An Open Letter To Bill Schmalfeldt.

Bill,

Earlier today you accused me of something in a not very veiled threat of blackmail.  I’ve told you before how I feel about threats, and I will say right now that your actions today had a very chilling affect on me and my family.  That’s why I hate doxing assholes.  Doxing is all about instilling fear in the person exposed.  That’s what you tried to do to me today, and it is repugnant.  Now that I’m mostly over my anger, I’m going to try and write the rest of this letter peaceably.

Wow.  That’s going to be harder than I thought.  I had to pause for a second there Bill.  I really am angry, and I don’t want to say anything that would be misconstrued.  Also, when one writes in anger, one might say things that are better left unsaid.

I think the best place to start would be with your own words.  You left me another lengthy comment that I’m not going to approve.  I’ll save it, but won’t approve it.  For the record, I’m also closing all comments on this letter to anyone but you.  If you want to discuss anything after reading this letter, it will be in the comments of this post.  I will have no discussion with you outside of this channel.  I hope that is perfectly clear.  Now, here we go, starting with your own words.

Mike, I’ve just been looking at your Facebook page. Sent a friend request in fact. I must say, I find your obsession with me baffling. I have nothing to do with you, you have nothing to do with me, and yet you have devoted your blog and your Facebook toward furthering my defamation. Earlier today, someone suggested that you were someone else. But if you are, you have created one dandy second life. You seem like a nice enough guy, involved in theater (as was I) but this is not a theatrical production. I am a flesh and blood human being that people like Chris Heather up there and Hoge are trying to physically destroy. You really know nothing about me other than what’s been written in right wing blogs by people with a vested interest in trashing my reputation. I am not a monster. I am a journalist. I am a broadcaster. I am not able to practice either profession on a fulltime basis any more, but that’s nobody’s fault, just a bad draw of the cards. I would appreciate it ever so much if you would cease and desist in assisting these thugs in their continued defamation. I don’t have a huge PR machine cranked up and ready to go like Stacy McCain, whose every dirty thought is retweeted to thousands. But ask yourself this question. How do you know me. Is it based on what I’ve written? Or is it based on stuff you’ve read, written by people out to trash me?

Examine your motives in this, Mike. And I could do without the smartassey tone when you write to or about me.

Of course, it is your blog…

Bill Schmalfeldt in an unapproved comment on this blog

I got you friend request, and it is noted and ignored.  Do you have any idea how creepy you sound?  I’m assuming from this comment that you no longer think I’m this Lynn person you and some unknown twitter user seems to think I am.  Others have informed me that whoever this Lynn person is, her family name is the same as mine.  I don’t know that to be true, because I don’t know who Lynn is.  But on the tentative assumption that is true, I hope you realize that Malone is about as specific as Smith or Jones for those of us with Irish backgrounds.  At any rate, I’m going to continue this letter on the assumption you misidentified me and have dealt, hopefully sternly, with whoever the third party was that gave you the information that made you incorrectly believe that I was whoever it was you thought I was.

I hope you realize just how creepy you sound, bringing up my involvement in theatre.  Since I haven’t done anything with theatre since January, when I directed a most critically and financially successful play, you must have gone digging into my public profile.  Why did you do that Bill?  Why did you go looking for personal information about me?

Before you answer that, go back and read all my post concerning you.  Do I mention your hobbies?  Do I mention your home life?  Have I ever talked about anything about you that wasn’t focused on either what you have said or done?  I’ve focused on nothing but your actions.  I’ve left your hobbies, your home life and your friends alone.  I’ve redacted other people’s comments on my blog that put you in, according to my opinion, an unfair light.  I’ve not banned you, I’ve only ask that you follow my simple rules when posting here.

I’ve even called out other bloggers and commenters that use your medical condition against you.  I think that’s foul, and have stated as much.  And so you felt the need to go after my personal information, information that was hardly secret, and made a point of letting me know you had done so.  That is creepy and stalker like.  And you act surprised when people call you a cyberstalker?  (Note, I didn’t call you that.)  I haven’t gone after your personal information in any way, so really ask yourself why you did so with me.

And thinking that I’m someone I’m not is not a valid excuse, Bill.  I’ve stayed focused on your writings and actions.  I’ve been overly polite to you, and given you the benefit of the doubt far more than a reasonable person would.  And your actions have now made my ability to earn a living more difficult.  You’ve forced me to realize that my naive view of the world is unsafe, and I’ve had to shut down my Facebook page.  That hurts me, Bill.  That was how I connected with new clients, Bill.  And now, I can’t use that as effectively because you creeped me out like that.  Even if you had looked at all my stuff, all you had to say was that you no longer believed I was this Lynn person.  You didn’t have to bring up visiting my page, and you sure didn’t have to bring up my involvement in theatre.  That’s why other people call you a cyberstalker, because you behave like one.  Dropping hints that you’ve explored their lives online.

You keep claiming to be a journalist.  Then act like one.  Be a responsible journalist instead of a raging commenter.  Stick with the facts, offer your insights, report on the issues but don’t act like a creeper.  Don’t use fear as a weapon to get what you want.  That’s not journalism, that’s creepy.  Don’t be creepy.

I’m truly sorry for your medical condition.  I think it’s great that you participated in a groundbreaking study into treatments for you condition.  But that doesn’t change you for being responsible for your own actions and words.

You asked me how I know you.  That’s pretty simple.  I posted it in a comment over on Hogewash! but it won’t hurt to repeat it here.  You first came to my attention because some writer friends of mine were alarmed at the use of legal proceedings to silence a reporter/author.  I don’t remember if this was a DCMA issue or the peace order.  At any rate, the author that they were concerned with was you.  This upset me and I wanted to find out more.  So I found your blog, or at least one of them, and I read it.  I thought you were an overly biased writer with an anger I didn’t fully understand, and so I was a bit confused over why someone would attempt to stop the publication of your books.  I don’t know where it went next, but I eventually stumbled on Hogewash! and thought I’d found the ass that was doing you wrong.  Till I heard his side of things.  Of course other things trickled in, and since I hate doxers, and you can’t avoid the fact that you are one, my attitude about you changed fairly dramatically.  They changed because of the things YOU wrote.  They changed because of the things YOU did.  Not because of what was written about you elsewhere, but because of the way you acted.

I’ve tried to explain this to you before, but you didn’t listen.  I’ll try one more time.  Stop being creepy.  Stop assuming that what you know is the ultimate truth in the universe and must therefore be shared.  You brought up Chris Heather.  I understand your desire to know who he is.  But once you knew, there was no purpose but fear in exposing him.  None.  Outside of your lawsuit, the person you were dealing with wasn’t Chris Heather.  It was Howard.  He was exercising his first amendment right to be anonymous.  You want to call him a coward for that, and that’s your right.  I’ll remind you that some of the most important political literature of our country was originally written anonymously.  I’m not saying that Howard is destined to be one of them, just that this country has a long history of supporting anonymous speech.  I don’t blame you for trying to figure out who Howard is, since you were contemplating a lawsuit.  I do find it repulsive that you published the information that had no bearing on the issues at hand.

That’s your problem, Bill.  You don’t know when to publish and went to shut up.  You publish stuff as quickly as you can, and as a former journalist myself I can understand the desire.  But this isn’t breaking news, there is no one else out there trying to steal your exclusive coverage.  Take the time to think about what you’re doing before you do it.  And if you’re doing it out of revenge, then perhaps you should take even more time.  Because revenge writing, something you do all to often, is not helping your credibility.

I wrote in another post about the other Alabama blogger that posted something that made me stop and think on your medical condition.  I asked you for a link, since I embarrassingly lost it.  I’ll point out that the writer made a good case of why your condition shouldn’t be used against you.  He called the actions of some bloggers as abuse.  But I can’t help but notice that this person couldn’t make his case with specifics about what you have said and what you have done.  That’s telling.  A strong supporter of you couldn’t cite examples of your behavior to support his case.  Why is that Bill?  Could it be because a reasonable person would look at your action and your writings and consider them unreasonable?

Lets use a more current situation.  I’ve already told you that, in my opinion, your defense against Hoge for failing to register copyright is strong. It’s abundantly clear that you think the defense is strong.  So why do you feel the need to rant about it over and over and over again?  How many twits have you sent out about it?  How many blog post has it been now?  That’s not reasonable.  That’s not even newsworthy.  That’s obsessive.

Forget about the writing to obsession part, think about your own legal road.  Stop giving the other side so much information.  It’s not in your best interest to act this way.

Now I’d like to revisit our hypothetical reasonable person.  They see you getting asked direct questions, based on what you’ve written or done.  Would a reasonable person walk away thinking you’ve given reasonable answers?  Or reasonable reasons to refuse to answer?  Or would a reasonable person see, instead, ad hominem attacks on the person asking the question?  Or would a reasonable person see you ignore them?  Or would it be threats of lawsuits?  Look back on your own response to people who asked you questions.  Have you really been the best proponent of your cause?

You’ve show in your writings a tendency to group people together and make a judgement on them all.  That hasn’t helped your cause much.  You did it to me today.  And because you assumed that I was just like all those “Hogeist” people you complain about, you made a massive dox fail.  You seemed to have realized your error, and even then you can’t help but be creepy about it.  Time and place, Bill.  Content matters.  Relevancy matters. Context is important.

If you want other people to stop calling you a cyberstalker, you need to stop acting like a cyberstalker.  If you want other people to stop calling you vile names, you must stop the vileness in your own writings.  It’s all about what you do, Bill.  It really is.  And if you aren’t acting like a cyberstalker and you aren’t acting vile and others continue, then and only then will it be a detriment to their causes.  Whatever they may be.

Me, I write about what I find interesting.  At the moment, your antics are interesting to me.  The way you thrash around on Twitter, the way you lash out to attempt to avoid direct questions, and the way you insult people of imagined slights is amusing.  So stop acting that way, and I’d go on to another topic.  If I could give you anything, Bill, it would be the hope that you could walk away from it all and look back on it through an unbiased lens.  I think you’ve become so embroiled in the battle you can’t see what you’re doing.  I’d offer a good place to start is right here on my blog.  No, I’m not claiming to be unbiased.  You’re a doxer, so I’m biased against you.  But my writing about you is not from a place of hate, it’s not to an agenda, and it’s not to harass you.  It is to point out the wrongness of your actions and your words.  I may not always be right, but at least pause long enough to see when I am.

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13 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Bill Schmalfeldt.

  1. I was doing you a favor, Mike. Instead of just taking someone’s word, I did my own checking. Don’t be ashamed of your theater work. There is no threat in that letter I wrote. I am not going to do anything or say anything that would cause you any discomfort. I will ask that you go back to your normal life and quit obsessing over me while I hash out my business with Hoge. I will not be responsible for any collateral damage done because one sick old man has been harassing me for 18 months. So, let us part as “Best Buddies” as you go your way and I go mine. Fair enough?

    • No Bill, I won’t. Don’t threaten me with legal collateral damage because I’m writing about you. You have no say on the content of my blog. I write about what I want to write. When I want to write it. Now, you are free to go on your way. Hide from the questions some more, like you always do. Or you can try and be a reasonable person and engage. Your choice.

      • God, but you’re a nervous sort. You have nothing to worry about from me. Stick to the truth and everything will be fine. Take a deep breath, let it out slow, and come to the realization that I find you to be DREADFULLY boring and have more interesting things to do than answer your questions. As for what you think of that, Mikey, honestly? I really do not care. Have a long, healthy prosperous life. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.

      • See, there is the whole creepy thing again. Creepy! If you found me so DREADFULLY boring, you wouldn’t have tried to dox me. But face the facts, Bill. I never did anything to you. I wrote about you. And feel free to ignore the questions. They stand fine on there own without your response.

      • DEEEEEP breaths. Let them out slooooooow. DEEEEP, then slooooow. You’ll be fine. I have real problems and you ain’t one of ’em.

        Toodles.

      • It sure is taking you a long time and a lot of capitol letters to leave. Again with the dodging, the misdirection and the lack of focus.

        Yes you do have real problems. And most of them are directly related to your behavior. But if you want to ignore that, I’m cool with it. Go creep elsewhere.

    • I can’t let that stand. I am not ashamed of my work in theatre. I’ve posted about it here on this blog. You’re flat wrong about that. And I didn’t say you shouldn’t have checked on the word of your mysterious third party. I said that you posting about it, and bringing up my involvement in something from months ago was creepy. And I stand by that. It is creepy. Did you even read the whole thing? I brought that point up several times. You seem to be trying to be reasonable, but you aren’t. You’re being creepy and threatening again.

      What you should have done is said that you were wrong when you called me Lynn. I talked about that in the letter too. Stop and think before you post. You had a tidbit you just couldn’t help but share, and you didn’t bother checking until after you called me out on it. That’s creepy, Bill. Get your facts before you post.

      And funny, you still haven’t apologized for that. You’re still spinning this around the you never do wrong theme song you love to sing. But you were wrong, Bill. Flat wrong. You don’t get a time machine and fix that. So why don’t you just accept that you were wrong, apologize, and do whatever it is you are going to do.

      • Buh-bye, Mike. I have one idiot trying to make it look like I’ve broken the law by contacting Hoge, and the idiot himself knows I’ve broken the law somehow by uploading a .doc file to Scribd then downloading it as a PDF. So in the grand scheme of things, you and I don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy, mixed up world. If you don’t get on that plane, you’ll regret it. Oh, maybe not today or tomorrow. But soon.

        Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

      • Again with the BLAH BLAH BLAH WHINE. Go run off to your world. Stop trying to have the last word on my blog. Play in your own bandwidth. Take your ball and go home. Whatever it is you want to do. But stop with the whining about unrelated things and how I’m going to regret something.

        Can’t you ever discuss the facts at hand? Or is it because the facts at hand are all about your behavior? The way you write and treat other people. I mean seriously, Bill. Look what you just wrote! Not a single thing about my post and everything about you! But not about what I’ve said about you. Could it be that you don’t like it when the light is on you, Bill? Why is that? Why don’t you talk about your behavior? Why do you continually try and shift the focus to someone or something else?

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