Thursday, December 01, 2005



This may be one of the most striking anti-Catholic double standards (in a long, long list), that I've ever seen.

When I did a little detective search, merely for fun (as I stated several times), the anti-Catholics had a field day mocking me and making out how I am obsessed and "narcissistic" and so forth. It seemed unimaginable to them why anyone would have the slightest concern that someone had imitated them in a cynical, lying, ridiculous attempt to besmirch their character.

In any event, none of the major Internet anti-Catholic luminaries who took up the matter and wrote about it showed the slightest sympathy at all or understanding that perhaps (just maybe . . . ) doing a fake blog would be unethical, and a species of lying and defamation of character.

So here it is mocking condescension all around, simply because I made a mostly fun attempt to track down the hoaxster-blogger. No one voiced the slightest concern that the lying blogger made all sorts of false insinuations about me, including supposed hatred of my theological opponents and the most infantile self-absorption. They simply believe these things out of the usual anti-Catholic bigotry.

It's hard to believe that this is how folks with doctorates (Vestrup) and (I believe), masters' degrees (Hays: he has some academic position at a seminary and uses lots of impressive big words; he is clearly a thinker) would actually "think," but in this case, prejudice overcomes any sense of reason and fair play and consistent ethics.

So far, the anti-Catholics seem to be taking the whole thing in jolly good humor (just like I did regarding my "impersonator"). Well, most of them, anyway. Turk friend PP is having fun with it. Compatriot Hays has already said that hoax-blogging is merely a form of accepted satire a la Swift, so clearly he could voice no consistent objection.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. So humor-challenged, these anti-Catholics are . . . don't they know that this is all innocent and perfectly proper and kosher (according to Steve Hays: no different from Jonathan Swift's allegories in Gulliver's Travels)? Why, then, is Phil apologizing? And why can't dear old Frank take a joke? By contrast, I had a lot of fun with my opponent, and his anti-Catholic rationalizers. How different it is when the table is turned and the shoe is on the other foot. How revealing. How plain flat-out funny.

Stay tuned. It'll be equally illuminating to see further reactions all around. I'll be following it. But you can bet good money that no one will recognize the blatant, glaring double standard that I have pinpointed. Miracles still happen, though, and there is always a first time for things.

If you anti-Catholic clowns would stop making such utter fools of yourselves, we could all get back to much more important things. But - since that continues to be the case - there was no way I could possibly resist chronicling this absolute silliness:

Amazing (and Hilarious) Anti-Catholic Double Standards on Fake Blogging & E-Mails (Frank Turk Ready to Press Federal Charges)


How will dear old Frank's bizarre behavior be rationalized away, in light of how y'all treated me for simply having fun trying to find the fake hoaxter? I can't wait to see you guys spin this. LOL Federal charges for the harmless joke of a friend??!! LOL

# posted by Dave : 11/30/2005 9:52 PM


1.Notice Armstrong’s double-tongued challenge: he can’t wait to see our reaction, but he preemptively brands our reaction as “spin.”

2.To begin with, Armstrong actually quotes me drawing a distinction, before the Fide-O kerfuffle, that is directly applicable to the Fide-O kerfuffle. What I said was: “As long as a hoax is obviously a hoax, no deception is involved.”

Notice the key qualifiers: “obviously,” “deception.” It is not a rationalization or exercise in spin-control for me to invoke my own distinction, drawn before the Fide-O kerfuffle, in application to the Fide-O kerfuffle.

I didn’t contrive this distinction after the fact for purposes of damage-control. In addition, I’m not a party to this kerfuffle, so even if the parties in question were guilty of hypocrisy, that would not implicate me. Hence, I have no motive to indulge in special pleading. This isn’t my fight.

Now, since dear old Dave has moral blinders on, we’ll have to spell out for him how my prior distinction applies to the case at hand. Hoaxes come in many different flavors:

i) Someone impersonates a real person in a self-evidently satirical hoax.

ii) Someone invents a fictitious satirical character in order to lampoon the theology or ideology represented by the fictitious character. People may or may not be taken in by the hoax, but the blogger did not impersonate a real person, so there is no libel or defamation of character.

iii) Someone impersonates a real person with no intent to deceive, but his impersonation has that unwitting effect.

iv) Someone impersonates a real person with the intent to deceive, defame, or defraud.

v) Someone satirizes an individual or ideology in which his caricature has a factual basis.

vi) Someone satirizes an individual or ideology in which his caricature has no basis in fact.

(iv) & (vi) are illicit. (i), (ii), & (v) are licit. (iii) is also illicit, but it is careless rather than malicious.

The Fide-O kerfuffle is a case of (iii). It was a mistake, and as soon as the mistake was discovered, there was a candid admission of error.

The hoaxes that Dave is complaining about fall under (i) & (v).

Of course, he doesn’t see it that way. He thinks they fall under (v). Naturally he has a more favorable self-image than the caricaturist. Assuming that he really is a Narcissist, you’d expect him to have a favorable self-image. That’s a presupposition of the satire.

3.As to his allegation that these hoaxes are inspired by the “usual anti-Catholicism,” I think this charge is demonstrably false, for were it true, “anti-Catholic” hoaxers would be hoaxing every major Catholic epologist as Narcissistic. No, Dave, this is personal.

4.If Dave sees a double standard, that’s only because Dave is seeing double. He needs to get a new pair of prescription lenses. His current pair of glasses has “Dave” etched into the lens. Everywhere he looks, he sees himself.

5.Now, if you want a real example of spin-control and after-the-fact rationalizing, I had said: “the fact that dear old Dave devoted six months (!) to tracking down the culprit is yet another unwitting and damning evidence of his monumental self-obsession.”

To which Armstrong now says (12/1):

“Of course this is asinine and absurd. I wrote a few posts at the time it happened (May); made a few comments of speculation on PP's blog in September, and then did the recent post and interacted with PP's objections. That is hardly a "devoted six months" of "tracking." Quite the contrary: it is hardly anything at all.”

However, this is what he said a week before (11/25):

“It became a hobby of sorts of mine to try to discover the person who did this. You know: the old detective routine. It took about six months (probably roughly what I would have predicted at the time).”

6.Finally, I’d like to end on a more general note. Recently I ran across a blogger who was criticizing other bloggers for “locker-room” humor” or “frat-boy” humor.

At the risk of stating the obvious, there’s nothing wrong with people acting their age. Maturity comes with…maturity.

Young men tend to be cocky and brash—given to high jinks and practical joking. That’s a natural part of being a normal, healthy young man. There’s a certain sense of humor that is distinctive to a particular sex and age-group.

To some extent men need to outgrow this—though not totally. I hope that middle-aged men don’t lose all their boyish sense of fun and games and horseplay. Some of the schoolmarmish, starched-collar finger-wagging I’ve been reading of late is way too serious to take seriously.

We shouldn’t expect a teenager or twenty-something bachelor to act like a middle-aged family man. And the transition is not overnight.

The liberal establishment tries to turn men into boys, and boys into girls. To throw around words like “locker-room” and “frat-boy” as pejoratives begs some important cultural questions.

By the same token, it can be a mistaken when young men are promoted to a prime-time slot before they’re ready for the big time.

Being a blogger is like living in a fish bowl. More than that, you can’t see your audience, but your audience can see you. So there’s no predicting the reaction you’re going to get. The feedback comes after the fact, at which point it’s too late to take back your words.

1 comment:

  1. From my blog today:

    Hi observer,

    You truly don't get this. My pointing out of double standards does not require an absolute equivalence of the two instances. There was enough similarity for hypocrisy and double standards to be present. In both cases:

    1. Someone pretended to be someone else.

    2. Both efforts involved falsehoods about the persons.

    3. Both were intended as jokes and humorous.

    That's more than enough for my observations to stand. Of course there are some differences, too, but they don't wipe out my present argument:

    A. Frank and several of his anti-Catholic cronies thought I was obsessed in trying to find out the true identity of the hoaxster at all.

    B. Yet when someone "spoofed" Frank he had to find out in one day or else federal charges would be filed. He had no sense of humor at all about it, whereas I have had a lot of fun with my would-be character assassin.

    C. Frank's friends saw nothing at all wrong with the hoax at my expense, whereas it is Chicken Little when someone does this to one of their buddies.

    D. If we are to compare the two efforts, the one directed towards me is far worse (thus more worthy of rebuke from any fair-minded person). Frank's had him (egads!) admitting he was wrong in a recent controversy, and saying he was sorry. How terrible! My fake blogger (though obviously more purely comic) called me a "moron", said I "hated" theological opponents, and portrayed me as the most infantile, selfish, self-absorbed, self-obsessed individual imaginable. Frank and his cronies blithely assume these things about me. Even when I oppose this kind of blog, to them it is proof that I am this kind of person. I can do nothing at all to disabuse them of these opinions.

    E. Whether something is clearly humorous or not does not wipe out the insults included and intended in it. The smears against black people in the Jim Crow and slavery eras were always thought to be very funny. But who was laughing? Well, bigots, of course. The Nazis did many visual and literary slanders of German Jews, which they thought were very funny. Likewise, when an anti-Catholic does a spoof of a Catholic intended to mock and ridicule him, anything goes, and all the anti-Catholics think it is great fun and hilarious (largely, I say, because of a prior extreme disposition against all things Catholic, and bigotry).

    F. It has been an ongoing effort of the leading anti-Catholics to smear folks. Steve Hays said it was only me who has been subject to such spoofs. But James White has been compoaring Catholic Answers, Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, Pat Madrid and others to Jack Chick's level of "argument" for many years now. White did a caricature of Pat Madrid in which he was being stoned as an idolater. Examples are legion. I've documented many of them myself. Eric Svendsen quickly endorsed the fake blog, saying that it was obvious to one and all that it was an accurate portrayal of my personality and person. He also put out a National Enquirer-like spoof in which I had a child coming out of my chest who said, "I would rather die than be in Dave Armstrong's chest."

    So there is humor and there is humor. Just being "comical" does not wipe out all intent to severely insult. These are obviously concerted efforts to smear my name and harm my reputation so that people won't read my stuff, or read it with such a slanted view of me that they will be too skeptical to be convinced of anything.

    The Turk spoof was like a flat-out compliment in contrast. All the more reason why, if these guys condemn that, they should condemn with all the more vigor, the purely vindictive, spiteful attempts to slander me.

    It remains stunning, even for anti-Catholics (with their already very low standards for truthfulness, seeing that they lie about Catholics and Catholicism all the time), to not immediately recognize the double standards which I have chronicled. But it's not surprising to me in the least. I knew how these guys would react, and they have fulfilled my expectations to a tee.