Stuff produced by folks such as Matthew Hopkins and questions asked by retired journalist Richard Paolinelli HERE and HERE led me to see if Sanford’s twitter account might be back up (I didn’t expect it to be), but indeed it is.
In fact, he’s tweeting to a group of people, including me, as I write this (patience Jason, I can only keyboard so fast).
Cutting to the chase, Sanford says he has added links to his screenshots of the Baen forum of the offending remarks he quoted. You can get to the report at Patreon. I haven’t yet clicked on all the links, but I did say I’d make this available to anyone who wants to look.
Oh, also Sanford says, for the record, that he has never submitted anything to Baen. There have been allegations that he submitted a book to Baen, it was rejected, and that the rejection was his motivation for allegedly using the Baen forums content against the publisher.
In the end, this probably won’t satisfy anyone, but I’d love to have all of the questions answered impartially (not like that’s ever going to happen), because I don’t know what to think. Of course, everyone is going to say they are right and the people/groups they oppose are wrong, so (sorry to say this) I can’t take anyone at face value, especially people I don’t know.
On the other hand, reputations are on the line, with Baen editor Toni Weisskopf’s and Baen’s on the one side and Jason Sanford’s on the other. I feel like I’m one of the few people who isn’t screaming either for Weisskopf’s blood or Sanford’s.
With Discon III “uninviting” Toni Weisskopf to WorldCon 2021 as Guest of Honor, this may well be sending ripples much further than misconduct and poor to non-existent moderating on Baen’s forums.
Having done a little digging, my understanding of WorldCon is that it’s a somewhat closed community, with members gaining status through length of service. Since Weisskopf is perceived to have status, it’s likely that many of the older members just want her to more closely moderate her forums.
That said, newer insiders and those not on the inside but who fancy themselves as activists, aren’t necessarily pleased that Weisskopf is “politics agnostic” in who she publishes at Baen, and many are saying that this is the sin for which she’s being punished.
Add to that the population of marginalized voices who are “uncomfortable” with “far-right language” existing at WorldCon, and you can see a rationale for Weisskopf and Baen to be pushed out of the WorldCon limelight, with the Baen forum fiasco being used as the catalyst.
Given the past several years of denouncements, including a number of name changes of various prestigious awards (Jeannette Ng and her statement of condemnation of the Campbell award as she was receiving it the other year comes to mind) and you can see why at least authors and creators somewhere on right side of moderate might get a little nervous.
Some are way beyond nervous and, feeling attacked, are responding in kind.
I say all this (again) to express that, on the one hand, we should not tolerate hate speech and certainly nothing that could foment actual violence, especially on a city-wide scale. And on the other hand, we have seen, on many occasions, that anyone even slightly to the right of center (such as folks like me) are perceived as if we are all far-right extremists and thus anyone with the label of “conservative” is treated as a single, homogeneous unit (can you imagine anyone saying that liberals, African-Americans, or gays are “all alike?”) to be shunned, deplatformed, and “uninvited.”
Like I said, I don’t expect my latest blog post to do much good, but now that I’ve involved myself in the conversation, I thought I should say something about it.
I suspect the “he said, she said” allegations are going to continue. Then again, this is just one expression of a discontent that’s been going on in SF/F for years (the Sad Puppies of 5 or 6 years ago are no doubt being invoked by some as an example).
I guess that means this isn’t the last time we’ll have this dialogue.
I’ve provided screenshots for reference above. To the best of my ability to capture them, the twitter threads are:
I’m posting all this in an attempt to provide at least some data so people can examine it and come to their own conclusions. Right now, I’m still waiting for a few of my own.