Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fake Comments on Broken Heart of Rogers Park

It has come to my attention that someone is impersonating me in the comments section of The Broken Heart of Rogers Park. The commenter uses the name "Tom Mannis," and has a Google profile of The impersonator has the profile set so that its details cannot be viewed. That's typical for cowardly anonymous commenters. The impersonator has falsely used my name in comments in at least two posts on The Broken Heart: "Latest Information on the Morse Avenue Ambush Shooting" and "Officer Pulls Gun on Off-Leash Dog." As the owner of Gay Chicago Magazine, which he inherited from his late father, you would think Mr. Gernhardt would know more than the average six year old about libel and responsibility in publishing. You'd think. (I have cached both posts, of course, complete with comments.) While it is not surprising that someone would do such a childish thing, it is surprising that the blog's operator, Craig Gernhardt, allowed the posts to be published. Gernhardt is inconsistent with his comments moderation, sometimes having it on and sometimes having it off. Perhaps the fake "Tom Mannis" comments were made while moderation was off, which would indicate simply stupid irresponsibility on the part of Mr. Gernhardt. However, he also habitually checks the IP addresses of his commenters, and he knows my IP address. Additionally, Mr. Gernhardt avidly reads the comments on his own blog, as evidenced by his own comments to his own posts. He regularly comments on comments by others, then reacts to their reactions to his own reactions to them. Furthermore, he also knows that I would not have made comments such as the ones by the fake "Tom Mannis." Mr. Gerhardt is either showing a complete and reckless disregard for the nature and quality of the comments he allows (he's never been picky about quality), or he is knowingly allowing someone to impersonate me on his blog. In a comment on his post about the cop and the dog, for example, the impersonator wrote, "Someone Should shoot Craig." Although I might not object to somebody administering a swift kick to Gernhardt's groin with a steel-toed boot, I would not want him to be shot and I would not advocate it. Gernhardt knows me well enough to know that. Is Craig Gernhardt simply irresponsible and careless by allowing anonymous libel on his blog? This would not be the first time that he's done so. Or is Mr. Gernhardt knowingly allowing impersonation and, thereby, acting as an accessory to libel? How does that reflect on the rest of the commenters on The Broken Heart blog, not to mention the credibility of both the blog and Mr. Gernhardt himself? Stretch it just a bit further and one might reasonably ask this: If he is so frequently careless with libel and fact on his own blog, how responsible is he when it comes to his management of the same in his Gay Chicago Magazine? CommieBama Hats and More Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Follow ChiNewsBench on Twitter