Posted on 9/29/2012

 "No facts?"  In Matt Osborne's "Twitter Brigade Burn Notice" post an update referred to here, Osborne included:

  • 80 factual points, including statements and assertions that people would testify to in court,
  • 32 exhibits  of material evidence, including emails, instant messages, tweets and deleted tweets.

Posted on 10/02/2012

Uh, people writing responsibly (and who have jobs) may require some time to  construct responses using those pesky things called "facts."  Oh, and it also took a week or so to scour this hit piece for the evidence of "bullying" he mentioned so often. I failed. So have others, apparently

Once upon a slime, Milt Shook wrote a 4000 word smoke screen.

In the image at the top of this page, the political blogger Milt Shook suggests that another blogger's detailed look at the possible origins and motives of an organized smear campaign about me reads like the gossip site "TMZ." You know, the sort of site where  allegations and ineuendo get made, but almost no hard facts are presented?  This post shall examine a 4000 word blog hit piece (that Shook claims isn't a  hit piece), where Shook appears to attack OsborneInk's post, but merely as a way of attacking me by-proxy. I think discerning readers will soon see that the gentleman doth protested—and projected— just a bit too much :)

Shook's screed seems to have had 4 objectives.  To 1) discredit Osborne, who unpacked a complex, nearly 2 month smear campaign against me that had been cleverly packaged as victims pushing back against "verbal abuse"; 2)  promote the meme that it was a consequence of my own behavior, as evidenced by rumors, gossip, and self-serving portrayals over the years by various trolls and detractors; 3) minimize and deflect from his own role in the events behind the smears, while simultaenously trying to distance himself from a drama in which he was both an actor and a screenwriter; and finally, 4) posture as a heroic truth teller, using almost no facts whatever so he could bask in the adulation of the people gleefully receptive to any new contribution to the smear campaign.

The fact that Shook would go to press with something this thinly documented, knowing Osborne was bringing out more of the story in series, makes Shook's speculations and assertions look almost like credibility suicide notes. His post mostly speaks for itself (poorly), but I will respond to some of its more reaching or specious sentences with something his post was recklessly short on: evidence. 

UPDATE: Since this post was written, @HeatherEChase admitted that almost everything said here, and in Matt Osborne's posts (with evidence) were completely true. Oopsy! Of course, she continues to manipulate, offering still new lies (without any evidence) to continue her cover-up. And naturally, Shook is quick to defend those lies too. He never appears concerned with, nor makes mentions of the fact that Chase now admits to exactly what Shook says never happened.  What's important is that after all of Shook's lying (which I take apart herein), Heather Chase came right out and made him look like an accomplice, a stooge, and a fool. Given his dishonesty and transparent mendacity, I'm really ok with that.  

 Note:  If you skim, don't skip anything with  symbol, or you'll miss the whole show,

1) Shook says he was “a little involved” with Randy Hahn and the StopRush effort. 

"It’s been bubbling under the surface since at least May, when Edelstein was obsessing over 'Randy Hahn,' or whatever he’ll be calling himself next week. I admit I helped a little, at first, but only to find out who he really was." 

  • Email showing my instant messages with Randy Hahn on the very day Shook was invited in specifically to discuss the "Randy" problem. He was a LOT involved, and his behind-my-back meddling with Gandy and other parties was a major factor in the complete meltdown of the entire project.  Another Email showing Milt Shook was far more than "a little involved" and that he …

"doesn't talk to anyone about anyone else." 

"But he actually wrote that he [Edelstein] thinks she [@GottaLaff] hates him because he chose to unfollow her on Twitter. Seriously."

  • Evidently, Shook never read the "manifesto" (as the right wingnut Randy Hahn first called it and Shook parrots). I would challenge any semi-literate person to read that piece (which finally clarified a long—and still continuing—saga for many) and shrink it down to such an absurdly simplistic characterization. But his purpose wasn't to do an analysis. It was to keep selling a meme he knew had buyers (and maybe get some traffic to his blog, too).

"Edelstein also tried to turn me against @GottaLaff and progressive radio host Nicole Sandler…" 

  • Note that Shook provides no evidence for this claim, whereas in my "manifesto" (as Randy Hahn called it obsessively in his own tweets) I provided many images, emails, and other carefully described evidenciary exhibits to support my assertions. Yep, documenting evidence can really bulk up a "screed."  It's a shame Shook hadn't shown his readers the same courtesy. (Incidentally,  I don't even recall knowing Shook until long after most of that saga had seemed to fade.) 

2) Shook alleges that Edelstein and Osborne "doctored Images."

"More about those screenshots. It was discovered as of today (I’m rewriting this on Saturday, September 29, 2012), some of the “evidence” Matts Edelstein and Osborne have offered would appear to have been doctored. "

  •  How ironic that the only hard evidence Shook provided in his entire 4000 word screed had to be removed when it was pointed out that he was completely wrong.
  •  When he was called out for this glaringly sloppy error (apparently relying on nothing other than specious claims by attackers and Twitter sock puppets , his response was, "fuck you, sue me."  

3) Shook credits the incredible Heather Chase as a credible source

Regarding the disgraced reporter, Jason Leopold, and his variously motifvate blood-feuds related to my past experiences with his pal @Gottalaff, one of his partners, and a variety of his web-associates,  Shook, apparently was privy to information no one else has ever seen, claims that:

"But Edelstein has taken to conducting a personal vendetta against Leopold to the point that he had Heather Chase look up personal information about Leopold and his family and essentially threatened him with it."

Oh dear!  Doesn't that sound ominous? Here's the reality…

  • Background: Leopold's beef with me was related to his often two-faced friendship with @gottalaff ("who I get traffic from at Truthout.org") and his partner at "PubRecord.org,"  Dr. Jeff Kaye of Firedoglake , who played a prominent and dubious role in the early Bradley Manning story. 
  •  Shook is apparently referring to this video about Leopold, which was entirely Heather Chase's idea.  She did this, she claimed, to show me her "formidable research skills" in the first few weeks that she knew me and had been looking forward to contracting for me in some capacity.  She surprised  me with this email.  And then with this email, which included some references to his family  information, but  nowhere in the video or these emails is there any "threat" to Leopold's family mentioned, or implied, and Shook's claiming that  I "threatened him" should be retracted immediately. The weasel-word "essentially" does not free him from liability here.

4) Shook has kept a very low profile in all of this (cough)

"I’ve been quiet about this for a long time, but I feel like I have to speak up."

He means, since spending much of the past month driving as much of their attack narrative as he possibly could

  •  Image examples of just how un-quiet Shook had really been.
  •  Text log examples of several hundred tweetsmany of them deleted, promoting, pandering, and pontificating all over Twitter to ingratiate himself, and win the hearts and minds of the Twitter Brigade.
  •  One of many tweets where he maintains a pretense that he's just an outsider, unaware of what's been going on. 

5) Shook says "Randy Hahn didn't Infiltrate, he was invited in." 

"Keep in mind, it was Edelstein who brought “Randy” into “StopRush.” He didn’t “infiltrate,” he was invited in, without so much as a basic vetting."

Websters defines "infiltrate" this way: 

"to enter or become established in gradually or unobtrusively usually for subversive purposes <the intelligence staff had been infiltrated by spies>

Uh, Mr. Shook,  that's what infiltrators do. They infiltrate. They spy on and/or disrupt organizations. Hahn had been "infiltrating" the #p2 and #stopRush communities on Twitter since October of 2011.  He approached me in December, but I didn't much care about him until the Flush Rush project on Facebook reported that he'd been referred to them by one of the Washington based advocacy organizations interested in the project. StopRush was a consortium of voluntary organizations with over 800 people at that time.  Everyone was "invited in" who wanted to help (duh!).  

And the "vetting" of this person began after my team and I, always somewhaq skeptical to begin with, had become increasingly suspicious of Hahn after he made continuing excuses for not hiring people he claimed to be interested in hiring, and even requested personal information on.   Almost at the same time, sock puppets started appearing in Twitter with scary looking avatars with bio links to famous liberal "boogymen" like George Soros and Saul Alinsky. Because of all of this, Hahn was actually "being vetted" at the time of Shook's email.  Since Shook wasn't part of the steering committee at that time, nor very experienced at anything particularly useful to the group, he wasn't privy to any of this information at that time. He was only invited to help after we were more or less certain we had a problem, and just didn't know the precise nature of it, and welcomed anyone who we thought we could trust to help out.

"Because of his thin skin, Edelstein tends to attack people because he thinks he can “win” that way."

This is the recurring theme in his screed. That I am famous for "bullying women," thus echoing the narrative of people he is writing his piece to impress. 

  • He does not provide a single example in his entire text of such bullying, nor my "thin skin." Given my 242,000k+ tweets, one would think it wouldn't have been hard for him to come up with a single example of this behavior.
  • Shook keeps referring to misgogyny and bullying, even suggesting he has first hand knowledge of it, yet again, provides no examples. He merely inserts the insinuations throughout his narrative—because he can.
  • With no evidence to present,  Shook struggles with his weird narrative, finally having no choice but to suggest that by defending myself against a widespread smear campaign I must be guilty of bullying his friends in the Twitter Brigade.
  • He repeats this same charge and rationale yet again later by positing that my  "Sometimes You GottaLaff" explainer of a 2.5+ year whisper campaign was bullying me @GottaLaff.  Seriously. 
  •  Ironically, it is Shook himself who is well known for pushing back hard against any crticique of his work or Tweets, trying to intimidate or insult anyone that disagrees with him. See this example of him attempting to bully and insult someone  who merely asks him to back up an assertion. You can find examples of HIS doing this sort of thing routinely on Twitter.
 

6) Shook is so dedicated to this attack, he digs way down deep for the stupid…

"Osborne writes, in bold, that Jessica was married, as if this was some sort of deep dark secret. It most certainly was not."

  • Here Shook criticizes Osborne simply for adding emphasis to highly relevant fact, given that so few people who clicked-thru and visited @vdaze's blog post were aware of that fact.  No one searches a blog for past posts that might be relevant to the salacious post they clicked into from Twitter. And @vdaze's own Twitter stream was protected, and only a fraction of her followers hearing that voice message would have had the smallest clue about who she was or what her marrital status was. But Shook would like to make you think they would, because it gave him another calorie-free analysis to offer his readers.  Osborne was illustrating a key component of the story; one every bit as important as the fact that @vdaze and I had never met, or that the voice mail message she posted was recorded last January—over 8 months ago. 

"This section starts with an outright lie. If this whole thing started with Jessica, how could Darshann be a “focal point”? That’s impossible."

  • As Osborne repeatedly stressed,  the storyline had multiple overlapping subplots.  Does a novel have one focus, or does each chapter have one? Is "Milt Shook even semi-literate, or does he just think his readers are morons? You decide.
  • From the beginning, Osborne's entire point was that the @vdaze absuse narrative was a pretext concealing a tangled web of subplots that no one was being told about. Osborne made it clear that there were more revelations and documentation still to come.  Perhaps Shook should read pieces twice and take better notes before risking his reputation on such flimsy statements and faulty rhetorical questions.

"What’s the purpose of posting Darshann’s working relationship with Imani, except as another attempt to intimidate them? Nothing about Darshann’s professional life could possibly point to Edelstein’s innocence, so the only possible reason for bringing it up is to intimidate them and get them to shut up.  Again, there’s the misogyny and bullying the women claim."

  • Yeah, what reason at all, except for:
    • Padilla was representing herself to me as the designated " legal counsel" for Powr-pac.org (Gandy's hopeful device for raising money). 
    • Gandy had previously sent emails to Jason Leopold (and others) citing herself as an associate at Padilla's firm.
    •  Gandy's California Bar Association profile sites her association with Padilla's firm 
    • Unil late May, 2012, Padilla was continually giving me informal legal advice and doing legal research (sometimes with Shook) on  Randy Hahn, BrooksBayne, and other matters.
    • Padilla was and is a material witness who discussed—and was central to some—of these matters on a regular basis for months.
    • Despite all of this relevance connecting Gandy and Padilla professionally, and the clear relevance to Osborne's evolving narratives, it is bizarre that Shook would so casually suggest that Osborne (or I, who provided much of this information) would merely be doing so out of some misogynistic need to bully these women.

"Feel free to browse the rest of the post, the “updates” and the other posts linked to it, and you’ll find a common thread; a lot of speculation and innuendo, but no actual stated fact."

  • Talk about "projection." Osborne included 80 factual points, including statements and assertions that people are willing to testify to in court, and supplied 32 exhibits  of material evidence, including emails, instant messages, tweets and deleted tweets. What, exactly, has Shook provided in his rambling screed based on nothing about an apparent need to appear heroic to a group of women and Edelstein bashers using Twitter as their playground-level assault on him? Where are his statements or assertions that anyone is willing to testify to? Even one? The critical reader will discern that there are none at all. His entire post is baseless allegation, rank inuendo and smug speculation, all peppered over generously with large does of character assasssination, all neatly shrink wrapped for the gullible as a reasonable analsysis of a bully in action.  

7) Shook wraps up with a neat and simple resolution that neatly serves a mob's point of view

"Here’s what I propose. Edelstein blocks all people whom he thinks are “bashing” him, and apologizes to those he bullied, privately or publicly, his choice. Then he breaks all ties with them, an he and Osborne delete all of the “hit pieces.” This post will disappear when those disappear. 

  • Shook's entire premise seems to be that defending myself and my friends against a massive smear campaign is itself bullying. It's bizarre on its face, under its skin, and below its gall.  
  • I am sure, like the people he pandered to in writing this, he'd enjoy it if the only factual telling of this smear campaign went away, leaving only a huge legacy of smears, smear sites, lies, allegations, and ineuendo on the web forever, some of which he helped to create and/or promote.  
  • Contrary to Shook's speculations, Matt Osborne, who had intimate knowledge of all the backstories going back to 2011 was the one who insisted to me that this bizarre story of manipulation and venality be told in full.  Had more bloggers been interested in actual "truth," that might not have been necessary, and a mob of well intentioned people would not have been misled by a small clique with hidden agendas.  Shook never asked me a single question in preparation for his 4000 words of "truth telling." One can only wonder whom he did ask. 
  •  As for "apology," perhaps Shook missed the fact that all of this began on August 6th, long before @vdaze published an 8 month old  voice mail message on August 29th.  And that smear campaign was seen by many as vastly disproproportional to any actual offense I committed arguing with my cyber-girlfriend who lived 1100 miles away.  But he never even hints at that, except for one lame stab at false equivalence designed to make his hit job seem more "fair" to the weak minded:   "Do I think some of the things the ladies have said falls a bit on the childish side? At times, yes."
  • Shook conveniently ignores the fact that there are actual websites out there created to reinforce the "Shop/Edelstein as bully" meme. Who will agree to remove those, Superman? You?
  • Count on this: when more facts are revealed over the coming days and weeks, you can expect some serious back pedaling by Mr. Shook, claiming that he "didn't know the whole story."  But he sure did try to sound all knowing in his mawkish mashup of mendaciy, didn't he?
  • As for his suggestion that his post might disappear? I wouldn't dream of it. It should remain on the internet forever as a model for a what a truly venal and vebose "hit piece" should look like.

8) Shook closes with a posture that we all have such important work to do.

After spending weeks helping these people to distract me and my friends with this trumped up "Abuser" narrative, suddenly Superman remembers that we have an important election going on.  

"Then everyone can go back to doing good work for the people of America. We have an election to win…"

  • Yes, it's vital we return our country to a place of high moral standards where one is allowed to face their accusers, and we all remain innocent until proven guilty. Except of course in the case of screeds by 3rd-tier bloggers eager to further a smear campaign while pretending to seek the end of one. 

9) I close with a few of the disingenous—and dishonest—things that Milt Shook has said about all of this:

Here he engages with the loathsome Breitbart.com bloggger, Lee @stranahan, who was eagerly milking this drama for all the political and personal mileage he could. 

Here is Shook's idea of "staying out of this shoq business," while adding a still new incendiary statement to it. 


Posted on 10/1/2012  (deleted, but recorded by Topsy.com)

 

 

 Click for examples of how Milt—Superman—Shook  "Mostly Stayed Out of This Whole Shoq Business" and Was "Done With All This Drama." 

Related

 

  • Lasvegasliberal

    Anyone cohorting with Breitbart.com is particularly loathe some. I’m stunned such effort was directed at you. How unpleasant!