Joins Company with Racist Trolls

When the WIRE's Managing Editor Drove It Straight Into a Swamp

Updated 11 weeks ago David Stone

We've already called for shutting down the Main Street WIRE. Now, let's take a look at the specifics driving that decision, Managing Editor Kelly Turner's jumping in to bolster the troll attack on this site. Every word attributed to her here is exactly as she posted it, and nothing has been left out.

 

Internet trolls, for those of you who haven't had the dubious pleasure of their acquaintance, are anonymous individuals and, sometimes, robots jumping into internet websites, planting false information, posting threats, insulting and defaming and generally trying to disrupt ordinary discourse.

At The Daily, we were already getting them in bunches when the Main Street WIRE's Managing Editor Kelly Turner - she is also listed on the masthead as Production Editor - joined the conversation thread.

Openly supporting the WIRE, trolls using the tags "Amber," "Human Person" and "Joanne" piled up racist as well as age and gender biased insults, most of which I kept busy deleting until the WIRE, in the person of Turner, joined in.

"Oh lordy," she began, echoing James Comey before the U.S. Senate.

"Someone sent me a link to this discussion thread thinking I'd be amused. But something has to be unexpected to be funny," she wrote.

It was a strange introduction. Who prefaces a comment by telling everyone how they got there? What kind of friends think racist trolls attacking a website are "funny?"

Most likely, I figured, after looking at the full context of her post, Turner was trying to proclaim her innocence in advance. But she soon threw all such pretenses aside. But first...

"In truth, Frank," Turner began, responding to a question from Frank Farance about why the WIRE's editors avoid community discussions, "I spend very little time in the 'discussion' threads for the blogs. I don't find them to be very constructive and most research in online discourse bears that out. The medium tends to lock people into their positions more firmly."

 High sounding, right? Above it all. But it was just the prelude to her mission.

"And as to why we don't generally post comments to the blogs," (Not what Farance asked) "it's because we don't need to. We have our own platform for communicating with the community. In the same way that David and Rick don't send us letters the editor--though they are welcome to. But they just post whatever they want to say on their blogs."

Then, Turner dropped the pretense and went for the jugular - Frank Farance's jugular.

"And as far as biases, we certainly all have them. David hates The WIRE and lets that flag fly freely whenever he can. You have a longstanding feud with Mandana and many of the other women on this Island, several of whom have sent you cease and desist letters over the years. I think it'd be silly to suggest that hasn't colored your view (sic) things."

The part of Turner's post that's bolded by me: "You have a longstanding feud with Mandana (PS/IS 217 Principal Beckman) and many of the other women on this Island, several of whom have sent you cease and desist letters over the years," is a fabrication, one intended to discredit Farance as a blind hater of women as the trolls had already claimed.

That was a lie that Turner, who defines herself as a professional journalist who studied at the University of California at Berkley, knew or should have known about before spewing in alignment with the trolls.

Farance, who played no role in the article that drew Turner and the trolls, which tellingly Turner never comments on, has received a single cease and desist letter, generated by an unlicensed Oklahoma lawyer in support of claims, several provably false, by Lynne Strong-Shinozaki.

And Frank Farance, as anyone who knows him is well aware, does not hate women and counts many as friends. I've never heard or read a single word of gender bias from him.

"Briana (Editor Warsing) and I are happy to stand behind our reporting. And we encourage readers to contact us directly when they think we've gotten it wrong. letters@mainstreetwire.com," Turner concluded.

It's critical to note that Turner took time to comment on an article's discussion thread without once referencing the article or disavowing racist trolls already posting in support of her newspaper, the Main Street WIRE.

At no time in the nine days that have passed, during which the comment thread has remained open for additional posts and editing of those already lined up, did Turner make any effort to retract or apologize for posting a lie.

Neither she nor anyone else from the WIRE posted a word disavowing approval or participation with the trolls.

In the meantime, Amber, Human Person and Joanne, permanently banned from The Daily seized another website to continue the attack on Farance, as well as me, denouncing him for being divorced and accusing him of living in his mother's basement.

Following Turner's personal assault on Farance, the trolls had a field day of additional bigotry and anonymous, attempted cruelty.

Had Turner corrected herself or denounced the racism and bigotry now posted in support of the Main Street WIRE, I'd reach a different conclusion than that she drove the WIRE figuratively into a swamp of community misconduct.

It's too late to fix now, more than a week after her gratuitous post. Shutdown the Main Street WIRE.

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