Never meet your heroes they say. Is this why?

Jeffrey St. Clair (YouTube screengrab)

Jeffrey St. Clair (YouTube screengrab)

I thought I was doing my part in pushing back against an internet that is getting dirtier by the minute when I emailed Jeffrey St. Clair to point out that a link on the CounterPunch website looks like it’s been hijacked. The email I wrote follows. I will not correct the one typo (‘read’ should have been ‘reading’):

“Hello. I’m reading around on the best alt media sites, and will be for a while, collecting articles and info on a few characters who I think progressives should take a second look at. Those individuals would be Robert Reich, Juan Cole and George Monbiot.

“I just did a search on your site and, after read the first return in the short list of returns, which happens to be an article about the origins of neoliberalism (an intensely interesting subject that I don’t think anyone has done a comprehensive examination of, for whatever reasons) and found, at the bottom of the article, a couple links to what I presume are good books. But I’m pretty sure the one link (I haven’t even got around to the second) has been hijacked. That’s the link to “A Dime’s Worth Of Difference.” –

Thought you might like to know. Later…”

I couldn’t believe his response, which follows:

“Why would it be “hijacked,” Mister Deep Researcher, since it’s a book that we published and wrote?”

I responded with:

“The snark accompanying your nonsequiter is noted. I assume that you checked the link before you spit at me. So I have to assume that I am really, really dumb and can’t see, as in understand, what I’m looking at (which you can see here:, or my own computer has been polluted., I grant you, looks like it could be a payment handling company, but I don’t see any sign of your book on the page that your link leads me to.

“You know, Your comment was very hurtful. What did I ever do to you, besides buy your book, “Hopeless – Barack Obama And The Politics Of Illusion,” co-edited with Joshua Frank, and tell everyone about it, as well as recommend CounterPunch to everyone who I talked to about politics?”’s website tab, and a line at the bottom of the page I landed on when I clicked the CounterPunch link, says “Easy and secure casino slot bonuses | Get your free casino bonuses here.”

I meant to check on the spelling of non sequitur before I hit send, but forgot to. And I did get it wrong. Presumably Mr Nice will still know what the word means. It means something that doesn’t logically follow from something else. When St. Clair pointed out to me what I alreay knew, which was that he was the author of a book I was interested in looking at, he went on to call me Mr Deep Researcher. I’ve never bragged to him, or anyone, about how great a researcher I am and I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Pointing out that you’ve got a link on your site that doesn’t lead to the intended content has nothing to do with research. In fact, I’m highly conscious of the fact that I am a permanent amateur in the area of research.

My job – and we all have something to contribute – is to ampflify the fantastic work that dedicated, skilled researchers like Jeffrey St Clair do. Or does he want me to quit my reading and blogging and watch CNN in my spare time and when I’m not working at my full time job which doesn’t pay me enough to rent a proper bachelor apartment here in Toronto. And if I can’t do that and Jeffrey did know me, Might he conclude that I have other disadvantages too? If I had the funds, I’d go crazy buying books, building a super study and paying people to teach me (research, internet, computer) skills I don’t have at present. I am very envious of people like St. Clair. Maybe I should solicit donations. St. Clair doesn’t know me and it sounds to me like he couldn’t care less if I got hit by a bus tomorrow and died. What a people’s champion!

Real people’s champions need our moral support, at a minimum. I can’t donate to everyone who has their hand out, as much as I’d like to. (I have donated to CounterPunch and other progressive organizations. The most I’ve given, though, isn’t to a progressive organization, but to help out Hassan Diab, the Canadian professor who has been a victim of abuse by both our Canadian government and the French government.) And I have endeavored to do that, not unconditionally or with the intention of never being critical where I thought it was necessary. Still…

Does this page look like it has anything to do with Mr Nice’s book, titled “A Dime’s Worth Of Difference”?:



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