Having recently been apprised of the impending 20-20 report on the “manosphere” that is slated to run on ABC tomorrow, I thought I’d look around and see what’s going on.
I was contacted by the ABC people a few months ago, and had an email exchange. I never actually spoke to any of them on the phone. Partly because I was busy with family at the time (kids were with me for summer), and partly because I don’t trust TV reporters, I never went out of my way to speak with the reporter in person. After I stalled for a while and showed very little enthusiasm, they left me alone.
In the meanwhile, I talked to a writer from Portland who was doing a piece for Newsweek, and gave freely of my time and opinions. Of course we had our differences, but I liked the guy. If he really nails me in the piece, which I don’t expect but may happen, the ABC people should take a lesson from him in getting people to open up.
So now that these features are coming up, it seems the subjects are getting a little anxious about it. I checked out Paul Elam’s site to see what’s up on AVfM, and he is in something approaching panic mode which, quite frankly, surprises me. Why? Because the material, which was pioneered in blog format by the manosphere, was provocative from the outset. I deliberately modeled The Spearhead as a sort of mirror of these radical feminist sites, even choosing a name that reflected gender war. It was cheeky, but transparently so, like Feministing and Jezebel. However, I never expected the mainstream media to ever give me the same consideration these feminists enjoy. Jessica Valenti was on Bill Clinton’s staff, for heaven’s sake. I’m just lucky to see my children regularly and stay out of King County jail on a month-to-month basis.
Paul, on the other hand, apparently thought that he’d get a fair shake. In addition to flying out to New York for an interview (I hope he didn’t pay for the airfare), he even invited the TV people into his home. Naturally, it didn’t go so well. How could he have thought it would?
Well, it seems he thought throwing the “man-o-sphere” under the bus was the ticket to respectability.
Here’s a recent comment he made suggesting that they should have treated him with more respect because he “divorced” himself from the manosphere long ago:
Paul Elam says
October 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM
Not surprised at all. This was a big deal to Schnee. When I told him in New York that AVFM had publicly divorced itself from the “Man-O-Sphere” a long time ago, he appeared very concerned. He kept insisting that I was “The Mayor of the Man-O-Sphere” Like he desperately wanted that to be true.
They have their whole shtick riding on that idea.
One of the things we will do come Friday is bring that old post up for people to see.
These people are intentionally orchestrating lies. And lies begat lies. Hell, they even have commenters to that article trotting out the “rule of thumb” canard.
I’ll admit that I’m kind of angry about this, but sometimes you have to sit back and look at the situation objectively. I’ve known from the beginning that Paul wanted to do his own thing. I supported it for a while, giving him a platform on The Spearhead when his site was fairly obscure. I hoped Paul’s approach would work. As an unmarried man without minor children or any major obligations, I figured he was in a pretty good position to put a lot of work into his project, and he has.
I disagreed with a lot of the thrust of AVfM, but I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t happy about some of the insults he flung around and some of the targets he chose, but still I kept my peace. When he went after Jack Donovan – an interesting and intelligent guy who is, objectively speaking, a better writer than Paul – on my own site, I was pretty pissed off, but practiced discretion anyway. I reasoned that it was for the greater good. Some guys started to call bullshit a while ago. Rob Fedders, never one to shy away from speaking his mind, ripped into Paul on a few occasions. Bernard Chapin chimed in with some critique starting last year.
Despite seeing some potential problems developing, and fully realizing that Paul intended to be the pre-eminent leader in the MRM (I was actually a bit relieved by this — I’ve never been comfortable with the “MRA” label), I figured we could all just “go our own way,” but Paul’s reaction to the predictable beating he’s taken at the hands of ABC has left me skeptical. If he can’t even understand that he’s not going to be handled with kid gloves by the mainstream media, and then attempts to throw the blame for that on the manosphere that he clearly benefited from and, more importantly, deliberately used to his advantage, the guy’s got limited utility.
So, Paul, if you end up looking like a chump on 20-20, don’t think you can make it all better by blaming the rest of us. That’s known as “shitty leadership.” I’d also throw in the terms “ingratitude” and “poor judgment.”
For God’s sake, you thought you’d mosey on into New York and be treated as an “equal” by these people?
Have you learned nothing?
This is the stupidity of the “MHRM” in a nutshell.