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3/13/09

SF Chronicle Lies About Causing Harassment To Prop-8 Donors

Maureen Mullarkey has received harassing hate-mail after the San Fransisco Chronicle published names and addresses of donors to proposition 8. She says people have harassed her at her home and that she has been targeted because of her occupation as a painter.

The Chronicle counters that they "did not print her home address or the addresses of other donors." This is false. The screenshot below from the Chronicle's website proves that they display the state, city, and zip code of donors.

The Chronicle also says their Associated Press black-list database "didn't include Prop. 8 supporters alone, as Mullarkey strongly suggested." Mullarkey never suggested this. What a slimy strawman attack!

Rather than issuing an apololy, the despicable Chronicle chose to issue lies in their defense of aiding anti-democratic harassment.

2 comments:

emi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chairm said...

Maureen lives in a small hamlet of about 3,100 households in 10 square miles.

She's one of about 300 New York State contributors to the Yes side.

That's about 2% of all the contributors from that state -- 98% gave to the No side.

So, naturally, the attention goes to those lucky few. Indeed, the only person in that little hamlet where Maureen lives -- the solitary Yes contributor amongst in that 10 square miles -- was one Maureen Mullarkey.

Carla Marinucci of the San Francisco Chronile blogged about this and posed as a fact checker.

As you noted, she wrote that Mullarkey had "strongly suggested" something that she did not suggest at all.

But Marinucci made a few choice suggestions of her own, didn't she?

For instance, she referred to tens of thousands of records of contributions that are available on the Chronicles website. She acknowledged that there were far more No contributions. And she said this, why?

To attack a strawman.

The obvious point of those numbers, is that the 300 or so Yes contributors in New York State, and the lone Yes supporter in that small hamlet, have become easy targets of reprisals and vengeance-seeking.

Maureen came to home one evening to find reporters camped-out on her driveway.

Her home address was indeed published, along with those of all contributors, since the addressee's adress includes full name, city (in this case hamlet), state, and zip code.

The reporters did a hack job and made it pretty clear where she was resident. They were writing a New York state story, remember.

Meanwhile, Marinucci strongly suggested (to put it mildly) that Maureen's "apprently disturbing story" was a "tall tale" -- "of horror and vile harassment and threats that arrived at her home" -- and "a bunch of Mullarkey".

That's a huge stretch for Marinucci, especially when the stretch is supposed based on an accusation that Mullarkey's "version of the facts on the Chronicle's reporting: it's just not true".

Note, facts, plural. As if there is another version of these multiple facts.

Obviously, Marinucci is wrong about the home address. And wrong to say that the Chronicle has not printed the "any donor to any political cause" since it published tens of thousands of such addresses. And Marinucci admitted it in the same blogpost. And any reader can go visit that database and see this plainly in evidence.

And that's the one fact, singular, that seems to have been disputed, as a splitting-hairs kindn of factoid.

Marinucci was wrong to have tried to rhetorically bury Mullarkey's contribution in the tens of thousands of records, since the point is that she was singled out and the harrassment was made hyper-personal. That is the result of publishing her address and the anti-8 spin of the accusatory story.

Marinucci's remarks about the National Review Online and its pundits (again plural) is factually incorrect and also misleading.

There was one comment made at the NRO's blog, The Corner.

And while Maggie Gallagher was moderately critical, she also made a point of saying:

"Note: I know that many gay-marriage advocates (and gay people in particular) would be appalled at the kind of tactics described in Maureen's story. But to many marriage supporters, this is what your movement looks like right now."

On the other hand, under a blogpost that used the juvenile play on Maureen's surname, "a bunch of Mullarkey", Marinucci (mis)characterized Maggie's blogpost:

the tall tale by the aptly named Ms. Mullarkey [was] picked up by National Review Online and pundits ramping up the outrage factor.

Ramping up the outrage factor? Oookay.

Marinucci was clearly trying to discredit Maureen as a liar and Maggie's remark as inflammatory. Yet the facts support Maureen and Maggie and not Marinucci's version of them. The hyperbole and the incitement came from the anti-8 side. The flames were spread by those bloggers.

Maureen's email address was published in the blogosphere. For a self-employed person, that's very like a specific home address. Personalized and venomous attacks were sent to her in waves of email. Some washed up on her doorstep, too.

All of this was enabled by the publication of her address plus the misleading "news" stories about her paintings. The accusatory language of the reporters presented a bias that was far from a sublte suggestion. The anti-8 blogosphere was easily provoked, as is predictable given the cntent and tone of the anti-8 side's campaign rhetoric. Its very nearly incitement.

The facts stand against Marinucci's portrayl.

Maureen correctly explained that news of her contribution to the Yes side made the rounds of the blogosphere (to use Marinucci's opener) and that this contribution was propagandized by SSMers as a tale of horror and vile harrassment of THEM -- a tall tale which, aparently, Marunicci bought hook, line, and sinker.

That is appropriate given the origin of Marunicci's surname. She sails in a sea of spin with the gusty wind of anti-8 hyperbole at her back.