La Russophobe has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Take action now to save Darfur

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sean Guillory: What's WRONG with him? Another open letter

Dear Sean,

It seems you intend for your blog to step into the void created by the implosions of the Wally's Accidental Russophile (falsely accused LR of calling for mass murder, wrongly predicted Russian women would dominate tennis, hasn't posted since November 9th) and Konstantin's Russian Blog (falsely accused LR of being a mental patient, wrongly reported Americans confused the country and state of Georgia, hasn't posted since November 10th). Why you would wish to travel down a road that leads inevitably to ignominous failure is beyond us, but it's a free country (since people like you don't run it) so if you want to burst into flames who are we to try to stop you.

However, we must still ask that you please stop misleading your hapless readers by playing so fast and loose with facts. You're giving the blogosphere a bad name (to say nothing of yourself). Unlike Wally or Konstantin, you make pretensions of scholarship and attempt to cloak yourself with the indicia of authority of a university, so your disinformation is a greater concern than theirs. Maybe you think that the blogosphere isn't going to police itself, but you're wrong, it's going to. You're risking your reputation to salve your frenzied, childish ego and rabid hatred of America. Step back from the abyss little boy, before it's too late. This is your last warning.

First, you said Yegor Gaidar "has denied that his illness is the result of any nefarious wrongdoing." That was a lie, and not an incidental one but a lie told specifically to support the anti-West propaganda conclusion you were spewing (i.e., that the West only believed Gaidar had been poisoned because of its paranoid hatred of Russia). When called on it, you deleted the statement from your post but did not admit your error in the post itself or reconsider the conclusion of your post, that the West was wrong to believe Gaidar had been poisoned and was succombing to its own crazed Russophobia, which turned out to be utterly bogus. Gaidar actually was poisoned, as he himself later stated.

After that, you said that an online poll showed 32% accusing George Bush of "bad democracy" while only 19% accused Vladimir Putin. You reported this before the poll had been operating long enough to have even the illusion of credibility, and when Putin moved ahead of Bush by 21% to 20% even among this crowd of crazed America-bashers, you didn't correct the record. When called on the fundmentally spurious nature of the poll itself, you responded: "But I draw attention to it half joking and half to see what others like yourself think." That's rather disingenous, given your venemous attacks on George Bush throughout your blog, wouldn't you say? Guess you don't care how many readers might have been misled, do you?

Then, you went completely nutso and published the ravings of Mike Averko without warning your readers who he is. Even more shockingly, you said his "commentary has appeared in the New York Times" without mentioning the fact that this "commentary" consists solely of letters to the editor (your reader would know only by clicking through to a link and studying it). Thousands upon thousands of people have had letters to the editor published in the Times. That doesn't mean it's honest for them to say their "commentary has appeared" the paper. This kind of dishonesty will get you nowhere, fast. We'd also like to point out the breathtaking hypocrisy involved in your criticizing neo-cons for promoting religion in schools while simulatanously touting Russia Blog and Averko's involvement therein, when Russia Blog is the creation of an entity dedicated to abolishing the teaching of evolution. Sean, you have more waffles than a House of Pancakes.

Finally, you said of your readers: "Currently, the average visitor spends four minutes on the site. So while the site doesn’t have an enormous amount of daily traffic, those who do come tend to read. The exposure will most likely be of quality rather than quantity." More dishonesty, preceded by a failure to do research. If you'd asked us, Sean, we'd for instance have told you that although La Russophobe has more than twice as many daily visits as your blog does, we also have an average visit length of over four minutes, just like you. So the two are not at all mutually exclusive, except in your own possibly disturbed mind. The graph at the bottom of this page shows our the average length of a visit each day over the past month. As you can see, Sean, it peaks at 400 seconds per day, which is over 6.5 minutes. The shortest average duration we ever record is about 3.3 minutes (200 seconds). Your baseles smear against our readers offends us and we're warning you to knock it off.

And, just for the record, perhaps your
"site doesn’t have an enormous amount of daily traffic" because you choose to publish the insane ravings of a Russophile propagandist like Mike Averko and his ilk. Maybe it's connected to your outrageous provocation of this blog, the most powerful of its kind on the planet (if you doubt that, Google Averko's name and see what happens) -- for instance, by allowing the crazed maniac Wally Shedd to libel us on your blog by falsely accusing us of calling for mass murder of Russians without even attempting to document his claim. Or it may have something to do with your persistent propagandizing and misleading of readers. Another possibility is that your readers don't care for your haughty insults: What you've said is that anyone who reads any of those "enormous traffic" blogs is a moron -- ever think that some of those people might be reading your blog too? Yet another is that your vacuous, selfish, childish contempt for all things American and your rationalization of dictatorship in Russia is too revolting to attract the attention of a wide audience. In paricular, your vicious smears against Russian hero Anna Politkovskaya might have repelled many. How ironic that you admit in a later post you'd never even actually gone so far as to read her stuff in detail before attacking her.

We suggest you stop spewing forth so much disinformation and gibberish, and go back to the one thing you do well, writing about the aspects of Russian history you're familiar with and offering new insights about them. Frankly, the rest of what you do isn't worth the virtual paper it's printed on.

Sincerely yours,

La Russophobe


F.Y.I.: Here are just a few examples of the "quality" comment on his blog that Sean was referring to, which he thinks will encourage respect for his output by showing the high intellectual capacity of his readership (his standards, we fear, are slipping):

"azov is a pussy and his wife blows Mexicali's"

"By the same token, 'a car is not a car if u have to qualify it by adjoinders, such as red, or blue.' :)"

"a car is not a democracy. just because a red car is still a car does not mean that a democracy qualified by an adjoinder is still a democracy. two different things, apples and oranges. fallacious logic again."

"democracy is not a car, not matter how much u try to prove otherwise."

"Well, gee, duh... Of course a car is not a democracy."

"I would never discount labor unions or ignore them. They are one of the last positive things on the left. And I say that as a member of one."

"If you want paranoia, try US Democrat Richard Holbrooke. who describes the Ukraine as 'our core zone of security'."

"Actually you should compare Bush to Hitler and Stalin."

LR: Yup, that's real high quality stuff there, an awesome bunch of intellectuals, movers and shakers all, that Sean managed to pack in over there. Be sure you remember to nominate Sean's blog for the Pulitzer Prize the next time there is an opening.

La Russophobe's Visit Duration Data (November 14 through December 14):


SiberianLight said...

Kim - chill out. Getting into little spats over the duration of visits to yours and Sean's site does nobody any favours.

I've just taken a look at Sean's article and can't him drawing a comparison with LR at any stage, so I'm at somewhat of a loss to understand why you are making the comparison yourself.

(For what it's worth, if you really want to make an issue of quality, I'd note that Sean publishes far less articles on a daily basis than you do. It takes far less time to read one article in-depth than it does to read 5 or 6 per day. So, for the average reader to give the same attention to each and every article on LR, he would need to spend five times as long here as he does at Sean's blog).

Making an issue of the quality of some comments is also rather pointless. Taking a look at the comments at Sean's blog myself, I can see some very good, well thought out comments (some I agree with, and some I don't) and some mindblowingly stupid ones, like those you've highlighted.

But the stupid comments are a part and parcel of opening up comments to the wider internet. Try talking to some of the folks who run the large, well respected blogs (and newspaper comment sites, like the Guardian's). They're inundated with daft comments, but they're also full of intelligent ones too.

If you have a problem with the views Sean is expressing about Russia, by all means raise those issues. But by getting drawn into daft sidelines like this, you don't do your reputation all that much good. And, more to the point, it's wasted 20 minutes of my Sunday morning.

Bah. I'm off to get breakfast.

(PS - in my opinion, you both produce interesting, readable blogs. I, personally, find the (often wildly) differing viewpoints expressed of great value when it comes to making my own mind up about issues of the day).

La Russophobe said...


Sean allowed a commenter on his blog to accuse me of advocating the mass murder of Russians without posting a shred of evidence to that effect and despite the demand for it by other readers. If Sean wasn't referring to my blog with his comment, then let him say so. Until he does, I'll assume he was referring to me and in that case a response is entirely appropriate. Frankly, I think it's outrageous for him to refer to other blogs without giving specifics. He's the one who opened this discussion,not me, by making a public attack on other blogs and implying that while they have traffic they aren't actually read. If you have a problem, it's with Sean not with me. He can talk about how great he thinks his blog is, but if he compares it to others then he will get a reponse.

Your point about the number of articles on my blog is not well considered. Just because I have more content than Sean's doesn't mean there is any reason to conclude that people spend a small amount of time reading many posts here. Here, unlike Sean's, they can choose among many different pieces to read in depth if they like, and you have no information to indicate that isn't exactly what they do. I don't read every article in the New York Times, I read a few in depth. The fact remains that the amount of time spent on this blog by an average reader is no different than that at Sean's and he implied to the contrary, that peole spend less time at a blog like this. That's just one of many wildly inaccurate statements he's made, and if you research this blog you'll find I've documented many others.

You haven't touched on the main point of my post, which was to highlight the grossly misleading statements that have been made on Sean's blog recently. Perhaps you're prepared to overlook them, but I'm not. If you respect the commentary of Mike Averko, that's your privilege. I think it's utterly worthless propaganda and I'm entitled to my opinion and to express it as a warning to those unfamiliar with his dreck. In fact, I think it's my obligation. And I'd appreciate it if you'd make your position on Averko clear, because if you find him in any way worthwhile other than as a reptilian example of Russophile propaganda to be studied in a laboratory, then I'll reevaluate my opinion of your blog. If you think Averko isn't worth publishing, then the lay reader must be warned.

SiberianLight said...

Kim - absolutely you are entitled to your opinion. To be honest, on the main opinion you expressed in the article, I don't have a particularly strong view one way or the other.

What I do have a strong view about is when you, and others, get distracted by what are nothing more than sideshows. It devalues you, it devalues Sean, and it makes me feel cheap to read them.

Sean Guillory said...


You know, I've sat silent for several weeks as you denounce and slander me. What is this the fourth one? I've lost count. For the life of me I don't know why you are so damned obsessed with what I do. Plus as I told you in an email a few months ago when you were digging dirt on another Russia blogger, I don't get involved in blogwars.

Andy is absolutely correct your whole kick devalues you as it does me.

But now I feel I have to say something because for you to think that my post about soliciting submissions contained a veiled reference to you is just flat out ludicrous. You just don't occupy my thoughts. I was trying to be honest with people who might be interested in submitting because my blog doesn't get much traffic, but people do seem to read it.

In regard to a commenter on my blog saying those things to you, let me make something clear. I don't moderate the comments nor do I ban anyone from participating. The fact that I've never officially banned you is a testament to that as well as my patience. (As far as I remember, you left my blog . . .)