On CNBC just now, the host held up the New York Post story that explains that the "sole purpose" of Port's blog was to "blast" Cohen "because the blogger believed Cohen had badmouthed her to her boyfriend"!
Port is "an unemployed 29-year-old Florida native," the Post story explains:
Sources close to Port said she had gotten along with Cohen, whom she had met at events around town over the past few years. Port became hurt and angry when she was told the model had been talking smack about her to the blogger's on-again, off-again boyfriend, Daniel Dimin.See? The problem with anonymous attack-blogging is that the target is public while the anonymity of the attacker may conceal a hidden, personal motive. The attack-blogger dishes out the ad hominem, while exempting themselves from similar attacks by being a non-person. (I actually had to explain this to an anti-Palin troll who idiotically accused me of defaming his pseudonym.)
Cohen allegedly told Dimin that Port was hanging out with an unsavory crowd, a source said.
Soon afterward, in August 2008, Port took to her computer and set up "Skanks in NYC," posting unflattering pictures of Cohen and writing that she was "a psychotic, lying, whoring . . . skank."
As often as I have attacked people on this blog -- and I'm not through with you yet, David Brooks! -- I've never believed in that kind of backstabbing poison-pen stuff.
Think about it. All Rosemary Port would have had to do wass to confront Liskula Cohen directly: "Hey, I heard you said such-and-so to Daniel, and I don't appreciate it." Of course, if Port's accusation was true -- if Cohen had actually done what Port suspected she'd done -- then Cohen committed the first wrong.
But if you believe somebody's done you wrong, you deal with it head-on. An anonymous campaign of slander is not the solution. Just take it directly to the person involved (if they are someone you know personally) or if not, air your grievance in public -- and put your name on it. (Clark Stooksbury and I have been going at it forever this way.)
Consider, for example, my campaign to get Rich Lowry fired as editor of National Review. I'd sort of watched the NR operation from a distance over the years, and was aware of their maltreatment of various conservative writers whom I knew. I was also aware that that NR kept making stupid decisions -- including the publication of David Frum's "Unpatriotic Conservatives" cover, to say nothing of lending their support to Rod Dreher's erroneous "Crunchy Cons" doctrine. (Have Frum and Dreher ever attacked each other? Perhaps I should stir up a fight between them, just for the heck of it.)
Anyway, I watched NR's blundering until I finally had as much as I could stand. In May 2008, out of a clear blue sky, "The Editors" of National Review took a cheap shot at Bob Barr, whom they'd been doing their best to ignore until it appeared that Barr might actually win the Libertarian Party nomination.
So "The Editors" were now on my radar, and I gave Lowry another shot on June 23, which caused a fellow journalist to e-mail me:
WTF? Tertiary syphilis??? Unless you have information I doubt you have, this would probably be actionable if Rich Lowry read it.Ah, so a clarification was in order. A few weeks later, however, I noted Lowry man-crushing on Obama. NTTAWWT.
You see that for years I had been aware of problems at National Review, yet only last year did I begin to figure out that the fish was rotting from the head downward. So I fired a couple a shots that I'm sure Lowry didn't even notice coming from a pissant nobody like me. Ah, but "tertiary syphilis" was a good one, wasn't it?
Well, this month, Lowry made a couple of mistakes that hurt: (a) he published some columns stirring up the "Birther" meme, and (b) he accused Sarah Palin and her supporters of "hysteria" over the ObamaCare "death panels." And when I (now a somewhat less obscure pissant nobody) described this as "evidence for the prosecution in the continuing case of Why Rich Lowry Should Have Been Fired No Later Than 2001," some people more important than me were nodding their heads in agreement. The impression that Lowry's stayed to long at the dance is now solidifying.
However, I was never secretive about any of this. There was no whisper campaign and I've got no hidden agenda. Friends of mine have written for NR, and though I'd once entertained an idea or two in that direction, I dropped it after hearing my friends complain bitterly about the difficulty of getting paid for their freelance contributions.
So I could be accused of no personal motive for going after Lowry. He's never done anything to me personally, and NR's indifference to paying freelancers promptly meant that I'd cast off any notion of writing for them. This gave me the enormous latitude of action enjoyed by a man with nothing to lose and no stake in the game -- as might be suggested by that "tertiary syphilis" remark.
Such bluntness is quite unusual among conservatives in Washington, where custom dictates that you must smile in the faces of their worst enemies within the movement. In Washington, if you want to undercut somebody, you backstab them, badmouth them in whispered conversations or (most common tactic of all) favor them only with qualified praise, "Well, he's good, don't get me wrong, but . . ."
This explains my extreme hostility toward the anonymous attack-blogger, saggy-breasted Rosemary Port, who is merely adapting to the Internet the kind of methods by which Washington backstabbers have always operated. People will harbor some private grievance or suspicion or dislike for someone else and, rather than to be up-front and honest about it, will carry on a private guerrilla vengeance campaign, badmouthing the target of their hate.
That backstabbing stuff is dishonorable and, when carried to such extremes as Rosemary -- or Jesse Griffin or "Audrey" -- betrays an unworthy malevolence. This is why the anonymous attack-blogger is anonymous, you see. They are aware they're doing evil and that, if their names were known, their motives would be questioned.
Anyway, so I'd seen this "back story" to the Port-Cohen fight, and had these thoughts. Just as I have no actual evidence that Rosemary Port has breasts that hang down like a beagle's ears, so do I lack proof that Rich Lowry's brain is steadily being reduced to gelatinous mush by tertiary syphilis. On the other hand . . .
Well, we'll leave it at that. To engage in hypothetical speculation about these things would be dishonorable.