Jack Attack on GamePolitics, Pt 1: The Demonizing

July 20, 2007 -
Although he is regularly covered here and is a frequent source of GP news items, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson has had a contentious relationship with GamePolitics over the years.

Last Thursday PopZart published an interview with Thompson in which GamePolitics was the primary target of the controversial attorney's spew. 

I was given the opportunity to participate, but declined when I realized the author was after a mano-a-mano feature pitting Thompson and GP. That tale is too complex to be left in the hands of a writer with whom I have no prior acquaintance. Reading the final product convinces me it was the right call.

In the article, the vitriolic attorney also takes off after Kotaku's Brian Crecente, Take Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick, the Penny Arcade crew and a few others. Here are some of his comments relating to GamePolitics as well as my responses.
JT: People tend to demonize their opponents in order better to try to marginalize them. I am sure I have been guilty of that at times, and I apologize.

GP: Damn straight you've been guilty of that. Apology accepted. Also, check with the Attorney Generals of Louisiana and Utah on that whole demonization issue. Check with former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein, who you compared unfavorably to Saddam Hussein.

In relation to this, I've often wondered why Thompson believes that demonizing people helps his cause? Likening Doug Lowenstein to Saddam, for example, is not only inflammatory, but ultimately a distraction from the issue at hand.

When this question has been posed, Jack typically spouts some nonsense about Jesus calling out the pharisees as the whited sepulchre. Maybe so, but I don't recall Jesus being so downright nasty about it. And what of the concept that men of good will may disagree? Not operative, it would seem, in this case. Finally, Thompson apparently doesn't care that his rancor has cost him dear among potential allies. But he should, his crusade would be far more effective with influential support.
JT: I was interviewed... by a major newspaper in the UK about the Manhunt 2 victory... They know over there that I was in the middle of this effort. Industry lapdog “news sites” like GamePolitics won’t acknowledge that because now Dennis McCauley of GamePolitics has totally sold out. He is part of ECA, an industry entity.

GP: The truth is, we write about Thompson so much on GamePolitics that some readers complain about it. Jack, on the other hand, seems to feel that if we don't print the precise story he would like to see, that we're trying to hide his activism.

However, if you search GP for "Thompson" and "Manhunt" you'll find at least a dozen recent articles containing those two terms. Most of them clearly delineate Thompson's activities, including this one, which explicitly lays out Thompson's key role in drawing the Florida Attorney General into the Manhunt 2 debate.

We didn't cover Thompson's interview? So what? Time is limited and so is space. There are a lot of things we don't cover every day. When Thompson gets to be GP editor, he can make those decisions. Until then...
JT: That [UK] story would have proven I am reasonable, which the likes of Dennis McCauley do not want because to demonize Jack Thompson is to demonize all opponents of the sale of adult-themed video games to children. These people don’t report the truth, because the truth is not in them.

GP: So the issue of whether Jack Thompson is "reasonable" hinges on a single article? That's pretty sad. What's more, by Thompson's logic, I guess I'm demonizing myself, too, because I don't want adult-themed games sold to children, either. I'm on record, for example, as supporting the AO rating assigned to Manhunt 2 by the ESRB.

The issue, as Thompson well knows, is whether or not game content should be legislated. Personally, I don't believe so, but you're welcome to disagree. I may take issue, but promise not to call you either a whited sepulcher or a Saddam Hussein clone.

An explanation for Thompson's penchant for attack may lie in his 2005 book, Out of Harm's Way. In a chapter offering tips to would-be culture warriors, Thompson writes:
Be mean... Trust no one... Use the media to your advantage... Take the offensive...

I'm not sure, however, that he read this part of his own book, which says:
Remember, it's not about you...

GP: Thompson's attack on GamePolitics was extensive. So is our reply. Look for Part 2 soon...

Comments

hi your blog contant very nice keep updating
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Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
RedMageOh hey, a news station is trying to scapegoat gaming. That takes me back. https://twitter.com/GamingAnarchist/status/63754361236507443208/29/2015 - 1:40pm
Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - https://twitter.com/Totalbiscuit/status/52528604482949939208/29/2015 - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - http://ow.ly/RwXYT08/29/2015 - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - http://ow.ly/RwVeT08/29/2015 - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - http://ow.ly/RwSCd08/29/2015 - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm
Big PermI actually need to look into a new headset. I have those green razer krakens and I would not suggest them. Though maybe they're better for people without glasses08/28/2015 - 11:32am

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