to believe Them are giant ants. I prefer the classics.






23 responses to “CoOrDiNaTeD aTtAcKs!”

      • camestrosfelapton: I’ve ants on the brain and thought you were trying to make a termite pun there

        I wish I was feeling clever enough right now to have made that pun. 😉


    • Or rather, “They had the temerity to mention me.” After all, the supposed Guardian hit piece that Larry Correia is still whining about more than three years on was Damien Walter calling him a little known author. Which he absolutely is, in Europe where Baen books are hard to come by.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. And then it’s only a short step from “my opponents are coordinating against me” to “…and Soros* is paying them.”

    *Replace with boogeyman of choice

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meanwhile, on the reality-based plane…. April 2015 was a tough month that brought real losses and deaths to a lot of families …
    (including those in the Nepal earthquake and the sinking of several large migrant boats off the coast of Libya).

    This trip down memory lane reminded me of the scorn I felt toward KP and her grotesque use of the “disappeared” metaphor to describe a rich publicity hound losing a book contract through his own writing incompetence and non-viability as a commercial prospect — as though it wasn’t the right-wing extremist juntas who disappeared tens of thousands of youths across Latin America in the 1970s and into the 1980s. They lack any sense of historical proportion or general discursive appropriateness. (note: this comment did not require the use of childish name calling or ridiculous acronyms)

    I bought myself a gigantic bunch of deep red roses today and handed paper money and gave smiles to all homeless folk I encountered and sent an email of complaint to the Alaskan judicial oversight folks re: that appalling judgement last week. One might say it was a co-ordinated attack on malaise and feelings of helplessness?

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Well it comes back to this again, doesn’t it:

    Especially this quote:

    “It’s important to understand that going back to the French Revolution (blamed on the Illuminati & Masons) the right has always preferred to see radical political change as a result of conspiracies rather than caused by large social forces & democratic mobilization…If they acknowledged change came from mass mobilization of groups with grievances (workers, women, POC) then they’d have to acknowledge real grievances. So instead of acknowledging politics based on mobilization against real problems (economic injustice, patriarchy, racism, imperialism) the preferred theory is to blame some small group of eggheads (Illuminati, Masons, Fabians, Frankfurt School, Soros, etc).”

    And also coordinated media “attacks,” i.e. media coverage of what’s actually going on and been said by them publicly.

    This is also relevant:

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I had a friend in high school who, whenever someone would talk about how “they” were doing something, would reply “But not Them. That’s giant ants.” It took me years to find out what he was talking about….

    Liked by 3 people

  5. THEM reminds me of MANT!* the film-within-the-seriously underrated film “Matinee”. Watch it if you’ve never seen it. John Goodman is superb as a tricksy character, and even the teenagers aren’t annoying.

    *actually the other way around, on purpose


    • Those bits of “Mant!” are some of the funniest scenes I’ve ever watched. John Goodman is basically playing William Castle, producer of movies such as “13 Ghosts” and”The House on Haunted Hill”.


      • Yes, which makes it delightful if you know the history, and it’s still wacky fun if you don’t. The gimmicks are reminiscent of Castle’s “The Tingler”. And the casting of people who actually were in those old movies helps too.

        IIRC, the video releases of the movie had all of the “Mant!” clips in sequential order so you could see them as a short film. Which hangs together.


  6. I have an alternate theory for Larry and all his Right-leaning friends. It goes like this:
    If all of a sudden many hundreds of different people spontaneously decide that you’re an asshole, it’s probably based on the fact that you are, indeed an asshole. You should govern yourself accordingly.

    Of course, Larry and his Right-leaning friends cannot allow themselves to admit this fact.

    Liked by 1 person

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