Vote For Popehat's "Censorious Asshat Of The Year"

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56 Responses

  1. bluntobject says:

    I didn't vote for either of them, but I have a soft spot in the cold, withered husk I use in place of a heart for Karen Spears-Zahcarias and Dr. Karin Calvo-Goller… not for what they actually did, but for the artistry they promoted on this blog. I mean, the Saga of Marc Stephens was fun to read and all, but it can't hold a candle to "bell hooks defies you, thugs!" or "Oh Karen, my Karen". Those were on a whole 'nother plane.

  2. Gail says:

    Hey girl. I like free speech too.

  3. Lex says:

    Ma narrowly edged out Gess by sticking the Should-Have-Known-Better landing. But, dear God, what a lot of Derp.

  4. Lola says:

    I felt compelled to go with Ma. When my teenage cousin glanced over from across the couch as the Reason.TV video about her anti-rave crusade played on my computer, I saw his face contort as he suddenly realized it wasn't a joke. He started ranting about how fundamentally wrong she was. It wasn't even a half-bad rant, for a beginner.

    In a sense, I witnessed Fiona Ma turn an underage boy into a man. For that she got my vote.

  5. tabstop says:

    I have to pick just one of these? I'm going to be here a while.

  6. tpp says:

    What about Righthavenand their copyright racket on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Denver Post?

    Most of your list is pretty small scale to these taint snorters.

  7. PLW says:

    I went with Rakovsky because this internet mobbing idea is particularly pernicious and stupid.

  8. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Ken and Patrick should be disqualified. Using or attempting to use the power of the State to suppress free expression of ideas is censorship. Declining to allow others to use one's resources to promote their point of view is thrift.

  9. Kelly says:

    I really would like to have 3 or 4 votes on this poll.

    Bonus points to tpp for using Ken's new phrase in context.

  10. tom says:

    This is a target-rich environment.

  11. Chuck Norton says:

    Wow guys, you have amassed a humdinger of a list to be sure. I painfully, and in a most dedicated and serious manner deliberated over them for almost 15 minutes.

    I have concluded that the combo of the censorship attack complete with a sexual assault put Thedala Magee and her pinhead lawyer Vicki Roberts over the top.

    Some how the whole "I (government) can touch your privates and you will be sued if you dare tell anyone just puts it over the top for me. But I am told that I am told by a report from Homeland Security that I am extreme about such things.

  12. Stoutcat says:

    I had to go with Sorensen, because you don't mess with Firefly. Ever.

  13. Matt says:

    Ms. Harrop (as well as Ken and Patrick) should be disqualified. Deleting comments and banning commenters on your own blog (or any other private resource of which you are the rightful owner) is not censorship.

    My vote goes to Ms. Magee. All speech is rightly protected. But speech criticizing the actions of the government and its agents is the speech which needs the most stringent protection of all.

  14. I would vote for Grunfeld, but I don't think it is fair to put American style sensibilities on non-americans. And, under Canadian law, her position is somewhat supportable. By somewhat, I mean more than a half a peanut in a pile of shit, but not an entire peanut.

    To TPP, I have as much against Righthaven as anyone – but I don't think that what they are doing is properly described as "censorship." It certainly qualifies as aggravated asshattery, but that is not the same thing.

    I am going to lobby on behalf of (that is against voting for) Joel Hirschorn. I know Joel. He's actually a good guy. His maneuvers in this situation were not how I would have handled things, but the fact is that the man has done a lot for free expression in his long and worthy career. I ask readers to give him a mulligan. You'd love him if you ever met him, and he is more of a natural ally for the forces of free speech than you could imagine.

  15. Voted the FBI. The disparity between the power of the censor (the FBI) and the powerlessness of the potentially censored (Juggalos) is pretty striking. Because nobody, and I mean nobody, is in the Juggalos' corner.

  16. Ken says:

    For the record, I only included people we talked about substantively. That pretty much excludes Righthaven, since all we did was say "Jesus Christ, look at Randazza kicking the shit out of those guys."

    Marc's recommendation of Joel Hirschorn is entitled to great weight.

  17. Poultine says:

    Should have been a runoff vote. But, really, I was hoping the Rochester, NY PD would be in there, partially because it's my home town. Mostly, though, because its actions were so completely loathsome.

  18. SPQR says:

    Well of course I voted for Ken and Patrick. Good luck, guys. Hope you win!


  19. discretionary docket says:

    It was the trifecta of Calvo-Goller, Firefly censor, and Meghan McCain for me. In the end I went with Calvo-Goller.

  20. Game Kitten says:

    Went with the FBI. As I heard it once well said the only things that are in danger from Jugglos are bags of cheetos.

  21. Scott Jacobs says:

    Went with the FBI. As I heard it once well said the only things that are in danger from Jugglos are bags of cheetos.

    And younger female relatives.

  22. A.G. Pym says:

    Karen Zacharias was for many years a weekly columnist on my local paper, the Tri-City Herald. I enjoyed her columns, which were humourous and heartwarming, usually about her big southern-origin family. She started to get more religious about the time she was given the chance to explore other employment opportunities, though that didn't really play a large role in her fine first book "Hero Mama," an exploration of the Vietnam war and how her Father's death when she was quite young shaped her life.

    Since, however, she's drifted farther into religio-speak, and has left my circle of interest.

  23. Ken says:

    A.G., I just wanted to point out that I think you are talking about Karen Spears Zacharias, the linked columnist, and not the playwright Karen Zacharias, a college classmate of mine and a fine person.

  24. Mark says:

    It had to be Grunfeld for the simple reason that she alone supported restrictions on speech so draconian that her own discussion of the need for such draconian laws would be prohibited. "They shouldn't even be allowed to tell you WHAT is illegal" is a powerfully stupid position. A low point even in a crowded "Nasoperineal" field.

  25. Scott Jacobs says:

    If she's a friend of yours, how fine of a person could she be?

    I mean, her judgement is already suspect… :)

  26. Will says:

    Joseph Rakofsky gets it, not only can he incompetently represent a client he can try and sue to cover up his incompetent legal abilities.

  27. Laura K says:

    I hold the Firefly-censoring chancellor more accountable than the antisemitism accusing sub-par moron. First of all, he is encouraging students to be like her. Second, he was(I presume) acting as though his position and experience–which Sarah G still lacks–helped him to arrive at the right decision. Idiots and intellectuals like him spawn the Sarah G's of college campus or nurture them in petrie dishes, therefore, I would suggest they are more accountable. That and for Frack's blessed sake, he censored FIREFFLY…

  28. Laura K says:

    Ok and my own ignorance of suggesting that early egyptologist Sir. Flinders Petrie is the same as a the 'petri' of dish (not the same, is it?) just proves that I oughta censor myself….

  29. marvinmartian says:

    Voted rakofsky since the peeps at bannination uncovered his longstanding love of

  30. Pony Felching. The word you are looking for is pony felching.

  31. Your American jingoistic, parochial, cheap shot against Canadians will neither go unnoticed or unpunished. Have a Happy New Year. ;-)

  32. Ken says:

    I sense I have given offense. Does this mean I have to appear before a commission if I want to go skiing in Whistler again?

  33. Only if you're a lawyer on strike and seeking asylum with the Canadian Skiing Federation. The problem is, of course, the Banff Commission operates at a glacial pace…

  34. Ken says:

    Certain people are concerned that if Rakofsky wins, he will seek to sue me.

  35. Jason says:

    Seems more likely that Rakofsky would interpret that as some sort of validation — i.e. "WINNING!" You should be more "concerned" about him losing.

  36. VPJ says:

    I have to give the edge to Magee/Roberts. A TSA agent even threatening to sue for hurt feelings because of legitimate criticism is very disturbing.

    Also, even though Magee (and Roberts, for that matter) may have…issues, they don't strike me as completely bonkers. Bonkers in an ALL CAPS plaintiff is OBVIOUSLY out of his TINY LITTLE MIND, I-am-the-god-of-Popehat-you-twit sort of way. In other words, they "win" by virtue of at least seeming to know exactly what they are doing.

  37. Frank says:

    Can't we nominate Tanya Treadwell again this year and every year?

  38. While my heart wants to vote for the Maloneys on this one, I just can't let my bias color my decision. Or, at least I want to avoid that. I've got to go with Sarah Grunfeld. Not only was her complain censorious, but it was an utter abuse of language. It's that latter part that really irks me.

  39. *typos, such as "complain" instead of "complaint" do not count as abuses of language, for the record.

  40. Tam says:

    I gotta hand it to Rakofsky. Never before has self-immolation been quite so hilarious.

  41. deadcenter says:

    Can't stop the signal Mal, can't stop the signal.

    Even though it appears that UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter is the one guilty of the actual censorship and Sorensen appears to be more guilty of "I support the University Administration right or wrong".

  42. This list is a good start, but where are RightHaven, the Burzynski Clinic and the TSA?

  43. tarylcabot says:

    Is there an associated award? Perhaps it's been mentioned before, but did not notice it here.

    I voted for the FBI in the belief that an institution should have checks-and-balances (as opposed to individuals lacking super egos) so should be held to a higher standard – didn't they watch the video for 'Miracles' before making their statement?

  44. Douglas Muth says:

    My vote is for Christopher and Maeghan Maloney. As a lawmaker on the state level, Maeghan Maloney simply should have KNOWN better than to pull a stunt like that. Furthermore, I'm holding her to a higher standard here because she is an elected official and holds a position of trust.

  45. Ken says:

    Douglas, I am torn on that proposition: torn between the simple, childlike belief that state legislators sworn to uphold the Constitution would actually do so, on the one hand, and the crushing weight of everything I've ever seen or experienced about state legislators, on the other hand.

  46. Adam Steinbaugh says:

    Voted for Rakofsky to tempt turning this thing meta.

  47. Ken says:

    From reader Malaac.

  48. How convenient, I can just say ditto what Douglas Muth said.

  49. meddyhat says:

    How about a nother one? The judge who told me (during my divorce trial) that it was impolite of me to post stories of my being abused by my ex because it put him in a bad light. Um, hello? I was the victim here. So the posts were censored, even though the abuse occured. If anyone tells you women's lib is alive and well – they are wrong.

  50. Ken says:

    Meddyhat, imposing legal consequences on you might make the judge censorious. Threatening — perhaps even implicitly — to do so would make the judge censorious. The judge's expression of opinion is not censorious.

  51. Scott Jacobs says:

    Yeah, the judge said it was impolite, not legally wrong.

    Hell, half of what this blog is ABOUT is "impolite".

  52. Ken says:

    Fuck you, "only half."

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