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Post Mortem

Well, I'm back from vacation. And, oddly enough, the most significant thing I did on it was finally ban Lee Ward.

If you have the least bit of interest in the "behind the scenes" story, read on. Otherwise, if you have anything even slightly resembling a life, skip this.

The deepest secret behind my decision is that there are no secrets. I went on vacation, wanting a few days of "nothing" except what I felt like. I visited some friends, attended a sci fi convention (yes, there will be pictures), lounged in a pool, donated blood (just past seven gallons!) and relaxed a lot. And, occasionally, I popped in to see what was going on.

And that's when I saw Rick had had enough of Lee, and was taking him down. That seemed recreational enough, so I read his article and the comments.

Naturally, Lee decided that he wanted to rope me into his fight. Me, in the middle of my vacation. I told him to knock it off.

He didn't.

As I said at the time, vacation is when you do stuff you wouldn't normally do. So I said "fuck it" and banned him. And I said it would last until either another of my colleagues overturned it, or I came back from vacation and reconsidered.

The cheers from you folks were deafening. (Thanks!) But behind the scenes?

Silence.

Seriously. Nothing. In an e-mail chain last week, Lee had been discussed, and no one spoke up on his behalf. (I misspoke earlier; I said that all of us had had enough of him. What I meant was, "all of us who said something." Not every Wizbang contributor spoke up on the subject, but everyone who did was in the "get rid of his ass already" camp.)

And once I banned him, I got no private e-mails or messages or phone calls.

So as far as I'm concerned, everyone's pretty much OK with the status quo. Hell, Lee has three different ways to contact me via e-mail (my Wizbang account, the tips line, and my private e-mail address), and he hasn't said word one on the matter.

Lee, if you want to discuss the ban, feel free to get hold of me. As I said, you have my addresses. And I'm keeping that offer open for a bit longer -- if you do decide to start blogging again, I'll be glad to link to your new home.

I am left with two quotes that I think sum up his assisted departure best. The first, from commenter "Justrand:"

Lee's value as a commenter was always the same as having sand in your bathing suit...it's feels so good when it's gone.

The other, from a forum I occasionally frequent but don't like to discuss publicly:

Those who remain will make this a better community. Likewise, those who leave.

Bon Voyage, Lee.

Now that he's gone, can we PLEASE let it go?


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Comments (26)

Jay, out of curiosity what ... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Jay, out of curiosity what other noms de guerre did Lee use on Wizbang?

Done deal! I've scarcely t... (Below threshold)
914:

Done deal! I've scarcely thought about racist's since the Rev Lee Ward's untimely departure. Accept on 2 or 3 post's up today.

His departure will be sorel... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

His departure will be sorely missed by none.

JT, I have been a patron of... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, I have been a patron of this site for many years. Sometimes I have behaved inappropriately and I let too much emotion get into the comments. When it came to Lee Ward, although I am a very patient man, I had no patience for him. It is exciting to go toe to toe with a differing opinion and it is equally exciting to read the banter back and forth. But Lee was not enjoyable and in fact for me, a hinderance to any "fun" here at Wizbang and a total bore. I support your decision even though for the most part I am not a supporter of bans.

As far as having a life: I had major back surgery which requires a 5-6 month recovery. I am 2 month in so at this point I do not have a life so I enjoyed the article.

By the way, I still have the huge rubber ducky in the harbor picture you posted years ago. You should do so again. Regards. ww

No Lee is a good Lee.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

No Lee is a good Lee.

Welcome back and thanks for... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Welcome back and thanks for sparing us from the racist diatribes of Lee Ward.

He does live vicariously through others here on Wizbang.

Thanks for doing it Jay.<br... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Thanks for doing it Jay.
It had to be done.
There was an intense hatred in his comments that prevented any common ground from ever being found. It doesn't have to be that way.

side note: ww, best wishes on your recovery.
Always enjoy your comments.

So I have been reading Wizb... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

So I have been reading Wizbang since about 2005 or so. Since this site is a conservative site, opposing viewpoints generally come from the comments. Some of these opposing viewpoints are thoughtful and well-argued, some aren't.

Lee was usually severely polemic, and when he ran Blue it was not only a parody of "the opposing view," it was pretty dysfunctional overall. I disagreed with him all the time on this main page, and over at Blue when he took over that side of the site. He rarely took the time to actually consider those who disagreed with him.

I will never understand how or why anyone decided to hand the reins over there to Lee, who took his small amount of power and went somewhat haywire. The idea for Blue had its merits, and could have provided an interesting counterpoint to the main page. From what I understand Lee pretty much drove everyone else away, and the site was left with the bland politics of Hooson and the inconsistent and reactionary postings of Mr Ward. Not exactly a forceful or challenging counterpoint to the main Wizbang site, obviously.

Anyway, I can understand the need to ban people every now and then, especially if they just can't find a way to calm themselves down and actually consider opposing points and perspectives. Overall I am not a fan of banning people, but in some cases it kind of has to be done. Lee certainly had a difficult time sticking to any rules of decorum and/or respect. He was volatile, reactionary, one-sided, and often far too reliant on stereotypes and ad hominem attacks.

That said, I still think it's vitally important to foment dialog and discussion that is open to hearing different perspectives. On this site all of the main authors pretty much toe the same political line (generally), although there are differences and particularities. The so-called "left", "liberal", or opposing view only really shows up in the form of comments from people like Mantis and Larkin (from the old days), and others like Bruce Henry and Adrian Browne (more recently). Those who present opposing points of view generally catch a pretty severe amount of flak just for disagreeing. The negative votes seem to crop up when people see a particular name, despite what is written sometimes. So it goes. The debates and disagreements are part of the fun--but at some point there actually has to be some sort of dialog to make things productive and worthwhile. If everyone just breaks down into one-sided rants, name calling, and political cheerleading, it's kind of pointless to interact.

My point? There are absolutely plenty of regular commenters here who are open and respectful, and willing to listen to opposing points of view. People like Mac Lorry, Heralder, JLawson, GarandFan, and retired military come to mind (there are plenty of others). I have great respect for anyone who is willing to listen to ideas and views that they disagree with. But there are plenty of people who post here who can be just as one-sided, reactionary, and polemic as Mr Ward. They know who they are.

I have spent a long time posting comments here, and I have learned a lot from many people. I have also found that some people are just plain unwilling to listen to different perspectives, and that this trait is BY NO MEANS a sole characteristic of the political left. Hardly. Just something to keep in mind while all of this outrage about Lee Ward is at a fever pitch.

He'll be back...he'll proba... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

He'll be back...he'll probably be given a new site to run as well. What a joke.

ryan a, Well said.... (Below threshold)
Eric:

ryan a,

Well said.

"Let it go?"Lee wh... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"Let it go?"

Lee who??? ;)

Lee Ward? Who's that?... (Below threshold)
Steve H.:

Lee Ward? Who's that?

I'm against silencing anyon... (Below threshold)

I'm against silencing anyone, especially idiots. If they go covert it can be dangerous. Not because they're particularly dangerous but because they simply can't go covert for very long without screwing up in some colossal manner which causes even more drama.

Eric, to the best of my kno... (Below threshold)

Eric, to the best of my knowledge, Lee Ward used no other identities when commenting at Wizbang. There were a few whose style were very close to his, but there was no proof that it was him. Indeed, there was actually a few indicators that it wasn't.

He had his issues, but that was one he didn't do.

J.

Jay TeaPersonally ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea

Personally I think Lee is reveling in the fact that he was banned. To him it proves conservatives are bad, resistant to others ideas and uses all measures to shut up opposition. In short, he is probably masturbating at the fact that he got banned because it validates his theories.

Thank goodness he is gone and I hope it stahys that way.

That's surprising. I was s... (Below threshold)
Eric:

That's surprising. I was sure that Steve Green was also Lee.

From "A Brief History of... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

From "A Brief History of the Fall of Massachsetts":

The event best known as the 'Implosion of the Bay State' and 'Bahstan Boom' was a mystery to analysts for years. Some people blamed the state's heavy taxation, others the weight of the progressotopian political climate, but new evidence found by researchers indicates that the state reached a critical mass of trollocity. An extreme ratio of imbecility-to-cognizance force, known as the Kennedy Effect, was already contributing to the collapse of moral and social judgment, but was made worse by the arrival of Sean Penn, Joe Biden, and Janine Garofolo in the same lunar month, as evidence by effects of tides, canine abandonment of the state, and tooth decay.

The final element was added with the arrival of LeeWard, whose failed Trollista Manifesto led him to move to the state as he pined for his lost privileges at the blog Wizbang (see "Redemptive Effects of Political Discourse", cross-reference "Online Debate Communities"). Unable to cope with the mounting weight of his failures in politics, rhetoric, and hygiene, Ward moved to Massachusetts in hopes of finding his own kind. Unfortunately, Ward's arrival precipitated a chain reaction of logic, against which liberals and progressives are know to have no immunity or defense. Within 48 hours, the entire state was gone from the map, the geographical location replaced with a new state which was named 'New Kansas' and which, in replacing the former Massachusetts, raised the living and educational standards for the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Eric,A narcissist of... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Eric,
A narcissist of the caliber in question would not use an alias.

Judging by the score-downs ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Judging by the score-downs and post garde, Lee's been sneaking in anonymously (library 'puter, maybe? Lord knows Lee would nopt go to a library to actaully read a book) and wreaking the only vengeange he can hope for.

I see dead people, er, web identities!

I think this was an example... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

I think this was an example of the Wizbang contributors (Most of whom had very relevant positions on the subject) offering their points of view, which were unanimous concerning Lee and his self-absorbed-make the subject about me-shtick, taken into consideration by Kevin, and the go-ahead was given.

The case against Lee staying was just too overwhelming.

Flame wars should not be allowed to distract from discussions of substance.

He was given too much power here just by virtue of his actions and his privilege to post as he wished.

Personally, it feels like the site, from writers to commenters have taken a refreshing shower, and washed away the filth of his legacy.

Let this be the last time we speak of him.

Case closed.

-Shawn

^ (Should be "has" taken.) ... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

^ (Should be "has" taken.) ^

Hip Hip, Who CARES,,,,,Repe... (Below threshold)
rich K:

Hip Hip, Who CARES,,,,,Repeated ad nauseum

One correction, Shawn: I di... (Below threshold)

One correction, Shawn: I didn't know Kevin had given his thumbs down when I pulled the plug. I was glad that he had, and in retrospect it would have been awkward if he had said the opposite, but this one isn't on Kevin. It's mine, mine alone.

But thank you for the support.

J.

"That's surprising. I wa... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"That's surprising. I was sure that Steve Green was also Lee. "

I thought Steve Green was JFO. JFO has used other aliases. What interestes me more is who Jay was talking about that confessed to him that he purposefully got confrontational while in the comment section, but was cordial when emailing. I have my suspicions already. I don't like games like that. It's petty and unproductive and proves that some people have no interest at all in solving problems.

Damn, I apparently have no ... (Below threshold)
Shane:

Damn, I apparently have no life....

welcome back from vacatio... (Below threshold)
mf:

welcome back from vacation
sorry you had to deal with such nonsense while trying to kickback




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