Robyn Blumner is busily defending Richard Dawkins now.
I think Richard Dawkins is purposefully misunderstood at times as a way to generate clicks on some bloggers’ page. It’s because his name brings page views and eyes so why not generate a lot of heat around something that is pretty tame if you really unpack it.
What is this? 2005? “Blogging for the clicks” is so last decade ago, and it was wrong even then.
Controversy doesn’t bring in long-term viewers. Consistency and frequent content builds an audience. Getting links from other big-time bloggers gets you traffic. This is remedial blogging 101.
What happens is that sometimes someone says something stupid, and when people notice and comment on it, they want to claim that there is some ulterior motive for their personal embarrassment, so they blame the blogger.
What Blumner is saying is simply a classic silencing tactic.
You’re a bad person writing for money if you call attention to this other person’s bad behavior! So stop mentioning it!
And in my case, I dragged my heels for a long time, as regular readers can attest, trying and hoping that these outbursts on twitter and in blog comments were not representative of his views. I guess I should have cashed in on all those controversial clicks years ago!
I’ll also point out that criticizing the Heroic Leaders of the Atheist Revolution does not win you accolades and praise and money and appointments to leadership positions at major organizations. It gets you hate mail and stress and non-stop vilification and web sites dedicated to nothing but hating you. Blumner might want to think things through a little more if she thinks misinterpreting the biggest name in atheism is a fast-track path to success in the atheist community. It is a small tribal group that does not do introspection at all well.