An update to a story that I blogged on the other day. One of NRO’s writers named Ed Whelan outed a centrist Blogger who we now know is named John Blevins, but blogged under the pseudonym of publius. Earlier I shared my feelings about this. But it appears that Ed has apologized and John has accepted.
On reflection, I now realize that, completely apart from any debate over our respective rights and completely apart from our competing views on the merits of pseudonymous blogging, I have been uncharitable in my conduct towards the blogger who has used the pseudonym Publius. Earlier this evening, I sent him an e-mail setting forth my apology for my uncharitable conduct. As I stated in that e-mail, I realize that, unfortunately, it is impossible for me to undo my ill-considered disclosure of his identity. For that reason, I recognize that Publius may understandably regard my apology as inadequate.
Done in very good form and I hereby retract my statement about him being an f’ing a-hole. It takes a big man to apologize and admit you screwed up.
Publius as well, in good form accepts the apology:
Ed Whelan has written both publicly and privately and apologized. I know it was not an easy thing to do, and it is of course accepted. I therefore consider the matter done, and don’t intend on writing about it anymore.
The real story here wasn’t really about me anyway — it’s about whether the norm of pseudonymity is a good thing. And there’s a legitimate debate about that. Personally, I think that pseudonymity is a net benefit, whatever other costs it brings. More voices are better than less — and pseudonymity (to me) enriches the public sphere by adding voices that could not otherwise be heard. But people can disagree in good faith about these things, as Whelan correctly notes.
Anyway, I’m moving on. I appreciate Whelan’s update. And that’s all I have to say. Let’s talk about Jon & Kate Plus 8 instead. I’ve heard they hired attorneys.
Some are saying that this apology was forced. Whelan is denying this charge and I do believe him. I highly doubt that NRO would get involved in such matters.
Anyhow, to both of them; well done. I just wish that the rest of the blogsphere was this civil and decent.
Others covering, on both sides of the aisle: The Moderate Voice, Right Wing Nut House, The Anonymous Liberal, Winds of Change.NET, Balloon Juice, Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion, Washington Monthly, Outside The Beltway, The Daily Dish, Macsmind, Lean Left, Bloggasm, The American Scene, Southern Appeal, And So it Goes in Shreveport, QandO and Majikthise, The Moderate Voice, Bench Memos, Riehl World View, The Debate Link, The TrogloPundit, The Daily Dish, TBogg, The Anonymous Liberal, PointOfLaw Forum, The Opinionator and pandagon.net