Some blowhard

Laurie Penny decided to go all-in.

Imagine you’re throwing a party and somebody kicks off. It was going so well. You spent ages deciding on drinks and making a playlist, and now some blowhard is off on a homophobic rant. He’s not holding back, either. He’s getting loud and mouthing off with the vilest bigotry you can imagine, and people are getting uncomfortable. It’s your party. What do you do?

Well, one, it wouldn’t happen, because I don’t throw parties, and I have zero interest in drinks or playlists. Two – why would you invite “some blowhard” to your own party? If he’s “some blowhard” to you – some random unpleasant guy you don’t even know – what’s he doing at your party? So, three, I don’t believe your little thought experiment in the first place. Never mind, it’s not a real thought experiment. It’s a circuitous path to calling Graham Linehan names in a Substack post.

This is my first post on Substack, and it’s partly about why I’m on this platform, given that Substack continues to host and profit from the propaganda of, among others, transphobic hatemonger Graham Linehan.

Like that.

She’s a bit of a “hatemonger” herself, isn’t she – at least, those four words certainly look like hatemongering.

But wait, she’s not finished.

The best and most comprehensive breakdown of Linehan’s behavior and why it’s so abhorrent comes from Grace Lavery, also on this platform. I share her conviction that Substack ought to throw this deranged bigot out of their party right now, before anyone else gets hurt.

Does “deranged bigot” count as hatemongering? Or is that only when They do it?

I told my contacts at Substack that they ought to ban Linehan, along with anyone else doing deliberate, wilful, hateful harm to any oppressed minority.

Item 3. I think accusing someone of “doing deliberate, willful, hateful harm to an oppressed minority” is hatemongering.

What does it mean, then, when a company like Substack chooses to host this sort of malicious hate speech…?

She says “this sort” as if she had provided examples, but she hadn’t. She gave zero examples, she simply asserted – and in very strong language at that. This is childish. “Joey said bad things. Horrible things. Really really mean things. Joey must be expelled right now for this sort of malicious hate speech.”

Graham responded a couple of days later.

Grace Lavery is all excited.

Not just “vile bigot” I think. That could perhaps be defended as opinion (I don’t know enough about UK law to skip the “perhaps”). But hatemonger? Doing deliberate harm? Those claims look much harder to defend.

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