The Other McCain

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Ruh-Roh, Rod: Dreher’s Pseudonymous Postings Could Cause Him Big Trouble

Posted on | May 8, 2011 | 24 Comments

Using an online pseudonym is always a dangerous game, and now it is being alleged that former National Review/Dallas Morning Journal writer Rod Dreher has jeopardized his career with pseudonymous posts at a religious blog.

A round-up of the story at Est Quod Est blog may leave some readers confused, but it identifies Dreher as “Muzshik” (Russian for “peasant”) on the Orthodox Christian blog (OCA = Orthodox Church in America.) The blog launched on March 3 in defense of OCA primate, Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen, who is opposed by some Orthodox clergy and laity, including Mark Stokoe, who blogs at

On April 30, Stokoe published a series of e-mails purporting to show that Dreher had been instrumental in establishing, which included this message attributed to Dreher:

“Please, please, please don’t tell ANYBODY that I have anything to do with this site. . . . But really, I am taking a big risk here.”

To say the least! Dreher is publications director for the John Templeton Foundation. He left the Dallas Morning News in January 2010 to take that job, and the kind of pseudonymous activity at is definitely not within Dreher’s job description. He hasn’t blogged at BeliefNet since July 2010, and the blogger at Est Quod Est suggests Dreher’s bosses at Templeton may have forbidden him from further outside blogging.

As soon as published the e-mails, “Muzhik” stopped blogging at (His last post on April 30 was about a synod of Orthodox bishops in Chicago shunning Paffhausen.) So it at least appears that Dreher may have some ‘splainin’ to do.

In case you don’t remember who Rod Dreher is, he made a big splash in March 2009 by bashing Rush Limbaugh’s CPAC speech. In May 2009, Mark Levin took on Dreher in a guest-post at Riehl World View.

UPDATE: Linked at Riehl World View — thanks!

UPDATE II: A reader helpfully points out that Dreher’s BeliefNet attack on Limbaugh’s CPAC speech has been taken off-line, but was substantially quoted in Tim Graham’s rebuttal at NewsBusters.

UPDATE III: Thanks to another reader for pointing out where Dreher distilled his anti-Limbaugh sentiments into a newspaper column:

[T]he GOP and the conservative movement are stuck on stupid. . . . [I]f Limbaugh’s vision represents the future of American conservatism, count this conservative out.

OK, Rod: You’re out. And no one in the conservative movement will defend you in your present predicament, nor lift a finger to help you if you get fired by Templeton, because you are so damned important — and so much smarter than the rest of us — that you clearly have no need of anyone’s help.

You are an autonomous Movement of One. And good luck with that.


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