Yesterday, this “investigative report appeared on Patreon:
The post accused the people on the Baen’s Bar forum of the usual bad think and wanted Baen books to apologize for allowing people to express themselves.
By itself, the Patreon piece was nonsense. The “Investigative Report” included no actual links actual threads on the forum, and I’m not sure if the writer was an actual Baen’s Bar user. Yet he did not hesitate to accuse the people on the bar of the usual progressive crimes and of being Nazis and fascists. By itself the report was nothing more than the bite of yet another leftist mosquito. The problem is that the leftist mosquitos fly in in swarm and the Patreon piece had more sinister motives than a hit piece that nobdoy would read. Larry Corriea explains here:
Yesterday some nobody, wannabe writer, social justice twit released a hit piece “expose” about how posters on Baen’s Bar were fomenting insurrection or some such nonsense. It was the usual bullshit hit piece (the sad part is, by saying the usual, half the country immediately knows exactly what I’m talking about). It was lots of pearl clutching over regular people not toeing their arbitrary political lines, misquotes, errors, quotes taken out of context, and some flat out lies.
However, this was clearly part of a coordinated attack in order to materially harm our business, because immediately after the hit piece was released complaints were filed with the various internet companies Baen uses for services to pressure them into kicking us off the internet. This hit piece was presented as “evidence”. Without going into details the companies then contacted Baen about these “serious allegations” so last night Baen temporarily took down the Bar forum to protect the rest of the company from being deplatformed.
I’m not going to talk about the moronic loser or go through all the nonsense in his ridiculous hit piece. Other people are going through it now and carefully cataloging his bullshit. In typical leftist fashion he’s already pretending to be the victim and claiming he’s getting death threats. Maybe he can get in touch with Anita Sarkesian and Arthur Chu for tips.
However, lying hit pieces from lefty activists aren’t anything new. We’re used to those. The real issue here is the complaints to the internet companies so they’ll deplatform anyone who doesn’t fall in line. The woke left saw what Big Tech did to Parler and they learned from it. This is a new weapon in their arsenal to beat America over the head with. The nail that sticks up must be hammered down.
The fact is that this is just another attempted assault on our right to free speech and part of effort to shut down any platforms that the Woke do not have in their iron fist. The end goal is to make the rest of us afraid to speak out. I am reminded of the canard about the way things went in Germany in the 1930’s.
First they came … – Wikipedia
… the people who were put in the camps then were Communists. Who cared about them? We knew it, it was printed in the newspapers. Who raised their voice, maybe the Confessing Church? We thought: Communists, those opponents of religion, those enemies of Christians—”should I be my brother’s keeper?”
Then they got rid of the sick, the so-called incurables. I remember a conversation I had with a person who claimed to be a Christian. He said: Perhaps it’s right, these incurably sick people just cost the state money, they are just a burden to themselves and to others. Isn’t it best for all concerned if they are taken out of the middle [of society]? Only then did the church as such take note.
Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible?
The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers. … I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.
We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt/fault, and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934—there must have been a possibility—14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, it is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 Communists in the concentration camps, in order to let them die. I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine that we would have rescued 30–40,000 million [sic] people, because that is what it is costing us now.
The terror always goes in the same direction and in the in end, it ends the same way.
Perhaps the new saying should be:
First they came for the Sad Puppies, but I praised that because I wasn’t a Sad Puppy. Then they came for the gamers and that was Ok, because I wasn’t a gamer. Then they came for movie stars and I said nothing, because they were not my favorites. Then they took over comic and that didn’t matter, since I didn’t read comic books. Finally I looked for something to read and there was nothing, because they had taken that as well.
In the end, if the culture war is not fought and the waves of woke fascism beaten back, we will only have ourselves to blame.
Update: David Weber makes a comment on Facebook:|
So, Jason Sanford thinks that Baen’s Bar, the online discussion forum that Baen Books has maintained for its readers for around twenty years, is “Being Used to Advocate for Political Violence,” to quote the title of his self-righteous, biased, and intellectually dishonest hit piece.Which, in case you haven’t already deduced this, is in my opinion — I realize I am sometimes guilty of a certain lack of clarity — a pile of horse shit.I haven’t been on the Bar regularly in quite some time, and when I have been there in the last few years, I’ve tended to lurk rather than posting myself. Mostly, that’s because I do not have the time to engage with readers there the way that I would if I didn’t just lurk. There’s way too much conversation back and forth, too many fascinating rabbit holes to dive down, too many “oooooh, shiny!” moments. And there is enough online interconnectivity — now, as opposed to when Jim Baen demonstrated his forward thinking yet again by creating the Bar — that I have manifold other ways to reach people.But there is no way in hell that the Barflies, as they are affectionately known, are advocating for political violence. Opinions are expressed, especially in the politics forum, and tempers are running high on both sides of our current political divide, so there’s a certain degree of venting. And there are a surprising number of historians, who can be relied upon to summon up historical examples to back their points. And there are heaps of independent thinkers, who aren’t going to hew to any particular party’s line and can be trusted to step upon any sore political toes in the vicinity. And there are quite a lot of veterans, who know what violence is REALLY like — unlike the vast majority of people who are currently hyperventilating about it in this country — which means the LAST THING they would want would be to instigate violence that is anything except defensive.But once upon a time, back when there was genuine free speech in this country, one was ALLOWED to vent, to express opinions, to worry publicly about current political trends WHOEVER YOU WERE. You didn’t have to be on the “right side” of some self-appointed Guardian of Public Morality™ or the Currently Correct Way to Think.™ All you needed to be was an American citizen exercising your right to state an opinion. There are times when I regret closing in on 69 as opposed to 19 at this particular time in history for reasons that have nothing to do with age, because I remember how it’s SUPPOSED to work. I remember how we were SUPPOSED to have the right to disagree with one another without having hateful labels — Libtard, Commie, White Supremacist, Racist, Nazi, Whatever-The-Fuck-I-Hate-Worst — applied to us by people who simply don’t want to hear what we have to say and make the monumentally arrogant assumption that they KNOW what we are REALLY thinking, no matter what we SAY. Or what we actually DO, for that matter. And if we don’t prove that we Agree with Them™ by worshiping — publicly — at THEIR altar of who must be canceled or silenced, we must be evil, corrupt, VILE human beings out to overthrow All That Is Right and True™. I wish that my kids, who are CURRENTLY 19, would be in a position to remember the same “how it’s supposed to be” that I do, but how likely is that, really, in a world where politically motivated hit jobs like this have become the norm?Baen Books is frequently characterized as a “right wing publisher.” That’s as stupid as the notion that the Barflies are plotting a violent coup. Baen Books doesn’t care what the political orientation of its writers — or their fiction — may be as long as the stories are good, as long as they engage and entertain the reader, and as long as there is a market for them. If Baen has a deep bench of conservative readers, that’s because so many other publishers are avoiding the kinds of stories they want to read and Baen is filling that void. Well, that of the fact that Baen Books tries really hard to publish GOOD stories that reasonably attract readers on their merits, as well. But Baen publishes conservatives, libertarians, socialists, and everything in between.That doesn’t mean that Toni Weiskopf, as an individual, doesn’t have political views or that she — personally, not as an editor and publisher — doesn’t prefer some “flavors” of stories over others. But Toni is also a businesswoman, and she understands that her job as a businesswoman is to provide the best quality stories to ANYONE who likes a good SF/fantasy story, regardless of political orientations. And she understands — unlike some people — that that means publishing stories and allowing opinions to which some people might take exception. Well, as far as I’m concerned, anyone is entitled to take exception to anything he or she chooses to take exception to. That doesn’t give him or her the right to cherry pick, use partial quotes, take things out of context, or resort to all the other filthy, underhanded, unscrupulous, contemptible tactics people who produce hit jobs like this routinely reach for.I know Baen Books. I know Toni Weiskopf. I’ve known her for 33 years, when she was barely old enough to drink. I knew Jim Baen. I knew his philosophy. I know his legacy, and the way both that philosophy and that legacy continue in the publishing house that he founded. And because I know all of that, I know one other thing, as well —Baen Books is not allowing the Bar to advocate for violence. The notion would be laughable, if it were not so vile, so politically motivated, and so contemptibly calculated to “deplatform” a publisher of whom the moral pygmy behind the hit piece disapproves.
Update: Toni’s message after closing the Bar:
To Whom It May Concern:
What is it we do at Baen Books? We publish books at the heart of science fiction and fantasy.
Science fiction has traditionally been a unique kind of intellectual pleasure, a process of glorious intercommunication and inspiration, with ideas flowing from scientist and engineer to writer and artist, to reader and viewer, back and forth, in a delightful mélange of shared thoughts, wild speculation, cautionary tales, reality checks, and the sheer fun of playing with boundaries and ideas. It is not for everyone. But those who enjoy it, take great pleasure in the dialogue.
When the modern form of SF began, with Hugo Gernsback and the other pulp magazines of the early 20th century, the publishers fostered that interaction through letter columns in the magazines and by encouraging science fiction readers to organize in clubs and meet in conventions. Baen Books continued that tradition with Baen’s Bar, a kind of virtual convention and on-line conversation that has been around in some form for over 20 years.
The moderators are volunteers. The readers, editors, and writers post and interact on the Bar at their own desire. Some conversations have been gone over so many times, they’ve been retired as simply too boring to contemplate again. Sometimes the rhetoric can get heated. We do not endorse the publication of unlawful speech. We have received no complaints about the content of the Bar from its users.
That said, it has come to our attention that allegations about the Bar have been made elsewhere. We take these allegations seriously, and consequently have put the Bar on hiatus while we investigate. But we will not commit censorship of lawful speech.
It is not Baen Books’ policy to police the opinions of its readers, its authors, its artists, its editors, or indeed anyone else. This applies to posts at the Bar, or on social media, on their own websites, or indeed anywhere else. On the Bar, the publisher does not select what is allowed to be posted, and does not hijack an individual’s messages for their own purposes. Similarly, the posts do not represent the publisher’s opinion, except in a deep belief that free speech is worthy in and of itself.
From Gary Poole:
So apparently my publisher Baen Books is being attacked by some wannabe “investigative journalist” for the crime of not requiring their writers and readers to adhere to a certain political belief system.As someone who won a Murrow Award for real investigative journalism, this is offensive on multiple levels. Their “expose” is rife with inaccuracies, politicized assumptions, out-of-context “reporting”, and flat-out lies .Baen Books has published works from writers across all political spectrums, from left to right to all points in between. It is run by a woman who’s Jewish ancestors escaped Soviet persecution and has long been a champion of all speech.This brazen attempt to suppress speech that a specific person personally finds offensive is an affront to all of us who have spent our lives fighting (both figuratively and literally) for freedom of all speech. Shame on them and all those who blindly follow such repression.
Another related article from the NY Daily News:|
Character assassination ruins the little people too – New York Daily News (nydailynews.com)
Update: Jason Cordova weighs in:
Don’t Mess With An Author’s Source of Income – Jason Córdova (jasoncordova.com)
Update: Amanda Green.
Update: Cedar Sanderson.
Update: Eric Flint.
Update; File 770: Mike is his typical self:
Baen Strikes Back; Sanford Under Growing Storm of Harassment | File 770
As far as Sanford’s harassment charges go, screenshots or it hasn’t happened. Of course they could be sock puppets from sanford or somebody else.
Update: Toni Weiskoff has been withdrawn from the editor GOH at Worldcon.
(20) DisCon III – The 79th Worldcon on Twitter: “DisCon III absolutely condemns the violent and hostile content found within Baen Books’ forums. The behavior shown goes against our policies on inclusion. Therefore, we have removed Toni Weisskopf as Editor Guest of Honor for #Worldcon2021 (1/2) https://t.co/PYvxZpE1kJ” / Twitter
Mike Williamson on Worldcon and causes:
The So-Called “World Science Fiction Convention” Endorses Terrorism (michaelzwilliamson.com)
So, I ask: is this what you all fight for? Is this what you want, why you would go to lengths to lie, cheat, and steal a bright future from others simply because you cannot see the good in it for you? Do you enjoy attempting to destroy the love that someone like Toni Weisskopf has for fandom (which she maintains even with all the responsibilities of being Baen’s EIC, raising a special needs daughter, and being a widower) simply because she won’t bow to you?
If your answer is “Yes” then you ARE the enemy. YOU are the one who is the anthesis everything good and right in the world. There is a phrase that I keep having come to mind: “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.” YOU are the exception to that, you fight against freedom and the ability to think independently and YOU are the terrorist.
Update: Legal Insurrection comments.
Update: Dave Freer.