Speaking of pandering, I found this part of the new article a fine
example of how to make the Internet a befuddling and scary place...
"...Who knows what's going on at the congressional E-mailbox of
Newt Gingrich, another victim? He has an automated-reply program
that answers every E-mail that comes in. At week's end, millions
of his form letters were still being beamed to Internet users all
over the world."
Hype, and even if it was true, that would be Newt's fault for having a
stupid auto-reply program that can easily be told to mail-bomb people.
Also, why would Newt be the victim?!?!?!?!?
So much for PED/TIME being interested in educating the public.
I think it's safe to say we're fighting for the same cause, so let me run
by you another take on "Way Wrong Number," Time's April 1 article by
You're characterizing Quittner's phone-sex piece as being descended from
PED's Net porn horror story. I think they're different. Where PED is
barely technically literate, Quittner knows his tech better. Where PED
set out to shock, Quittner seems mainly to want to spin his story out,
fact by absurd fact. His Wired pieces, his book "Masters of Deception,"
and his anti-AOL snipings suggest his aims aren't very different from our
Sure, Time wants it both ways. Time wants to titillate. It also wants to
appear to be stalwartly pro-free speech. I wouldn't want Quittner's job
But I think his piece is still a less-than-lurid effort. Its use of
lurid details doesn't strike me as terribly PED-like. I'm more troubled
by the facts themselves. What bothers me is that a councilman, once
offended, can marshal the resources (investigatory, governmental) to
redress his wrongs in ways the average citizen seldom can. Suponcic's
phone number appears on a phone-sex .gif, so the State Department leaps
into action? It's an interesting look at power having its nose wiped for
it. Ironically for the case I'm trying to make here, Quittner's piece
could end up doing some unintentional harm; but so can any journalism. I
don't see him doing anything that would occasion his article being
entered into the Congressional Record.
I think you're right to score Time for the effect such pieces have on the
uninitiated, particularly when they appear in an ongoing parade of
articles about the dark side of the Net. But wouldn't you agree that
Quittner's doing us a service by exposing the ways in which Net policy
can be made by ignoramuses?
You should come to the newsgroup rec.audio.opinion! Gene is up to no
good again with his evasive, obsessive drivel spouting.
Is this Gene Steinberg character a journalist for Time magazine? He is
quite annoying in rec.audio.opinion, and I just happened to come across
your web page to find he is annoying others as well.
I caught on to this AOL criticism as your "beloved" Gene is a stupid
closed minded pain in the but in the audio group. rec.audio.opinion
Does this guy get paid by AOL? In audio world he appears to be a paid
shill for a magazine.
I love your page.........miss all ya guys out there, Buzz, Swa, Will aka
Romeo,Cow,Snow,Mac,Ammo,User, Red Wings......and all the rest
Nice page! Very funny and informative!
- Kira Lynn Burris
- System Administrator
I visited your AOL WATCH page for the first time today. I must say, it is
of very high
quality! The numerous (and I mean numerous) links were informative, the
was written competently, and the site was an all-around bookmark candidate.
It's people like you who keep Netizens informed. Good job!
"Geek and proud of it!"
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Gene Steinberg, Conspiracy Theorist?
Threats against critics - the AOL way
Net Reactions to Time's Article
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