Dilbert and the sock puppet

I am a huge fan of the comic Dilbert, and of Scott Adams, its creator. In fact, you’ll see Adams’ blog on my blog roll over on the right side of this page. Having said that, the revelation that he’d been engaging in sock-puppetry on Metafilter (another blog in my blog roll) really takes him down many notches in my estimation. (Sock-puppetry is pretending to be someone else online to defend or promote your actual self.) Worse is the lengthy, incomprehensible defense of the indefensible he posted to his blog that, astoundingly, included a defense of a woman who sent out a racist photo of President Obama’s faced superimposed on a monkey:

If your only context is what the Internet says about this story, you assume it’s a typical racist act by a Republican who is already guilty by association. But if I add the context that Googling “George Bush monkey” gives you over 3 million hits, and most of them are jokes where President Bush’s face is transposed on a monkey, you see what’s really going on. Democrats and advocates of civil rights are using the media to further an agenda at the expense of a woman who was probably so non-racist that the photo in question didn’t set off her alarms as being a career-ending risk.

Uh, sorry, Scott, but that doesn’t wash. There is a long and unfortunate history of comparing blacks to lower primates and anyone with any racial sensitivity whatsoever would realize that. Of course, anyone with any racial sensitivity whatsoever wouldn’t respond to complaints about this e-mail with: “Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.” First, there’s the cliche “I have friends who are black” – which almost certainly means you don’t. Then there’s the “I only sent it to people I didn’t think would be upset by it” – What, your close group of racist friends?

But I digress. The issue is Adams’ sock-puppetry and his defense of it. Read the thread on Metafilter leading up to the revelation that Metafilter user “PlannedChaos” was actually Scott Adams. It isn’t pretty, especially with the foreknowledge of what Adams is doing – and what he admits to have been doing for years.

I’m not going to quit reading Dilbert or Adams’ blog, but my joy of both will be somewhat blunted because of this incident.

(h/t Scalzi)

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