This is that Spencer Ackerman quote from Journolist that’s getting a lot of attention:
I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
It turns out that’s hardly the first nutty, violent, threatening thing Ackerman ever said. All emphasis is mine, except for the Kaus quote.
Firing from The New Republic
In October 2006 he was fired by The New Republic Editor Franklin Foer. Describing it as a “painful” decision, Foer attributed the firing to Ackerman’s “insubordination”: disparaging the magazine on his personal blog Too Hot For TNR, saying that he would “skullfuck” a terrorist’s corpse at an editorial meeting if that was required to “establish his anti-terrorist bona fides” and sending Foer an e-mail where he said—in what according to Ackerman was intended to be a joke—he would “make a niche in your skull” with a baseball bat.
Spencer Ackerman via Mickey Kaus, two months before the Journolist story broke wide open:
If Mickey Kaus actually believes what he writes here, he’ll publish every journalism-related email, letter, fax or notebook scribble he’s ever shared with another reporter to trade ideas. If he doesn’t do that, this pathetic has-been should shut the fuck up and find a way to get over his unbecoming obsession with Ezra Klein. [E.A.]
From a SpliceToday interview:
ST: When you’re out socially in Washington, is it sometimes uncomfortable if you run into someone you’ve slammed online? After your thorough and very nasty mini-profile of your former TNR colleague Ryan Lizza, would he approach you at, say, a restaurant, party or coffee shop? Would you come to blows?
SA: Honestly, it’s a bit hypothetical. It’s rare that I do run into such people. Ryan is a fun case in point: as I came out of the supermarket to buy beer for our Super Bowl party, I passed Ryan on his way to the store. He pretended not to see me. Had my friend not been there to restrain me, I would have knocked out his lights in front of his wife and toddler.
from the same interview:
ST: Your blog, Too Hot For TNR—now replaced by the perfectly named Attackerman—has been vitriolic, hilarious, eclectic and serious about what you perceive as the Bush administration’s foreign policy failures. After you were fired from The New Republic, what was the impetus for the blog? Revenge, or an outlet for material the editors were too timid to print. As a regular reader of TNR, my impression is that most of the staff write as if they were clones of David Broder—very earnest and devoid of humor. In retrospect, are you happy that you’ve moved on? And what’s the difference between TNR, The Washington Independent and American Prospect?
SA: No one believes me, but I swear the original impetus for THFTNR was a hangover. I was hung over after a party at my house, wanted to comment on Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam’s blog, and Blogger wanted me to register. When you register with Blogger, you get a free blog. It had become an inside joke with my friends that a lot of my opinions—and my manner of expressing them—were too hot for The New Republic, so that’s what I called the blog. Yuk-yuk-yuk. Three days later [TNR editor] Frank Foer fired me.
At that point, I figured it was time to go all-out. I had scores to settle, a lot of unresolved anger (still do) and a related series of indictments of the magazine—which were really indictments of Washington centrist-liberal journalism, with its cowardice, careerism and personality-worship. So that became, for a while at least, THFTNR’s mission.
Previously – Spencer Ackerman Beclowns Himself on Journolist