Yesterday, we posted a letter from former ESA boss Doug Lowenstein chastising the gaming press for giving everyone's favourite soon-to-be-former-lawyer Jack Thompson, claiming that we "treated him as if he was a credible, fair minded critic" (we did?) and overcovered him (and Crecente admitted that on that point, it's probably true - at times). Well, they've shot back at GamePolitics, succinctly calling Lowenstein's assertions 'bull.' You can't combat a bully by sticking your head in the sand, notes GP:
... By refusing to respond, Doug dropped the ball. Thompson, finding no resistance from the top of the video game industry, was empowered to push harder. In retrospect, it's important to understand that bullying is the essence of Thompson's strategy. In fact, one of the tips he offers in his forgettable 2005 book, Out of Harm's Way, is "be mean." And, since caveman days, bullies have pushed and pushed until someone got up the nerve to push back.
Doug never pushed back.
Instead, Lowenstein's ESA operated in a sort of la-la land in which Jack Thompson did not exist. As a journalist, I soon learned not to waste my time asking the ESA to comment on anything Thompson said or did because, ostrich-like, they pretended that there was no Jack Thompson.
The gaming press, on the other hand, deserves kudos for helping reveal to the larger world the kind of vicious tactics Thompson employed in his culture crusade. And isn't that the function of a free press? You'd think that Doug Lowenstein, a former journalist, would understand that.
Maybe Lowenstein had his spam filter set to catch JT. One of the first things I discovered after starting at Kotaku is that we were treated to weekly — sometimes daily — updates on Jack Thompson from Jack Thompson. Sometimes long 'press releases,' sometimes — like this morning — random crap, like a picture of an iceberg. Of course JT is a loudmouthed, self-aggrandizing irritant, but he's very good at self-promotion — and the implication that we as a group were supposed to ignore it when someone who utilized underhanded, bullying tactics and sensationalist talk in an extremely high profile manner is ridiculous. Too much coverage at times? Probably. Justified coverage at times? Most definitely. 'Mainstream media' certainly wasn't going to delve into JT's abhorrent tactics like we as a group did.