Los Angeles Deputy DA John Patrick Frey aka @Patterico posted unredacted documents (.PDF) at his blog revealing Nadia Naffe’s personal and medical information, then treated Twitter as his courtroom to cross-examine her (.PDF). As a result, her credit was ruined by identity thieves and her hiring prospects were dimmed by Google results. Frey did this in retaliation for Naffe blowing a whistle on the illegal and unethical activities of his friend James O’Keefe after he tried to rape her. Naffe has been trying to sue Frey ever since. Recently a federal appeals court overrode a lower court’s dismissal, meaning that Naffe’s case against Frey will continue for at least a year. She has also succeeded in getting the California Bar Association’s Audit and Review Unit to examine Mr. Frey’s activities, which may lead to his being disbarred.
Pat Frey has enjoyed the pro bono counsel of Mr. Ken White of Popehat.com during all these legal proceedings. Recently, White wrote a post bemoaning the overabundance of anti-bullying initiatives online and in American discourse. He posits that the word “bully” has been rendered meaningless, and politics over-personalized, by too many complaints about bullying:
But perhaps most of all, I don’t like the overuse of “bullying” because it diminishes and degrades the word for petty political purposes to the detriment of actual victims of real bullying. The meretricious overuse of the term “bullying” threatens to degrade it to the point where efforts against real bullying are not taken seriously and are tarred with the same brush of self-serving partisanship.
Remember, one year ago Ken White responded to publicity about Ali Akbar’s criminal record and shady nonprofits by denouncing it as censorship meant to “chill free speech” — basically, White called liberals bullies for writing about Akbar’s recent and ongoing criminality. But White simultaneously insisted that Brett Kimberlin’s decades-old criminal record somehow proved the existence of a sinister liberal conspiracy to bully the poor, misunderstood Breitbart goon squad.
Titled “Bully” Means Just What I Want It To Mean, White’s post would sit better with me if he could recognize a limit somewhere. Does Frey doxing and defaming Ms. Naffe on social media under the implied imprimatur of his office constitute bullying, or not? Because if it does, then he should recognize it for what it is and recuse himself. If Frey’s behavior does not constitute bullying, then the word has no meaning at all for Mr. White, and he should stop accusing unspecified people of devaluing the word.
Given his record, I am not holding my breath while I wait for consistentency.