Tuesday 4 July 2017

Open comment to Liana K

This is the text of a comment I left on Liana Kerzner's video response to me.

I have been informed that the comment is not visible, despite the url linking directly to my comment. Here is what it looks like to me (note the flair "highlighted comment"):

Here is what the exact same url looks like to other people:

Now, I don't know whether my comment, which contained two links, ended up in her spam filter, or whether I'm now blocked from commenting on her channel. But I will put the text of my comment here so everyone can see it:

EDIT: it has come to my attention that a different test comment I left is indeed visible to other people, so the following comment being invisible is almost certainly not due to any nefariousness on the part of Liana K. That being said, I still do want people to see this comment.

First thing: My dog recently died while I was overseas, a horrible situation in which my 14 year old son was mostly left with the burden of dealing with her sudden illness, even more sudden death and the necessity of dealing with her remains, without me here to help him with his grief. And well, she was my dog for 10 years, and I'm also still grieving. Also, two close friends of mine have been diagnosed with cancer in the last week, and one of them has been given a month to live. And despite my best efforts to try to revive my thyroid gland and get it working properly, I'm still finding myself with almost no appetite or energy and needing sleep in the afternoons. But please, don't anyone take this statement as me trying to engage your sympathies. :/ Liana, you did demand an apology from me, as a condition of coming on a radio show I almost certainly wouldn't have even been participating in. It was a requirement you put out, before you would even come to the table and talk with people who are NOT me. Below are some quotes from our exchange: "I was more than willing to talk to you as long as it seemed like you were approaching it in good faith. That was the purpose of the apology. I didn't get it, Allison told me I would not be getting it, and so I didn't think any ensuing conversation would be productive for obvious reasons." Yeah. So in order for you to be willing to talk to BRIAN on an HBR Fireside Chat in which I wouldn't even be present, you demanded an apology FROM ME over my comments about you, comments I made as myself and not as a representative of HBR. You essentially told HBR, "make her apologize, or I won't come on your show. It's either her or me." That's a demand. Not only this, as far as I know you didn't even tell them what I had said about you that required this apology. To my knowledge, THIS is the comment I made for which you were demanding an apology. http://imgur.com/a/b9lc4 Here is what I said about your statements on Lauren's show: "She and I were guests on Lauren Southern's Rebel Media show about a year ago to discuss the Jian Ghomeshi case as well, and her assertions and arguments there were... astoundingly inaccurate and betrayed a stunning ignorance of the criminal justice process and how it's supposed to function. She spoke with confidence and authority while making assertions that were entirely factually inaccurate (such as claiming that in the US, unlike in Canada, the prosecutor acts as a legal representative of the complainant. Uh, no. In the Canadian system, the prosecutor represents the Crown, in the US the prosecutor represents "the people", not the complainant or victim)." Here is what you said in response to that: "And since that Lauren Southern episode is still behind a paywall, people can't see it for themselves. They have to take your word regarding what I said, and you're hardly an impartial judge. You're somewhat misrepresenting the nuance and context of what I was saying, which was that demands by activists for additional advocacy for victims would be redundant. The Crown is pursuing charges on behalf of the accuser. The accuser should not need protection from the Crown. I don't understand why you're picking a fight here. I believe the right verdict was reached based on how the case was tried. There's no disagreement between us here, and yet you're making it sound like there is by throwing out a reference with very little context." Christ sake, even in your defence of what you said, claiming I misrepresented you, you get it wrong. The Crown (or the DA in the US) is pursuing charges on behalf of the people, not the accuser. "I still think you cross the line when you attack a person's characteristics which they cannot control," I apologized in my video for what I said about your voice. I apologized for how I worded the one comment that someone (not you) provided so that I would know what I was supposed to be apologizing for. I clarified that I was not apologizing for saying that half the stuff you say is BS. I uploaded my critique of your appearance on Standoff for two reasons: 1) as a justification for my refusal to apologize for saying half of what you say is BS. MORE than half of what you said in that interview was misinformed, bogus, inaccurate, etc. 2) to demonstrate to people that your suggestion that I was taking you out of context thinking I could get away with it because the video was behind a paywall and people can't check for themselves, was bogus. You made a false accusation (or, I suppose, more appropriately, false insinuation) about me, and I wasn't going to allow that to stand. "and you've said some other choice things about me that weren't just harsh." I won't consider apologizing for them until I know what they are. "They were assumptions about my motivations that you could not possibly know, and your "proof" of your assertions was essentially layman's psychoanalysis. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and your opinion is not evidence." I won't consider apologizing for them until I know what they are. Show me what I said and the context in which I said it, and I will consider it. I asked you in that thread, multiple times, for context regarding the one comment a third party had linked to. I wanted to know where I'd left that comment. What, specifically, was I commenting on. The person who'd made the video was finally kind enough to link it to me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJR2XCxs8Ls He'd made it unlisted because it contained more "pwnage" than he was going for with his channel overall, but has recently unlisted it because of this controversy. I would suggest people go give it a listen, and ask themselves whether my comments about your delivery were completely out of line in the context in which I was making them. Now you are perfectly entitled to be as satisfied or dissatisfied with my apology as you wish. And you're perfectly welcome to bring to my attention, in their full context, whatever else I've said about you that you believe is worthy of an apology. But I will not apologize for being right and pointing out how you are wrong. I will not apologize for defending myself against your insinuations regarding dishonesty on my part. I will not apologize for things I have not said (for instance, I won't apologize for calling YOU functionally retarded, because I didn't). And I will not apologize for not apologizing in the exact way you wanted me to apologize. Like it or don't. This is the best you're ever going to get out of me. If I would not demand an apology from someone if the situation were reversed, I will not give them the apology they demand.


  1. Commenting here as a current endpoint to both videos and this, rather than to this specifically...

    I don't really understand what you were trying to do with the apology. Taking significantly more time to criticize than to formulate an apology doesn't seem very apologetic. I can see why you wouldn't be, but then I don't really get the point of the whole deal.

    It bothers me to see this outcome. I really would have liked to see conversations between the two of you, or Liana and HBR. It's a bit of a pity.

    Aw well, can't say I disagree with anything you've said, or with her for not wanting to engage. Classic impasse I guess.

    Cheers, and have a good one.

    PS. Sucks about your dog... I know what it's like to have a pet die when you're away.

    PPS. And about your friends too.


    1. She demanded an apology of me before she would talk to people I work with who had nothing to do with whatever it was I said that had offended her.

      I refused, she didn't come on, I thought that was the end of it.

      Then months later, I upvote a video of hers, and notice in the comments that someone is talking about some "beef" between myself and Liana. Someone posts the comment I made that had made Liana demand the apology.

      I leave a comment thanking them, noting that I could see why she was offended, and adding that my criticisms of her opinions and assertions are justified, citing an example.

      She leaves a diatribe accusing me of picking another fight with her y leaving that comment, and of taking advantage of a paywall to misrepresent her statements in such a way that no one can check. I respond in the comments, asking her multiple times to provide some context regarding what I said, and telling her not to expect an apology because I rarely apologize (I DO correct/clarify often, like I did in this blog post when I realized I wasn't blocked by her). I provide context for this--I won't apologize unless I feel I am in the wrong, and I won't do it unless I would expect an apology from someone who did what I did to me.

      I have not asked her to apologize for insinuating I was maliciously dishonest in my representation of her statements and arguments on Laurne Southern's Standoff. Keep in mind, this show was behind a paywall. I can lie about what she said there. She can just as easily lie about what I said about she said there--no one can go check and see if SHE is misrepresenting me, can they?

      Liana is still welcome to come on HBR. She doesn't have to talk to me if she doesn't want to. I honestly don't care. The original deal was for her to be on a Fireside Chat. I think I've been on all of three of those--they're Brian's baby.

      Again, Liana wouldn't talk to BRIAN until I apologized for things I said that weren't even said on the show.

      What I was trying to do with the apology was apologize for the few things I thought were worthy of an apology, refuse to apologize for what I thought were not, and address her ridiculous allegations that I was misrepresenting statements she made on a show that was behind a paywall.

      Personally, and yes, this is just me, her insinuation that I was attempting to mislead people by misrepresenting something that's behind a paywall is more worthy of an apology from her than me calling her any rude names or saying her voice is annoying. People say such things about me all the time, and I don't demand apologies from them. People have said this kind of stuff to my face (like Cenk did), and I would still sit down with them again without coercing an apology out of them.

      She's lucky she got any apology from me at all, and I said as much in the comment thread I linked in the video.

      You might not like it. But I'm not going to fundamentally alter how I do things for Liana Kerzner.

    2. Also, thanks for your condolences. I only mentioned it as a mirror of her video's opening, where she says she's unwell but isn't saying it so people will be nicer to her out of sympathy.

      It's pretty rare for people to do that when they feel they're in hot water unless they actually are trying to garner sympathy. Not saying she's doing it intentionally--people often do stuff like that subconsciously.

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  2. I think the problem is the two of you operate on different wavelengths and will never truly understand each other. You are very analytical in your thinking and not very sympathetic, whereas Liana is very sympathetic but sometimes her logic can be a bit fuzzy...

  3. Liana is really weird about the whole apology thing, she is acting like she has been done some massive injustice just because somebody says she has a bad voice and makes some retarded arguments. Exactly how long has she been on the internet? Surely the extent of the apology need only be "I was needlessly mean when criticizing you, I didn't realise you cared so much about a few slightly harsh words". Liana seems to be a normal feminist at least in her ability to take massive offence at little things.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I have to say, her main argument (playing a video in its entirety, while injecting comment, equals misrepresentation) *is* "functionally retarded". Are TV discussions that include one host and two guests unfair to the 1st guest, because the audience can't follow their arguments uninterrupted? Ridiculous.
    Also: She complains about being criticized for a characteristic she can't change. Yet what makes her original video so unbearable is that she CHANGES her voice to imitate other people.
    I've been reading her comments sections for some time and let me tell you: She can not deal with criticism, everything is an attack. I guess you can't be a feminist without this mindset, no matter how overall smart you are.
    This was never going anywhere, unless you were willing to crawl at her feet.

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Commenting policy:

All comments are welcome here. I refuse to censor points of view that differ from my own.

I recognize that I may be challenging the deep-seated beliefs of some people, and perhaps stirring up emotions in others. However, I would ask:

- if you care to respond to anything that I have said, please do not simply link to or quote some statistic. Do not simply regurgitate things you have been told are true. Think about what I am saying. Respond with an argument. Offer something from your personal observations, and explain to me how you feel your statistic is connected to your experience.

- If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).

- Remember, ad hominem attacks diminish everyone involved. If you want to criticize anything, do so passionately and directly - but debate is about attacking ideas, not people.

Have at you!