The Other McCain

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

What #GamerGate Should Teach Us (But @JesseSingal Refuses to Learn)

Posted on | April 27, 2016 | 40 Comments

The world does not divide along neat political lines, but the temptation toward what Julian Sanchez dubbed epistemic closure is one that too many journalists are unable to resist. To approach the news from a perspective of partisanship — “Does this help Our Side?” — is the kind of error that leads to Walter Duranty acting as a propaganda agent for Stalin’s regime. Perhaps being an apologist for Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, Sarah Nyberg and Randi Lee Harper isn’t an error as dangerous as Duranty’s cover-up of the Ukrainian terror-famine, but those responsible for the one-sided coverage of #GamerGate in the liberal media still don’t understand how they got it so wrong.

Let’s go back to WikiLeaks and #Anonymous, OK? Nearly the entire Left, and their comrades in the liberal media, were deeply prejudiced in favor of Julian Assange’s operation and so, when the hackers of #Anonymous sprang into action to defend Assange, the media portrayed #Anonymous as self-evidently heroic. On the other hand, I saw #Anonymous as a criminal conspiracy — DDOS attacks and other hacker exploits against banks, etc. — and my negative view was ultimately vindicated, when several of these hackers were exposed, arrested and prosecuted. The mythology of heroic hackers did not reflect who these people actually were in real life, and the attempt to justify their criminality on political grounds was a punk move: “Society made me do it! Blame society!”

Oddly, the same media that celebrated #Anonymous as heroes circa 2011 was eager to believe, in 2014, that #GamerGate were a bunch of reactionary misogynists, even though it was basically the same crew. Can we admit this, please? The same kind of nerd/geek dudes — the 4chan crowd — whose digital swarming tactics made #Anonymous such a ferocious force were also largely pro-#GamerGate. It’s weird how, in retrospect, the liberal media were all in favor of nerdy antisocial misfits when they could be fitted neatly into a progressive narrative and construed as heroic underdogs. It was like the #Occupy movement, really. Once you got past the liberal media hype, who were the dudes camping in Zuccotti Park? Losers full of self-pity, rationalizing their personal failures with left-wing politics. If you can sell the media on your narrative, journalists will help you conceal the disconnect between your heroic image and your grubby reality, the same way Walter Duranty concealed the truth about Stalin. And this factor — the willingness to tell a story a certain way, to fit a liberal narrative — got turned around against #GamerGate in a classic example of how media bias works.

Portraying #GamerGate as anti-feminist, and depicting the SJWs (social justice warriors) as victims of misogynistic “harassment,” the media was willing to ignore key questions: Who were the SJWs? Were their motives altruistic or selfish? Was it not the case that a lot of the SJWs were, by their own admission, afflicted with mental illness? Weren’t a lot of SJWs basically no-talent losers, trying to cash in by wrapping themselves in a costume of feminist victimhood? And wasn’t it true that #GamerGate exposed some rather shady connections between various SJW types and journalists covering the videogame industry?

My friend Beth Haper encouraged me to take a sustained interest in #GamerGate, the origins of which controversy are famously tangled, and the significance of which is not generally understood. At the time Beth called my attention to it, I had zero idea who Anita Sarkeesian was, or how her “critical theory” attack on the videogame industry related to my research into radical feminism, as Beth assured me it did. Now these connections seem obvious to me in a way they did not in the fall of 2014.

For conservative journalists, every story is ultimately a media bias story. If the mainstream media weren’t biased, there wouldn’t be any reason to try to expose the truth that gets omitted from the mainstream media. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that I actually am a journalist, and not an ideological ax-grinder or a professional “activist” type. My habit has always been to immerse myself completely in whatever story I’m covering — The Gonzo Way — and it takes an effort to step back and obtain some emotional distance from whatever it is I’m currently obsessed with. Tomorrow or next week, there will be another story for me to dive into, and I’ll forget all about this. Occasionally, a friend will remind me of a story I covered two or three years ago, and it seems like another lifetime. The Kaitlyn Hunt controversy of 2013, for example — I dug so deep into that, and now who even remembers it? But I digress . . .

The “Social Autopsy” controversy erupted on the periphery of #GamerGate this month. Basically, an entrepreneur named Candace Owens had an idea for an anti-bullying site which she hoped to fund with Kickstarter. Because the description of her project seemed to overlap SJW concerns about online harassment, Owens drew the attention of Zoe Quinn, Randi Lee Harper and other enemies of #GamerGate. Basically, it seems, SJWs perceived Owens as a competitor in the “stop harassment” racket Quinn & Co. have successfully exploited. Whether or not Owens’ project was a good idea is largely irrelevant to what ensued, namely that Quinn & Co. ganged up against Owens, and some media friends of the SJW crowd tried to spin the story in Quinn & Co.’s favor.

Here, let me quote the Encyclopedia Dramatic version of it:

Naturally, such a venture [as Owens’ site “Social Autopsy”] would create competition for Quinn and Harper’s golden goose, Crash Override. Quinn responded to this threat to her victimbux by dogpiling the creator’s Twitter. After this uncomfortable fact was exposed, Quinn renamed one of her dozens of Twitter accounts, @primeape which totally doesn’t make her look guilty. Harper responded by composing an angry blog post at admitting that she and Quinn colluded in an ill-advised and probably illegal scheme to get Social Autopsy’s Kickstarter shut down. . . .
Corrupt “journalist” Jesse Singal reached out to Owens claiming he would write a neutral piece for New York Magazine, a formerly respectable magazine, now desperately trying to hang on to some degree of relevance. Turns out he is BFFs with Quinn and Harper, even participating in the harassment received by Owens, and he instead penned a hitpiece on Owens.

Is that account entirely fair and accurate? I can’t vouch for all of it, but it’s a concise summary of how Jesse Singal disgraced himself in an effort to spin the Quinn/Harper attack on Owens as something other than what it self-evidently was. Singal evidently divides the world into neat mental categories, where anyone who is against #GamerGate is fighting on the side of the angels, and this led him to write a story that concealed how Quinn/Harper had collaborated to sabotage Owens’ project.


This is where being old enough to remember the 1960s and ’70s comes in handy. Get enough radicalism churning in society, and you’ll find that kooks come out of the woodwork to attach themselves to “social justice” movements. Really, how was it that “civil rights” gave way to the criminal thuggery of the Black Panthers? How did “peace and love” lead to the Manson Gang? Where did the Symbionese Liberation Army get the idea that assassinations, kidnapping and robbing banks was the way to go? And why did all those dimwits follow Jim Jones to Guyana, huh?

“Social justice,” you see, is a magnet for kooks.

If you haven’t read Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer, now would be a good day to remedy your ignorance of how “mass movements” operate, and the kind of kooks and misfits and hustlers who predictably flock to whatever the trendy “cause” of the avant-garde might currently be. This problem was overlooked by the liberal media who jumped aboard the SJW  bandwagon, condemning #GamerGate as a bunch of misogynists engaged in harassment. Over and over again, we found SJWs with biographies that seemed rather problematic. When you find ex-strippers and transvestites and people with chronic mental problems clustering up around a “social justice” movement, expect bad things to happen. When such people invite you to participate in their persecution complexes, a wise person will say, “No, thank you.”

Jesse Singal and some other liberal journalists were incautiously sympathetic toward the kooks and hustlers of SJW-ism.

Kaine Damo lays out the problem quite clearly:

We have been asked by mass media to trust this person [Zoe Quinn]. And when we say we don’t, if we dissent from their narrative, we get labelled harassers, sexists, a hate group, on and on.
GamerGate is a microcosm of a much larger problem with media. Every single day these supposedly reputable establishments give us reasons NOT to trust them. They deserve our skepticism. When media was banging the Iraq war drum it was obvious to any one that an outlet like Fox News had a focused agenda to push. The fact is, this is true of all major media outlets. They all have fallible people who fail to fact check, they all have friends to cover for, they all have their own agendas to push, and so they all need to be treated with skepticism. This is why GamerGate archives everything.
The same media that is telling you to believe Zoe Quinn is telling you that the gaming community and wider geek community is laden with misogynists, many of whom are intent on driving women out of gaming altogether, and video games contribute to sexist attitudes. This is a false moral panic, constructed by a handful of people, a convenient scapegoat to label dissenters from their narrative as terrible human beings and to use emotional manipulation for profit.

Bingo! A “false moral panic, constructed by a handful of people” — and where is the skepticism toward the motives of SJWs? Why are journalists willing to believe that Zoe Quinn is a selfless altruist? Why is it that, when #GamerGate says such people are con artists turning “social justice” into a corrupt racket, this makes #GamerGate the villain of the story?

People need to wake the hell up. Kooks are dangerous.

UPDATE: Was #GamerGate About Fake Victims Faking Fake Harassment?



40 Responses to “What #GamerGate Should Teach Us (But @JesseSingal Refuses to Learn)”

  1. Robert What?
    April 27th, 2016 @ 9:51 am

    If you are an SJW, you must believe what Zoe Quinn and others like her tell you. Even asking for corroboration or asking any questions at all opens you to being labelled a misogynist or rape apologist. That is the equivalent of banishment in a religious community: a fate that can be worse than death. I have met some meatheads on the Right, but by and large they are far more open to considering facts and evidence than SJWs are.

  2. Steve Skubinna
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:18 am

    It’s worth remembering that GamerGate started when the media got in bed with a developer – literally. It began with questions about journalistic integrity, in that a reporter was giving positive reviews to a game in development by his girlfriend. Oh, and not bothering to disclose the relationship.

    Afterwards, the rest of the media got in bed with the SJWs, this time figuratively. Face it, what would journalists prefer to write about, corrupt practices in their own profession, or a shadowy cabal of vicious right wing misogynists?

    To this day if you push the NYT editors about Duranty’s Pulitzer on display in their building they will huff indignantly about refusing to rewrite history to accommodate changing attitudes and perceptions.

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:18 am

    There are a lot of crazy people in the world and a lot of scammers playing them as marks.

  4. Steve Skubinna
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    If you question an SJW you get shrill demands that you respect her lived experience.

    Whatever that is.

    It’s much like catching a four year old with his hand in the cookie jar:

    “I told you don’t take any cookies.”
    “I didn’t!”
    “Your hand is in the jar.
    “No it isn’t!”
    “There are crumbs on your face!”

  5. Steve Skubinna
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:23 am

    Yeah, but in many cases the crazy people and the scammers are one and the same.

    Bad enough playing Three Card Monte with a con artist. Even worse playing with a barking batshit insane person.

    Careful with that ax, Eugene…

  6. TARGA7W
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:42 am

    I know this is redundant, but not reviews, positive coverage and undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.


  7. Adobe_Walls
    April 27th, 2016 @ 11:38 am

    Gamer Gate has a lot to teach us about how to push back against the various troupes the left uses against humanity. First and foremost is not cowering when terms like misogynist or racist are hurled at us. The Gamer Gaters did a good job of de-legitimizing not just the accusations hurled at them but also those making them.

  8. TARGA7W
    April 27th, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    Thank you, but at the risk of further redundancy your use of “did” is the wrong tense, the correct tense would be “do” – despite what you may have heard Gamers are not dead and #GamerGate is not over.

    /hug #GamerGateHugPatrol

  9. Mm
    April 27th, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

    Surprisingly, I think that ED account is accurate. When you read all the tweets, hit pieces, and Harper’s post, they sunk Owen’s venture, and continue to harass her.

  10. Fail Burton
    April 27th, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

    Your friend was right. Gamergate is not an event in and of itself. Like the Puppies campaign in sci-fi, it was merely a flare up of tensions which preceded it at the exact same time and from the exact same quarter: third wave feminism.

    The real Pearl Harbor of both Gamergate and the Puppies can be said to start in May 2012. That’s the month John Scalzi, the president of the Science Fiction Writers of America published his piece about white male privilege at Gawker Media’s Kotaku gaming site and also his own blog. Scalzi is a devoted third wave feminist.

    That same month Anita Sarkeesian begins her Kickstarter to uncover sexism in video gaming. Sarkeesian is yet another ardent third wave feminist. Gamergate is nothing more than tensions which bubbled over from a spark over some stupid relationship.

    Since then Scalzi has parlayed his ideological posturing into a 3.4 million dollar contract for 13 books and Zoe Quinn has monetized her own “grief.” Sarkeesian has invented a lucrative career doing nothing more than Tweeting, giving lectures and interviews. Left solely on their talents, you never would’ve heard of these people. Don’t let Scalzi’s fans tell you different. His most notable works are nothing more than poorly written fan fiction set in three universes someone else innovated a half-century and more before.

  11. Daniel Freeman
    April 27th, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

    For the time-pressed: #GamerGate in 60 Seconds

  12. robertstacymccain
    April 27th, 2016 @ 2:40 pm

    Scalzi has a wife and a daughter.

    I have a wife, two daughters, four sons, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons.

    Do you see why I, in contrast to Scalzi, might be more skeptical toward feminism?

    One of the things I’ve noticed — and I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned it on the blog before — is that the trend toward smaller families tends to produce young people less capable of getting along with others. In a large family, you are obviously more likely to find both girls and boys, so that getting along with the opposite sex is part of what kids learn growing up. Also, if parents raise both boys and girls, they understand what preposterous bullshit is involved in feminist gender theory.


    Anyone who doesn’t realize this has simply not had the experiences I have had as a parent. Not only are boys and girls different by nature, but these differences are a GOOD thing, necessary to civilization. Teaching kids to hate their own gender — to envy the “privleges” they imagine the other gender to possess — is arrant folly, but this hostility is what feminism produces.

    The “male feminist” is despised for a reason.

  13. Daniel Freeman
    April 27th, 2016 @ 2:40 pm

    Social Autopsy never had a chance, because it was also attacked by Vox Day’s followers as a tool for ideological disemployment of the politically incorrect:

    Social Autopsy is dead, which is deliciously ironic. You were effective in that. How?

    Not so much me as the Dread Ilk, who are my long-time regular readers. Led by Cynic, they set up a wiki site called The Complete List of SJW and added every member of the team to it. The site got over 30,000 visitors on the first day, and helped generate a pretty serious firestorm of protest. Ironically, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn went after it as well, because it threatened to cut in on their market.

  14. Stogie Chomper
    April 27th, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    Good article. More steak from R.S. McCaIn.

  15. O Manning
    April 27th, 2016 @ 4:32 pm

    I’m surprised you missed the Alison Rapp drama spectacular but I’m not surprised it managed to stay under the radar because the initial reaction of the SJW’s (and this girl was firmly in that camp) was that it was Gamergate that got her fired from Nintendo. Unfortunately (for the SJW’s) it turns out that Nintendo had very good reason to turn her out…given that it usually isn’t considered good business practice to have one of your PR flacks hooking on the side.

  16. Quartermaster
    April 27th, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

    Are you saying that Scalzi’s problem is that he’s outnumbered at home?

  17. Quartermaster
    April 27th, 2016 @ 7:06 pm

    Also Sprach Der Grammar Nazi.

  18. Quartermaster
    April 27th, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

    Und Wieder Sprach Der Grammar Nazi.

  19. Fail Burton
    April 27th, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

    Scalzi outnumbers his balls.

  20. DeadMessenger
    April 27th, 2016 @ 7:58 pm

    That is exactly how children operate, too. And the exact same SJWs who push wacky agendas will tell you with a straight face that children are honest. SJWs always lie.

  21. DeadMessenger
    April 27th, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

    McCain, re: Alison Rapp firing:

    McCain, talking about Alison Rapp “peddling her ass on the internet”:

  22. Steve Skubinna
    April 27th, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

    If you are an SJW nothing that happens to you or around you is your fault. It’s always The Patriarchy, or Sad Puppies, or the Tea Party, or maybe the white male created Coriolis Effect.

    There are never any consequences for your own bad behavior and poor decision making. It’s kind of like being Muslim, I suppose. All the bad things are caused by those dirty Jooooos!

  23. TARGA7W
    April 27th, 2016 @ 9:52 pm

    not the grammar (again) that was my point.

  24. TARGA7W
    April 27th, 2016 @ 9:53 pm

    not a grammar correction, a point of fact.

  25. Wombat_socho
    April 27th, 2016 @ 9:58 pm

    He’s right. You’re wrong. Drop it.

  26. Wombat_socho
    April 27th, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

    If their “lived experience” was actual experience instead of a deranged, twisted narrative based on a complete misunderstanding of that experience, it might be worth listening to, but it almost never is.

  27. O Manning
    April 28th, 2016 @ 2:47 am

    My mistake! I’ve been away a bit and I guess I missed it. This is one that should definitely not go away, though. This young lady is completely unrepentant and is still playing the victim on her twitter feed. The SJW’s have dropped this one in the memory hole…I don’t think they should get away with it.

  28. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 4:05 am

    Teasing because of mode of expression here and earlier.

  29. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 4:38 am

    They’ve tried to drop it in the memory hole, but haven’t suceeded in getting it to go down.

  30. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 4:39 am

    True, but that’s another question.

  31. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 4:41 am

    I recognize that. Just teasing you for the way you expressed it. We know Gamergate hasn’t gone away and Adobe is simply pointing out that the people behind gamergate did do good work. That they are still alive and kicking doesn’t change that.

  32. TARGA7W
    April 28th, 2016 @ 6:31 am

    Forgive me, the point of Positive coverage/review is a common point of derailment although not as common as the GG is over refrain and we are declared dead or over almost daily.

    Not that its your problem, but it has been 2 years of passive aggressive ne’er do wells repeating the same talking points when they are not calling me/us sock puppet/misogynist/rapist/etc and/or calling for our genocide. Your teasing, answering both my points, calling me a grammar Nazi in German, fits that mold; Which at the risk of yet further redundancy “did do”? whilst not the wrong tense, good work has been done in the past, we continue to “do” it now and will continue for sometime, the ride never ends etal.

    Anywhoo, now we’re internet chums and all, I’m going to say sorry again, because I really mean it, its tiresome for everybody, I at least “chose” to get involved and I totally get how tedious the constant sealioning is:

    “Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

    /hug #GamerGateHugPatrol 🙂

  33. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 6:54 am

    No harm, no foul. We can be a rough crowd in our teasing. Some take it better than others, as is true with any population you can name. We have fun, until the trolls arrive. For that we have Wombaticus Maximus who swings the ban hammer on those who will not behave themselves with proper decorum ( or indecorum, if such is a proper term) 🙂

  34. TARGA7W
    April 28th, 2016 @ 8:33 am

    I’m not a regular, but not a stranger here and I favour an irreverent approach to internetting myself and I look forward to the time that I can return to a presumption of good of faith.
    Indecorous would probably be the term if I infer the context correctly. Which I hope you will not infer in the comment, as its not what I wish to imply. :^>

  35. TARGA7W
    April 28th, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

    beg pardon, but is that addressed at me?

  36. TARGA7W
    April 28th, 2016 @ 12:50 pm

    ignore or delete, I see the arrow.

  37. Quartermaster
    April 28th, 2016 @ 6:56 pm

    The overwhelming majority of the indecorous behavior here is all in fun. We routinely denounce each other in making fun of the Marxist left that invades on occasion. Sometimes we do it with great energy. We also needle each other if the denunciation is not of the form we like to see, or just for the sake of needling the target.

    Among the regulars you can take what is said in good faith. We don’t seriously call each other Nazis, but we occasionally get blasted by Wombat if we don’t recognize someone as a troll and we feed him.

    The one bad thing is that the subject matter RSM deals with can be depressing. Alas, anytime we have to deal with the preening fools of the left, and the idiocy they pull, it can be depressing. Thus the needling to release some of the tension.

  38. DeadMessenger
    April 28th, 2016 @ 7:47 pm

    I agree. I think she’s probably setting up a group of suckers to contribute to a Patreon on her behalf. She’s also an attention whore.

  39. TARGA7W
    May 3rd, 2016 @ 8:18 am

    yeah I get it, I could say all (or most) of that about twitter, but every fora has its own vernacular and modes of tension relief – thankfully everywhere isn’t twitter :).

  40. Quartermaster
    May 3rd, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

    That leftists are everywhere, and they vote, is enough of a nightmare for one lifetime.