November 14, 2007
Trans character assassination
Posted by: Chris
The latest attempt at attacking my character by a transgender activist comes from Autumn Sandeen, who submitted a false and libelous post about me on Pam's House Blend. With the smug sarcasm we've come to know and love from so many of our trans activist sisters, Ms. Sandeen accuses me of plagiarizing her on the Richard Curtis cross-dressing blackmail scandal:
I really liked Chris Crain's New York Blade article Cross-dressing and blogger hypocrisy. As well I should: It sounded a lot like The Hypocrites' Exposed Closets And The 'Flinch Factor'.
After a few choice excerpts of Sandeen's earlier PHB post and my Blade column -- which was actually in both the Washington Blade and the New York Blade -- she concludes:
The similarities seems between the two pieces seem so ... correlative? Perhaps I should mention here that my piece was posted here at PHB on November 1st, and Chris Crain's was posted on November 9th. Since we know Chris reads PHB, it really does look like I might really be doing all of the "thinnin around here, Baba Looey!"
There are a few problems with Ms. Sandeen's false and libelous accusation. Not only would I never plagiarize -- much less borrow ideas from the likes of Autumn Sandeen -- the Blade column she responds to was based on a blog post I published on Oct. 31, one day before Autumn Sandeen's Nov. 1 post she claims I copied.
Also, I sent out the Blade column to dozens of newspaper editors (any of whom could confirm receipt) by email on Oct. 31 -- again, one day before Autumn Sandeen's post:
Subject: A late-breaking column by Chris Crain about the Wash. gay blackmail scandal
Date: October 31, 2007 8:09:53 PM EDT
Pam Spaulding has promised Sandeen's offending post will be taken down, and I appreciate the quick response. But since it was out there, it can't simply be erased. It ought to be retracted, by Ms. Sandeen herself, and an apology ought to be forthcoming.
I have a great deal of respect with Pam Spaulding, and I do regularly visit the Blend, although to be honest I'm put off by all the smug nicknames they use for anyone they dub the enemy. I do not, however, read anything by Autumn Sandeen, who was responsible for several of the most hateful emails I've ever received over the course of a decade in the gay press. (Nothing I got from the Phelps clan can touch her!)
It's unfortunate that Pam has chosen to give Sandeen's vitriol a larger pulpit than it ever would have on its own. The particular irony here is that Sandeen's attempted character assassination was based upon my having agreed with her -- well, actually, she agreed one day after me -- about how even media lefties treated the cross-dressing angle of the Curtis scandal for laughs.
No good deed goes unpunished.
UPDATE: Thank you to Kevin Naff, the Washington Blade editor, for publicly standing by my column in his own blog post today.
UPDATE: Both Pam Spaulding and Autumn Sandeen have posted apologies alongside the original post. That was the right way to handle the situation, and it is appreciated.
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