The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Bill Schmalfeldt Finally Gets His Reply

Posted on | July 28, 2013 | 245 Comments

Bill Schmalfeldt ranting, 2011. (Image via Thomas Anderson at Vimeo)

“I’m disgusted that it has come to this. I thought that Facebook, being an honorable organization that everybody loves, that everybody has heard of, would honor its own terms of service and remove this cancer, this tumor, this malignancy from its own service.”
Bill Schmalfeldt, Dec. 15, 2011

“Just in case you ever entertain the thought that Bill Schmalfeldt might be sane, remember this: When accused of criminal harassment, Schmalfeldt’s reaction is . . . more harassment.. . .
“It’s as if he is incapable of learning anything, or is unable to restrain his insane urges to lash out at the targets of his obsessive rage.”

Robert Stacy McCain, July 19

Every picture tells a story, as an old song says. In 2011, during the Wisconsin recall battle, Bill Schmalfeldt went to war against a Facebook group that was supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The group calling itself “Operation Burn Notice” (OBN) was the subject of multiple posts Schmalfeldt wrote at Daily Kos.

About a Facebook group, you see.

Lacking all sense of proportion, Schmalfeldt’s war against this Facebook group became extremely bitter because, in essence, he began “doxing” the group’s members, publishing personal information about them, accusing them of crimes, etc., as he himself explained:

The cowards behind “Operation Burn Notice” can’t even be SHAMED into identifying themselves. . . .
I have mentioned three names that have been suggested to me as being involved in this OBN effort. I make no such assertions, other than to say every time I attempted to place a redacted version of a picture of these folks, their identities obscured, it was swiftly removed from their Facebook page.
[T]hese freedom-hating slugs . . . are discussing a crime that could land them in jail for 3-1/2 years and cost them $10,000 each.

This war-of-annihilation theme is a pattern in Bill Schmalfeldt’s online behavior and, whenever he fails to achieve his goals, he invariably claims that he is being victimized, that other people aren’t playing fair, and then attempts to play “Internet Cop,” threatening to have people arrested, to get them fired from their jobs, to sue them, to have their various Internet accounts shut down, etc. During the course of his obsessive anti-OBN jihad, Bill Schmalfeldt decided to give a 19-minute Terms of Service (TOS) lecture to Facebook:

Well, you know what they say about karma, right? About five months later, in May 2012, Bill Schmalfeldt put up a genuinely vile rant about anal sex at DailyKos and was banished. (He attempted to get back on DKos last week and was re-banished.)

It’s interesting how this cosmic principle operates: Bad things happen to bad people and, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” The people in that Facebook group whom Schmalfeldt sought to persecute — claiming they were infringing his copyrights, among other things — had nothing to do with Schmalfeldt getting banished from Daily Kos. That was a self-inflicted wound, as such downfalls usually are. Bad people do bad things and get away with it, so they keep doing bad things until that day comes when they don’t get away with it. Thus Schmalfeldt is banned (again) from Daily Kos, while Barrett Brown is in federal custody, facing felony charges that could put him away for a long, long time.

“Pray for Ten Thousand Angels,” I said last November, when Bill Schmalfeldt’s relentless harassment finally escalated to the point that he was threatening to call my wife. That was the first time I ever posted a photo of Schmalfeldt. If you’ve been reading John Hoge’s blog lately, you know that Schmalfeldt filed a “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” notice, claiming Hoge had “stolen” Schmalfeldt’s intellectual property. Schmalfeldt also filed a DMCA notice with our web-hosting company, which is now handled through Ali Akbar’s Pundit Syndication LLC. This is being dealt with appropriately. (Click here to read Ali’s reply.)

Bill Schmalfeldt being who he is, however — which is to say, a deranged cyberstalking troll — has been ranting and raving on Twitter, demanding that I personally take notice of his nuisance claim.

So I decided that it was finally time to reply to e-mails Schmalfeldt sent me months ago. Five thousand words. Enjoy. — RSM

* * * * * *

From: Robert McCain Sat Jul 27 22:30:32 (PDT) 2013

Mr. Schmalfeldt:
You seem to think you deserve attention, but when you get the kind of attention you deserve, you don’t seem to appreciate it very much. You threaten and harass people, and if they ignore your threats, you accuse them of cowardice. But when these people take notice of your bizarre and hateful conduct, you claim that you are a victim, that they have harassed or otherwise wronged you.
Perhaps there is some rational explanation for the notorious pattern of your online behavior, but damned if I can imagine what that might be. Even if you were, as some suspect, being paid by Brett Kimberlin to stalk his targeted enemies and subject them to mental anguish — to provoke, annoy or intimidate them — your actions are either ineffective or self-defeating. Your behavior, if done in Kimberlin’s service, only further harms Kimberlin’s reputation, because what kind of monster would hire such a monster as you?
Because it has not been conclusively proven that you are employed or sponsored by Kimberlin, then I have no choice but to suppose that you have been acting independently and of your own volition since you began cyberstalking Aaron Walker in June 2012. Therefore, by a process of elimination – deductive logic, Occam’s Razor, etc. – this leads to exactly one explanation: YOU’RE CRAZY.
Daft. Bonkers. Kooky. Bats in the belfry.
A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
Recall if you can, sir, the first time your name appeared on this blog. Don’t bother looking it up, because I have not forgotten. It was Sept. 4, 2012, the day I left to cover the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in a post that included this:

Arrogant sociopathic punks think they can go around threatening people and if you dare say a word back to them, you’re the bad guy.
Speaking of punks, an obscure talentless assclown named Bill Schmalfeldt is threatening to sue Aaron Walker.

You may follow that link to Patterico – explaining threats against Lee Stranahan and Brandon Darby and the producers of Occupy Unmasked, threats that made headlines in the Hollywood Reporter — and to Aaron Walker’s Allergic2Bull blog about your “Liberal Grouch” persona:

First off, my accusation was based on a series of tweets that Occupy Rebellion and Liberal Grouch — who are in constant contact — tweeted out. These are documented over at Joe Brooks’ blog here and here. LG doesn’t deny that he said these things and so he is angry at me for… drawing a conclusion about what he said that he doesn’t like.

You can read Aaron’s blog post of Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, and see the evidence he provides of the association between yourself and “Occupy Rebellion,” and what you wrote about Lee Stranahan’s wife:

The blurred URL — was that a link to Lee Stranahan’s home address?
What did Lee Stranahan ever say or do to you, Mr. Schmalfeldt, to deserve such atrociously menacing behavior? Did you think that Lee Stranahan had no friends who would object to this?
Did you think that you could send such a message on Twitter and no one except your hateful sympathizers would notice it? Did it not occur to you, that in publicly associating yourself with a digital terrorist like Occupy Rebellion, that you were thereby forfeiting any presumption that you were acting in good faith?
Notice, Mr. Schmalfeldt, that I just called Occupy Rebellion a “digital terrorist,” without fear of any legal consequence, because I know this: Sockpuppets can’t sue for libel. One cannot defame a secretive menace who hides behind a pseudonymous Internet account. And given the close association between Occupy Rebellion and the terroristic threats against Lee Stranahan, Brandon Darby and others, who knows what an investigation of those e-mails and Twitter messages might discover?

“We’ll be legitimately raping Brandon Darby and Lee Stranahan for the next several days while they are tied up with the movie premier at the RNC,” reads an email from The email includes Darby’s and Stranahan’s cell phone numbers.
One tweet reads, “While @Shanahan is in Tampa this week, should Texas rapists be told where to find his wife since he supports the rape of everyone else?”
“My wife is home with our four kids and freaked out,” Stranahan told The Hollywood Reporter. “She’s sick to her stomach.”

My point is that no sane, decent, honest, law-abiding person would associate themselves with persons responsible for such terroristic actions. But you did, didn’t you, Mr. Schmalfeldt?

A claim of defamation requires the demonstration of actual harm to the reputation of the plaintiff and of bad motives (mala fides) on the part of the defendant. A notorious criminal like Charles Manson cannot sue for defamation, because he has no good reputation that could be harmed. And a journalist reporting on Manson’s crimes does not have bad motives for informing the public of such a criminal menace. But as my editors taught me long ago, truth is an absolute defense against any claim of libel: “Just get the facts right, and they can’t touch you.”

Ironic Justice for Occupy Rebellion

To describe Occupy Rebellion (hereafter OR) as a “digital terrorist” is simply a statement of fact, a vivid description based upon observation. However, as I say, sockpuppets can’t sue for libel, and the OR account was recently deletedpoof! – and if you don’t know why, Mr. Schmalfeldt, I certainly do. Some of OR’s erstwhile allies in the “Anonymous” movement had become sick and tired of her obnoxious bullshit, and were ready to “patch” and “dox” her – to connect her online persona to her real-life name, and to make public her name, address, etc., so as to subject her to harassment at home and at work.
This kind of terroristic activity — the implicit intimidation of what a swarming mob of online crazies might do to someone who is threatened with “doxing” — is not something any decent person can endorse, but it’s what OR and her friends were glad to see inflicted on Aaron Walker, Patrick “Patterico” Frey and other of their targets. So perhaps some will perceive an ironic justice in OR’s misfortune.
Occupy Rebellion is gone, Mr. Schmalfeldt, and so that relatively high-traffic Twitter account can no longer promote your harassing messages. This has deprived you of a hitherto valuable assistance in your campaigns against Walker, Stranahan, et al., which means you are back to the status I first described on Sept. 4 of last year when, at the end of a 954-word post, I called you an “obscure assclown.”
This I intended not as a mere insult, but as a statement of fact: You are obscure — an insignificant and unpopular nobody, which is why I hadn’t paid any attention to you prior to September 2012 — and you are quite nearly the textbook definition of an assclown. This is a compound word combining the meaning of “ass” — stupid and/or obnoxious –– and “clown,” a laughably incompetent person. If there were an Encyclopedia of Internet Pests, the entry defining “assclown” would end with a notation: “See also, Bill Schmalfeldt.”

That Sept. 4, 2012, entry was not about you, Mr. Schmalfeldt, but rather about an e-mail I had received from Barrett Brown, my response to which was quoted in its entirety, a few excerpts of which I now call to your attention:

First of all, spare me your lawsuit threats. Ever the publicity-seeking opportunist, you chose to make yourself the spokesman for an international criminal conspiracy, and if the consequences of that foolish decision did not cross your mind, that’s not my fault.
It was blindingly obvious to me, the minute I heard of this, that you could not speak for Anonymous unless you were in communication with its members and privy to their plans. The FBI seems to have reached the same conclusion. . . .
You think you’re such a fucking intellectual giant that all your schemes will succeed, and when they fail, you start hunting around for scapegoats to blame, because it’s impossible for you to accept responsibility or admit to yourself that you’re not as smart as you think you are. . . .
You bounce from one embarrassing failure to another, yet none of your failures ever convinces you that you’re on the wrong path, or that you have overestimated your own abilities.  . . .
You don’t need a lawyer, Barrett. You need a psychiatrist, or perhaps a priest to exorcise your demons. You are traveling a road to destruction, as harmful to yourself as to any of your chosen enemies. Get help.

Perhaps your memory is faulty, Mr. Schmalfeldt, but my own memory is perfectly clear, and it was about a week after that e-mail — in which I told Barrett he was “on the wrong path” and was in need of psychiatric help — that Barrett had an online meltdown during which he threatened to “destroy” an FBI agent. After he was in federal custody, there was a hearing to determine if Barrett was sane enough to stand trial, at which time it was disclosed — as a matter of public record — that he was being treated with medications generally prescribed to treat severe mental illness: Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. Let the psychiatrists testify to the appropriate diagnosis, and let the federal courts deal with his alleged crimes.

‘Dreadful Harm Shall Befall You!’

The point is, the sound advice I gave Barrett Brown could apply equally to you, Mr. Schmalfeldt: “Spare me your lawsuit threats . . . you are traveling a road to destruction.”
Your threat of legal action was received, after you had sent obtuse messages on Twitter last week, hinting at all the terrible things that were about to happen to me — because this is your standard motif: “Beware, all ye whom Schmalfeldt hates! Dreadful harm shall befall you! Be afraid! Be very afraid!”
Ali Akbar has replied at length to this threat, but my own response can be summarized in two words: Fuck you.
The advice my editors gave me long ago was simple: “If someone calls you to complain about a story, you should be polite, but the minute they mention ‘libel’ or otherwise threaten legal action, the conversation is over. Give them the name of our lawyers and tell them not to contact the newsroom again, as this is now a legal matter.”
Now, if the person is serious and the lawyers say “correct” or “retract,” you follow their legal advice — that’s what lawyers are for — but in nearly all cases, a threat of a lawsuit is merely that, a threat, an idiot’s attempt to intimidate honest people into silence.
We shall see how serious you are, Mr. Schmalfeldt, about pursuing your claims of copyright violation, and I’ll let lawyers offer advice to Pundit Syndication LLC about whether my understanding of “fair use” is more accurate than yours. John Hoge, whom you have targeted with similar threats, seems certain of his own rights under “fair use” doctrine, but I’m not a lawyer and am unable to judge his case.
As for your own understanding (of law or anything else), sir, I am quite certain it is impaired by the fact that YOU’RE CRAZY.
Crackers. Psycho. Loopy. Off your rocker.
Nuttier than a Snickers bar.
Your claims of copyright infringement, insofar as they are not merely a delusional side-effect of your evident mental disorder, are clearly a continuation of the demonstrable pattern of obnoxious online behavior that first drew my attention to you in September 2012.
You cannot claim defamation, for I have not defamed you. You cannot claim harassment, because I have not harassed you. So instead now you claim copyright infringement and, as I say, we shall see what the law says about that claim if, in fact, you seriously intend to pursue that claim. My hunch is that you have no such intention, but have merely threatened legal action, hoping to intimidate our web hosting provider, and to use this implausible threat as a basis for calling me a “thief.”
To repeat the earlier summary: Fuck you.

The Game That Homey Does Not Play

You may wonder, Mr. Schmalfeldt, why I am sending this email to you, as I have hitherto avoided any direct communication with you. I have on occasion written about your actions, but never have I written to you, even while you have repeatedly targeted me with your own hostile communications. The first time your photo appeared on this blog, was in November 2012, during Thanksgiving weekend when you sent me more than 200 harassing Twitter messages in a span of 48 hours. Rather than respond on Twitter, I instead put up this blog post on Nov. 24:

You can read the whole thing, which includes this observation:

When people are targeted by this kind of online harassment, their friends tell them, “Just ignore it.” But until it happens to you, it’s very difficult to understand how serious it really is. It’s online terrorism, and the people who engage in it do so habitually.
Even if you ignore it, and your harasser eventually gets bored with you and moves on, this doesn’t mean they’ll stop. They’ll just find a new focus of their hateful sociopathic behavior.

Furthermore, recalling your threat to sue Aaron Walker, I wrote:

What is it with these people who are always threatening, threatening, threatening? If you’re going to sue somebody, sue them and have at it.

You can read the whole thing, as I say, but the point is, I researched your history, I know your type, and I know your game.
Homey don’t play that game, see?
If I ever choose to respond to this kind of sociopathic harassment — always threatening, threatening, threatening — I’ll respond at the time and in the manner of my choosing. I will not comply with demands that I pay attention to your gibberish, nor will I reply when you demand that I answer your questions, as if someone had granted you authority to boss me around, you pathetic hate-filled nutjob.
You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked the same question: “Gee, Stacy, why don’t you just block these trolls?”
The answer is: Because I’m a journalist, covering a story — the story of how  conservative bloggers have been harassed by an entity that has become colloquially known as “Team Kimberlin,” an entity of which you, Bill Schmalfeldt, are very much an active part. I seldom block troll accounts on Twitter because, since I started covering this story in May 2012, most of the psychos who show up in my timeline screaming lunatic accusations at me are part of the online troll-swarm of which Kimberlin’s associate Neal Rauhauser is generally acknowledged as the ringleader. I don’t block them, because I want to keep tabs on what they’re up to — they are part of the story — which is why I never blocked you.
And if you don’t remember why you were threatening to call my wife (!) in November 2012, Mr. Schmalfeldt, I most certainly do: Last year, I moved out of Maryland and, not long before you started that particularly frenzied episode of harassment over the Thanksgiving holidays, I was informed that Neal Rauhauser had expressed interest in discovering where I’d moved. (Gee, I wonder why? Maybe Patrick Frey or Mike Stack could imagine a reason.) So when you started yammering at me on Twitter, making false claims that I had not moved from Maryland, I made three inferences:

  1. Neal Rauhauser was behind it;
  2. The purpose was to find out where I live; and
  3. The excessively belligerent nature of your harassment was an attempt to get me to contact the police or otherwise seek legal action against you, hoping that I would thereby create a public record of my new address and then — boom! — I would have in effect doxed myself.

What part of “fuck you” do I need to explain, Bill? I knew very well, that late November weekend, that the Virginia court date for Walker v. Kimberlin was approaching, and that this escalation of harassment was not merely coincidental. It’s just like Rauhauser, in his “Carlito2000” persona, trying to get Barrett Brown to go after me and Patterico. If Barrett didn’t realize he was being manipulated, I sure as hell did and, to repeat: Homey don’t play that game.

Your Non-Coincidental Curiosity

That’s something else you perhaps ought to think about, Mr. Schmalfeldt: Neal Rauhauser is much smarter than you are. Perhaps less crazy, but definitely much smarter. Barrett Brown has never figured that out, and maybe he never will, but the one thing I’ve never done is to underestimate Neal Rauhauser’s evil cunning.
People who once worked with Rauhauser have used words like “scary” and “dangerous” to describe him. Also, “impulsive” —  his great weakness: Neal is prone to cook up a scheme and act on it without considering what would seem to be predictable second- and third-degree consequences. Yet Neal is exceptionally intelligent (one former friend estimated Neal’s IQ at 160), and remarkably adept at identifying the kind of people he can dishonestly manipulate for his own evil purposes. Neal took advantage of Barrett Brown’s susceptibility, inspiring Barrett to contact both me and Patterico, apparently in an effort to get . . .
Well, I have a good hunch what Neal’s purpose was, but let’s not go into that, eh? The point is that Neal used Barrett, and Barrett’s mental state was such that he didn’t seem to understand he was being used, and next thing you know, there’s Barrett on YouTube screaming like a lunatic about how he’s going to “destroy” an FBI agent. Oops.
Tough luck there, Barrett. But I digress . . .
Your interest in my whereabouts, and my wife’s employment, and my income as a journalist — your curiosity about me is apparently not just coincidental, is it, Mr. Schmalfeldt?
Even if you’re merely crazy, and not employed or sponsored by Brett Kimberlin, it is not by random chance that you became obsessed with me, and I have always viewed your threats and demands and other forms of harassment in the context of a larger story. But you have no right to know anything about me or my family, and I have no obligation to answer any of your questions, or to take notice of your malicious accusations. Your obvious motive — to assist Brett Kimberlin in silencing Kimberlin’s critics — is sufficient cause for me to dismiss you as an active agent of evil. Having never e-mailed you before, I checked my inbox and found that you had e-mailed me three times:

From Bill Schmalfeldt (
Tue Aug 28 11:31:15 2012
Subject: One more thing…
I notice I am forbidden from commenting on your blog.  You are not forbidden to comment on mine.  Why am I forbidden to comment on yours?  Different opinions not welcome?
Just wondering.

Notice the date there? Aug. 28 — nearly a week before your name ever appeared on my blog, you e-mailed to ask why you were banned from commenting at my blog. But you had already been banned from Daily Kos and banned from, so why were commenting privileges at my blog of such interest to you, Mr. Schmalfeldt? Look up “troll rights” — this insane idea that you and other trolls have, that other people are under some kind of obligation to provide their bandwidth to you so that you can spew you hatefulness to their readers. In other words, not content to befoul your own corner of the Internet (where no sane person would ever go), you demand that other people provide you access to their platform, so you can befoul that, too.
Do I really have to explain what “fuck you” means, Bill?
OK, second e-mail:

From Bill Schmalfeldt (
Wed Nov 21 08:18:12 2012

Did you and Louann ever REALLY move, or is that just part of the scam?

Bill Schmalfeldt
The Patriot-Ombudsman

To this, sir, you attached a satellite photo map and a “background report” about my former address in Maryland. There were errors in that report — e.g., “10 baths”? – and it’s been years since either of those phone numbers were mine or my wife’s. However, the address was correct for the home we moved out of last year, for reasons that are well-known (there are many witnesses), but which you and Brett Kimberlin and Neal Rauhauser keep constantly lying about. But why get into that, eh? The point is, we moved, and on Nov. 21, you sent me this e-mail, accusing me of a “scam.” Shortly thereafter, you began harassing me non-stop on Twitter, using your “Liberal Grouch” account which, if I recall correctly, was subsequently deleted because of your repeated terms-of-service violations. (Maybe you could refresh my memory about this, Bill — you’ve been banned so many places, it’s hard to keep track.)
And finally the third e-mail:

From: Bill Schmalfeldt (
Thu Dec 20 11:22:15 2012
Subject: Hi, Pal!

I do a BlogTalk Radio Show now. It’s on Weekdays, live from noon to 1pm. You seem like a nervy guy.  Wanna be my guest? I’ll play nice if you do.

Love to have you!
Bill Schmalfeldt

Well, har-dee-har-har, “chum.” And did you notice anything unusual about your e-mails to me, Bill? Three e-mails, three addresses: In August, you e-mailed me from In November, you e-mailed me from And then in December, you e-mailed me from Three separate e-mail accounts you used in less than four months, which probably doesn’t seem that strange to you, because you have used so many online identities in the past year or two: “Liberal Grouch,” “Dead Breitbart,” “Patriot Ombudsman,” “Bill Matthews” and so forth. But while this may seem normal to you, regular people tend to look at that kind of multiple-personality behavior and think: CRAZY.
There is also the apparent instability of your mood, the way you address someone as “chum” and then accuse them of a “scam” while sending a map of (what you think is) their home, in other words: “I know where you live!” And then a few weeks later, this false-friendly invitation — “Love to have you!” — sent to someone you spent months doing everything in your power to harm.
This is not how sane, decent and honest people behave, Mr. Schmalfeldt, and yet you can’t seem to help yourself. You are apparently in the throes of some sort of compulsion that causes you to constantly harass and threaten people. In complaining that I had violated your copyright, you provided a list of posts, but I could write every day about your craziness if I thought anyone wanted to read it. There’s no shortage of craziness on your part for me to write about, but I ignore most of it, because it has become so tedious: “Oh, look – Bill did something crazy again today.” And of course, you’ll do something crazy tomorrow, and the day after that. Basically, if it’s a day of the week ending in “-y,” Bill Schmalfeldt is doing something crazy. Dog bites man.
Day after day, you cyberstalk and harass people, and it’s just like what I said about Barrett Brown:

Arrogant sociopathic punks think they can go around threatening people and if you dare say a word back to them, you’re the bad guy.

See? It’s as if you think somehow you’re entitled to play the bully boy, and that other people exist only so you can threaten and harass them. Your belief in your own superiority is such that, from your point of view, it’s not so much a belief as a fact.

The Dragon Kicks Sir William’s Ass

You begin with the assumption that everyone else is your inferior. Then you set out with the intention of demonstrating this — and imagining how you’ll be admired by others for displaying your superiority — by bullying someone you consider your inferior, and when this expedition does not produce the expected result, you believe you have been wronged.
Your rationalization of your failure is essentially this: “Those inferior people somehow cheated me out of my glory. It’s unfair that, because of their deceit and malice, my superiority has been wrongfully obscured and I have been deprived of my right to admiration.”
So you sally forth from the castle, the knight in shining armor who is going to slay the dragon, and after the dragon kicks your ass, you limp back to the castle complaining that the dragon didn’t play fair. You are a victim of your own irrational expectations, your arrogant overestimation of your abilities, and your contempt for your chosen enemies. Whose fault is it, Mr. Schmalfeldt, that Aaron Walker, Lee Stranahan and John Hoge have refused to tolerate your bullying ways? Why did you think they were under any obligation to conform to your will? And why, if you are going to behave in this manner, do you object to my describing your actions — and illustrating those descriptions with photos of you?
Your problem is not my writing about you. Your problem is you.
Let’s talk photos, just briefly. The former Nickelodeon starlet Amanda Bynes has gone crazy — she’s been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward for two weeks. And the evidence of her incipient madness was all over her social-media presence: She said crazy things on Twitter, and uploaded crazy photos of herself. So when they locked her up, I wrote an article about it at ViralRead, “Finally, Amanda Bynes Gets Herself Sent to the Psycho Ward.” That article was illustrated with three photos of Amanda Bynes, one of which she had uploaded to Twitter:

Now, I didn’t get that photo directly from Amanda Bynes’s Twitter account, but from one of the many gossip blogs that wrote about her weird behavior. Why aren’t we all being sued for this, Mr. Schmalfeldt? Did all the Internet sites that used this photo of Amanda Bynes “steal” it from her, as you claim I’ve done in posting photos of you? No, we stole nothing and there is no copyright violation: She made the photo available through her own social media account, with no notice of copyright and, it was certainly “fair use” to re-post that photo in reporting on Amanda Bynes.  Of course, I haven’t run that explanation by the Legal Department for vetting or anything, but I think it is a reasonable summary of why dozens of gossip blogs haven’t been sued into bankruptcy for reposting such photos.
Ah, but here is where it gets interesting, Mr. Schmalfeldt: About a week before Amanda Bynes got locked up at the Kook Farm, she suffered the same kind of delusion that you seem to be suffering: People telling the truth about her (i.e., that she was going crazy) were doing something illegal, for which she was going to sue them:

“my lawyer will have every fake story about me removed from the internet.”

Excuse the lack of capitalization, but that was posted on July 11, the same day Amanda Tweeted: “my life has changed for the better ever since I changed to lower case font.” Translation: “I’m crazy.”
This delusion, that all the true things reporters were writing about her were “fake stories,” which her lawyer would get taken down, was a symptom of her mental illness, in the same way her belief in the restorative power of “lower case font” was symptomatic.
And how was that really different, Mr. Schmalfeldt, from your belief that you’re going to avenge yourself through the assertion of copyright claims over images of yourself that you uploaded to the Web without any notice or warning? This picture of you?

I found that in the same online account where you’d uploaded scores of others of images, including heinously obscene Photoshops where you’d stuck the face of someone you hated onto photographs evidently downloaded from pornography sites. In objecting to my use of that photo (long before you’d dreamed up this recent “copyright” fantasy), you claimed I had “dishonestly cropped” it. But I’d cropped it for the same reason I crop a lot of other photos, because a horizontal rectangle (i.e., “landscape”) format works better than a vertical “portrait” rectangle, in terms of page design. (Did I mention I took a full year of commercial design in college, or that before I moved to Washington I’d been laying out my own pages for more than a decade as a newspaper section editor?)
OK, so you objected to that photo and, for the sake of variety if nothing else, I decided to find another photo, this time a YouTube screen-cap.

Again, I haven’t run this by the Legal Department, but if using YouTube screen-caps on a blog is a crime, they’re going to have to build some more prisons, because we’re all guilty as sin. I mean, this picture of Ed Schultz?

Let me check my e-mail inbox — nope, no notice of copyright infringement from MSNBC, and you know why, Bill? Because MSNBC is not in the picture-selling business, they’re in the TV business. YouTube is in the video business, and they’re not suing people for screen-capping videos. The fact that you uploaded your video to YouTube does not mean you surrendered rights to your video, but a screen-cap — used to illustrate an article about what a dangerously crazy troll you are — yeah, that’s “fair use” all day long. And, by the way, Bill: Copyright involves the concept of value. If you were actually crazy enough to push this claim to trial, part of what the court would be weighing is (a) what was the value of the video you uploaded to YouTube, and (b) how did my use of a screen-cap deprive you of that value? To which I’m fairly certain the answer would be (a) nothing, and (b) not at all.
Perhaps I am completely misunderstanding this stuff, and the Legal Department will tell me I’m all wrong. Maybe the case of Schmalfeldt v. McCain will be a legal landmark by which all bloggers are put on notice to stop all this YouTube screen-capping and grabbing photos off social-media accounts under penalty of brutal compensatory damages awarded to a notorious kook in a Maryland trailer park. The court will award you umpteen gazillion dollars, Bill, because of the way in which I shamelessly “stole” your photos, and this verdict will stand as a warning to any other right-wing blogger who thinks he can get away with saying mean things about Bill Schmalfeldt on the Internet. Yes, imagine the headlines:

Schmalfeldt Triumphs; Supreme Court Ruling
Reverses Years of Online Injustice

We can’t say with complete certainty that this will not be the outcome, just as we can’t rule out the possibility that Alyssa Milano will show up at my front door tomorrow and offer to make me a sandwich.
Theoretically possible, but not likely.
Oh, damn! I guess I’m just being sarcastic again. Lost my train of thought and forgot that I started this e-mail with the intent of explaining something very important: YOU’RE CRAZY.
And also, fuck you.


Robert Stacy McCain
Whereabouts Unknown


* * * * * *

The photo at the top of the page? Didn’t “steal” that from Bill. Thanks to the folks at Knot My Wisconsin, “You Can’t Touch This”:

Billsback from Thomas Anderson on Vimeo.

Did you enjoy reading this? Don’t forget The Five Most Important Words in the English Language: HIT THE FREAKING TIP JAR!




  • K-Bob
  • Joe Dokes

    I may be mistaken but I believe Bill’s last name loosely translates to “small ____.” I’m not sure what “feldt” is. Not important, just a curiosity.

  • SPQR9

    I had an epiphany when you followed Schmalfeldt with Barrett Brown. It all finally makes sense to me.

    Schmalfeldt secretly pines for Barrett.


  • rmnixondeceased

    Too much splatter. Not brain matter, there isn’t much above a teaspoonful, it’s the damn blood that gets splattered around and causes the illegal Guatemalan maids to whisper behind their hands and cut their eyes …

  • Bob Belvedere

    This may help, Karl [it certainly can’t hurt]–>

  • rmnixondeceased

    When truth becomes situational, all is lost.

  • johnl

    Parkinson’s can be caused by brain injury. TBI can also cause behavioral problems, including aggression, self-centeredness, lack of awareness, and inappropriate sexual behavior.

  • irish19

    That oughta leave a mark.

  • K-Bob

    Someone needs to get control over him, them. You don’t let people who are a danger to others due to brain injury continue their actions unsupervised.

    It’s not humane.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Now that’s just plain mean!

  • Bob Belvedere

    We exist only to serve Caesar!

  • Bob Belvedere

    Let’s take a moment to talk about shop safety: Be sure read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools; knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this: there is no more important rule than to wear these [points] safety glasses.

    —Norm Abram The Great

  • Bob Belvedere

    Hey, if they don’t wanna deal with it, there’s the door – comprende?

  • Bob Belvedere

    Groucho: ‘You’re heading for a breakdown, why don’t you pull yourself to pieces’.

  • Bob Belvedere
  • Tex Lovera

    Bill Schmalfeldt??


    What. A. Loser.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I Tweeted your comment to Smitty.

  • rmnixondeceased

    Decent help is VERY hard to find here …

  • rmnixondeceased

    Field. Also describes the capacity of his cranium.

  • richard mcenroe

    I do not think this word “normal” means what you think it means. Were you trying for “average” or “unremarkable”?

  • Scribe of Slog

    I gather what Joe means is that what makes them abnormal is acquired/instilled, rather than inherent.

    Personally, I don’t care whether they started out normal; the question of “why” is for politicians, not foxhole-diggers.

  • Dandapani

    Thanks, Bob. Gotta look after Stacy on the tech side 🙂

  • SL
  • jeffunde

    Never trust a man whose neck is bigger than his head…

  • Bottle UnCapper

    The rhythm of the washing machine in the background of the first vid is awesome. It’s the same as the noise in Schmafeldt’s head.

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