Over the weekend, I asked, "Could someone point me to where someone compared Rene Walling's actions to those of Ed Kramer? Not looking for posts that might have mentioned both in the context of Shit Wrong with Fandom (given the timing of D*C and WorldCon, that's inevitable), but ones where the direct comparison was made."
The best answers I got were that it might have happened on a mailing list, and that someone had conflated the two in a tweet that basically was a "Shit Wrong With Fandom" take.
My post was written largely because of posts like this one from Laurie Mann. The post has a bunch of problems -- the "I've always felt safe at cons" attitude that both minimizes the experiences of others and pretends that fandom is a Special Safe Place, the "fans are awkward pandas" argument that brithistorian tackles nicely here, etc. -- but one that stood out for me was the potential straw man accusation saying that, "[Walling] was likened to an infamous alleged child sex rapist who was very active in fandom until he got into trouble with the law. For various reasons, his case has never gone to trial." That rapist (who was active in fandom and also a pro, incidentally) is Ed Kramer, of course.
Of course, if someone made the comparison in private (or on a mailing list), it's hard to react to (and stupid hyperbolic comparisons are a staple of stupid fans, so it's not out of the realm of possibility). So after seeing that suggested, I figured I'd let it go.
Then folks kept going.
First, a guy named Colin Harris (who I assume is the former Worldcon chair and not the Monty Python sketch), after playing the deflection card (because there was a "worse" stalker at WFC last year, so why get all upset about this one?), actually states that he has "seen people genuinely suggesting that the Readercon person was trying to slip Rohypnol into people's drinks at Worldcon so he could rape them." Harris also tosses around "lynch mob" later in the thread, because, you know, that's exactly what's happened here, right*?
Second, Mann doubled down when she closed comments, telling us that, "many of the people calling for the man's skin basically accused him of rape, assault and said he should be banned from non-Readercon conventions." I've seen the last one, of course, and the middle one is technically true, but I've seen nothing of the first one. Mann goes on to say that, "I heard some vicious comments about him at Chicon and saw some things on Facebook and Twitter that were appalling and false and spread beyond the man to his friends and to anyone else marginally supporting him. Responding to an incident of harassment by much more harassment and lying is frustrating and should be beneath us."
Again, it's random people a con, or on FB, or on Twitter (although the last is publicly searchable, of course). Incidentally, a Google blog search for rohypnol + walling gets one result in the last year, and it's for a news story about a woman with the same last name).
You know what? I'm fucking sick of it, and I'm going to get all Wikipedia on everyone's asses:
Citation Fucking Needed.
Someone says some shit, call them on -- by name or public handle -- it publicly (because really, if people are falsely calling someone a rapist, that's bad enough to justify pissing off a mailing list owner, imho), call them on it in whatever forum they've used, or don't call them on it at all. But don't build a bunch of straw men to help make Walling look like a victim, don't tell me that one can't-be-cited example is a "lynch mob," and don't tell me that a tweet by Scott Edelman joking about a con just for Walling and Kramer is the same thing.
And while you're at it, go read Rosefox's post over on Genreville about what conventions are and aren't. And read glvalentine's post about the fallout since Readercon.
*Spoiler alert: It's not.