[eDebate] Fwd: Please forward to edebate - from Elliot Tarloff

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Thu Apr 3 16:52:19 CDT 2008

Two points in response to Mr. Tarloff's very gracious post:
1.  If you Google Mr. Tarloff's full name, his DCA biography is, years later, the first hit.  The second hit is the DCA biography he wrote for Mr. Klinger.
2.  Almost every DCA biography has some joke that could be harmful to someone down the line (the degree of harm may vary).  It is almost DCA season, and I don't know if people plan to do the biographies again.  If they are to appear, please use your heads.
--Neil Berch
West Virginia University
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Brent Culpepper<mailto:brentonculpepper at gmail.com> 
  To: edebate at ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate at ndtceda.com> 
  Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 5:21 PM
  Subject: [eDebate] Fwd: Please forward to edebate - from Elliot Tarloff

  Elliot asked me to forward this to edebate.

  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  From: Brent Culpepper <brent.culpepper at gmail.com<mailto:brent.culpepper at gmail.com>>
  Date: Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 4:20 PM
  Subject: Fwd: Please forward to edebate
  To: Brent Culpepper <brentonculpepper at gmail.com<mailto:brentonculpepper at gmail.com>>

  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  From: Elliot Sheppard Tarloff <tarloff at gmail.com<mailto:tarloff at gmail.com>>
  Date: Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 4:19 PM
  Subject: Please forward to edebate
  To: Brent Culpepper <brent.culpepper at gmail.com<mailto:brent.culpepper at gmail.com>>


  I was the author of the post about Kacey that she'd like taken down off of edebate.  I thought about avoiding this controversy for a number of reasons:  1) I don't think that anything I post would add to the discussion.  I made an entirely inappropriate and insensitive (and not funny) joke about Kacey (and a number of similarly bad jokes about Klinger) and have apologized to both profusely.  I don't think this public gesture does anything more to let them know how much I regret the bio; 2) I've privately asked Kerpen to take the post down on at least two occasions.  He hasn't responded to any of my requests.  I'm not blaming Kerpen.  If he doesn't have authority, then I'd just like to know who does and how we can reach him or her.  But I do think that Kacey has a point that if the author (me), the subject (Klinger), and the indirectly affected party (Kacey), want a post taken down, it should be taken down; 3) I don't know that these edebate controversies ever result in the desired conclusion.  I doubt this post will be instrumental in the purging of the DCA bio I wrote.

  So why am I submitting this now?  I guess because I don't want members of a community that meant so much to me to think that I'm a schmuck.  Or sexist.  I'm ready to admit doing something stupid, and I've tried to remedy the mistake of the DCA bio I wrote for Klinger.  Nothing has come of it.  I don't want a dropped argument (my lack of a posted response) to be taken for a true argument. 

  For the record, I want to say that virtually everything I said in my bio of Klinger ? about him, Kacey, or anyone else for that matter ? is completely fabricated.  He was my debate partner and closest friend in college, and I'd feel even more remiss if a dumb roast of him ever adversely affected his employment or his life in general.  I also have nothing but respect and admiration for Kacey, who was a fierce competitor, a hard worker, and a brilliant debater.  She and I are still friends now, and I consider myself lucky that she was willing to overlook my own insensitivity in this matter.

  Two final points that I want to make, not in my own defense, but because they're somewhat relevant to the discussion:  

  First, when I wrote the bio of Klinger, I was unaware that edebate posts were google-able.  That doesn't excuse an inappropriate joke, but it does provide some context.  In an insulated community, I didn't think saying a series of outlandish things about two friends of mine would be taken seriously or could have serious consequences.  I still shouldn't have written anything to slander Kacey, but I was unaware of the full implications.  

  Second, I don't know if any of you remember Klinger's bio of me, but it made some pretty ridiculous allegations about my (according to Klinger "alleged") family and me, which have come up over the course of the last few years in some awkward situations.  First, during security clearances while I've been traveling with my boss, I've been asked about drugs and debate.  It's never cost me a job, but it has required more "investigation."  Second, my dad has received a few phone calls, including from members of the media, asking if my mom really had an affair with Clinton.  Awkward and untrue to say the least.  I'm not saying this to ask for the post to be taken down, because on the whole I thought Klinger was a lot funnier than I was (as he was in debates).  I just wanted to let everyone know that I understand the consequences of edebate posts.  If I did want Klinger's bio of me taken down, I'd hope that I had a channel to let my concern be known.



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