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
best of luck
 
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E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
 

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