The already very strange Candace Owens story just keeps getting stranger.
In the week and half since her ill-conceived “anti-bullying” startup SocialAutopsy was kicked off Kickstarter- after being bluntly criticized by anti-harassment activists/GamerGate nemeses Zoe Quinn and Randi Harper, Owens has launched a veritable crusade against the two women, and against those she sees as their allies and/or co-conspirators.
She’s posted three weird and angry tirades on her degree180.com website (the first of which I wrote about here). On Twitter, meanwhile, she’s spewed forth literally hundreds of surreal tweets (some of which I’ve written about here) painting herself as the pure-hearted victim of some nebulous conspiracy.
Her latest post, which went up late last night, is her strangest and angriest yet — an overwrought attack on Washington Post writer Caitlin Dewey and her editor David Malitz for the imaginary crime of attempting to libel her in an article that the Post never published and that Dewey likely never even wrote.
— SocialAutopsy (@socialcoroner) April 25, 2016
Later in Owens’ post there are surprise cameo appearances by Jeff Bezos and two white supremacists who longtime readers of this blog know well. We’ll get to them in a bit.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at Owens’ bizarre “attempted libel” charge, which turns out to be based on such slender evidence and tortured logic that it’s hard to even explain.
Owens relates a phone “interview” she gave to Dewey, in which she pointedly refused to answer questions or “specify which anti-bullying organizations we had dealt with.”
The SocialAutopsy founder’s reluctance to name even a single anti-bullying group seems a tad weird, since Social Autopsy’s now-defunct but still standing Kickstarter page openly proclaims that “we are proud partners and friends of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and their Day1 campaign.”
But Owens says she told Dewey she couldn’t mention any names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.”
Doing some further reporting the story that, again, never actually ran, Dewey apparently called someone at the Tyler Clementi Foundation, or at some other organization that’s been publicly linked to Social Autopsy, in an attempt to confirm that they had indeed been harassed — that they, as Dewey apparently put it, had gotten some “hate mail.”
Here’s how Owens, cranking up the melodrama, reports what happened next:
At 7:23pm that evening Caitlin’s nasty plan was revealed
I was driving, and I received a phone call from an anti-bullying company. The phone call came from an individual very high up in command, and the tone of the discussion was unexpected.
He was angry, that I saw it fit to relay to the Washington Post that his company was acting as “consultants” to us on our app. He was also angry that as a result, I made a statement on their behalf, that their company had been receiving tons of “hate mail”.
It was a blatant lie. A flat out, disgusting, made up from thin air lie, and it was something that was incredibly opposite from what I had actually said.
Well, no, even by Owens’ own account, that’s not “incredibly opposite” from what she told Dewey. It’s more like “incredibly the same.”
Owens, you recall, told Dewey that she didn’t want to name names because “anyone who had been even remotely associated with us had received some form of unwarranted contact.”
Dewey called one of those someones to ask if that was true. That’s not libel. That’s not even “attempted libel.” That’s reporting.
Owens cranks the melodrama up to 11 as she continues her tale of woe.
What happened next is something that I am loathe to admit, and so uncharacter [sic] of me in general: I cried.
Yes I pulled over my car to the side of the road and I cried to this unknown individual on the phone.
Unknown? Owens just told us he was “an individual very high up in command” at an “anti-bullying company.” We don’t know his name but she did.
Was it out of frustration? maybe. Was it out of genuine heartache and a final goodbye to everything that I had previously held true about journalism? perhaps. Was it a transition from naive Candace to angry Candace? Definitely. These people were willing to ruin my entire professional career and reputation, to protect the slimey images of Randi Lee Harper and Zoey [sic] Quinn.
And so Owens decided she “had to stop the lie before it was published.”
First, she “called Caitlin about 5 times,” then emailed her. No response.
Owens, apparently under the delusion that she’s narrating an action movie, informs us that “[t]his was at 7:35pm.”
Not 7:34. Not 7:36. 7:35.
At this point, unwilling to wait for Dewey to respond, Owens decided to get her thousand-plus Twitter followers to, well, harass the reporter. “I asked them to retweet my plea to Caitlin to have her please contact me, before publishing misinformation,” Owens writes. “There was no way she could ignore me.”
Dewey was apparently out with her aunt to a birthday dinner. When she sent an annoyed note to Owens three hours later, the furious Owens decided that Dewey was a “smug bitch” and that her email was “a pompous, arrogant, little bitch of a statement to make.”
Elsewhere in the post, Owens refers to Dewey as a “corrupt reporter,” a “smug individual,” a “terrible actress,” and “Caity-doll.”
You can read the rest of Owens’ outraged account of her interactions with Dewey if you’d like; the very thought of trying to summarize all this ado about nothing makes me weary.
Unsatisfied with Dewey’s responses, Owens also pestered her boss, WashPo Deputy Features Editor David Malitz. When he called her the next morning,
I told him that what I was accusing her of (journalistic fraud), was something that she had already been accused of in an article by Matt Forney.
You didn’t see that coming did you?
Yes. that’s right. Owens has apparently decided that MATT FORNEY — the schlumpy, white supremacist, woman hating MATT FORNEY — is going to be her guide to media ethics.
MATT FORNEY, who once wrote that “women should be terrorized by their men; it’s the only thing that makes them behave better than chimps.”
MATT FORNEY, who wrote (in that same post) that
Slapping a girl across the face isn’t just about hurting her, it’s a kind of neg. It says, “I can crush you like an insect, but you aren’t worth the effort.” It’s a tacit acknowledgment that she’s weaker than you, beneath you, and if she crosses you again, you’ll put her in the hospital.
MATT FORNEY, who responded to the San Bernardino shootings by Tweeting that we don’t need gun control but rather ““immigrant control, black control and Muslim control.”
Forney’s accusations of “journalistic fraud” against Dewey are based on his tendentious interpretations of her writing — and his blatant and unconvincing attempts to whitewash his own.
At one point, Forney indignantly complains that
Dewey compares Roosh and me to deceased attention-seeking pastor Fred Phelps, Stormfront founder Don Black, Holocaust-denying preacher Michael Crook, among others.
In fact, those comparisons are actually pretty apt.
Both Roosh and Forney are raging homophobes. Last year, on Roosh’s Return of Kings, Forney tried to pin the blame for an Amtrak crash on what he called the “homosexuality and exhibitionism” of the train operator; the deck for the post suggested that “unchecked homosexuality is bad for society.”
Last Fall, Forney and Roosh attended an “identitarian” –that is, white supremacist — conference in Washingtnon DC together, with Forney declaring that the
speakers [were] fantastic, the atmosphere [was] convivial, and the experience of being in a room with close to 200 guys (and gals) who are on the same ideological wavelength like you is an experience you can’t pass up.
Oh, and both Roosh and Forney are good friends with Davis Aurini, who thinks that the the number of deaths in the Holocaust has been exaggerated, and that the Jews were sort of, kind of asking for it. Indeed, Aurini’s comments on the Holocaust inspired the editor of neo-Nazi internet tabloid The Daily Stormer to declare Aurini “a pretty cool guy” in an article titled — wait for it — “Davis Aurini is a Pretty Cool Guy.”
Forney continues, complaining that Dewey made these mean comparisons
despite the fact that neither Roosh nor I engage in illegal activity, encourage others to break the law, or write about anything other than masculine self-improvement.
Masculine self-improvement? Oh, so THAT’S what Forney is writing about in posts with titles like “The Necessity of Domestic Violence.” “How to Crush a Girl’s Self-Esteem” and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to be Loved.”
I’m not seeing a lot of “journalistic fraud” going on here — except on Forney’s part.
Speaking of Davis Aurini, guess what? Owens also relies on a blog post by him in making her “case” against Dewey.
Most of Aurini’s unctuous — yet somehow also threatening — “open letter” is a deeply unconvincing defense of Forney and Roosh. His basic complaint about her coverage of Roosh’s Return of Kings isn’t that she misrepresented the site’s backwards gender politics, but that she didn’t recognize that women really
are far less feminine, far less loving, and far less chaste than they were fifty years ago….
You say that “the website ReturnofKings.com… advocates for gender roles even ’50s housewives would balk at,” but in light of our social deterioration, is this truly such a bad thing?
He’s also a bit offended that she didn’t notice his own “recent article on self-development and Leadership,” which I’m sure was quite the masterpiece of rational thought and good sense.
Aurini also complains that Dewey was unfair to poor Mr. Forney:
You criticize his article The Case Against Female Self-Esteem, but did you bother to read it? It’s been widely noted that there’s a huge problem with over-inflated self-esteem, driven by the “Everybody gets a trophy!” culture.
In the article in question, which I’ve read several times, Forney declares, among other terrible things, that
The idea that women should have self-esteem or need it, beyond a low baseline to ensure they don’t commit suicide or become psycho stalkers, is one of the most disastrous social engineering experiments of the modern era. A woman with excessive confidence is like a man with a vagina. It’s an attribute that is at best superfluous and at worst prevents women from fulfilling their natural biological and social functions.
This is the guy that Owens thinks is some sort of expert on ethics.
It’s not clear to me that Owens actually read these two posts. I will assume, charitably, that she did.
But it doesn’t appear that she made much of an attempt to find out anything at all about Dewey’s accusers. Indeed, she bases part of her assessment of the credibility of Forney’s and Aurini’s posts on the not-actually-true idea that they don’t know each other and wrote their posts independently of one another.
“I think it is safe to say,” she declares, “that if three individuals who are unknown to one another agree that she is abusing her position and telling lies, then somebody should look into it.”
Yeah no. Forney amd Aurini have known each other for years. They do podcasts together.
They go on hikes together.
Hell, in his post defending Forney and Roosh, Aurini referred to them as “colleagues.”
Ultimately, the WashPo’s Malitz decided to wash his hands of the whole thing, sending Owens this brief note:
Aside from attempting to ruin my life and career, the Washington Post was now telling me that I wasn’t even important enough, and that if they wanted to— they would indeed use Caitlin’s lie in the future. Yup. They had somehow purchased future rights to a lie.
And this is where Owens’ post starts to get really weird.
Later that day, Owens informs us,
The day was winding down and my head was spinning. I couldn’t process that I had just caught the Washington Post red-handed in a lie, and perhaps worse, thatnobody had felt it necessary to apologize.
So Owens decided that all of the villains in her little tale remind her of the bratty rich kids she’d encountered as a child growing up poor.
I began thinking about the sheer brattiness of everything that had happened to date, with Quinn, Harper, Singal, Dewey, and now, oddly enough David Malitz.
Who was their Daddy?
SPOILER ALERT: It’s Jeff Bezos. Yeah, that Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com dude. He’s their collective Daddy.
Well, sort of. Owens, who still insists that she’s no conspiracy theorist, explains that Jeff Bezos is their Daddy in the conspiracy theory that she might come up with if she were given to conspiracy theorizing.
Never mind that in her Twitter feed and in all three of her big blog posts she walks like a conspiracy theorist and quacks like a conspiracy theorist, she insists she’s definitely not one
But the totally hypothetical, totally not real, guys, conspiracy theory that she comes up with is a doozy.
[I]f I were a conspiracy theorist, I would stop focusing on Randi Lee Harper altogether. I would give up any energy spent discussing Zoe Quinn, David Malitz, or [New York Magazine’s] Jesse Singal, [the subject of her last post], and instead devote myself fully to trying to discover who their figurative daddy was.
My sheer street-smarts would clue me in to the fact that none of these journalists are facing any repercussion from their jobs, despite having been accused of the same fraudulent offenses multiple times.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would focus on the fact Harper and Quinn have a long list of victims who have accused them, repeatedly, of harassment, and that these victims, like I, do not know one another.
She, personally, doesn’t “know one another?”
I would wonder how a figurative rich kid
A figurative rich kid?
could do all of that and still somehow manage to:
- Have the coveted Washington Post manufacturing lies for them.
- Work with Twitter to eliminate the very thing they’ve been accused multiple times (corporations usually will not involve themselves with controversial individuals)
- Have ties to Google, (in an effort to prevent online abuse, again ironic)
- Have a book coming out published by Simon & Schuster
WE’RE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS HERE, PEOPLE!
I know, I used this in my past post, but seriously, there is nothing in the universe more apt than it. Or at least nothing on YouTube.
So how do the reverse vampires of Simon & Schuster connect to the saucer people at the Washington Post?
“If I were a crazy conspiracy theorist,” Owens writes,
I would be intrigued by the fact that Amazon’s founder and owner, Jeff Bezos had, in an unprecedented move, outright purchased the Washington Post and all of it’s subsidiaries in 2014.
I would probably then recall an article I had read years before then which informed me that Jeff Bezos put up the initial investment in Google back in 2008, and so of course, owns a significant piece of that as well.
Which might only be interesting to a crazy conspiracy theorist if they had already considered the fact that he made an early, significant investment into Twitter back in 2008
Plus Amazon closed a multi-year deal with Simon & Schuster.
THE PUBLISHER OF ZOE QUINN’S UPCOMING BOOK!
I’ve left out some of the details of this totally not real conspiracy theory here, but obviously I’m running out of really dramatic 4-second-long videos.
Yeah if I was a conspiracy theorist, I would be devoting a lot of time to taking a closer look at Jeff Bezos, a billionaire who could potentially produce such arrogant children.
Because who would apologize for almost ruining someone’s like with a lie if they had Daddy Bezos in their back pocket? Who wouldn’t feel confident enough to talk shit after committing fraud on twitter, with Daddy Bezos to go home to? And why in God’s name wouldn’t two women laugh and take credit for torpedoing a pathetic little Kickstarter campaign, if Daddy Bezos was who they had to fess’ up to?
With that many billions to count…who would ever feel the need to say sorry to the nobody Candace Owens?
Owens then tries another tack, suggesting — this time for realz — that
I do actually believe that Mr. Bezos needs to take a closer look at his acquisition. Seeing the Washington Post lose all credibility at the hands of a few bad reporters, would be a terribly ironic end, to it’s historical reign.
Owens’ post then takes on yet another radically different tone.
Noting that she is African-American, Owens compares her alleged poor treatment at the hands of the Washington Post — which, again, has published absolutely nothing about her — to the horrifying abuse her grandfather suffered at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, when
he was caught selling oranges on the “wrong” corner. As a resulting punishment, the Ku Klux Klan hunted him down, and branded him in the face (you know, like they do to cattle).
In the “postscript” to her long and fragmented post, aimed directly at the Washington Post’s Mintz, she declares that
I too have dreams. And all I’ve ever wanted was the opportunity to go after them. So you’ll have to excuse my general shock when you insinuated to me that you could take them all away one day, through the simple publication of a lie.
Yup. That snotty little e-mail was more than added insult to an injury– it was an idea that I couldn’t bear to wrap my head around; it was the idea that you and your fraudulent staff are somehow in ownership of every single thing that I have worked for my whole life.
Growing angrier by the word, Owens tells Malitz:
You thought you could instill power over me because you work at the Washington Post? The Washington Post, is now absolute shit in my eyes, and your placement there is little more than a confirmation of it’s dying brand.
Because when I close my eyes:, what you and Caitlin have done to me, feels like a branded warning to my face that I have infringed upon your figurative property.
Yes, that’s right. The fact that the Washington Post would NOT be running a story that Owens had decided would contain some terrible lie about her, and the fact that the editor she pestered about the non-existent story had decided not to “investigate” the non-writer or the non-story based on 1) Owens’ assumptions of what that hypothetical story might contain and 2) the completely unconvincing accusations of two literal white supremacists — these things, in Owens’ mind, are somehow comparable to HER GRANDFATHER BEING BRANDED IN THE FACE BY THE KKK?
Owens ends her post by telling Malitz
Leave me and what my family has worked for, the hell alone.
She says this at the end of a 4600-word piece viciously attacking the writer and editor of a Washington Post piece that does not exist.
Leaving people alone is apparently not something Owens is very good at.