While I would never advise anyone to solicit infamy, much mischief in American life results from a tendency to cringe in fear at the possibility that someone might think ill of us. Ambitious young people often seek a good reputation far more diligently than they strive to do good. And too often, ambition leads people into the backstabber's game of undercutting a perceived rival through whispered innuendo.
Nearing my 50th birthday and the 12th anniversary of my 1997 arrival in Washington, I can rightly claim a certain expertise in these matters, with plenty of knife scars in my back from the slanders of erstwhile "friends" who made me a scapegoat for their own failures and frustrated ambitions. And it gives me no solace to know that, at times, I was merely collateral damage in the backstabbers' attacks on bigger targets.
Reflecting on all that, in light of the recent two-week campaign to defend myself against Mad King Charles, I smiled to think of how my survival must mystify and enrage those who failed so utterly in their twin aims, having neither (a) destroyed me, nor (b) profited by attacking me.
There was an inquiry made online Thursday regarding certain accusations against me. With no reason to suspect the questioner of malice, it occurred to me that a courteous e-mail reply would best do the job:
Dear -------:This has been a rough two weeks. However, Da Tech Guy's latest round-by-round is instructive and amusing:
Your inquiry on the Internet discussion is appreciated. While I regret that I am unable to answer your question at this time, please be assured that my unwillingness to discuss the topic is meant as no disrespect toward you, nor an admission (or denial) of anything.
At the heart of this entire brouhaha is an article I wrote in 2000, based on an interview with Laird Wilcox, author of a book called The Watchdogs. Mr. Wilcox, a Kansas scholar recognized as an expert in extremist movements, accused verious left-wing organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, of a hype-the-hate scheme, exaggerating the numbers and dangers of neo-Nazi and other violent racist groups for fund-raising purposes.
From that moment began a series of attacks on me to which, under orders of my employers, I was not permitted to respond in my own defense: (As a response would tend to lend publicity to the attacker.) It was not until after I left the employment of the Washington Times in January 2008 that I was permitted to speak freely.
However, by that time, the legend of "Stacy McCain, white supremacist" had taken on a life of its own online. And what reason did I have to deny (or confirm or explain) anything? If worse came to worse, I could always go back to driving a forklift, which I was doing before I got my first full-time newspaper job in 1986.
Many lessons were learned from my experience with being smeared, lessons that have since been quite useful in my career as a blogger and freelance journalist. And if the whole story of that experience were told, it would certainly fill a very interesting book. Yet I am a professional writer, and have resolved to tell only so much as I please until someone is willing to pay for the whole thing. I'll expect a handsome price. It's my life, this is a free country, and I cannot be compelled to say anything I don't want to say.
What often puzzles my left-wing adversaries is this: Despite all of these false smears on my good name, yet I continue to succeed as a journalist. This has at times caused people to accuse those who employ me of being complicit in some hateful doctrine -- call it "racism" or whatever -- that I am sure I've never advocated, endorsed or supported. The reason I continue to be employed however, is for my knowledge and skill as a researcher, writer, reporter and editor, and not for any mere opinion on any particular subject.
Something else, sir: PEOPLE KNOW ME. If I were a Klan/Nazi type, surely this would have come to someone's attention by now. What has happened, rather, is a this-that-and-the-other sort of recycling of the same familiar accusations, like the one you asked me about. Because people who know me understand that I am not a racial "supremacist" or "separatist" -- I have no theory or doctrine and am certainly no more "racist" than you are -- they do not allow themselves to be fooled or frightened into thinking that I live a secret double-life: Mild-mannered Clark Kent who ducks into a phone booth and emerges with the incredible superpowers of AryanMan!
Having survived the worst that the Left can throw at me, at whatever damage to my good name and fortune, I discovered to my surprise the tremendous value of a bad and somewhat mysterious reputation. "Is it true what they say about Stacy McCain? Is he really hung like an Kentucky thoroughbred with titanium testicles the size of tennis balls?" Well, this is another one of those questions that I do not consider myself obligated to address. Let them wonder.
However, as a Christian who knows himself to be nothing but a wretched sinner who shall some day be called to account, I assure you that I hate no one, not even Charles Johnson or any of the others who have sought to destroy me and dishonor my family. Wishing that everyone in the world were my friend (and I've got more than 1,600 Facebook friends), I am sure that those who choose to treat me as an enemy would not do so, except that they are subject to the same human faults as I.
Not least of my sins has been a tendency toward arrogance and a confidence in my own abilities. Yet when I was powerless to help myself, and in tears prayed that God would send his angels to aid me, He was merciful and gracious. Since then, blessings and honors have been heaped upon me unbidden, and I know that God who has brought me so far will not abandon me now.
Therefore, -----, the kindness and courtesy of your inquiry is sincerely appreciated, and I assure you that it is ever my desire to remain
Your most humble and obedient servant,
Robert Stacy McCain
Co-author (with Lynn Vincent) of
DONKEY CONS: Sex, Crime & Corruption in the Democratic Party
Nice defense but trying to butter up the judge by quoting the pope gotta watch out for that.No, no -- not buttering up the judge. Rather, I was trying to bait Medaura into denouncing me as part of a clerico-fascist theocratic cabal. At any rate, Da Tech Guy notices that Victor Davis Hanson (who defended Mad King Charles) has been swarmed by the Irony Police, whose testimony deserves to be quotet extensively:
Two years ago for example Rush Limbaugh was “Rush Limbaugh honorary lizzardoid” Now Charles links to media matters to attack him as a racist for the same type of stuff he has done for decades.You see from this testimony of ex-LGF fans that, for many months before Mad King Charles lashed out at me -- smearing me at the very time I was in Washington covering the 9/12 March On DC -- Johnson's intolerant paranoid control-freak act was turning the site into a seething cauldron of fear. As Ace said, "It's like North Korea over there."
-- Da Tech Guy
Well the first time ever, I completely disagree with VDH. Charles Johnson and LGF have flipped out. Johnson would make a Spanish Inquisitor proud with his prejudice, zeal, and myopia.
He plays the guilt-by-association game better than Joe McCarthy ever did. He has labeled (if not libeled) people as “racist” and/or “white supremacist” for no reason other than their attendance at meetings at which some previously-labeled person also attended. He demands that others shun the tainted people, and when they do not, he shuns them for not shunning. Thus, the number of shunned people continues to grow, as others refuse to join in the shunning.
-- The Monster
Johnson is NOT the center of American political life, and despite his yeoman work in yesteryear, has done untold damage to the cause by trying to tarnish everyone from Malkin to Limbaugh as nothing more than a rank and ranting racist.
I am a longtime "lizard" who eventually couldn’t take it anymore. . . . What put me off was style rather than substance, even where I agree with him. . . . Obsessive intervention in debate threads. Mass banning of longtime lizards . . . Veteran lizards walking on eggshells for fear of the banning stick. . . . Opinionated insistence on "fact's from extremely dubious sources or just plain wrong.Tiresome overuse of "racist," "homophobe," etc. slurs, to the point where they will go ignored even when there may actually be something to them. Insulting opponents with terms like "teabagger," "warming denier" . . .
-- Too Much Is Too Much
No cauldrons here. No fear. No hate. Nothing to hide. However, if you feel the need to hit the tip jar, don't fight the feeling.
Remember: There are five A's in raaaaacism.