By Scott Tibbs, March 13, 2012
I have written a lot about anonymity on the Internet, and I have suggested several times that the Herald-Times require people who post in the comments on HeraldTimesOnline be required to use their real names, as is the case with letters to the editor. The response has become a predictable meme: "Scott Tibbs is known to send letters to people's employers because he does not like their political views, so we have to be anonymous to protect ourselves from him."
This is a lie. It is a brazen, blatant, bold faced lie. I have never contacted anyone's employer because I disagree with his or her political views. Not one single time. It has never happened.
It is to my shame that I admit this campaign of lies has a tiny grain of truth to it. In September of 2004, a local Leftist (who I will not name for reasons I explain below) posted that I have "a plethora of sketchy ties" with anti-abortion terrorist groups - in effect calling me a terrorist. I complained via e-mail to his employer, the Bloomington Herald-Times, that this damages his credibility as a journalist and that it damages the credibility of the newspaper. These were fine points, and would have been great for a blog post - but should not have been sent in an e-mail to his employer.
What I did was wicked. I compounded my shameful action by being very petulant about it, and I did not apologize for eight months. I did finally publicly apologize to the individual I wronged, and he apologized to me for his libelous accusations of criminal activity. We both forgave each other and moved on. The fact that my enemies cannot move on from something that did not involve them speaks volumes about them. The fact that my enemies have dishonestly spun a single hasty e-mail into something much worse also speaks volumes about them.
I will not name the individual I wronged, because it is wrong to attach his name to his libelous accusations. He apologized and I forgave him, so what business do I have reminding anyone about what he said, by name? Why should people be reminded of what he did?
So that is it. I overreacted to a libelous accusation made against me and I responded shamefully. This happened exactly one time, not multiple times as my enemies have said over and over and over in HTO comments and elsewhere. I am not going to spend the rest of my life on my knees because I lost my cool and sent a hasty e-mail, especially since my enemies have acted much worse against me.