Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Retract, Please': Letter to the Editor
of the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette

Dear Sir:
Your Oct. 7 editorial, "Palin Book: Already No. 1," contains factual errors which are defamatory and potentially libelous, to wit: "In 2006, Vincent teamed up with white supremacist Robert Stacy McCain to write a shrill book titled Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime and Corruption in the Democratic Party . . ."

Leave it to critics to judge whether or not Donkey Cons is "shrill" -- I suspect your editorial writer has not bothered to read it -- and ask yourself what authority there is for your assertion that I am a "white supremacist." Were this true, it would certainly come as a surprise to my numerous colleagues and friends, who are quite a panorama of diversity.

In the fourth paragraph of the aforesaid editorial, your writer was at least clever enough to cite two authorities for this defamation:
  1. A "former Washington Times reporter," whom we need not name, and whose personal problems -- divorce, unemployment, etc. -- might be considered relevant to his motives for maligning me and for the veracity of his accusations.
  2. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which began attacking me in 2000, after I published a feature article based on an interview with Kansas author Laird Wilcox ("Researcher Says 'Watchdogs' Exaggerate Hate Group Threat," 5/9/2000, Page A2, The Washington Times).
The Fifth Amendment of our Constitution means that I am not compelled to deny every false statement made about me. However, my silence cannot be considered proof that such statements are true.

When these accusations were first made, during my employment at The Washington Times, management decided not to respond, as to do so would tend to suggest that the accusers had some credibility. Therefore, I was required to maintain silence, rather than to make any rebuttal. By the time I resigned from the newspaper, in January 2008, to undertake a research trip to Africa, the appropriate time for explaining several falsehoods and misunderstandings had certainly expired.

Over the years, this malicious campaign against my reputation has metastasized spectacularly on the Internet, as individuals and organizations with various political or personal motives have elaborated and repeated them. Some of the original sources for these accusations (e.g., a column by Michelangelo Signorile) contained factual errors, which have been incorporated into the urban-legend mythology, producing a Gordian Knot of non-fact that is not worth the effort it would take to unravel it. Like ancient Alexander, however, I am prepared to swing the sword. Retract, please.

These charges have, as I say, taken on an Internet life of their own. However, never before have they been published in a print newspaper. Whatever malice against the former governor of Alaska inspired your publisher, editors and writers to undertake this false and dishonorable guilt-by-association smear, it was a most foolish blunder. Retract, please.

Having worked as a professional journalist since 1986, I have never forgotten the motto often repeated by those old-school editors who taught me the craft: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

Hoping for warm friendship in the future, I remain sincerely

Your most humble and obedient servant,
Robert Stacy McCain
Co-author (with Lynn Vincent) of DONKEY CONS: Sex, Crime & Corruption in the Democratic Party

UPDATE: "Gee, Stacy, where did you learn this thing about letters-to-the-editor as a literary genre?" Like I say, sometimes you must ask yourself:
UPDATE II: Former Washington Times intern Monique Stuart:
Now, for the most part, Stacy is staying above the fray. And, I applaud him for that. He shouldn’t have to defend himself against such wild accusations. And, the truth is, he doesn’t have to. . . .
Read the rest. And don't ever get on Monique's bad side.


  1. If enough stupid editorial writers copy without researching this editorial, you may soon be able to file a class action defamation lawsuit.

    I would assume that calling you a "white supremacist" is libel per se.


  2. It kind of depends on what they mean by "white supremacist," doesn't it? I mean, you ARE white. There's really no denying that. And you ARE trying to pull yourself to the most lofty possible position in the punditocracy - the online punditocracy, at least. Trying to become "supreme" in that sense.

    So in that sense, if that's what they mean, then it might be true. Right?

    Or am I just giving their lawyers ideas?

  3. Trog:
    1. I am, of course, .
    2. I very much enjoy The Supremes. Also, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Marvin Gaye.
    3. I'm certainly superior to anyone from Wisconsin. But then again, who isn't?

  4. Hmmm. Coding error. Should have been:
    1. I am, of course, Supreme.

    Writing, I can do. HTML, not so much.

  5. For heavens sake, just slap them with the d**ned lawsuit, and stop this "if you unring that bell, I'm good" nonsense. If nothing else, a shot across the bows will discourage the others...

  6. Of course, the real answer is to continue to expose the Southern Poverty Law Center for the money-chasing skunk works that it is. And it can be done -- if the almighty, politically well-connected ACORN can be tumbled off its throne, so can the SPLC.

  7. You better divorce your wife, go gay, and marry a same sex person of color in P-Town. And oh yeah, become a Democrat. Then and only then you might be redeemed by the left.

  8. Good morning Stacy.

    While I am generally not one to encourage litigiousness where other remedies might suffice, may I submit that ObeliskToucher has a strong point. (Excuse the pun.) It is past time that these careless and/or malicious clowns that pass for editors, commenters and "journalists" (hahahaha) paid a price for this ongoing slander and libel.

    In other words, as Doug Llewellyn would have said, you take them to court.

  9. Should you be posting javascript that is shown at the end of this post?

    Just sayin'

  10. To bad lawyers are expensive. Though a “hit the tip jar so you can sue the bat snot out of these people campaign” might work pretty well, God knows we all hate the MSM. It is aggravating though to know you’re being trashed with a lie in an attempt to destroy Lynn Vincent which really is just another attempt at damaging Sarah Palin.

  11. Sue the bastards. This nonsense has gone on far too long.

  12. This started out to be sort of a "funny" oddity. Not so much anymore. It's clear he picked that up from Rachel Maddow's comment.

    The other lie is - I would never sleep with a shrill book. What in hell is he talking about?

    Stacy - the problem here is this will start to affect you kids.

  13. Defend your good name. Sue their socks off.

  14. Unless I am very much mistaken this is actionable.

    The question is does any Newspaper have enough funds to pay the settlement?

  15. Problem is, winning a lawsuit still will not convince his detractors he's not racist, but a loss (and it is extremely hard to win a libel suit) will serve as proof he is racist to those same detractors. In the end, the only people who win are the lawyers.

  16. This kind of character assassination is appalling, and I am amazed at your fortitude, and that of your family.

    Applying the standards of Mad King Charles and his cronies, I ask the following question:

    Is Barack Obama a BLACK supremacist? Quote:

    "Tim was not a conscious brother. Tim wore argyle sweaters and pressed jeans and talked like Beaver Cleaver. He planned to major in business. His white girlfriend was probably waiting for him up in his room, listening to country music. ..."Tim's a trip, ain't he," I said, shaking my head. "Should change his name from Tim to Tom."

    Barack Obama "Dreams From My Father," pages 101-102 (paperback edition)

    And he broke up with his white girlfriend in part because she was white (also in Dreams, early editions):

    Just asking.

  17. Let's see; who isn't superior to us Cheddarheads? Pretty much anybody from Minnesota (my co-blogger Shoebox excepted), anybody from Illinois, anybody from Michigan, most of New England, Rachel Maddow (though s/he qualifies more as a "what" than "who),...(need I go on?).

  18. Quoth Proof:

    "Defend your good name. Sue their socks off."

    There are two problems with that idea, one per sentence.

    The first problem is that Stacy can defend his good name in this matter any time he chooses to, with no litigation required, by simply laying out the facts for examination. He's made it very clear that he has no intention of actually doing so. Whether that's because he doesn't think the facts will withstand such examination, or because he prefers to make hay by playing the "victim card," or some combination of the two, who knows?

    The second problem is that if you sue someone's socks off ... well, let me quote Stacy, quoting me: "Discovery's a bitch."

  19. I'd say the book wasn't shrill but it was in error in a few places of prediction and it missed a lot of corruption in the past, sadly.

  20. The Fifth Amendment doesn't come into play in this type of situation. Sure, if you were being prosecuted for a hate crime, you wouldn't have to answer the government's questions. But bloggers and journalists aren't the government. Your own free will is all you have (and all you need) if you don't want to explain yourself. And if this ever gets to the point where you ask a court to order somebody to pay you damages, you would have to submit to discovery and cross-examination by whomever you sue.

  21. Yeah Stacy! Sue them!
    Wait, wait...Kn@ppster is'd have to lay out the facts before
    a jury of your peers. And you keep mentioning "factual errors" on the part of your accusers, yet you never point out which "facts" are erroneous.
    Let's clear the air: did you really write the article cited as an example of your racism? If you didn't write it then case dismissed, right?
    Maybe this article is an example of your " I write for money" credo:
    sometimes you have to give your audience what they want, right?
    Which would explain your audience, in particular a commenter named stinky. Funny enough, he must not have been alive last year when the "Obama Black Supremacist" meme was a favorite of the Right-Wing-nut-jobs in the blogosphere and throughout.
    Oh the outrage at the character assassination!
    Really now, try not to get your panties up in a bunch.
    If Stacy chooses to keep playing the "vague" card, then how does he expect anybody to retract anything?
    I suspect Stacy is going to keep capitalizing on his as-of-yet-unproven non-racism...

  22. I also heard that Maddow was a Crack Whore who played strip poker with Joy Behar.

  23. Stacy, what is the basis of slurring as a 'White Supremest'? This statement fascinating.

  24. West Virginia Unemployment Trends - August 2009

    West Virginia Unemployment Trends in Heat Map form:
    here is a map of West Virginia Unemployment in August 2009 (BLS data)

    versus West Virginia Unemployment Levels 1 year ago

  25. Three things:

    1) I enjoy your blog mostly and read it each day.

    2) You know the standards for suing a newspaper set forth in NYT v. Sullivan and its progeny, so this letter certainly can't have as its purpose an actual retraction.

    3) You should know that the 5th Amendment has nothing to do with whether or not one addresses charges against him, but only addresses whether one must give evidence against himself in a criminal matter.

    But, I'm with you that you need to go on the offensive against those who call you a white supremist.

    I mean...just imagine if you said something like:

    Black men can't jump.
    Black people have no rhythm.
    Black men have small penises.


    Set aside a whole month to celebrate the accomplishments of white people.

    Created a holiday as an alternative to Christmas for white people to celebrate.

    Pointed out each and every accomplishment or invention made by white people -- making clear in history books that those accomplishments and inventions were made by white people.

    Set up an organization devoted solely to the advancement of white people.

    Had banks which loaned money solely to white people, or loaned money solely to people who invested in white neighborhoods.

    Doing such things certainly could be construed as being racist, I would think. But, I don't know of any white person who says or does such things.