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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anatomy of a Cyber-Feud ► The Mark Koldys-Johnny Dollar Comment of the Day

So many lies. Let's count:

1). I don't have 2 websites; 2). Not Now Silly covers many more topics than Mark
Koldys' and his crazy obsession with me, but I do touch upon it from time to time;
3). I have never harassed anyone's family; 4). I have never stalked nor harassed
either Mark Koldys nor Ashley Graham; 5). If you bother to look you will see that
95%, of Grayhammy's timeline is devoted to stalking and harassing me; 6). Unlike
The Flying Monkey Squad I don't choose victims to attack; 7). Now Johnny Dollar is
pretending to be MY victim?; 8). That's funny because Grayhammy has said that I play
the victim card; 9). I didn't choose this feud; 10) I was drafted into defending myself.

That might be a new record for the most lies in a 140 character tweet!!!
Recently a face-to-facefriend asked me how this crazy, obsessive cyber-feud I occasionally write about began. I directed him to re-read the post that kicked off this blog, Johnny Dollar Has Proven Himself To Be A Very Dangerous Person.

After he read that, and several other Not Now Silly posts about Johnny Dollar, he said, "No, that's not how it started. That's when you got involved." Yannow what? He's right. I've written all about the "who," "where." "what," and "when," but not the "how" and "why."

So, how DID I find myself under attack from an obsessive, crazy, relentless cyber-bullying mob for more than 2 years now? Why did a crazy band of sycophantic asslickers and Fox "News" surrogates decide to target me to demonstrate their special kind of psychiatric disorder?

It really is a funny story. Have a seat, kiddies, and I'll try and get it over as quickly as possible.

The feud actually existed long before I ever showed up on the scene. It all started with the great little documentary Outfoxed, which laid bare the tactics Fox "News" uses to pump its mendacity into the nation's body politic. Following the release of Outfoxed some of its researchers started up the internet's first Fox News Truth site, NewsHounds, to keep the momentum going and to document new Fox "News" lies. NewsHounds (Geddit? Fox & Hounds?) chose the motto "We watch Fox so you don't have to" and has been doing so and reporting on the mendacity since it went public July 2, 2004.

Mark Koldys in more innocent times, before
became a lawyer and learned how to lie
Somehow that brought NewsHounds to the attention of Mark Koldys, the former Michigan prosecutor, who dissembles under the nom de plume Johnny Dollar (either after the radio detective or the Rockabilly star, but who really cares where he stole the name he hides behind?). Koldys fired up Johnny Dollar's Place mere days after NewsHounds went live. Coincidence? I think not. His first post was all about Outfoxed. Coincidence? I think not. His second post, on the same day as the first, was all about the "cabal" at NewsHounds. Coincidence? I think not. In those two inaugural posts he takes the same tact that Fox "News" does. Coincidence? I think not.

Amusingly, Koldys' very first post about NewsHounds, mentions how he was personally attacked on a NewsHound comment thread when he came rushing over to deliver his version of Fox "News" truth. He must have gone away butt hurt, because he's been on the attack ever since. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. This is what's known as foreshadowing.

Suddenly! Out of nowhere!! Fox "News" lies had a champion!!! There he was!!!! Johnny Dollar rushing to the defense of the indefensible!!!!! A defender for the bullshit that spewed out of the station nearly two-four-seven!!!!!! Despite its "fair and balanced" slogan!!!!!!! The biggest lie it sells!!!!!!!!

Let's face facts, there are not enough exclamation points in the world to denote the ridiculousness of the entire notion of defending Fox "News."

Here's the rub: In order to defend Fox "News" lies from all attacks, Koldys resorts to every dirty trick in the lawyer's arsenal: He'll redefine the criticism; or deliberately misinterpret it; at times he will seize upon a meaningless error in an attempt to invalidate the whole; attack the grammar to try to invalidate the whole; create false equivalencies; drag red herrings across the tracks; or just out-and-out lie; all in an attempt to counter perfectly valid criticism of Fox "News." And, if none of those tactics work, Koldys resorts to personal attacks. Heck, sometimes he starts with personal attacks, because that's all he's got. In short: Whatever tactic the lawyer in him thought was needed to defend a 'client' he knew was guilty; or the way all those scummy corrupt prosecutors, on the tee vee tube, railroad defendants they know are innocent in order to hide their own culpability.

Now that it's been revealed that News Corp. paid bloggers and trolls to defend Fox "News" and attack its critics, Not Now Silly highly suspects Koldys was among those paid. Why else would ANYONE spend almost a decade twisting the truth into a pretzel, if they werren't getting something out of it? When I tell this story to people they are already laughing at the expression "Fox 'News' defender." Think about it. See? You're smiling already. Fox "News" defender. Fox "News" defender. It gets funnier every time you hear it.

So imagine if you will, these two titanic web sites -- which started up within days of each other -- locked in an epic cyber-battle for supremacy. In one corner, in the white trunks, is NewsHounds, proving day after day after day, that Fox News" was full of shit. In the other corner, in the black trunks, is Mark Koldys attacking NewsHounds with his lawyer tricks and dishonesty. Koldys' motto is CABLE NEWS TRUTH, but his attacks on NewsHounds were truth as reflected in a Fun House mirror, distorted and barely recognizable.

Consequently, from early July of 2004, there built up a lot of history and animosity between NewsHounds and Johnny Dollar's Place. MORE IMPORTANTLY there built up a lot of animosity between the users and commenters on the various threads on each site. Some of the comments, on both sides, were very ugly. Names were called. Feelings got hurt. People got banned. Sock puppets galore were created to get past the bans.

NB: In fact, it looked like every other stupid fucking flamewar since the beginning of the internet.

I was blissfully unaware of all of this background, which was only pieced together subsequently from interviews with some of the survivors of The Johnny Dollar Wars. This research included discovering who was using which sock puppets to get around bans and pretend the opposition was larger than it appeared. But, I'm getting ahead of myself again.

This picture was taken the week I moved to FloriDuh.

I was so young, innocent, and naive back then that I could
have never imagined having my alternative lifestyle
exposed merely over a difference of political opinion.
When I arrived in FloriDuh 9 years ago -- after a decade as a newswriter in CityPulse at Citytv * -- I was flabbergasted at what I was seeing on the Fox "News" Channel, which is what Pops watched. I had never witnessed such editorializing and outright lying from a so-called news station in my life. I had no idea how they even got a way with it. I'd be yelling at the tee vee and Pops would say, "Why don't you go down there and show 'em how it's done."

It wasn't long after I got down here I discovered Outfoxed at my local library. Watching it confirmed everything I had seen with my own eyes. That's when I also started investigating Fox "News"for myself to see how it got away with being so unfair and imbalanced despite its bullshit motto. Soon enough I discovered NewsHounds and became a denizen of what was called The NewsHounds Off Topic or NHOT for short.

Here's a funny: I was a guest at NewsHounds for almost a year before I learned there was a connection to the documentary Outfoxed.

TO BE FAIR: There's one small part of this story I left out. When I moved back to the States I decided to create an online persona. I viewed this as a long-form street performance, or an information highway performance, as the case may be. Even before I left Canada, I had chosen a new name and identity. I told family and friends at my several farewell parties my goal was to become a nationally known political pundit under the nom de plume "Aunty Em Ericann." As a former 'Merkin, who lived in Canada for 35 years and became a Canadian along the way, I thought the name described me perfectly. To complete the transformation I did two things: 1). Created a little back story and biography on how Aunty Em wound up with such an improbable name; and 2). Stopped using Headly Westerfield ENTIRELY, in every forum and in every email on the innertubes. Headly Westerfield is dead!!! Long live Aunty Em!!!

Screen cap from Aunty Em's Place.
That's where I did my first writing about the Charles Avenue Historical Marker.

This story is filled with crazy coincidences. Here's another one: I had no idea
there was a Johnny Dollar's Place when I launched Aunty Em's Place. However,
when I arrived on the scene at NewsHounds, in The Flying Monkey Squad's
conspiratorial minds, Aunty Em was CLEARLY referencing J$'s Place, just another
reason why those crazy MoFos were convinced I was a sock puppet of someone
already connected with NewsHounds.

As I have long maintained, the biggest problem with those geniuses at J$'s
is they start with their conclusions and then work backwards to make all
the evidence fit. This is merely one example, of which there are many.
NB:  It would have been far easier to have achieved my goal using the reputation I had already built up under my name in Canada than it was going to be to subsume it entirely and start anew. However, this Aunty Em project appealed to the writer in me.

I've been a writer virtually my entire professional life, in which I've done just about every kind of writing that exists; from Rock and Roll journalism, to investigative articles, to interviews and fluff pieces with Hollywood celebrities, I've written it all. Everything except greeting cards.

In a 40+ year writing career, I have (for reasons of my own at times and, at other times, at the suggestion of my editors) written under many nom de plumes. An incomplete list would include Rooty Baegga, whose backstory was that he a young man of Italian extraction named Rudy, but his fondness for Root Beer labeled him for life; Travis Bickel, under which I wrote a weekly column for Taxi News, the Toronto trade publication, during the days I drove hack; Rosy Lamstock was a sweet old lady I dearly loved, because she always came at topics sideways; and then at various times, just for fun of it, under pun-pen names like Phil Harmonic, Phyllis Stein, and Ben Dover. HAW! HAW! HAW!

Point being, there's nothing shameful in a pen name. Just ask Samuel Clemens, because I like to compare myself to Mark Twain whenever possible. Aunty Em Ericann is not only in the best tradition of writers since the beginning of the written word, but nom de plumes have been a part of my professional life since forever. **

NewsHounds current logo
So, to get back to our story, there I am at NewsHounds performing as Aunty Em Ericann. I read "The Mains" for the truth about Fox "News," but I hung out on the Off Topic where I participated in some of the best discussions, on every topic under the sun. Some of it was the most intelligent written conversation I had ever read on the innertubes before. I not only found a home, but also a group of very smart and very empathetic cyber-friends. [That's the best part of this story. Some of these people have not only become my closest cyber-friends, but I have not been fortunate to have met several of them, all fabulous people.]

I was vaguely aware there had been earlier unpleasantness, but I've been online since 1988, starting with BBSes. I've already served in more than one Cyber Flame War. I own an entire drawer of t-shirts. So I stayed out of all that BS entirely. It was all so jr. high school.

However, and this is where it really starts to get interesting, from time to time somebody on the OT would refer to me at Patsy, Patty, or Patrick, in very uncomplimentary terms. Without knowing the NewsHound/J$ history of sock puppets, I didn't know this was a reference to Patrick Heckman. I just thought it was a pet name they called people they didn't like, the way I was currently trying to make "Chicolini" a nicer term for "troll." Such an ugly word. No wonder people take offense at being called a troll. But Chicolini? It's from a Marx Brothers movie. It's happy and fun:

Patrick, I've learned, was not happy and fun. In fact, I've come to understand that he was one of the most offensive MoFos fighting in the Johnny Dollar Wars and the proud owner of a whole raft of sock puppets, which he used to attack Johnny Dollar.

Without getting too deeply into the weeds, Patrick threw a lot of extremely offensive homophobic comments at Johnny Dollar and the sycophants that hang out at his sewer, chief among them Ashley Graham, or Grayhammy. I have never been given any proof, but Heckman says he came by his hatred of The Flying Monkey Squad honestly: He claims pictures of his children were posted online somewhere and then deleted. Again, I don't know the truth of it, but he seems to think that GrayHammy, or one of his sockpuppets, did it. If true, it fits a pattern. Johnny Dollar has used Ellen's picture, from NewsHounds. I've now seen Grayhammy attack people on Twitter and slyly include their home town -- which could have only been found through cyber-stalking sleuthing -- in order to intimidate them. Grayhammy has also used my picture many times, and, of course, they outed my alternative lifestyle -- and then deleted it -- over a difference of political opinion, but I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Another Ashley Graham's Lie Du Jour:

Ratings is a comparative game. X gets more viewers than Y.
Ratings do not, in any way, shape or form, denote quality.

The only ratings I have ever compared my own with is mine.
Yeah, I brag about my numbers. Do I have as many readers as
Media Matters? Of course not. Do I have a greater readership
than Johnny Dollar's Sewer? I don't know and I don't care.

I have a growing readership and that's all I care about. If my
readership starts shrinking, you'll never hear about it from me.
I have since learned that some of the skirmishes in The Johnny Dollar Wars were fought on comment threads at sites other than NewsHounds and J$'s Shithole. While it's really difficult to tell, because of the number of sock puppets involved, it all mostly seems to be Heckman vs. Grayhammy, or Ashley Graham.

As you will see -- SPOILER ALERT -- Grayhammy is my biggest cyber-bully. I honestly think Ashley Graham is stupid enough to have transferred his hate of Heckman to Aunty Em, and then to me. 

I didn't understand the crazy dynamics of what I had inadvertently wandered into until after I left NewsHounds and started my research. Those geniuses over at J$'s were convinced I was Patsy, or Patrick, when I was merely a guest who took a wrong turn into NewsHounds. Naturally they hated Aunty Em from Day One because they hated Patrick for good reason. However, Aunty Em was the kind of gal who mostly ignored them and tried to rise above it. Oh, sure, once in a while she called one of these crazy MoFos Chicolini, but that's only because she couldn't understand why they treated her with such vitriolic hate.

And, that's when this story gets even more complicated, as things always do.

When Fox "News" hired Glenn Beck to do his Fox "News" Conspiracy Fantasy Hour, I was approached by the editor at NewsHounds to interpret Beckian Crazy™ for the NewsHounds readers. Ellen had heard through the grapevine that I watched Beck's show as an hour-long sitcom. Keep in mind that Ellen was approaching Aunty Em Ericann to write for NewsHounds. To her credit she didn't bat an eye when I admitted who I really was and that I wanted to continue to use the nom de plume of Aunty Em I had spent years building up. I think she was thrilled to have discovered, however accidentally, someone who actually worked in a tee vee news room. She explained how none of the people at NewsHounds used their full, real names because of all the stalking that had been done against them all previously. I should have been paying attention when she told me that.

When I started writing for NewsHounds is the exact moment I imagine The Flying Monkey Squad really blew its collective gasket. How could NewsHounds employ that terrible person Patsy?!?! Especially a Patsy that called himself Aunty Em Ericann!!! ANTI-AMERICAN?!?! Pearl clutching before swine.

At around the same time, when Jonathan occasionally wrote a post for NewsHounds, The Flying Monkey Squad was convinced that I was also Jonathan. They were frustrated that Patrick's sock puppets were proliferating, and at the web site that was their sworn enemy.

Slight tangent: Those Chicolinis have floated a lot of crazy conspiracy theories over the years. To examine them all would take too much time, but they are all of a piece: They start with a conclusion, like Aunty Em is Patrick f'rinstance, and then they work backwards, fitting the available 'evidence' into their crazy world view.

Mark Koldys playing with his organ. Heh heh heh
Here's how naive I really was. I didn't know my NewsHounds posts were being trashed over at Johnny Dollar's Sewer until somebody pointed it out to me. Remember, I wasn't taking part in the cyber-wars. Therefore, I was unaware that Johnny Dollar and his wacky band of sycophants and surrogates had declared a blood feud against me. When I went over to see what was going on, I was shocked. Shocked, I tells ya.

I'm always prepared for legitimate criticism. And, as I demonstrated at NewsHounds, I was willing to write long mea culpas when I got it wrong. However, I wasn't prepared for the crazy criticism that came from Johnny Dollar and his band of sycophants. I was attacked as if I was revealing state secrets. Words were taken out of context and/or twisted to mean something that I had never meant them to mean. My first experience with Johnny Dollar's particular brand of malevolent truth-twisting and snark set the stage for all of my reactions that followed. I finally became engaged in The Johnny Dollar Wars, a little late and a dollar short. See what I did there?

The NewsHound criticism over at the J$ Crappertorium was also all faintly misogynist. The NewsHounds were all women, including Aunty Em. The attacks at J$'s Palace of Hate and Resentment™ on all of the NewsHounds writers were all incredibly offensive and generally an attack on the messenger and not the message. Johnny Dollar claimed not to allow name-calling over at his crap hole, but it was okay to call the NewsHounds everything from curs for people to allude at the word "bitches," without actually using it. However, if someone from NewsHounds wandered over there and called someone a name, it would be deleted IMMEDIATELY by Mark Koldys. In fact, if you didn't obey all of J$'s petty one-sided rules he would actually banish you to some imaginary island until you either apologized or died of starvation.

Johnny Dollar seemed to attack most vociferously when the NewsHounds topic was Loofah Lad, as I found out after I started writing about Fox "News" personalities other than the Beckerhead. The Falafel King seemed to be Dollar's particular idol and Johnny Dollar was thrilled to be fighting the Cultural Wars alongside his hero. 

A perfect example of Johnny Dollar tactics: When I called out one of his sycophants
for printing an out and out lie about one of my posts, Johnny's first reaction is to
attack me. After blackflon (aka Mark Barnard) admitted he made it all up, Johnny
Dollar rushed back in to the thread to give him positive reinforcement:

"Well I must admit you of all people should know how the
newspoodles can twist something and make a lie out of it.
As badly as so many have been slandered by them, you've
been ouright libled, repeatedly, with the tacit or expressed
approval of Sharia Ellen, Mr Aunty Em, and the rest. So, I can
understand why you are throwing their technique back at them."

Here's the thing: I never took part in any of that and was unaware of it. Under J$
logic because I wrote for NewsHounds there is no lie too pernicious to tell
about me because BUTT HURT!!!

I swear, have you ever seen such fucking children in your entire life?
A couple of times I even tried to defend myself over at the Johnny Dollar Porta-Potty, only to find my replies twisted beyond recognition. See just one example to the left. There are so many just like that.

However, it was a mistake to even defend myself against their lies [see left] because that only enraged them further. Most who were attacked by that crazy group of Mark Koldys sycophants ran away as if they had stepped on a fire ant hill, because that's how they swarmed and stung.

I've always stood behind every word I've ever written. Call me crazy, but to have people out and out making up lies about what I wrote, hoping that no one will bother to see for themselves, tends to rub me the wrong way.

Being called out on their lies seemed to rub the Flying Monkey Squad the wrong way and the attacks against me got more vicious, if that's possible. Little did I know that cyber-stalker sleuth Ashley Graham was monitoring all my feeds looking for fresh ammunition with which to attack.

Here's where it all went wrong for Aunty Em: Headly Westerfield had been bottled up and hidden for far too long. At that point, more than 6 years had passed since Headly Westerfield had tweeted, sent an email, or commented on a blog post. I guess I was just itching to get some fresh air, needed to stretch my legs after almost 7 years of being holed up. A 7-year itch, I guess.

First Aunty Em made a Twitter friend named Roifield Brown who was producing an amazing series of podcasts called How Jamaica Conquered The World. After getting to know one another, and him learning of my previous career as a record promoter at Island Records Canada, he asked if I would be interviewed for several of the podcasts.

After he had edited the segments, Roifield tweeted out a Thank You to @AuntyEmEricann, which is when Super-cyber-stalking-sleuth Ashley Graham followed the link. The link led him to the small biography of Headly Westerfield (HEY! That's me!) had supplied to How Jamaica. Grayhammy noted that Headly Westerfield's bio dove-tailed with Aunty Em's biography. From there it was just a matter of plugging my name into search engines and discovering my alternative lifestyle from mailing lists.

Dun Dun Dun Dun . . .

Ashley Graham quickly wrote it up as some kind of Big Deal Exclusive "Is Aunty Em Ericann Anti-American?" Aside from exposing my nom de plume -- which literally thousands of people already knew -- there were many other ridiculous charges pulled directly out of Grayhammy's ass, like I was probably a draft dodger. And then, just dropped casually in the middle of it all, were references to my alternative lifestyle. Cute, eh?

When I called him on the despicable tactic of exposing my alternative lifestyle,
this is how he justified it, even tho' he later deleted it. He has justfied it to this
day as just something he found on the internet, just like the pictures I have
found of him and his family that he has complained to YouTube and facebook
about me using because HYPOCRITE!.

BTW: Loofah Lad's sex life was a national story & he's a national figure. I'm not.

Another Johnny Dollar False Equivalency™
Now remember: These were people who were outraged -- OUTRAGED, I TELLS YA!!! -- at Aunty Em from the day she arrived on the scene. When Ashley Graham discovered my alternative lifestyle there must have been many gleeful GOTCHA MUTHAFUCKAH! phone calls and emails between him and Johnny Dollar. While Grayhammy may have written the post of personal destruction, it was actually enabler Mark Koldys -- aka Johnny Dollar -- who decided that my alternative lifestyle actually qualified as CABLE NEWS TRUTH. Which is how I came to find my alternative lifestyle splashed all over his shithole. It was nothing but an attempt to destroy the messenger because he had been unsuccessful at destroying the message.

In their childish momentum those two fucking bird brains never stopped to think, "Is this the right thing to do? Is this an ethical thing to do?" All the lawyer Mark Koldys cared about was whether it was legal and, after consulting lawyers, I have learned there was nothing I could do about it. ***

They've justified it a number of ways. It was just out there on the internet to be discovered. Or, I have also written about Loofah Lad's sex life and what does The Falafel King's sex life have to do with NewsHounds and Fox News? Are you kidding me? O'Reilly's is a national figure whose sexual harrassment lawsuit was national news. It became bigger news when he first bloviated that he would fight the suit to the bitter end and then, just days later, settled out of court for mega millions.

They have continually threatened to cyber-rape me all over again
I am neither a national figure, nor has my sex life become part of a national lawsuit, but Johnny Dollar still uses that as merely one of his several justification for printing details about my alternative lifestyle.

To make matters worse: When they edited the post a few days later to remove all references to my alternative lifestyle, it has left the phrase "alternative lifestyle" up to everyone's vivid imagination. I have had to answer many awkward questions from family and friends. All I can say is that some of you people are sick!!! I would almost have prefered that it had remained because, to begin with, it's not as bad as some people have imagined it to be. Furthermore, had it been left I would have a handy link to point to and say, "See how despicable those people really are? See what kind of malevolent evil they perpetrate in order to defeat a political opponent?" However, I do have screen caps and would be happy to supply them to people on a case by case basis.

BOTTOM LINE: People who would resort to these tactics over differences of political opinion is EXACTLY what's wrong with 'Merka. I learned better manners in my 35 years in Canada. Is it any wonder I chose the nom de plume Aunty Em Ericann?

* At one time Johnny Dollar was working on proving that I don't actually know J.D. Roberts [known by his nom de news John Roberts] personally and that I never worked for a decade in the Citytv newsroom as a News Writer. Have you wrapped up that investigation yet, genius? How did it shake out?

** The Flying Monkey Squad (really just Ashley Graham these days because everybody else has lost the taste for this level of crazy) insists, in tweets over and over, that by using a nom de plume I lied to my family and friends. Do you know how crazy that sounds? Those who needed to know always knew. Those who didn't need to know, didn't need to know.

*** Consulting a lawyer is not the same as hiring a lawyer. Greyhammy keeps saying I've lied when I said I never hired a lawyer, but he can't actually show anything that says I HIRED a lawyer.