Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Asking Tim

Author:John Callender
Posted:9/21/2000; 10:47:49 AM
Topic:Asking Tim
Msg #:21597 (In response to 21585)
Prev/Next:21596 / 21598

Do you think Tim's characterization is a fair way to summarize my involvement in RSS?

There's a subtle shift in how this question has been posed. Mr. O'Reilly has said more than once that he doesn't have complete knowledge about what went on in the RSS discussions. His stated beef is with the ongoing effort to portray him as a dishonest thief bent on stealing others' work. That's a strong charge to make, and frankly, I don't think the evidence comes close to supporting it. I doubt that I'm alone in that view.

If this comes down to a case of individual credibility, I think the users here have already spoken, in response to the polls that were run a few weeks back.

There's a consistent pattern here: Portray the other guy in the worst possible light. Criticize him publicly, unfairly, continuously. Take any reaction on his part as proof of even greater wrongdoing, and ratchet the rhetoric up another notch.

The really interesting part for me is how far perception has strayed from reality. A private email stating that Mr. O'Reilly is prepared to publish a true account of events if the attacks don't stop is described as "once again interfering with what I say". A pointer to a news report on the P2P summit that originally referenced Junior High politics, and later advised readers to hold on to their wallets, is painted as an innocent act of linking, with my own (fairly tame) response being described as "pretty harsh", and Tim O'Reilly's subsequent posting as being the real beginning of the exchange, requiring a response.

The transparency of the attempt to portray black as white is striking, as are the appeals to readers to validate that perception, even in the face of friendly encouragement from long-time participants to let the matter drop. This isn't just a case of ego. There's a profound disconnect here.


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