As most of us know, the Mudflats blog shot to instant fame when John McCain chose the Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, as his VP running mate. Mudflats was the “go to” source for an Alaskan perspective on the Governor and the political climate in Alaska.
A really creepy thing has happened to AKMuckraker, the founder of Mudflats: Alaska Representative, Mike Doogan (D-AK), exposed her true name on his legislative newsletter.
Anonymous Blogger Anonymous No More
The identity of the person who writes the liberal Democratic Mudflats blog has been secret since the blog began, protected by the Anchorage Daily News, among others. My own theory about the public process is you can say what you want, as long as you are willing to stand behind it using your real name. So I was interested to learn that the woman who writes the blog is Anchorage resident Jeanne _____.*
What the hell is this about? Well, apparently Rep Doogan got a little testy when AKMuckraker took him to task for his boorish lack of email etiquette, and in revenge, set out to find and expose her true name. Which he did.
It said in my “About” page that I choose to remain anonymous. I didn’t tell anyone why. I might be a state employee. I might not want my children to get grief at school. I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am. My family might not want to talk to me anymore. I might alienate my best friend. Maybe I don’t feel like having a brick thrown through my window. My spouse might work for the Palin administration. Maybe I’d just rather people not know where I live or where I work. Or none of those things may be true. None of my readers, nor Mike Doogan had any idea what my personal circumstances might be. But that didn’t seem to matter.
What appears to matter to Rep. Doogan is that either 1) he feels that if he “outs” me, he’ll change what I have to say, or keep me from saying anything. 2) he gets to play mystery detective (like in his books) and believes people will think he’s really cool for figuring it out, or 3) he feels like getting revenge. He knows I want to remain anonymous, so he’s going to take it away. In any of those three scenarios, he didn’t think it was important to get the bigger picture.
I’m guessing Rep Doogan feels like he has somehow vindicated himself for his idiotic email faux pas — by exposing one of his constituents (and her family) to further possible harrassment and/or revenge.
Many bloggers, myself included, choose to remain anonymous, not because we don’t stand behind our blog posts and ideas, but because there are a lot of truly nutzoid people in this country. I don’t work from an office building with an assistant outside my closed door, and don’t have immediate access to security.
On the other hand, most bloggers are harrassed and stalked by weirdos who are very “brave” behind their keyboards — not by their State Representative.
AKMuckraker sums it up well:
Rep. Doogan thinks he has exposed me, but in reality he has done nothing but expose himself.
Rep Mike Doogan, futue te et ipsum caballum.
AKMuckraker, keep up the good work.
ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM
Read AKMuckraker’s whole post here.