Monday, July 23, 2007

Wonkette Threatens Me With Legal Action

I posted the other day in response to a Wonkette item and I asked: Wonkette Antisemitic?

Well, a Ken Layne from Wonkette wrote me the following:

You know, it's kind of poor manners to go accusing people of being
antisemitic based on nothing more than you being too lazy to read the site and know any of the references.

But since you don't, and since you so thoughtlessly and wantonly libel our editors and the owners and stockholders of our company, I will direct you to the specific reference from the day before, which just happens to be a viral video on YouTube that everybody in politics is talking about:

You can go ahead and apologize on your site now. Send us the link when you do and I'll send that to our lawyers and that will be the end of that.

Here's my reply:

Hi Ken,

Being fairly obedient, I watched the clip.

If I understand you and Wonkette correctly, you thought it was cute/clever or whatever, to borrow a term, "Jew--liani", from that clip and, without any comment about its specific ethnic frame of reference, slap it up on a new post the following day. And someone at Wonkette thought that it was so cute/clever or whatever, that they added "Jew York Times" for increased effect, if I am following the thinking over at Wonkette.

Well, I don't think the way you think. I think it was the grossest of manners on Wonkette's part to repeat the "Jew-liani" bit. Even you, now, seem to admit that it was, at the very least, a slur. But where does the "Jew York Times" come in? Are we now in a Jesse Jackson redux of that 1984 "Hymietown" remark? I'm sure you know what I am referring to but since proper blog manners are to send links, try this one:
You'll note that Jackson made an emotional apology in the end of the affair.

I reviewed my blog post. I am pretty sure I did not malign, defame, libel or otherwise use any deprecatory term and phrase that is any worse that anything that appears on your site. Here it is again:-

"Wonkette" Antisemitic?

Wonkette, that foul-mouthed but titilating blogger of Washington foibles, seems to have gone anti-semitic. Editor Alex Pareene and Interns Nick Mueller and Lauren Spohrer may be responsible for this post which refers to someone they call "Rudy-Jew-liani " who gave an interview to the "Jew York Times".

Anybody for bonking Wonkette?

You'll see that I placed a question mark at the headline. That means asking, not stating a fact. I emphasized that Wonkette "seems" to have gone anti-semitic. That means perhaps, or maybe. (You didn't really, did you?)

So, to roundup:

I don't think I'll apologize. I think Wonkette needs to. I think that the "public square" can tolerate a lot: foul language, innuendos, etc. I don't think a responsible blog need repeat what I would consider an antisemitic reference. The way it appears on your site, there is no reference to the YouTube clip. Only if you click on 'more', is it revealed. That is an error, I think, on your part. Anyone reading the post as it appears sees something any normal, and I stress normal, person would assume to be a sliding pattern into a slur based on religion, especially that reference to the Jew York Times. Here's one way it was used derogatively:

So, in summary, let me know what your lawyers think after carefully reviewing my response. As for any end, I'm patient.

Keep tuned.


Anonymous said...

You are the reason people hate Jews.

Lighten up, buddy.

orthomom said...


You are the reason people hate Jews.

Lighten up, buddy.

I'm not sure why people do hate Jews, but I'm pretty positive that Yisrael Medad is not the reason. Whether you feel that he is justified or not in his opinion that Wonkette's joke was in questionable taste, he is entitled to state that opinion. Just as entitled as Wonkette is to make the questionable reference in the first place.

It was the guys over at Wonkette who seem to need to lighten up. Demanding an apology? Please. How about you learn to get as good as you give, guys.

Anonymous said...

Good for you. Wonkette has a history of slapping things that they think are funny on the site with little to no attention paid to where the joke falls on the fine line between offensive and funny.

I also thought it was hilarious how they were so quick to threaten legal action. Good for you for not backing down from a blatant threat.

Jack Steiner said...

You are the reason people hate Jews.

Lighten up, buddy.

It is always easier to hide in the shadows and hide than to speak out against things that you think are wrong.

Anonymous said...

i got some rather nasty replies when i sent critical e-mails to them

i posted the replies on lgf.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure if you are aware but Wonkette has a history of saying inflammatory things and then claiming it was a joke or obviously not a definitive statement.

You can find a rundown (albeit a snarky one) here:

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

there anti semites like a lot on the far left. no suprise at all.

expect them to parade out noam chumsky, or finklestien or any of the leftist capos they can find.

yochanan ben avroham.

Pablo said...

Bravo, Yisrael. Wonkette should stick to subjects within its area of expertise, such as sodomy.

Stand tall. With fools like these, there's no reason whatsoever not to.

Anonymous said...

Never argue with a Yeshiva Bucher.

Unless, of course, you too are a Yeshiva Bucher.

And by the way, the first comment, is further evidence of the anti-Semitism at work in the blogosphere.

Thanks for affirming that people hate Jews.

As if.

sharinlite said...

The question for these tinfoil hatted leftist loons at Wonkette is not, why they hate Jews, they hate everybody equally that doesn't cow tow to their leftist ideology of hate and untruths. This is the New Left: hateful from the gitgo, just ask Daily Kos, Huffpo, MyDD, is always hung out there 24/7.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely written, calm and thoughtful --wise, even. :)
Nice to meet you, sir.
--an lgf-er

Unknown said...

Good on ya!

Can you imagine the negative publicity for Wonkette if they actually did sue?

Anonymous said...

When I called the Wonkette on her comments I received a nasty email from her hit man Ken Layne demanding an apology.

Anonymous said...

Inasmuch as Layne decided to drag his editors and Gawker Media ownership into it, Layne should be aware (as he obviously and foolishly did not consult counsel on this), any such suit would involve your lawyer asking said editors and owners what they thought was meant when Wonkette was "joking" about Jenna Bush drinking "Jew baby blood," or Gawker saying (about Israeli stores selling the Harry Potter book on Saturday), "these are Jews, let's remember, and a buck's a buck," and so on.

I'm guessing his bosses are not going to want to sit through such depositions, and will probably chew Layne a new rectum if they find out he's been making unauthorized threats of legal action in this matter.

Phil Collins said...

This is one of the lamest charges of anti-semitism I've seen. And it does a lot of harm to the real anti-semitism in the world when you shout "anti-semitism" at good natured political banter.

I'm a Jew, staunch Zionist and conservative politically, but I'm more offended by your charge of "anti-semitism" than I am by the video.

Anonymous said...

Clearly racist. Use of gags like that is typical of inbred Jed.

Here's a tip: if you're going to cry racism, don't back it up with a crack about hillbillies.

David Fischler said...

First time here, came from LGF. Way to go, man! To stir up that kind of knee-jerk nasty, you are obviously doing something right.

Anonymous said...

"...I'm a Jew, staunch Zionist..."

I doubt you are any of those you claim you are. But if you indeed are, then you are the self-loathing variety.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Ken "Superhypocrite" Layne sure can dish it out but is scared to death to take it. (See the LGF thread on his bawling and check post #51 for the nolo contendere that will shut him up if he knows what's good for him.)

Ken, I see you've been "demanding" apologies from others who are echoing our man's sentiments. You might as well "demand" that the Atlantic Ocean dry up at the count of three.

Hang it up, son.

braverutherford from LGF

Anonymous said...

I suspect Ken 'Don't Call Me Lois' Layne was picked on as a child. Threatening to lawyer-up borders on hilarious.

Bill Peschel said...

Is this the same Ken Layne with the rock band? Ken Layne and the Korvids? "Fought Down"?

A rocker threatening to sic lawyers on someone for what he says?


Next, he'll be telling those pesky kids to stay the hell of off his lawn.

Unknown said...

Libel? How about that smear job on Michelle Malkin in a bathing suit? If anyone has a case here it is Michelle, not Wonkette.

Its a bluff anyway, pay them no mind.

M. Simon said...

I blogged it:

Classical Values

Cross Posted at Power and Control

Money quote:

As is usual, threatening law suits against bloggers only brings more attention to matters that the sewers would prefer hidden (and no, that is not a misspelling).

Doug Ragan said...

I would go so far as to say that the person who wrote you is a bit off the deep end.
I do feel a bit left out though. I called a few people over at the huffington posts terrorist supporters. I also called Ted Rall a terrorist after his anti-military cartoon.
I guess I'm not important enough to sue.

Michael said...

It's just so WEENIE, being a site that makes mocking comments and slurs on people all day, then whining the moment anybody questions you.

They had bigger balls than that at Spy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, of course. And the reason women get raped is because they're asking for it, etc.

Never apologise for fighting against bigotry and hatred. Never.

Anonymous said...

There are times for civility, and times like these. Your appropriate response in this case should have been...

"You're not getting an apology. See you in court dirtbag."

YMedad said...

I have just returned from reciting Kinnot (dirges and lamentations) at our morning service and I am overwhelmed, a bit, at all the comments. To those antisemites out there, tough luck. I feel so bad for those people who are always are the losing side.

To those expressing support, thank, thanks a lot.

And if anybody connects with the JewSchool link (which many won't because they know he's a silly radical leftie progressive), here's my comment I left at his site:

"Well, at least you spelled my name right.

Allow me thought to respond to one charge: that of support for ethnic cleansing (the rest of what you think of me is just silly nonsense - I got the joke but I didn't think it funny). You write -"Guys like Medad usually have other areas of expertise, like say, halakhic proofs legitimizing ethnic cleansing." Well, I am not sure about others like me but I don't legitimize ethnic cleansing. Don't worry, I won't take you court but permit me a few sentences here.

I believe that all who wish to live in this country, the Jewish, democratic state of Israel, the culmination of the Zionist movement's effort to redeem, at this stage, the Jewish people, can and should on one condition: that they don't try to subvert or alter what the state is supposed to be. One thing it isn't to be is a Palestinian Arab state. If anyone has engaged in premeditated ethnic cleansing, it it the Arabs. Tel Hai in 1920, Jaffa in 1921, Petah Tikvah in 1924, 1929 in Hevron, Beer Tuviah & Hulda and in 1947-48, Gush Etzion, Bet Haaravah, Neveh Yaakov and Atarot and Jerusalem's Old City were ethnically cleansed of Jews by Arabs. I consider a Jew and Zionist who bandies about that term in order to malign a Jew who has returned to his homeland not only stupid and incorrect factually but a gross adoption of the enemy's propaganda line. Despite your JBS quotation below, you have attacked a person because, I am pretty sure, you don't know me and if you had reviewed my site (as you suggested I had done with Wonkette), you would not assign me such views in your off-handed, conveniently- justifying-your-own-views manner.

Have a nice rest of Tisha B'Av."

If you go over to here yiou'll see that Ken folded up.

And to all of us, be ever vigiliant.

Anonymous said...

I almost feel bad for these wonketteers ... No I don't, screw them!

Karridine said...

As an honorary Jew and Christian (I'm a Baha'i) I recognize the Jewish State and its legitimacy, even in the face of Muslim/Arab hatred.

Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel IS the Holy Land, and holds the mortal remains of 'One, Like Unto the Son of Man' AND the son of the Lord of Hosts.

That's enough for me, I LOVE and will protect to the best of my ability, the Holy Land, Israel!

Anonymous said...

The blogosphere is the problem. It gives complete non-journalists and many who are unworthy for print the unfiltered opportunity to "publish" their name and ideas.

These 'articles' and 'news stories' really look official too, but all too often the writer has no message at all except ignorance and hate and bad grammar and spelling.

Libel, slander and unbiased news are a thing of the past because of the blogosphere, love it or hate it. High standards are dead.

Zelda said...

They want you to apologize or they'll tell they're lawyers on you? What infants. Next thing they'll be wanting you to change their diapers.

How hard is it to boggle out a few anti-semitic references and slap them on the screen? I'll tell you. Not very. So I'll actually go with retarded as opposed to racist.

Anonymous said...

As I have on my own blog an "I Stand With Israel" banner, I too stand with Yisrael Medad. I note, that none of us have the right not to be offended, but by the same token, Wonkette doesn't have the right not to be called on her boorishness. Think I'll post on this myself. Suppose I'll get sued? By the way, I did a takedown of Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR and put a rather unflattering photoshop on the blog at Dear Mr. Hooper, You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

So, I gotta ask the question, I wonder what Wonkette thinks about being compared to folk like Hooper?

yitz said...

a more appropriate name for that blog would be "wankette" because they sound like a bloody lot of wankers!

Anonymous said...

"...Wonkette doesn't have the right not to be called on her boorishness."

I'm pretty sure the current staff at Wonkette is all-male. Genetically, at least.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Yisrael.

No need to take any crap or empty threats from the idiots over at Wonkette.

And Wonkette, if you want to threaten me too, go right ahead.

Be well.


Anonymous said...

People don't hate the Jews. They are jealous of the Jews...and hate themselves.

As for Wonkette, their history of bigotry-is-witty is not worthy of lining an e-bird's cage.

Unknown said...

quoted from above:

"I don't think I'll apologize. I think Wonkette needs to. I think that the "public square" can tolerate a lot: foul language, innuendos, etc. I don't think a responsible blog need repeat what I would consider an antisemitic reference."

You are totally right. Wonkette owes you the apology. Since when did something "appearing in a video or song" make something acceptable? Imus' "nappy headed ho's" comment appears in plenty of songs and elsewhere, and we all know how that ended.

It's a bit ironic, considering the contortions the Wonkette's founding editor said as she tried to weasel out of the momentary I-scandal...

"I had been invited inside the circle, and to be perfectly honest, I was thrilled to be there... My giving up the show, I acknowledge, is too little and too late. I doubt that I'll be missed. It's depressingly easy to find female journalists who will tolerate or ignore bigotry..."

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Yisrael.

Your tone was perfect. You are dealing with a perfect hypocrite.

Wishing you all the best,

Anonymous said...

You've certainly got my support, Mr. Medad.

Anonymous said...

"You are the reason people hate Jews."

the reasons why people hate Jews , are stupidity , Jealousy and liberalism : Do not forget that Nazi was National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) .

Anonymous said...

This is so ridiculous.

Of course Wonkette's statements were anti-semitic. Of course you don't need to apologize and of course the editor's at Wonkette need to.

I hope you have received your apology by now.

-Bill P.

YMedad said...

No, Bill. They're too big and stuck-up with themselves to admit that they erred.