The perfect storm

Perhaps you’ve heard of Kayla Andrews? Thanks to the blog publishing efforts of Geoff Meeker, her story has been making the social media equivalent of headlines across the country this week. Indeed, the people have been in an uproar over the alleged comment Hedley front man Jacob Hoggard made in response to Andrews tapping him on the shoulder at The Sundance in the hopes of getting a photo together last week.

I won’t reprint the comment. That’s not what I’m here to discuss.

An important piece of the puzzle was missing when Meeker published his first of two blog posts on this story on Tuesday. Meeker intentionally left Hoggard out of a story in which he was accused of wrong doing by making no effort whatsoever to reach him for a comment. Meeker confirmed this for me when I questioned him on it Thursday night.

As the story goes, Andrews was upset after her encounter with Hoggard and wanted to find a way to let him know what he did was wrong. After deliberating over this for a few days, she decided to leave a comment about what happened to her on the HITS FM Facebook page.

Meeker saw the comment and, like a lawyer chasing an ambulance, set about convincing an admittedly distressed and reluctant Andrews to divulge the details of her story to him so he could publish them on his The Telegram-hosted blog.

If there’s one thing you can always rely on, it’s that people love seeing celebrities fuck up. And if you can give them some moral high ground to stand on while they cast their stones in response (I think it’s safe to say most people would never say what Hoggard said to Andrews that night), even better.

It was a sensational story, the perfect storm, and Meeker had it under his command. If he’d brought Hoggard in for a comment before publishing, almost all of the storm’s energy might have been lost by providing a resolution before any further conflict could arise.

As Andrews told Meeker, all she wanted was to let Hoggard know he had wronged her, but Meeker wasn’t interested in bringing that element into the story, choosing instead to publish the details and let them be carried to Hoggard on the tsunami of social media likes, posts, shares, and tweets that would come surging from his blog.

By Meeker’s last account, his initial blog post on the story netted him 15,000 page views. Not bad for a small blog hosted on a provincial newspaper’s website. But it came at the price of tarnishing his blog’s reputation, at least in my eyes.

When the Telegram published news of Meeker’s story and its aftermath, Meeker expressed his satisfaction in having “helped right a wrong.” I think it’s unfortunate that Meeker sees it that way, since while it was well within his power to do just that he instead chose the more sensational path.

By the time he published his second blog post on the story, there were signs Meeker was getting swept up in his own storm, misquoting Hoggard on the contents of his apology.

“Jacob Hoggard said his comment “may have” been hurtful, which is half-hearted. In my view, he is not taking full ownership of what he said.”

But what Hoggard actually said was, “it saddens me to hear a comment I may have made in St. John’s was hurtful to one of you.” Bit of a difference, don’t you think?

Meeker’s blog is called Meeker on Media, and is, for the most part, an ongoing critique of how the media, from The CBC to The Herald (and even this humble weblog), in this province conducts itself. Perhaps now would be a good time for his blog to turn its critical gaze inward.

  • Maybe one of your friends

    sounds like you’ve been waiting for a couple of years to get back at Meeker for calling you out on being a dick. 

  • Sounds like you missed the point. Too busy trying to be creepy by the look of your name.

  • Secret Buddies

    nope. I even re-read the article, just in case you were right. it’s about you getting back at Meeker for calling you out on being a dick.

  • HFXGIRL

    A comment I may have made is worse than the misquote.  Those who read the article got the point.  We knew it was hurtful to Kayla but we knew he said  “a comment I may have said”.  You are splitting hairs here.  It took Jacob a few days to respond…..if Meeker had waited for Jacob’s response he would have lost the story….that is his job….funny something tells me you would have ran with this sorry if you saw it first…..or would that be being a dick ?  You snooze ….you lose…..Maybe his next article will be Jacob donating to The Kidney Foundation or will his PR rep tell him to leave it alone and the story will go away.  We will see.

  • Modbob3000

    A rock star is a knob? Not exactly earth shattering news. More interesting was how his boorish behavior took on a life of its own when it hit the twittersphere; the lesson for aspiring rock stars is – someone is always watching, so you better stay in character, or else.

  • I don’t see it. But I have read both your comments and pseudonyms and all I see is a creepy coward who can’t deny the facts so they’ve resorted to trolling instead.

  • I’m not here to say what’s worse, I just think it’s wrong to misquote someone.

  • HFXGIRL

    Sure in journalism misquoting is not good.  I quoted said instead of made.  He could have attempted to contact Jacob, however, by all accounts he is hard to reach and is not on social media sites all the time.  His PR rep is though.

  • HJ Pals

    Not trolling. Its clear that you’ve been waiting for 2 years to get back at Meeker for calling you out on being a dick. You should be proud of your patience and ability to hold a grudge. 

  • You should be proud of your ability to use conjecture to try and distract from the topic at hand while cowering behind sad and creepy pseudonyms.

  • Darcy’s Haircut

    If I told you my name, I’d have to live in fear for the rest of my life that you’d Meeker me. 

  • Darcy’s Haircut

    Not cool, dude. Darcy can use this blog for whatever reasons he wants! Be it holding a grudge for an embarrassingly long time, or getting free meals and coffee. IT’S HIS BLOG, MAN.

  • I’ve done nothing to Geoff Meeker that he doesn’t offer to everyone else in the media week in and week out – an open and honest criticism of their work. I don’t understand why you have such an enormous problem with that, or why you’d live in fear of it for your own self.

  • Holden Hands

    Not really an honest criticism if you’ve been lying in wait for a couple of year to get back him for calling you out for being a dick.

  • Geoff Meeker

    Darcy, as a media critic, I have to take criticism as well.
    You are certainly entitled to your opinions, as am I. However, I do want to
    address some of your statements.

     

    First, you are right about the quote. I wrote that from
    memory and should have checked it first. However, the substance of the quote
    and my unintentional misquote are the same. Hoggard refers to a comment he “may
    have made” in St. John’s. In other words, he is not admitting making the
    comment. So my point stands, that he is not taking ownership of it.

     

    You think I should have contacted Hoggard to get
    “resolution.” I don’t agree.

     

    There were only two reasons to contact Hoggard before
    running the story: to verify facts or to change the story from Kayla’s
    perspective to his.

    I was more than satisfied that I had my facts right. If I didn’t,
    Hoggard could have pursued legal remedies and forced a retraction from me. He
    didn’t. He floundered about for more than two days – an eternity, in the era of
    social media – before issuing that half-hearted apology. Check this link, for
    an objective assessment of how Hoggard should have handled this:

     

    http://ishouldhavedonethisyesterday.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/why-an-insult-by-a-pop-star-is-a-big-deal-a-case-study/

     

    I was fairly certain there would be a part 2 to this story,
    based on Hoggard’s reaction. But part 1 was all about Kayla. This was her
    story. What if Hoggard blamed Kayla for the incident, or called her a liar, as
    many of his fans and defenders did? Then, Kayla is forced to defend herself in
    the same story. Weary of being insulted yet again, she might have withdrawn
    from pursuing this any further. Is that the resolution you have in mind?

     

    I make no apologies for deciding to pursue this as Kayla’s
    story rather than Hoggard’s. He can easily get attention and acclaim when he
    has a statement to make or story to tell; Kayla can only do so through vehicles
    such as my blog.

     

    Darcy, I am surprised at your statement, that I “set about
    convincing an admittedly distressed and reluctant Andrews to divulge the
    details of her story.” What is your source for that information? I know that if
    you had spoken with Kayla she would have told you that I did not pressure or
    coerce her at all. She’s a sensitive, articulate and intelligent young woman
    who can think – and speak – for herself. In a low-key way, I offered her an
    opportunity to talk; she thought about it for a while, then accepted.

     

    Or did you not talk to Kayla? It seems you did not and are
    making a large assumption here. You criticize me for not consulting Hoggard,
    yet you portray Kayla as “distressed and reluctant,” manipulated into a doing a
    story, without talking to her? At least I had my facts right.

     

    You talk about the “tsunami” this created on social media as
    if it were a bad thing, but I think it’s quite the opposite. What happened to
    Kayla was a form of bullying, and if some of the nearly 20,000 who read that
    item learned something from the discussion, I think that’s a positive thing. 

  • MOM2

    Team Meeker.  Darcy…..sorry man….you will not be viral like Meeker.  Nice try….Meeker is Kayla you are Jacob.  

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond to this, Geoff. However I don’t agree with much of what you’ve had to say.

    I never argued what your point was on the quote. I argued that it was misquoted. It is a very different thing to report someone did not feel that an undeniably mean comment was hurtful than it is to report that they can’t recall saying it. You can editorialize all you want on the matter, but the fact was still being misrepresented and in doing so you misrepresented the character of the subject.

    I never said you should have contacted Hoggard to get a resolution, I said it was within your means to do so and you chose not to.

    Getting Hoggard’s side would not have changed the story from Andrews’ to his, as you’ve suggested here. It would have made it a balanced story.

    I’m not interested in how Hoggard should have handled it. That’s not what my piece was about. It was about how you chose to handle it.

    Your argument that Andrews lacks the same means of making public statements that Hoggard has does not excuse your leaving Hoggard out of the story since that’s irrelevant. Including Hoggard would not have excluded Andrews. The point is that they both could have been in there.

    Your “what if” scenario is a poor excuse as well, since if Hoggard had tried to blame Andrews for the incident (not really sure how you could blame someone for the unspeakable insult you thew at them), then that would only make the guy look worse. And is it really your job to predict how people will react and exclude them from a story accordingly?

    Added to that, your excuse that Andrews might have withdrawn from pursuing this any further depending on Hoggard’s reaction makes no sense whatsoever. You wouldn’t be putting them in the same room together. You’d be including them both in the same story. 

    The source of my information that Andrews was distressed and reluctant to participate in the story came from your second blog post on it.

    Andrews’ mother described how upset she was and the hurt in her eyes after the incident and that all weekend she had been quiet. Also from her mother, “She was in an adult atmosphere, where you would never dream that another adult would insult you like that. It’s very hurtful, especially for someone who has been bullied.”

    And you yourself said that she hesitated after you asked her to tell you the story for your blog. To hesitate means to be reluctant to do something.

    So I disagree with your assessment that I’ve made a large assumption in that matter. And I never said you manipulated her.

    Finally, I never said the tsunami of social media exchanges that came from this story was a bad thing. I took issue with how you handled the story, and I think in doing so you ensured a much larger reaction from the social networks than if you’d presented both sides in the interest of being balanced. You served a different interest instead, and your claims that you did it all for Andrews don’t really hold any water.

    Your initial story could have been identical to the way it was, with the one addition of Hoggard’s reaction. Instead, you chose to end by asking your readers if they thought “has a bit of fame gone to Hoggard’s head?”

    That’s an incendiary question. Were you stoking the flames for Andrews’ benefit, too?

  • Darcy’s Opinion Piece

    Darcy, you should have let sleeping dogs lay. Once again, you get on Signal acting like a dick and once again Meeker has called you out on it. 

    Let this one go, bud. Give it two more years and see what you have to say then.  

  • It’s a shame you have to keep dragging Meeker’s name through the mud like that. I know I’d be disappointed if someone like you kept leaping to my defence with low-brow trolling tactics. Why not just leave the guy alone and let him handle his own business?

  • Geoff Meeker

    Darcy, you keep referring to my blog entry as a “story” but
    this is an opinion based piece, not a news article. Like most blogs, it is an
    expression of opinion. My blog is a little different, in that I work harder to
    bring in points of view that illuminate my position. But who I talk to is
    entirely my prerogative.

    My point of view in this case was clearly stated: that
    sometimes our idols are not who they seem. Kayla’s experience supported that
    position. I made that point, with facts that were irrefutable. If Jacob Hoggard
    was of the same economic and social status as Kayla I would have asked him for
    comment, but that would also be a different dynamic, involving equals.

    This blog was about imbalance of power: a wealthy, arrogant
    rock star insulting a fan. Bringing Jacob into the commentary would have been
    an insult to Kayla. Jacob has wealth, staff and a legion of fans to support
    him. Kayla does not have those same resources. I took a side. I gave the
    platform to Kayla. It was the right thing to do, and I flatly reject your
    criticism.

  • If your point of view in this case was, as you stated, “that sometimes our idols are not who they seem,” then it would have behooved you to allow Hoggard the opportunity to respond to the allegation in your piece.

    By leaving him out you externalized his reaction, ensuring that the initial impact of your piece would be as harsh and sensational as possible. 

    That’s my problem with how this whole thing went down. And the fact that you keep hiding behind Andrews’ pain as if you’re doing her a favour by sensationalizing her story only deepens my concern.

  • Disappointed Signal Reader

    B’ys get a room. I tend to agree with Meeker here. Which I have to say I don’t necessarily make a habit of doing that. I do understand your right to have a completely polarizing opinion from that of Geoff. That’s totally valid. However, it appears your opinion is influenced, at least in part, by your distain for him. At least that’s how it appears… and I think the majority of those who have posted would have a hard time disagreeing with that. 
    However, criticizing a blogger for not giving multiple perspectives to a story – namely not contacting Mr. Hedley – is a little hypocritical. After all, who did you contact? The young woman? Her Mother? No. You derived all the facts from an article online who’s writer you despise. I think “balanced journalism” (not that any of this is journalism) is a misnomer. Less like opinion, more like a pissing contest. I’m disappointed. I have to say that I really love Signal and I was sad when it was gone. But, this certainly doesn’t entice me to read it. I was a fan… and now… I’m just disinterested. 

  • Darcy, I may have taken you seriously if I felt this was an honest critique, but there is much evidence that you have vested this piece with personal attitudes that would rather attack than discuss. The tone of your entire post is poisonous and malicious.

    First, you undermine the veracity of Kayla’s story by insisting the insult is an “alleged comment.”
    You then further editorialise using the phrase “as the story goes,” thus trivialising the incident and calling the facts into question.

    The most abusive and jarring commentary then follows when you write “like a lawyer chasing an ambulance, (Meeker) set about convincing an admittedly distressed and reluctant Andrews to divulge the details…”

    To compare Meeker to an ambulance chaser and paint him as having coerced Andrews into “divulging” the details is not only malicious but damn near libel.  Meeker’s post merely states that he contacted her about her story and “after some hesitation, she agreed.” At this point, Andrews had already sought the attention of the media by posting on the HitsFM Facebook page.

    I can’t say what she was feeling – and neither can you because it is obvious from your blog post and comments that you never contacted her for comment on this “story.” However, as someone who has herself responded to the distressing statements of public figures, I can tell you that at the point when a victim makes the decision to share her story – whether through social media, traditional media, a blog or what have you – she is no longer “distressed” but very much empowered.

    In essence, that’s what Meeker’s post was about – the imbalance of power in the fan/celebrity relationship. Celebrities are idolised and make their living due to the nature of that idolisation. Yet when a fan discovers that her idol is not worth the adoration she has nowhere to turn.

    Meeker used the platform of his blog to give Kayla’s story a voice, thus correcting the typical imbalance. Like any writer working with a commentary or blog posts, he had to give the story some overarching form with an opinionated presentation. His thesis in this editorial style opinion piece was that Hoggard, like many celebrities, has fooled the public by presenting himself as an idol to be respected for his positivity as well as his talent when in fact he is not as he presents himself and can be downright nasty and negative.

    As that is the overarching theme of his piece, absolutely nothing could be accomplished by contacting Hoggard himself for a statement. Allowing him continued space to present himself with his positive spin would only undermine the message Meeker was presenting. Yes, Andrews was hurt and wanted an apology, but even more so, the source of her pain came from being suddenly exposed to negative behaviour in someone she viewed positively. That is the angle with which Meeker approached this piece and as such Andrews statements needed to stand alone, without Hoggard being given space to undermine that message.

    You might argue with that message, in its essence, but to insist that certain actions of his were wrong and to treat him with the amount of disrespect you have here muddies any point you might want to make about the central argument of the piece.

    You tell us he should’ve contacted Hoggard, but you don’t say why. Except that it may have (and I doubt it) resulted in an earlier apology from Hoggard and possibly avoided the viral pickup of this piece.
    However, this wasn’t just about an apology. This was about righting a wrong. And wrongs are best righted when they are examined by the multitudes. As someone who has studied bullying prevention and management measures, I can tell you that one commonly understood fact is that bullies are most likely to change their actions when they are publically called out and forced to answer to their peers. That is what Andrews and Meeker did with Hoggard.

    To compare Meeker’s actions in doing so to an ambulance chaser seeking monetary gain from a lawsuit is downright despicable.

    Meeker gained nothing from this. He obviously made no monetary gain, beyond what I imagine he is paid for every blog post. He gained no notoriety; despite his post going viral it is Andrews and Hoggard whose names everyone know. And, to get to the barest essential, he could’ve had no idea that the post would’ve gone viral in the first place.

    You say he orchestrated a storm. As someone who works in social media, perhaps I better take advice from him. Even the leading analysts at Youtube and reddit admit that there is no way to force something to go viral. These things happen in a way that is understood in hindsight but rarely predicted or created beforehand.

    What I see having happened here is very simple. A public, negative statement was made by a celebrity. A public response was made by the injured party, through Meeker’s blog. A public apology was made. That’s the way things work. It wasn’t Meeker’s job to allow the space for the apology or defense. It wasn’t his job to do anything but provide commentary on a media related piece – which he did and did quite well.

    He gifted Andrews with the space of his blog to make her public statement. He gained nothing from it, other than a few more views than typical. As this is not his private blog and he does not sell advertising, etc on it, even those views are inconsequential – except in that they spread the message and now Hoggard – and others – may perhaps think twice before insulting another fan. Sure, he felt good afterward for having helped someone and raised attention to a cause – that of bullying – about which he seems to feel strongly. Thank God he did. It shows he has a heart and is an invested writer.

    To insinuate that he orchestrated this whole fiasco in order to gain something – as you did with the ambulance chaser statement and others throughout your piece – is malicious and undermines any real message you may have been trying to portray here. Argue what you may about how he wrote the story. However, I believe you owe him an apology for how you wrote yours.
     

  • hfxgirl

    First one to get Jacob’s side of the story wins.   As if that is going to happen.  Like he would have commented on Meeker’s story at the get go…..he only goes through his PR in these matters…..he is probably told to keep his mouth shut as he may or may not have said something….LOL   Are you or aren’t you going to make a donation to the Kidney Foundation ?   Why did you say that to Kayla ?….(could be because I was stinkin drunk on George street and I forgot to pull my brain out of my liver)  but my fans think I rock.      

  • And you’re entitled to your opinion, too. I welcome it. But I don’t see how being the subject of criticism on Meeker’s blog at one point in time invalidates my ability to criticize his work. If that were the case, then by virtue of the fact that Meeker is a media critic he has essentially rendered himself invulnerable to the criticism of people in the media.

    It’s not fair to compare my piece to Meeker’s and call me a hypocrite since they’re totally different in nature. Everyone I wrote about had had their say, including Meeker, and I was analyzing it. Whereas Meeker wrote about Hoggard without Hoggard having any say on the matter whatsoever. Then when Hoggard did issue a public statement, Meeker misreported the very words Hoggard published.

    I’m sorry if I’ve lost your interest, but I stand by my analysis.

  • Dara, thank you for taking the time to outline in detail your concerns about my post, which I have carefully read and am carefully considering. Thank you as well for having the integrity to do so under your true identity.

    I knew when I wrote this piece that I would be in the minority. Taking issue with the way someone gave a victim her voice is hardly the way to win most people’s respect or appreciation. I have received some support on this, from people who’s work and intelligence I admire and respect, but in large part that support has come my way privately. It seems many people would prefer not to let Geoff Meeker know they disagree with him.

    I wrote some comments that disagreed with Meeker on his blog a couple of times a few years ago. A couple of weeks later, I was the subject of intense criticism on his blog. Not that the criticism wasn’t warranted, and I grew a lot from that experience. The dots just seemed a little too close for me not to see a connection.

    I have it on good authority that he wanted to see legal action taken against me at that time. Fortunately the person he was encouraging to do this had a much more level head about the situation and was instead very gracious in offering me assistance in getting through that difficult time in my young blogging career.

    So it was with a lot of serious consideration that I decided to step forward and publish my views on Meeker’s recent piece about Andrews and Hoggard. Not because, as you and others have insisted, I was getting back at Meeker, but because I wanted to be sure that I held my views strongly enough to stand ready for any possible consequences that could come my way for criticizing him again.

    I am in full support of giving a victim of bullying her voice. As Andrews herself has said publicly, all she wanted was to let Hoggard know that what he did to her was wrong, and I support that. While I don’t know enough to agree or disagree with your assertion that wrongs are best righted when examined by the multitudes, I do believe that they are also best righted when all sides of the issue can be examined. Even if one one of those sides is that of the bully.

    So I see a disconnect between Meeker’s claim that he was trying to right a wrong by excluding Hoggard from his piece and my belief that in order to properly right that wrong he should have included Hoggard in that piece.

  •  Darcy,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Anything I write publicly always appears under my own identity because I believe in being honest about my thoughts and opinions.

    I did, indeed, disagree with you when you initially presented this view on Meeker’s facebook page. I believe the comparison I drew was to Chris Brown in beating Rihanna – if all those blogging about it or reporting on it had given Brown the chance to respond than I don’t believe that incident would’ve served as the landmark it did.

    I believe bullying behaviour must be called out and I honestly don’t care if the bully is given the opportunity to say his piece during that time. You say all sides of the issue should’ve been considered. How was Hoggard’s “side” not considered and defended in a commentary piece that allows opportunity for comment, which many of his fans took advantage of?

    As to this whole issue surrounding your personal relationship with Meeker, I honestly know nothing and care nothing about it. I did read your piece on Toni-Marie, which you had linked, and, despite the fact that your link to Meeker’s response is broken, I managed to find that piece as well. You were pretty nasty to Toni-Marie but you’ve admitted as such here. Meeker called you on it, which I suppose you would’ve preferred he had not, but he seems to have done it in a respectful manner. You then responded in what seems to be a respectful manner.

    Maybe there’s a piece I’m not getting here. I don’t know. I know neither of you well enough to understand this shadily referred to backstory. But I never insisted you were “getting back” at Meeker – though I have seen those comments. What I insisted was that you took a subject, about which you obviously felt strongly, and attempted to argue it but in doing so demeaned yourself by resorting to personal attack and poison pen style writing.

    I think you can see, obviously, how this entire post has become about how you said what you said and has nothing to do with the point you were trying to argue. I did watch your arguments against Meeker unfold on his Facebook page, and responded at times myself. And I watched you spiral from a man with a point to a man with an axe to grind – eventually accusing him of tabloid journalism.

    I also see that despite the fact that you contacted him on FB for his response to your point here, you did not use any of his responses in your post. So while you accuse him of excluding Hoggard by not asking for comment, you effectively excluded him by not providing his comment, given freely.

    Meanwhile, I don’t believe he had an onus to contact Hoggard, nor you an onus to include his comments. The nature of blogs is that they allow comment as part of the public record following the post. However, I do find your stance about excluding Hoggard hypocritical given this situation.

    The statement you make about people you respect supporting you privately is fine, but then drawing the conjecture that “it seems many people would prefer not to let Geoff Meeker know they disagree with him” and moving into a story where you accuse him of targeting you for some comments you made on his posts is again showing that this is personal to you and that you are approaching the entire thing with a feeling of malice toward Meeker.

    From my personal perspective, once again, I have disagreed with Meeker on occasion. Recently regarding his opinion on the mother involved in that Febreeze story. And yet we seem to still be operating just fine as colleagues. Obviously, not knowing or understanding the history here I can’t offer much to say on that, but I can say that I personally would never be afraid to offer Meeker a differing opinion. I would, however, be ashamed to offer that opinion tinged with malice and attack.

  • Geoff Meeker

    This is getting more bizarre by the moment, but I think we are getting somewhere.

    Regarding your allegation, that I “wanted to see legal action” taken against you: I know I would not have advised this. I checked my correspondence with Toni-Marie, and there is no record of it. 

    More to the point: Why didn’t you give me an opportunity to respond to this allegation?

    It’s a courtesy that should be extended to a rock star, but not a fellow blogger?

  • I only know what I was told. I can’t speak for your records or whether it took place in written correspondence or over the phone, but I was told it over the phone with a great deal of concern for my well being, which, considering what I had done, I thought was pretty amazing.

    There’s nothing wrong with wanting to pursue something legally. I never accused you of any wrong doing, just explained why I took my time in deciding to pursue this matter. Why would I need to contact you first about this?

    You seem to be missing the point in all of this. You attacked Hoggard’s character. You warned your readers not to be “fooled” into thinking he is “one of those optimistic people who believes in the power of positive energy” that he makes himself out to be. And you supported that assertion with a single claim.

    No one would deny that what he did was wrong, but you attacked his entire character. Which is pretty easy to do if you don’t allow that person to respond to the claim.

    I’m not attacking your character now, and I didn’t in my original piece.

    I think how you handled things in this particular instance was wrong, and that’s what I focused on in my piece. 

    You can defend your right to have handled it this way, but I’m more interested in whether it was the right thing to do or not.

    As far as blogging about that goes, I was ready to let it go. But when you posted your follow up piece and misquoted Hoggard so it appeared he said he didn’t think the thing he said was hurtful, I felt like the situation was getting out of hand. Not only had you attacked his character without allowing him to defend himself, but now you were twisting his words.

    I know you have strong feelings about what Hoggard did and you’re entitled to those feelings, but this really just seemed like an abuse of power. You have a problem with Hoggard abusing his power of celebrity, but you are free to abuse your power as a blogger if it suits you?

  • janer

    Team Dara and Meeker!!!
    in the meantime – if you dont have anything nice to say about someone (especially a colleague) than perhaps it is better to write about something else.
    If you sling mud – you are going to get dirty.

  • An unfortunate mistake on my part, then. I have been on the receiving end of these accusations quite a bit here. When I saw your opening paragraph I took it for more of the same.

    It was never my intention to respond to those allegations because I felt like they were intended to distract from the main point, but then it seemed like we’d never get past it if I didn’t finally address the issue. Maybe I should have just stuck to my guns on that one, though, since it seems like we’re heading further off the path now in our discussion. I’ll focus here now on the things you’ve said surrounding my piece.

    You say I have written with a poison pen, tinged with malice and attack. Those are pretty strong words. I admit I viewed the way Meeker handled this situation with distaste, and I let that be known in my writing. But I never attacked him. What I’ve attacked, if we have to use that word, is how he handled this particular situation.

    I’m not in the business of publishing the things people say on Facebook, especially if they have their settings set to private. However I did use the information I was given there to confirm that Meeker did not contact Hoggard. So it’s not like I just accused Meeker of this. I made sure that I got that information directly from him first.

    If Meeker had reported that Hoggard had insulted Andrews, that would have been one thing. He could even have added his own two cents if he thought that was a shitty thing for Hoggard to do. But Meeker went after Hoggard’s entire character, telling people not to be fooled into thinking he’s the good guy he makes himself out to be. If he wanted to take it that far, it really would have behooved him to have given Hoggard the option to comment in the piece as opposed to after it.

    He may well have been within his right to publish this way, but I don’t think it was the right thing to do, fighting an imbalance of power with another imbalance of power.

    Especially when Meeker took to twisting Hoggard’s words in his follow up piece. At that point I really felt like he had gone too far. So I blogged about it.

    People are free to disagree with my perspective on this, but I feel that Meeker handled this situation poorly. He is entitled to his personal feelings about what Hoggard did, but I think he let those push him into unsavoury territory.

  • Geoff Meeker

    So you are saying that my misquote was intentional? In your entry above, you quote Matt as saying, “I was incredibly intimated by wine when I first started exploring it, and I wanted to take it slow and give myself some room…” Which sounds like Matt does impolite things with wine bottles. However, I know that was a mistake. It happens. It happened in mine, too. I acknowledged that. But you refuse to accept that. You are suggesting I did it intentionally?

  • Geoff, there’s a big difference between a typo, where someone intended to write one word but the keyboard and their fingers had a disagreement, and writing a complete sentence that is factually incorrect.

    You claim it was due to remembering what Hoggard had said incorrectly. There’s really no way to confirm or deny that, but given the context, and the fact that you had leapt to attack his entire character based on a single incident in your previous piece, at the very least one could infer that your frame of mind was such that you were looking for ways in which to paint Hoggard in the worst possible light, and this got in the way of your reading and/or remembering what Hoggard had said correctly.

    Hardly the same as my typo. Though I do hate it when typos slip through my many, many proofreads, so in all sincerity thank you for bringing it to my attention.