Monday, June 20, 2005

Blogger in Trouble: South Knox Bubba Threatened by Owner of Knoxville Newspaper - Update #3

UPDATE #3 (2:23 am,6-20) Here‘s the Metro Pulse article that Brian Conley - owner of the Knoxville alt-weekly – feels so strongly about that he will threaten you if you dare to criticize it. Any takers?

Two Knoxville party girls peer into Nashville’s nightlife
by Molly Kincaid & Ellen Mallernee
"Our assignment was vague but intriguing: to discover Nashville in just two days. So we set out on the open road without agenda . . . "

The Knoxville Party Girls article received a little criticism from blogger South Knox Bubba. Then it received a little more criticism in Bubba’s comment section. Next thing you know Conley is sending Bubba an email threatening to reveal Bubba’s identity, along with any and all dirt he can find on the blogger. Conley suggests that he will reveal it all on the cover of the Metro Pulse newspaper. But Bubba beats him to the punch by publishing his identity, along with Conley’s nasty email, right there on his blog for all the world to see.

There’s lots more in Bubba’s comments section, along with suggestions that what Brian Conley is really worried about is criticism of his real estate deals. Cause going ballistic over a fluff piece about Nashville’s night life is just plain weird.

UPDATE#2 (4:28 pm, 6-18): If you're new to the story about Brian Conley - the thin-skinned owner of Knoxville's alt-weekly - who went balastic over a little criticism from a blog, you might want to start by scrolling down past the updates to the section titled: Original post.

The mighty Atrios features Conley as Wanker of the Day. Steve Gilliard names Conley as Bully in Action. See also Fables of the Reconstruction who has a better name than scumbag for Conley. Say Uncle says the Metro Pulse is no longer fit to use as packing paper. Thoughts of an Average Woman says: SKBubba Maliciously Outed.

UPDATE#1 (1:38pm, 6-18): Blake at Nashville Files has posted a message he received from Brian Conley. According to Conley, we can all relax and Bubba can reclaim his anonymity because the creepy and threatening message he sent Bubba was "not a threat." Conley goes on to say that he even felt the need to send Bubba a follow-up email just in case Bubba didn't 'get' that "it was not a threat."

"I specifically told {Bubba} that it was not a threat."

Gee, maybe Mr. Conley should apply for a job at the White House where dirty skies are forever clear and devastated forests are perpetually healthy. Sorry Conley, your message looks like a threat, feels like a threat, sounds like a threat. Actually what it most sounds like is an attempt at blackmail. But Conley knows that, else he wouldn't bother to send a follow-up message informing Bubba that "it was not a threat."

Below is Conley's not-so-reassuring message to Blake Wylie at Nashville Files, in which we begin to learn about Conley's motivation for informing Bubba that "if" Conley "wanted to" he'd "threaten" to reveal Bubba's identity, including any and all dirt he could find on Bubba, and "if" he "wanted to" he'd do it on the cover of his newspaper, the Metro Pulse.

Gee, "if I wanted to" I'd "threaten" to call Conley a creepy scumbag who was obviously attempting to blackmail Bubba. "If I wanted to" I'd "threaten" to make the observation that Conley sounds more like a goon from the mafia than a respectable newspaper owner. "If I wanted to."

Mr. Wylie:

I didn't send a threat. In a follow-up email (one he chose not to post), I specifically told Mr. Neal that it was not a threat. If you'll read the email in question, it specifically states that I wouldn't run such a story. It does state that anonymity should not be abused. Over the last couple of days, Mr. Neal has personally attacked and facilitated attacks on two people I care about. I did not like it anymore than you would like someone attacking people you care about. Also, I thought it was patently unfair so I told the two people the identity of southknoxbubba. If they have corresponded with him, I am unaware of it. Still, the fact that Mr. Neal chose to reveal his identity to the world was his decision, and his alone. Personally, I wish him well.


There's more at Nashville Files. Stay tuned. More non-threats may be forthcoming.


Origina Post @ 4:01 am, 6-18-05:

South Knox Bubba, Tennessee's most famous liberal blogger, received a threatening email yesterday from Brian Conley, owner of the Knoxville newspaper, Metro Pulse.

Brian Conley threatened to reveal Bubba's identity.

Apparently, Conley doesn't know Bubba very well.

Bubba responded by posting the threatening and very creepy email on his blog. Then Bubba outed himself by posting his name, address, and business. Bubba is a bank software designer.

It may be hard to earn a living in conservative East Tennessee when suddenly your customers discover that you are the legendary South Knox Bubba of liberaldom.

Bubba's post:

Bank software designers and the blogs they create

Here is an interesting e-mail I received Friday:

Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2005 12:36:18 -0400
Subject: Re: Molly and Ellen
From: "Brian Conley" []

Mr. {name omitted}:

If I wanted to manipulate you, I'd threaten to run a cover story on bank software designers and the blogs they create, complete with names, photographs, personal credit histories, police records, addresses, excerpts of their political rantings, etc.. But I wouldn't do that, now would I? Anonymity really shouldn't be abused.

Well, it's probably not interesting enough for a cover story, and I'd hate to scoop Metro Pulse, but here you go:

[Bubba's full name, address, business are omitted here, but were posted on his site as late as 2:30 am, 6/18/05.]

You can look up the rest for yourself. As far as I know, I have no police record and I have an excellent credit history. But if someone like Mr. Conley is indeed able to get my credit report, America is in deep, deep trouble.

OK, then.

P.S. Thanks to everyone involved for ruining our weekend and the afterglow of our much needed vacation.

Before the above message was posted, Bubba's site was down with an alarming message posted on an empty page. Sharon Cobb and John Norris Brown were at the site at that time. Both have posted reactions and/or details on their blogs.

South Knox Bubba has long been a liberal oasis in both East Tennessee and the state. But the blogger 's fame is not confined to this state. The liberal blogger is very well known and respected across the national blogosphere.

This outrage will surely have consequences for Brian Conley and his newspaper.

It's 3:56 am and already bloggers and Bubba's readers are rallying around him by posting supportive comments. As one blogger commented: Bubba, you know the bloggers got your back (paraphrased).

This seems like as good a time as any to see just how much power a united blogosphere has.

Bubba, we got your back.