The Other McCain

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

The #GamerGate vs. Gawker War

Posted on | July 18, 2015 | 88 Comments

Gawker’s irresponsibly cruel “outing” of a Conde Nast executive — a laughable farce, and yet also an exercise in horrendous sadism — prompted Vox Day to remind his readers of #GamerGate’s “anti-Gawker action, Operation Disrespectful Nod, which has already cost Gawker more than $1 million in advertising dollars.” This would appear to be the kind of activity that the #StopRush mob used against Rush Limbaugh and I am therefore ambivalent. Is turnabout fair play? Do we degrade ourselves by using the Left’s tactics against the Left? Or, if we refuse to fight fire with fire, are we engaged in a self-defeating unilateral disarmament? Knowing what damage the Left so gleefully inflicts on its chosen targets (because I have been such a target), I hesitate to condemn retaliatory counter-offenses, but I also have qualms about advocating such measures, however necessary they may sometimes be.

Guerrilla warfare tends to bring out the worst in people, but when the gamers found themselves in the cross-hairs of the Social Justice Warriors, did anyone expect them to just roll over for the likes of Anita Sarkeesian? Oh, hell, no. “War to the knife and knife to the hilt” — the targets of cultural aggression vowed to destroy the aggressors.

So, why did #GamerGate go to war against Gawker? It’s a long and complicated story, but a major focus of #GamerGate rage has been the Gawker-owned game journalism site Kotaku:

If anyone from Gawker or Kotaku had bothered to interview someone like Sargon of Akkad, Christina Hoff Sommers, Mundane Matt, Ashton Liu, Adam Baldwin, LeoPirate, Allison Prime, Jennifer Medina, Daddy Warpig or any of the moderators from Kotaku in Action, it would have been made abundantly clear that it wasn’t that Kotaku avoided talking about journalism ethics, it’s that Kotaku avoided doing anything about their failure at upholding even the most basic of ethics principles in the world of video game journalism.

This involves a controversy at the heart of #GamerGate, the affair between “Depression Quest” developer Zoe Quinn and Nathan Grayson, who wrote for (Gawker-owned) Rock Paper Shotgun before joining Kotaku. You can read more about this scandal at “A People’s History of GamerGate,” but the essence of it is this: Quinn was accused of gaining favorable coverage of her work — which is allegedly useless and awful — by providing Grayson and others access to her nasty poontang. And when these allegations of quid pro quo were published by one of Quinn’s embittered ex-lovers, Quinn’s defenders accused her critics of misogyny.

Let us stipulate that two things can be simultaneously true:

  1. The field of game development attracts a lot of Alpha Nerd males who may have bad attitudes about women;
  2. Zoe Quinn is an opportunistic hustler who realized she could use sex as bait to garner lucrative advantages, including “free” publicity from unprincipled journalists who would accept graft in the form of occasional access to her nasty poontang.

Both of these things could be true, but because of the leftward bias in media, Misogynist Alpha Nerds is an important story, whereas in contrast, Zoe Quinn’s (Alleged) Opportunistic Poontang Hustle is something that no bien-pensant can acknowledge.

While I know nearly nothing about the videogame industry, I’ve spent the past two decades covering politics and therefore know a lot about corruption and opportunistic hustlers. And I also know that there are journalists whose stock in trade is not their skill as writers, but rather their slavish loyalty to the Democrat Party and the Politics of Social Justice. Many writers of limited ability have learned that they can attract unmerited praise — indeed, as in the notorious case of Stalin’s journalistic henchman Walter Duranty, they can win Pulitzer Prizes — if they are willing to tell lies that benefit the Left.

Speaking of writers of limited ability, Adam Weinstein got fired by Gawker last month and offered these comments in a blog post about the tawdry mess made by Gawker’s gay “outing” story:

Relatedly, none of this vindicates any of the psychotic, hateful, performatively sanctimonious self-marketing of Christina Hoff Sommers, Milo Yianawhatever, “gamergaters,” and the bevy of cold, craven, retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls who are waging an inane jihad against Gawker Media, feminism, and cultural justice. They are wrong. They are twisted. They are abusive. And I could give three hot farts about their crocodile tears for David Geithner and his family. What pisses me off the most about this lapse in editorial judgment is that it’s (again) enabled this barely coherent rabble of internet bullies to signal boost their dumb assertions about Gawker en masse, and to get them taken seriously for a dumb nanosecond. Gawker is not that bad, and those critics are not that smart.

This gratuitous smear of Dr. Sommers, Milo Yiannopoulos and #GamerGate — “psychotic, hateful . . . retrograde pre-fab apartment-dwelling souls . . . barely coherent rabble of internet bullies” — tells us more about Adam Weinstein than it tells us about his enemies, and it may also tell us a lot about the underlying problem at Gawker. Whether or not publisher Nick Denton is a leftist ideologue, he has apparently employed leftist ideologues who in turn have made Gawker into a hive of leftist ideology. Like so many other modern media enterprises, Gawker is like one of those Stalin-era “progressive” organizations that, having failed to exclude Communist Party members, were taken over by Communist Party members. By the time Ronald Reagan realized that Communists were trying to take over Hollywood unions, Reagan himself had already unwittingly joined two Communist “front” organizations.

As anyone who has studied the Cold War knows, the Communists relentlessly smeared their enemies. Character assassination was elevated into an art and science by Soviet propagandists, and Reagan himself was among the many enemies of Communism who learned what vicious methods the Left employs against those who tell the truth about the Left. The collapse of the Soviet Union did not cure the Left of its habitual dishonesty, and hired liars like Adam Weinstein continue to practice the deceptive arts that were pioneered by the Bolsheviks and their stooges many decades ago. You may think it is unfair to compare 21st-century leftists to Comintern agents and their “progressive” dupes of the 1930s and ’40s, but to whom is it unfair? At least Walter Duranty could imagine that the socialist utopia was a viable possibility, whereas the Left in the post-Cold War era can have no excuse for their dishonest promotion of “social justice” delusions. They are not leading us toward a Progressive Proletarian Future, because they know that no such secular Heaven on Earth can ever exist. Rather than Building a Better Tomorrow, the Left is now inspired by nothing but abject nihilism, destroying society because they hate society and, also, because they enjoy destruction.

I would call Adam Weinstein a terrible human being, but that would not be accurate. He is an inhuman being, an amoral monster who delights in perverse cruelty against honest people. Firing him was one of the few good things Gawker has ever done, but I suspect that the editors who fired Adam Weinstein are actually worse than he is. He is like Trotsky, an evil man who was assassinated by an agent of the evil he helped create.

Ramon Mercader could not be reached for comment.



88 Responses to “The #GamerGate vs. Gawker War”

  1. Ilion
    July 19th, 2015 @ 7:31 am

    … but it seems to me as if the whole point of libertarianism is small government.
    That’s what the libertarians *say*. But, if one pays attention to what they *do* it doesn’t work out that way.
    In the end, when push comes to shove, almost every self-identified libertarian will side with the leftist-controled “liberals” against the conservatives.
    This is because conservatives not only want smaller government, but also want to “turn back the clock” as the anti-morality folk like to put it. So, if the option are:
    1) smaller government and more public morality;
    2) larger government and less public morality;
    the “libertarians” will *always* go with option 2).

  2. John Rose
    July 19th, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    That is what I’ve observed. It seems the Libertarians want it both ways. They want the government out of their business, but they want it to be big enough to slap down anyone who might say, “um, dude, your business is immoral.”

    Which is really odd for people with their (self-stated) iron will. You’d think they’d be more comfortable dealing with individual nuisances, locally, than with an all-seeing government nanny state. But, apparently, if “freedom” means “I have to put up with people’s opinions which may not sync with mine,” well, then, maybe freedom isn’t quite as valuable as they publicly state.

  3. RS
    July 19th, 2015 @ 11:10 am

    I genuinely believe it’s going to start happening on September 23rd or after.

    Studied the seven feasts, have we? : )

  4. NeoWayland
    July 19th, 2015 @ 11:51 am

    And that ends where?

  5. NeoWayland
    July 19th, 2015 @ 11:54 am

    I prefer option three.

    Smaller government and less “public morality.”

  6. NeoWayland
    July 19th, 2015 @ 11:56 am

    Doesn’t that depend if the people saying “your business is immoral” are using the government to do it?

  7. DeadMessenger
    July 19th, 2015 @ 3:15 pm

    And the Shemita and Jubilee cycles. And the Elul 29 judgments. And the signs in the heavens and earth. It’s a convergence. And if I’m not mistaken, the Pope – and I think we know who he is purported to be, for what that’s worth – is going to be in DC that day, too…there will be some sort of event surrounding that visit…an “inauguration”, Boehner likened it to, and Jumbotrons are going to be set up.

    I’m ready to go home, to be honest, RS. The current combination of depravity, delusion and self-inflicted stupidity all over the world is making my spirit tired. And sad.

  8. DeadMessenger
    July 19th, 2015 @ 3:16 pm

    That’s messed up.

  9. Quartermaster
    July 19th, 2015 @ 3:24 pm

    He’s still at it over at AmSpec. Seems to have followed me over, alas.

  10. Adobe_Walls
    July 19th, 2015 @ 5:50 pm

    In victory. for one side or the other.

  11. RS
    July 19th, 2015 @ 7:42 pm

    There certainly seems to be an “harmonic convergence” of geopolitical events which cause one’s eschatological antennae to quiver. Add in the discombobulation of the world’s moral compass and it’s hard not to believe we’re approaching some sort of denouement. Even if it’s not that which is prophesied, where we’re headed is still awful in the extreme.

  12. Ilion
    July 19th, 2015 @ 9:23 pm

    some leftist:Smaller government and less “public morality.”
    That’s an impossible state of affairs for human beings living-in-society with other human beings. What the leftist is saying is: “I want to live in a society that isn’t a society.”
    A people who will not control themselves via morality must perforce be controlled by external force. And the new batch of laws is never enough to get the result of public morality without the morality, and so there is always a newer batch of laws needed.
    Smaller government and less “public morality.”“

  13. Daniel Freeman
    July 20th, 2015 @ 1:19 am

    Think of it this way: right-libertarians (conservatarians) want the government out of their economic lives, while left-libertarians (civil libertarians) want it out of their social lives, and center-libertarians (Libertarians) want both.

    The problem for the latter two is that people who are internally disordered are ill-suited for civil society. I wouldn’t want one for a parent, neighbor or worker — and they’re likely to end up supporting heavy-handed creeping socialism as long as it leaves their [fill-in-the-vice] alone.

    FWIW, I actually went through a phase as a self-identified agnostic left-libertarian. My quest to figure things out eventually returned me to my Christian roots, but as a conservatarian instead of a centrist.

  14. Daniel Freeman
    July 20th, 2015 @ 1:39 am

    Rape train? More like Detroit. /sarc

  15. I Art Laughing
    July 20th, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    The “prefab” comment has a hint of irony.

    As if any of these leftists had anything to do with building the structures in which they dwell, be they civilization institutions or bricks and mortar. Because of the Left’s inability to build anything decent they parasitically attach themselves to what others have fabricated which they then have subsequently co-opted and twisted. They are the ones with “prefab” souls.

    Like father like daughter:

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

  16. Meekrob
    July 20th, 2015 @ 1:16 pm

    Which section is Jon Stewart in?

    Just wondering.

  17. NeoWayland
    July 20th, 2015 @ 6:47 pm

    Maybe it will just perpetuate things…

    Maybe that is the goal of the self-appointed elite.

  18. NeoWayland
    July 20th, 2015 @ 6:52 pm

    Pardon, but I’ve never seen a leftist or progressive who wanted “smaller government.”

    People choose to control themselves or it’s tyranny. Your response leads to less freedom and certainly less responsibility.

    People should choose for themselves and accept the consequences of their choices and actions. That is the only way people become moral.

    You can’t impose morality or it ceases to be moral.

  19. Alvindawes
    July 21st, 2015 @ 4:03 am

    Feel Free Freedom gheothermcca ……… Keep Reading

  20. Congratulations, ‘Dishonest Fascists’ — #GamerGate Destroys Max Read : The Other McCain
    July 21st, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

    […] When a friend, Beth Haper, first alerted me to the cultural significance of #GamerGate, I was skeptical. Really? A bunch of gamers were going to expose the bias and corruption of the media? This seemed improbable, but the fact that #GamerGate was arrayed against feminists drew my interest because, of course, I was working on a book (Sex Trouble, $11.69 in paperback, $1.99 on Kindle) about radical feminism’s War on Human Nature. Let us stipulate that #GamerGate is not “political” in the usual Left/Right Democrat/Republican way that Americans typically think about politics. Nevertheless, as fate would have it, the exposure of the Zoe Queen/Nathan Grayson connection made gamers aware how unscrupulous women could exploit feminist politics and how unprincipled journalists were willing to assist this tawdry little racket. (See “The #GamerGate vs. Gawker War.”) […]

  21. Grandson Of TheGrumpus
    July 21st, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

    Excellent observations!
    Very clarifyingly put!

  22. Robert What?
    July 22nd, 2015 @ 4:00 am

    Firstly, I agree with those who say this is an issue only because Geithner is a relative of a prominent Democrat crony. If they had “outed” a relative of, say, Rush Limbaugh, the media would be ecstatic and the Gawker editor would be getting a raise. That being said, anything that subverts a viscous lying bully like Gawker is fine by me. I am pleased to say that I have not given them even a single click in a couple of years.

  23. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:33 am

    Yes, I like their salad as well, and they have some good appetizers.

  24. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:37 am

    The key difference is not tactics, but whether we attack only people who did something to deserve it, and also whether we are willing to back off if a target gives up, and we have won the battle. The SJW left has neither of those qualities, and that is their real problem, not mainly their tactics.

  25. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:41 am

    We give up when they do. That is our key difference from the left. Once a target has surrendered, and stopped resisting, we give them a chance to live their life in peace. The SJW left will not do that, they dont just require you do what they want, you must even secretly think what they think, which is why they must be relentlessly destroyed, since, like radical Islam, it is never possible to just live in peace with them..

  26. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    You can be a principled liberal, and still be disgusted with the excesses of the worst of the left. The key way to tell a principled liberal is do they still believe in free speech and due process, not just for other liberals, but for conservatives as well. Also look whether they are willing to stop persecuting a target once they have won the battle and get the goal they say they have been seeking, which the SJW left will not do. We can work beside principled liberals, even if we disagree, because at least they will fight with some honest principles, but Marxists or SJW types, never. Unfortunately principled liberals are very rare today, many of them have turned into libertarians.

  27. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:51 am

    You are right. Unfortunately I think the honest liberals, and there are some, are now in the position of what used to be called “good Germans”. They may be upset with the totalitarian excesses being perpetuated by the left, but by still supporting the left, they help those totalitarian excesses.

  28. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:55 am

    Not necessarily, and I am a right libertarian speaking. Basically left libertarians are with the mainstream libertarians on personal freedom, civil liberties, and due process issues, but still socialist on economics. I do not consider them to be full libertarians, but at least they are immensely better than leftists, and even some culture war conservatives.

  29. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:59 am

    Left libertarians are small gov on personal freedom, due process, civil liberties, free speech, and other non economic issues, but socialist on economics. As such, I do not consider them to be full libertarians, but at least they are libertarian on many issues where todays left is not.

  30. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 10:04 am

    It depends on what morality you are talking about. Any libertarian would support gov backing basic secular moral principles, like no violence, theft, fraud, and using gov to enforce that basic secular morality. But they depart with the religious moral crusaders who insist on dictating peoples personal lives. Basically libertarians will be just as insistent on morality as any conservative when it comes to bad things you do to others, but they insist that a free people have the right to do what you consider to be wrong, if they only do it to themselves, or consenting adults, and dont insist that gov bail them out when their moral mistakes have consequences..

  31. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 10:10 am

    You clarified things pretty well. One thing I would mention, I think centrist and right libertarians can form a useful alliance with conservatives against the totalitarian left, since both are in sync there.

  32. NeoWayland
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 5:59 pm

    Once a target has surrendered, and stopped resisting, we give them a chance to live their life in peace.

    This disturbs me. People can’t live and let live? One group must surrender and stop resisting?

    I agree that you’ve described most SJW to a T. I just don’t think that most people on the left fit that description.

  33. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 6:53 pm

    When opposing totalitarians, yes you must insist on a surrender, or at least that they stop using their present tactics, and change to the mainstream open means that regular liberals use. When somebody is committed for life to completely crush us, and will use any means, no matter how underhanded to do it, then yes we must fight until they no longer have the ability to harm us. But once they renounce their assaults on free speech, due process, insistence on totalitarian thought control, and lifetime persecution of enemies, and constantly digging up new ones, and become a regular political group which you can have a legitimate political debate with, then we can practice live and let life. Your distorted idea of live and let live seems to presume that we cant crush totalitarianism, but live and let live is a two way street, you can only let them live, if they change enough so they are willing to let us live, with our personal beliefs intact. I agree that not everybody on the left fits the totalitarian SJW/Marxist description, but far too many on the left do, and they have an outsized influence on the dem party, our colleges, and the media.
    I said in previous posts that I have no wish to harm honest liberals, although I will resolve to defeat them politically when they support SJW totalitarians. But SJW totalitarians, with them it is no retreat no surrender, because they will never stop until they control our very thoughts, as even the honest liberals are beginning to find out.

  34. NeoWayland
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 9:25 pm

    I agree with you on how to fight totalitarians, but I disagree that the left is solely responsible for totalitarians.

    I do agree that when someone crosses a line, you take them down. And yes, that means you’re going to be reactive about it. Well, mostly.

    I also think that sometimes when people fight what they hate, they can destroy what they love.

  35. richard40
    July 23rd, 2015 @ 10:21 pm

    I never said only the left has totalitarians, or even that the left is all totalitarian, only that the SJW and Marxist left are totalitarians. I will say that today I consider the totalitarian extreme left to be far worse of a threat to liberty than any totalitarians on the US extreme right (who have been mostly marginalized). Of course the Islamicist totalitarians may be worst of all, but I regard the SJW totalitarian portion of the left to be the worst domestic threat to liberty at the moment. And ironically the US totalitarian left often actively protects and excuses Islamicist totalitarianism, I suppose totalitarians run together.

  36. Adobe_Walls
    July 25th, 2015 @ 9:49 am

    If they are of the left they always deserve it. We can not have won the battle until they are utterly destroyed.

  37. richard40
    July 25th, 2015 @ 10:22 am

    Not everybody on the left is a totalitarian, and some are still honest. For those that are not, totalitarians, they still deserve vigorous opposition for wrong ideas, but they dont deserve total war until destruction, while leftist totalitarians do.

  38. Adobe_Walls
    July 25th, 2015 @ 10:48 am

    Any and all points on the left are merely different points on the same arc leading down to serfdom and darkness. Whatever distinction one attempts to make between the Democratic Party and the Khmer Rouge or the varying degrees of leftists is a distinction without a difference.