Matters took a sinister and bizarre turn when Twelve Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan Peterson with illustrations by Van Sciver was released last week. Freelance journalist Nick Monroe has reported that EVS received the following interview request from self-described journalist Asher Elbein via Twitter direct message:
ASHER ELBEIN: Hey, Ethan. There’s quite a few allegations going around about bullying and abuse coming from your quarter, and there have been for a while. I wanted to reach out and let you know that I was working on a piece on the subject, and to give you a chance to respond.
I’ll be honest. I don’t like a lot of what I’ve seen. But I’m genuinely interested in what you have to say, and I’m open to being convinced.
ETHAN VAN SCIVER: What have you seen that’s concerned you, Asher?
AE: Sorry! Want to give you my full attention, but I’m on deadline for another piece. Can we set up a time for a formal interview sometime in the next few weeks?
EVS: Probably not. Ask questions here, I’ll answer them. I’d like you to begin by finding this “harassment” of Mr. Ayo. He’s been calling me a Nazi for six months, I asked him to discuss it and work it out with me. [H]e got very angry. I backed off and blocked him. This is being used to attack me, and I am surprised you can’t see that.
On and on into infinity. Now: I’ve never met this fellow. This might be something we can work out, let him see my humanity; explain myself. I hoped that would be the case. I was surprised to see him turn it around me as some kind of campaign by me to harass HIM.
At that point, Elbein blocked Van Sciver from sending him further Twitter DMs.
Note Elbein’s opening. It’s taken nearly verbatim from the list of ploys exposed by Vox Day that journalists use to coax statements out of their intended hit piece victims: “We’re running this story anyway, but I’m reaching out to let you tell your side.”
It’s always a con. The aim isn’t to give you a fair hearing. It’s to get you talking so the reporter has material to mine for gotcha pull quotes. Ethan’s desire to clear up the misunderstanding and try to humanize his opponents’ view of him is understandable, but Elbein never intended to give him that chance, as evidenced by the fact that he blocked his subject. Van Sciver was wise to refuse the offer.
But that wasn’t the end of it. After Elbein blocked EVS and all of his followers, the intrepid reporter attempted to crowdsource a witch hunt.
|Another journalist weighs in to dispense some DARVO tactics. Hint to Dallin: Ethan’s not the one asking his Twitter followers to dig up dirt on a professional he approached for an interview in bad faith.|
There’s more. Kieran Shiach, an editor at SJW converged site Comics Alliance–and someone who’s got an axe to grind with Van Sciver–brazenly tweeted the following:
Here’s Van Sciver’s take on the whole sordid affair:
It cant’ be stressed enough: Not talking to the press is a smart move.
We’re not done yet. Here’s the twist ending:
That’s the Editor in Chief of The Atlantic disavowing Asher Elbein. Were Elbein and Shiach LARPing, or is Goldberg running damage control? You decide!
Whether or not you approve of his opinions, Ethan Van Sciver has repeatedly and consistently upheld his dedication to entertaining readers by opposing the kind of insufferable message fic that nearly killed print SF and threatens to kill comics. It’s a stance I wholeheartedly share.
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