I have decided to take down my previous post “Delaware is a small state” about a conversation overheard in a local restaurant about alleged plans to hack DL. Our tipster took a picture of the alleged plotter, and since I had no idea who it was, I posted it here in order to identify the man and dissuade the alleged hackers from attacking the site. The gentleman was identified at Richard Forsten by our readers and by other sources. Mr. Forsten then commented on the post, offering a response and, to my mind, a reasonable explanation to the overheard conversation. I am posting that response below and offering our apology.
Hi everyone. Always nice to be recognized. Maybe this is my 15 minutes of fame, although hopefully I’ve got a better 15 minutes ahead of me than this silly post.
For the record, neither I nor the person to whom I was speaking was talking about “sabotaging” Delaware Liberal. Give me a break.
Not that it matters, but let me briefly review the conversation which someone obviously did not understand (easedroppers rarely do).
Naturally, as an Appo School Board member, I have been in many conversations over the past few days about the recent defeat of the referendum. It continues to be a hot topic. I continue to be very surprised that the referendum was defeated, as I thought for sure it was going to pass easily. Given that I also thought Romney would win the presidential election, I have now officially sworn off trying to predict elections, but that is another story.
Anyway, while I was waiting for my dinner companion to arrive, I was speaking with someone about the referendum on my cell phone (that someone would be my wife, who was also my dinner companion). We were talking about how the referendum was defeated and what a surprise it was. Personally, I don’t think a few anti-referendum signs scattered around the district had much of an effect on the vote, and, quite frankly, I don’t think one or two robocalls made the day before the election could really make a difference either. Given the near total lack of converage in the press, I thought the referendum would sail through easily. I was wrong about that.
The subject of Delaware Liberal came up in the conversation because of its post yesterday criticizing some opponents of the referendum for remaining anonymous and claiming that out-of-state deep pockets must be involved. I expressed my belief that the post was just plain wrong. In fact, anyone involved in politics can tell you it doesn’t cost very much for a few yard signs and robocalls, so the notion that this could only be done by deep out-of-state pockets is just off base. Maybe, just maybe, some of these folks are choosing to be anonymous because they don’t want to suffer the slings and arrows of venomous attacks like the one here, and maybe, justified or not, they are afraid of being recognized and attacked by those who supported the referendum. As long as everyone is debating on the merits (the way they should) and not calling opponents names (the way they should not), it really shouldn’t matter whether anonymity is used or not.
Anyway, Delaware Liberal came up in the conversation because I asked whether the person had seen the post. The person I was speaking to hadn’t seen the post. At no point was there any conversation about hacking Delaware Liberal. None. And why would there be?
From there, we discussed an article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal about internet piracy and the ongoing “war” between video pirates and content providers who are trying to stop illegal copies of shows being posted on the internet. We talked for several minutes about that story (it’s actually quite interesting) and the ways in which content providers are constantly trying to shut down illegal sites.
Again, at no point was there ever any conversation about “sabotaging” Delaware Liberal. The accusation is groundless and libelous. Quite frankly, I am owed an apology. This is why the press tries to check with all parties to a story before running a story and this whole thread should, in my view, be taken down.
If I had to guess, and was inclined to give the “easedropper” here the benefit of the doubt, I suspect they overheard something about Delaware Liberal and then something about taking down sites and then jumped to the conclusion that I “must” have been talking about taking down the Delaware Liberal site. Wrong wrong wrong. The conversation had moved on to NBC and other content providers trying to take down sites that have illegal downloads.
And so, an innocent conversation, not overheard correctly, leads to a blog post with a completely false accusation. But then again, easedroppers never get things right.
Talk about irony. A blog post attacking folks for being anonymous leads to a blog post containing an anonymous attack on me. Oh well.