On Saturday, Bill Cooke at Random Pixels published a very disparaging post* about me that made lots of allegations but primarily focused on two areas: one, that I'm a government employee blogging on the taxpayer dime and two, that I was unfair to Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo in a recent post that I wrote.
I'm going to address these two allegations but it's important to note his post was published after Cooke sent me these emails...
In other words, do what I say or I'm writing a negative post about you.
This is not exactly new territory for Bill and I. Back in 2011, he complained to the Miami Herald that I had posted a particularly well-written Leonard Pitts column in its entirety. They wound up asking that I scale it back to a paragraph or two and now Cooke uses that incident as fuel for his attacks against me. Bill routinely visits SFDB and leaves angry anonymous comments. He has also written at least one other particularly nasty post about me at Random Pixels in the last couple years. He usually sends his belligerent emails when he feels I've slighted one his posts or one of his friends in South Florida's journalistic community. Ironically, Bill has absolutely no problem regularly mocking and criticizing news anchors and other South Florida journalists (not his friends) at Random Pixels. In fact, that's what he's most known for.
Still, I've put up with this aggressive attitude for the last few years, watching it ebb and flow. Through it all, Random Pixels remained on the SFDB blogroll and Cooke was even an SFDB Editor until just recently when he decided to bow out.
Back to the allegations.
I began this blog years ago with a post about my anonymity and privacy. It still holds true today and there's nothing more that I really have to say about that. As far as blogging during work...I don't do it. Surely, Cooke knows that Blogger has scheduled posting (this, in fact, is a scheduled post)...which only goes to underscore the intentionally malicious nature of his attack.
What I said in my post about Caputo was not much different than what The Atlantic and Eye on Miami have observed about his apparent biases and I included links to those websites in the story. So Cooke singles me out to attack? Okay. But this selective critique of SFDB only emphasizes the personal nature of Cooke's beef with me. I stand by my comments and my opinions about Caputo.
Cooke also took the liberty of dredging up a comment that I made some six years ago on my old blog. It was insensitive and a lousy attempt at humor that I've publicly apologized for and regret to this day. I reject homophobia and those who practice it. Anyone who regularly reads SFDB knows that.
All this was articulated in a comment that I left at the Random Pixels post on Saturday...
Bill,However, it never made it through moderation.
The quote from SotP that you note in this post was a poor attempt at humor that I regret and publicly apologized for some 6 years ago when it was made. If that's the only egregious one that you can dig up then I suppose I should feel pretty good about the other approximately 15,000 posts that I've written over the years.
Despite your emailed threats to publish this post unless I publicly apologized to Caputo*, I stand by my post and would only note that I echoed the same observations made by Eye on Miami and The Atlantic on previous occasions, as I noted in the post.
Finally, I do spend a lot of time on my blog. You're aware that Blogger has scheduled posting, right?
* "I'd like to see you publicly apologize to Marc. If you don't, I'll be writing a post on my blog that you won't be very happy with. I guarantee it."
Instead, I got this angry email with my unapproved comment attached...
Before composing this post, I mulled over whether I should give Cooke's attack any more attention than it deserves. But I think it's obvious that there is another side to the story that needed to be told...for the record.
I'm willing to bet that most of you didn't realize what a Peyton Place the South Florida blogosphere can be at times. I suppose I'll be battling the Bill Cookes of the world up until the day I decide to shut this thing down. There's more than enough of them out there.
Understandably, Random Pixels has been pulled from the SFDB blogroll. I think, given the circumstances, it's for the best.
* I'm not linking to any of the Random Pixels content. You know where to find him.