Saturday, August 22, 2009

Off Topic: Blogging

Outside of football, there is more to the world. I know. You don't believe it, and I'm not wholly convinced myself. But a recent article on non-sports blogging caught my eye.

According to John Sutter, pittgirl, a local superhero of sorts, was fired from her job after her true identity was revealed.

Blog fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saw PittGirl as their masked superhero -- a comedian and local commentator who jibed the mayor without reserve and ranted freely about her hatred of pigeons.

But despite her effort to keep her real name secret, people started to figure out who PittGirl was.

Feeling pressure to take control of her identity before someone else outed her, PittGirl on Wednesday posted pictures of herself on her blog and introduced readers to her real-world self: Virginia Montanez, a 35-year-old married mother of two who worked in the nonprofit sector.

On Thursday morning, Montanez was fired from her job because of her
online persona, she said.

Now I could see if you worked for Pepsi and posted on-line that Coke was the best. Or if you worked for a company or a person who you denigrated on the Internet for the rest of the world to see. (Maybe pittgirl did that--I didn't read her whole blog since most of it was not about Penn State football.)
In a related CNN article, a judge recently has paved the way for people to sue on-line services to find the identity of anonymous posters. In this particular suit, a model feels slandered as pictures of her appeared on a website with derogatory comments.
How far is anyone from this? I post what some might consider to be derogatory comments about opposing teams. Sometimes coaches. Maybe players. I may not call them skanks, but I may question their ability. I recently called Lloyd Carr beady-eyed. Is that slanderous? I think several Big Ten refs couldn't pass an eye test. (JUst kidding for goodness sake!!!) When does my personal opinion and my right to express that opinion become slander? In most cases, I post to entertain my Penn State readers, but humor does have an edge to it. Do blondes enjoy dumb blonde jokes? Even if you explain it to them? There's a certain ironic humor in responding to someone who accuses your fanbase of being foul-mouthed with a well, a foul mouth.
I can sympathize with pittgirl.

Yes, it sucks VERY VERY HARD, but I put in a good six years there and it is time for me to step away from that job.

I could type EXACTLY the same thing, except I was not ready to step away. My situation was kind of the opposite. Because some fan thought that I, as a doctor, should be more eloquent in my private email to him, he got me fired from my paying job at PennLive. But that was not my primary job, and although I will miss the income, it won't likely alter my life in any way. But I feel bad for pittgirl, even if she is um, "pitt" girl. BTW, I think the moniker is a Pittsburgh thing rather than a Pitt panther thing, although she did call Paterno (or PSU) a "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!" in regard to his salary.

I always posted with my real name on the blog. When I moved here, I intentionally left my name off so as to avoid Dick Foust from stalking me any further. (That ploy has failed.)

But I am Todd Sponsler, formerly of the 50-Yard Lion Blog. You may not agree with what I say, but I thought that was what free speech and America were all about. Unfortunately, I am finding out that the America they taught me about in school no longer exists.

And that is a truly disheartening realization.


Anonymous said...

I am very happy to have found you again. It took me awhile to figure out what happened when you went missing from This site is now bookmarked as Pennlive used to be!

Anonymous said...

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