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September 02, 2006

Lee Siegel is the kindest, bravest, least pretentious writer I have never met


Sock Puppets, originally uploaded by tofutti break.

TNR blogger Lee Siegel was recently suspended for sockpuppetry. Siegel got caught defending his own posts under the pseud "sprezzatura."
Scott Lemieux delves into the Google cache for some vintage Lee Siegel sockpuppetry:

You have quite an obsession with Siegel! Sounds to me like you're an envious young writer. I mean, first you have a wife and two kids, and now you're a poor young lawyer with time to write extended tirades against Siegel. Men with two children don't take time out to defend obscure academics from charges of pedophilia, their defense replete with (pretentious) references to ancient Greek categories of desire! If I had to guess, you're this person Mark Greif himself. Or someone in his circle. Every young write in NYC has it in for poor Siegel it seems. They all write like middle-aged hacks. He has the fire and guts of a young man (I assume he's middle-aged himself, or somewhere near there.) Who am I? Someone who knows who you are.

I'm well within Stewart's target group, and I think he's about as funny as a wet towel in a locker room. Siegel is brave, brilliant, and wittier than Stewart will ever be. Take that, you bunch of immature, abusive sheep.

Lawyers, Guns and Money has many more gems like these.
Siegel writes a little better under the pseud. I think it's the anger.

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» Things that Make Me Smile from Jim Snowden's Second Omnibus
The strange case of Lee Siegel, the ex-TNR blogger, is another thing that made me smile today. Apparently Mr. Siegel, who spent much of the summer hurling the word "blogofascist" like a single-A pitcher with no command, has been suspended from TNR fo... [Read More]

Comments

What exactly did Siegel do that was so wrong?

So he couldn't go into his own comments to defend himself? Sad.

Ezra's comments on the matter, I thought, were really stand-up.

Mary: pretending to be someone else to pump your own writing while attacking others is generally considered unethical.

"well within Stewart's target group"--another funny, since I reckon Siegel's about 46. That would leave him with 3 years left in Stewart's target group, as broadly defined as possible.

fishbane: "Mary Rosh" was the alter ego of "More Guns, Less Crime" author John Lott. So the poster was just funnin', unless John Lott is one of Lindsay's readers.

What amazes me most about Siegel and Peretz is that they seem to put so much emphasis on prose stylings over substance, despite the fact that they are both horrible prose stylists. That kind of pompous manufactured, self-congratulatory brashness has no place in this or the previous two decades.

Good to see one go down. It's his own fault for not having a spouse buy a magazine for him.

Call him Ishmael.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Kth: Thanks for the reminder: I had forgotten about Lott.

And who is this Ishmael spammer? I've seen those copy-pastes on a bunch of other blogs recently.

I don't know who Ishmael is, but he's at it again here, this time under the pseud "Nephi".
Maybe it's Lee Siegel.

John Lucid is brave, brilliant, and wittier than all of Lindsay's other commenters put together, you bunch of immature, abusive sheep!

At last, someone recognizes talent!

You need another picture that shows off your great tits. You were born with them, do why not show them off?

Who's born with tits? This must be one of those subtle, ironic jokes that flies over my head.

Truth be told - is that you, Lee?

Seriously, what dogs me about this is not the cheap pseudo-psych inflicted by Siegel on Klein re having children (I havw two kids, inc. one w autism, but I still find limited time to blog.) It's my amazement that a person with bills and a mortgage or landlord would choose to ruin his career in such a spectacular way. Siegel was aiming to destroy Klein, but he apparently hated Klein more than he loved himself. TNR will probably have to outright fire him, esp. if Kincaid sues them.

An odd way to say "screw the world and myself." Getting caught with drugs might have been less damaging; writers can still write while on probation, but not at all if they get their employers threatened with meaningful libel suits that will crash-helmet their libel insurance coverage (i.e. the carrier will cancel unless Siegel is fired.)

I still think Lee Siegel is hot.

wow - just checked Lindsay's highly entertaining link to the abject TNR editor's An Apology to Our Readers.

I especially liked this part:

"We deeply regret misleading our readers. Lee Siegel's blog will no longer be published by TNR, and he has been suspended from writing for the magazine."

Now why can't the editors publishing serial plagiarist Ann Coulter be as supportive and understanding to her as Franklin Foer is to Lee Siegal?

Well, Uma, I think Lee Siegel is SUPERHOTT!!!

It is weird how he (to be un-PC about it) did become a helmet-tard. Completely missed the point, failed to respond well, and pissed people off in the mean time, abd doubled down on his stupid interpretation..

He seemed to be betting that critics didn't have voices. I'm not sure where that came from, or even if I'm correct. I just don't see any other way to interpret his behaviour. Plus, it does seem consistent with his complaints.

I hope he finds work again. I truly, honestly mean that.

Let's play some solitaire, Lindsay.

Odd to choose the name "sprezzatura" to do such a forced, graceless performance under.

RickD, I think "Truth" was talking about the contours of his sock puppet.

I am curios to know what Majikthise means? The rest if fine with me... I might email you some day too.

We've been witness to Siegel's cries for help for some time now; it was only a matter of time before he found the perfect way to destroy himself. Apparently he needed it to involve as much public humiliation as possible.

I don't know who Ishmael is, but he's at it again here, this time under the pseud "Nephi".
Maybe it's Lee Siegel.

The post seems to have been removed. "Nephi" is a name that would only have significance for someone connected with Mormonism.

Warren Jeffs still has a brother or two on the loose. And, "Truth" was of course addressing Old Lady Funny Nose... though he failed to notice, embarassingly, that she's actually a transvestite.

Karl:

Here's your answer: Just click the "About" link under Lindsay's picture and scroll down.

Lee Siegel was always a posuer and a blowhard and it's no surprise he's a sock puppeteer as well. TRN was right in canning him.

What I don't understand is why Lindsay Beyerstein completely ignored that her blogospehere ally Glenn Greenwald was proven guilty of EXACTLY the same type of sock puppetry just last month.

I'd like some sort of explanation, but I suspect this comment will be deleted instead. Lindsay has the potential for being a good blogger but her fatal flaw is that she has compromised her integrity to be part of a "team".

I don't know what you're talking about, LO. What are you alleging about Glenn Greenwald? Are you saying that he used pseuds on his own site to defend his posts?

It's fun to make fun of Siegel's sock puppetry because it's so ham handed and desperate. Frankly, I doubt that Lee Siegel was fired for the sock puppetry, though. I think he was suspended because his unfounded accusations of pedophilia became a legal liability to TNR.

You can't just libel people as Siegel did on TNR's blog without attracting legal attention:

That passion for helping the child," Kincaid says. Yes indeed. (NAMBLA's bracketed phrases replace Kincaid's original terms, "pedophile" and "pedophilia.") So I guess Kincaid has frankly admitted his predilections after all--if you know where to look for them. What a shame that editors still publish his disingenuous screeds against the media's sexualization of children. They really just seem like ways for Kincaid to hide his own appetite for children behind his indictment of all of us hypocritical "voyeurs" out there.

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