After Barry Summers was banned from Scrutiny Hooligans blog, Cecil Bothwell called foul, and everyone else with a dog or cat in the fight weighed in...— Gordon Smith
At the privately run group blog known as “Scrutiny Hooligans,” a controversy has erupted, spilling over into a Congressional campaign, Asheville City politics, a political community, the local twittersphere, and the lives of the bloggers.
The brouhaha began when the administrator of the site, deemed “sovereign” by the other front-page writers, including City Council member Gordon Smith, chose to disallow a frequent commenter, community activist Barry Summers, from posting to the site. The administrator, who chooses to remain anonymous, took this action after Mr. Summers made frequent attacks on one particular writer, Michael Muller, former campaign manager for Carl Mumpower and Bill Russell, after Muller’s comments about Joe Minicozzi and Mayor Terry Bellamy.
Congressional candidate Cecil Bothwell leapt into the fray to admonish the site’s administrator and everyone else involved. The administrator retorted with some harsh words for Mr. Bothwell, who is also an Asheville City Council member. The hullaballoo has exploded into a full-on display of Blogdrama. ...
Click link to read more on the call for peace. But if you'd like a few appetizer comments from the post that lead up to this one, here are a few morsels to whet your appetite:
September 14th, 2011 at 3:58 pm
I’ve got a serious problem with Admin.
I’ve learned that Barry Summers has been banned from this site, apparently for his criticism of Michael Muller.
Muller is foul-mouthed, and lately made extraordinarily sleazy comments about our Mayor. (With whom I take wide exception in policy, and specifically on the matters Muller mentioned. But, Muller deserved Summers’ critique.)
Who’s running this blog? I get that Peck, perhaps others, were excluded for sock puppetry. But Summers has been a constant, straight forward participant here. Nothing he has written comes close to the spew from Muller.
I cry “Foul!”
September 14th, 2011 at 4:33 pm
Cecil – I’m curious. What do you think would happen if you went to your old employer’s website and called Jeff Fobes a son of a bitch in a comment underneath one of his posts? Do you think you’d continue to be allowed there because of your perceived importance to the political discourse in this town? Or because you self-identify as a “progressive”?
I could give a flying fuck about you or your problem with me. Don’t you have more pressing matters to attend to, like making sure every street in Five Points except Fulton continues to have potholes, or figuring out which district you’re going to run for Congress in?
September 14th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Well, it’s pretty clear that “management” represents Muller, or is Muller. Perhaps all the participant bloggers have the right to pose as
“management” or “Admin” and dictate the rules here.
What I might call Fobes is of little import here, given that this blog has a reputation for honesty and openness, whereas Xpress … sigh.
If Summers’ sin was calling someone an SOB, I’m aghast. Muller’s diatribe concerning Bellamy went far beyond that. (And I repeat, I’m no partisan of Bellamy’s.)
This matter calls into question the entire premise that ScruHoo is an open and honest forum for political discussion. I’m really let down. I expected better.
September 15th, 2011 at 10:34 am
Fascinating conversation, y’all. A few points:
Barry’s a friend of mine. I’d like to see him reinstated. I know he’s mad at Muller over some of Michael’s comments. It’d be great if they could handle that like adults and take it off the blog.
For years Management/Admin has updated the software, kept out spam, maintained the widgets and links, upgraded functionality, etc., all “behind the curtain.” Yeah, he has low tolerance for infractions, but readers don’t know how much they owe him. He’s like the federal government in that way.
This blog has always been an experiment. We’re over seven years into our run, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s always a work in progress.
The community of commenters + the diversity and quality of the content + functionality of the site = What you see. Keeping all three healthy is a real balancing act.
I just wanted to insert this into the conversation. Have a great day, peoples.
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