Keith Olbermann versus Twitter
It’s wanky, it’s unfunny, and it’s potentially TRIGGERING, so tread carefully.
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been charged with rape by two women in Sweden. (Some misinformation has been floating around regarding the exact charges, but you can read the accurate list of charges here at the NYTimes or here at the Guardian.)
Someone recently leaked the names of the two accusers onto the internet, meaning that anyone in the world could track down their home addresses, social network identities, workplaces, etc.
Keith Olbermann contributed to this leak by retweeting a link to a piece written by a Holocaust-denier and Wikileaks representative, which names the accusers and suggests that one of them has ties to the CIA. Also, on a recent Countdown, Olbermann held an interview with Michael Moore during which both men were dismissive of the rape allegations.
Understandably, a few people were upset by this. Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown led a campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #mooreandme, in an effort to get Olbermann and Moore to apologize.
Olbermann responded by banhammering Doyle and numerous others who disagreed with him, characterizing the whole campaign as a “frenzy,” and threatening to flounce, especially after one individual using the #mooreandme tag left a tweet suggesting that Olbermann kill himself.
Then he issued a pair of Heidipologies.
Heidipology the first:
I endorse, sympathize with, and empathize with, the rape consciousness goals of #mooreandme, and have already apologized accordingly. But I cannot defend and will not accept their tactics which mirror so many of the attitudes and threats they fight. I do not know of what Julian Assange is guilty, if anything, and neither does anybody else. But given the extraordinary efforts by Sweden to extradite him, to say he is benefiting from some form of rape apologism is not fact-based. It is also unfair to condemn as anti-feminist those who merely address the juxtaposition of this prosecution to the fact that Assange threatens the secret and nefarious activities of dozens of governments. And I will not engage those who suggest that those who do not prioritize one issue to the exclusion of all others should succumb to forced financial contributions, or should ‘kill themselves' (examples of each will be retweeted shortly, along with my previous apology). The #mooreandme attacks do not help those who fight against rape, they hurt them. And indeed they feature something larger than anti-feminist. This is, to use a clunky phrase, anti-personism.
Heidipology the second:
Previous Apology (12/16): Rape has touched my family, directly and savagely, and if anybody thinks I have addressed it without full sensitivity, then that assessment is the one that counts, and I apologize. But these accusations that I "revealed" an accuser's identity by retweeting Bianca Jagger's link, or that I 'shamed' an accuser by asking a question about the prosecution of a man governments are trying to bury, or that I do not 'understand' charges that have yet to be presented in their final form, reflect exactly the kind of rushing to judgment of which I'm accused, and merit the same kind of apology I have just given.
Some of the #mooreandme folks suggested that Olbermann and Moore apologize by donating funds to rape crisis organizations. Olbermann was disinterested in these suggestions, characterizing such a donation as being akin to “buying them off.”
Moore, on the other hand, issued an actual apology while on Rachel Maddow’s show.
Edit: My mistake, he didn't apologize; what he said was that "Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be, must be, taken seriously. Those charges have to be investigated to the fullest extent possible. For too long, and too many women have been abused in our society, because they were not listened to, and they just got shoved aside."