Tuesday, October 21, 2003

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An apology to Gregg Easterbrook

In my last post on Gregg Easterbrook, I quoted what I thought was an e-mail sent by him to other bloggers that was posted in The Power Line.

I've been informed by both Brad DeLong and Gregg Easterbrook that the e-mail was a fake, so I'm crossed it out from my post.

My apologies for getting suckered. It was a disservice to you, the readers, as well as to Easterbrook. Gregg's cool with it -- as he put it in an e-mail, it's "the nature of a new medium." For those readers who prowl other blogs, if you see it there, let the blogger know it's a fake.

We'll return to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.

UPDATE: See the comment below by John Hinderaker of the Power Line. All I can say is that I'm going on what DeLong and Easterbrook have told me via e-mail.

posted by Dan on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM


GNU GPG or PGP. If everyone knows you digitally sign your emails and all works, your statements cannot be forged.

It may be something you wish to include in your blogs too. Permalink, comments link, trackback link, googlelink, and gpg/pgp signature link of the entry.

posted by: jerry on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

It was a private message, but was it really a fake? What's the evidence?

posted by: joe blow on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

Like Joe Blow, I'd like to know a bit more about this bit of historical revision.

If it was indeed a fake, it was a very deep, nuanced, and informed fake. That it could be produced in such short order is remarkable. Maybe "they" are better than I think.

What convinced you that it was not original to Easterbrook?

posted by: JoJo on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

Went back, read more carefully, and noticed that you imply that Eaterbrook himself has denied authorship.

In that case, wouldn't a more accurate statement be that "Easterbrook says that it's a fake?" If I had written that in Easterbrook's position and then found it had been made public, I too would deny authorship (if I thought I could get away with it.)

Is there any independent evidence to support Easterbrook's claim?

posted by: JoJo on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

* sigh *

Some people just think too much..
Easterbrook himself confirmed it. End of conspiracy.

Sometimes a little trust is needed...

posted by: bubba on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]


You raise a good point. I've updated the post to indicate the provenance of my evidence.

posted by: Dan Drezner on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

This is ridiculous. As someone else who was suckered, I have to ask why Gregg simply doesn't post this kind of info on his blog -- that's what blogs are for! Why does he have to individually inform a few bloggers? It's so ironic that Easterbrook has been such a poor source for information throughout this "scandal."

posted by: Ryan Booth on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

The Easterbrook email was not a fake. If Easterbrook now says it was, that is regrettable. Apparently he has made peace with his employer. But the email was from him, and it was not a fake. It was forwarded to us by a friend of Easterbrook's who discussed it with him over the telephone. The original email included Easterbrook's return email address and home phone number, which we deleted from our post.

posted by: John Hinderaker on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

"I have to ask why Gregg simply doesn't post this kind of info on his blog"

Why don't you ask him? Then you can report back and tell us.

Maybe he doesn't know about it.

BTw, John Hinderaker, yeah, we know about the reliability of these reports from a friend of a friend of a friend...ad nauseum.

posted by: raj on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

When I first saw Ryan Booth link to the blog that had the e-mail, I wanted to blog about it myself, but I thought better of it. I had no way of verifying if the e-mail was valid or not, and the blog source did not seem very relialbe, as Mr. Hinderaker(?) wrote that Easterbrook was the vicitm of a "left-wing" gang-bang, which is a strange assertion as Easterbrook is not exactly a conservative poster boy, and those who attacked him were a bi-partisan and diverse group, including myself, a Republican. The site seemed to be rabidly pro-Easterbrook and would certainly be invested in portraying Mr. Easterbrook as the victim of some vast Eisnerian conspiracy. Frankly, though, the e-mail seemed genuine to me by the writing style, and I suspected it was. I didn't blog about it, though, because it was incredibly unflattering to Easterbrook. It would be ridiculous for him to be going on about "McCarthyism". McCarthyism was something done by the government. All of the things he was alleging were being done to him were the actions of individuals and of private companies. What an absurd thing to say, especially as a column he once wrote about such distinictions is making the rounds of the internet now. I later heard from a reliable source that they thought the e-mail was genuine, which, of course, made me even less sympathetic to Easterbrook, but I still didn't want to post about it on my blog, because I didn't know for sure if it was genuine and it was just, frankly, too easy to pick apart the unhinged, paranoid personality that would write an e-mail like that, with no specific proof of anything. The e-mail offers no proof for any of the outlandish allegations he makes and it could potentially land him in legal trouble.
It does not surprise me that he has since retracted the e-mail. He'd have to be a complete fool not to realize how bad the e-mail makes him look. It also does not surprise me that there are all these indications that it was genuine. I'm sure that there is ultimately some way to find out for sure. (I don't know, I'm not a tech guy).

posted by: Eric Deamer on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

i just think that "jewy jews" sounds like a new kind of candy.

now with a jewy jew center! it's jew-riffic!

posted by: skippy on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

To Ryan Booth re "Why doesn't Easterbrook address this in his blog" --

Easterblogg isn't Gregg's; it's TNR's. TNR isn't interested in any further mention of "The Controversy", and no doubt Gregg's been told not to mention it there. Besides, it involves Gregg's moonlighting job - why in the world would TNR want to draw more attention to that?

posted by: Karl on 10.21.03 at 10:02 PM [permalink]

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