David Klinghoffer and David Coppedge have both responded to my post “Lies of omission and straight-up lies.” Klinghoffer did so in a post on Evolution News and Views, “You Already Support Goliath with Your Tax Dollars; Won’t You Consider Balancing the Scales?“. In it, he calls me a bully for pointing out inconsistencies and omissions in his and Coppedge’s accounts. What he doesn’t do is refute anything I said.
Instead, he reveals how deeply the persecution narrative is embedded in his worldview. So deeply, in fact, that mere criticism is perceived as persecution and bullying. I’ve mentioned the persecution complex before (“The Discovery Institute still doesn’t understand free speech“), and I’m sure others have as well. Here’s how Klinghoffer responds to having inconsistencies in his narrative pointed out:
Now why would a biologist employed at a public university, a self-described atheist and “Senior Research Scientist,” care to delve backward into history to attack Coppedge, who lost his job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in 2011 and soon developed cancer, all shortly before retirement age? Why do the strong ever pick on the weak?
Why do the strong ever pick on the weak?
I had no idea I was so strong! I write a blog that gets a few hundred views in a good week, and that, apparently, makes me Goliath. The whole David versus Goliath narrative gets downright silly when Klinghoffer mentions that he had never heard of me before yesterday. I’m not surprised; I am small potatoes compared to the Discovery Institute.
Now we have a publicly funded professor coming along out of nowhere and, gratuitously, giving Mr. Coppedge another stamp of the boot heel, accusing him of being “deluded” (and me of lying on Coppedge’s behalf), all without having done the elementary research demanded by a sense of fairness.
It’s true that my research is publicly funded, including [full disclosure] by NASA. Fierce Roller, though, is my personal blog, maintained on my own time and not supported by either the government or Georgia Tech.
For pointing out that parts of Klinghoffer’s and Coppedge’s narratives are contradicted by his own notes and testimony, I am “bullying,” “pick[ing] on the weak,” and “giving…another stamp of the bootheel.” To his credit, Klinghoffer never calls me a “fascist apologist.”
The other response, from David Coppedge himself, was left as a comment (which I approved). At the risk of being accused of continued bullying, I’ll address a few of his points.
Linux, for instance, was totally irrelevant to Cassini.
From Van Why’s testimony:
…the needs and skills of Cassini moving forward dealt more with ITL web services, Linux, troubleshooting, good customer skills. And those are areas that David did not rank as high on.
The “complaints about interpersonal skills” stemmed from one alpha female (so termed by others) in 2004-2007 who was uniformly disliked by all the team, including my boss.
Coppedge’s notes from 2004:
[Chin] claims [e]very office has complaints about me. Even my own team members were complaining…Office Mgrs thought I was rude, incompetent or uncooperative.
From Coppedge’s comment:
…in short, what happened to me was all tied to the DVD sharing…
Scott Edgington’s testimony about a conversation with Coppedge about Proposition 8:
4/4/12 (Edgington) Tr.9:11-15; 11:1-18:18. Id. atTr.ll:I0-21; 12:24-13:27 (“He said … that well, you must want to harm kids or you must not like kids”); Id. at Tr. 14:3-12 (“His tone was raised. [Y]ou could tell that he was- he couldn’t grasp me not thinking that I, you know, would agree with him on this topic. Q. Did he seem upset? A. Yes. He seemed upset.”); Id. at Tr. 14:13-15 (“Q. How did you feel when he said to you that you must not like kids or be against kids? A. I was shocked .and upset.”); Id. at Tr. 15:19-18:17 (“[A.] I was feeling intimidated, as he was standing on the other side of my desk, you know, making this statement. And so I politely asked him to leave. . . . Q. And what happened next? A. He started repeating the arguments that he had made earlier in the conversation and his tone was raised over what it was previous to that as if repeating it would convince me that he was right. Q. And did he make any gesture as if he was going to leave? A. No. No. Not as he was repeating those arguments. Q. And what happened after that? A. Well, I said to myself, I really need to, you know, get out of this situation. So I asked him to leave again. Q. And how did you say it the second time? A. I said in a higher tone, you know, ‘would you please leave my office,’ and, yes. Q. Did he at that time? A. Yes, he did. Q. How did he leave? A. He had this frustrated look on his face and just stormed out of the office. . . . After he left I was shaken up a bit by the situation.”).
In spite of Klinghoffer’s insinuations to the contrary (“…without having done the elementary research demanded by a sense of fairness”), I have read most of Evolution News and Views‘ coverage of the case. (He did get in a sick burn on Twitter on this point):
It’s not that I haven’t read ENV‘s coverage; it’s that I found it one-sided and entirely unconvincing. There’s nothing there that makes the contradictions in Coppedge’s story magically disappear. Regardless, I was responding to Klinghoffer’s two recent posts, not years-old coverage. Klinghoffer’s “sense of fairness” barely impels him to acknowledge that there even is another side to the story. The only hint in those two posts that anything he says is disputed is this:
Phony allegations of “harassment” and of pushing his “religion” were lodged against [Coppedge].
As I said yesterday, omissions that extreme rise to the level of dishonesty. A reader who had not “done the elementary research” would never know that complaints about Coppedge’s behavior went back five years before his demotion, that everyone on the team knew that two of the five system administrators would be laid off due to budget cuts, or that his supervisor ranked Coppedge dead last in terms of his relevant skills.
I realize that Coppedge disputes each of these points, I just don’t believe his version of events. Neither did the judge.