Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Silly Sock Puppetry Roasts Reputation of Lee Siegel

File under What Didn't You Learn From Michael Hiltzik Dept: Lee Siegel has been summarily dismissed from the New Republic for engaging in sock puppetry. The NYTimes illuminates the sad scenario of Journalist Gone Wrong:
Franklin Foer, the New Republic’s editor, said in an interview that he first became aware of the accusations against Mr. Siegel on Thursday afternoon, after a colleague noticed a comment in the Talkback section of Mr. Siegel’s blog that accused him of using the alias “sprezzatura” to defend his articles and assail his critics.

That comment, posted by a reader named “jhschwartz” on Aug. 27, said that “sprezzatura appears only to weigh in on TNR forums to admonish and taunt posters who dislike Lee Siegel” before concluding, “I would say with 99% confidence that ‘sprezzatura’ is a Siegel alias.”

“We launched an investigation,” Mr. Foer said. He added that he was confident that sprezzatura’s posts were written with Mr. Siegel’s “full cooperation,” but declined to say whether the alias was used by Mr. Siegel himself because the affair was still under investigation. “As soon as the facts of the case became clear to me on Friday, we closed down the blog and made an announcement.” Mr. Foer said that while he liked to see blog posts before they were published, Mr. Siegel did not have an editor assigned to his blog entries.

Siegel calls what he did "a prank." Which seems to illuminate even further the disdain that many journalists have for the blogosphere and the people who choose to interact within it. Kos has some spectacular comments on the removal of the sock.

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