Defamation hoax leaves blogger red-faced

A blogger desperate for attention hoped that stealing someone else’s logo and
putting it at the top of his post would increase his web traffic. Sadly, it failed.
A publicity stunt backfired badly yesterday, after an Auckland blogger was caught faking a threat by Colin Craig to sue him for defamation.

Scott Yorke, who operates the blogsite Imperator Fish, yesterday confirmed that he had received a letter from law firm Chapman Tripp demanding that he retract a statement made in a blogpost that “Colin Craig is a fat poohead who does bad smells.”

The letter claimed that Craig was not a fat poohead, and that Yorke’s statement was demonstrably false. The inference that Craig was flatulent was also denied.

However, doubts were raised about the authenticity of the letter, after one reader noted that it appeared to be written in crayon, and had been signed by a “P Oopface, Partner.” No P Oopface appears as a partner on Chapman Tripp’s staff-list.

This morning Yorke owned up to the publicity stunt.

“I just wanted to be loved”, he sobbed. “I tried so hard to write posts that people would like, and then this Civilian guy came from out of nowhere, and now he’s an overnight sensation.

“As if that wasn’t bad enough, then some moneyed clown threatened to sue him, and I’m like ‘hey, what about me? How about threatening me for a change? I was saying bad things about you last decade.’”

Yorke was referring to the threat by Conservative Party leader Colin Craig earlier this week to sue the satirical website The Civilian for defamation. The threat was eventually withdrawn, but the incident resulted in the website receiving widespread attention.

“It’s not fair!” Yorke raged. “Where is the justice in this world? All I ever wanted was for people to tell me how clever and witty I am, and now all my traffic has deserted me for that other site.”

Yorke admitted that fabricating a lawsuit against himself to gain attention had been a misjudgement. “But then what else was I meant to do? Sit back and watch while someone else ate my lunch?

“No, now I see it clearly. There’s nothing in this game for me. The whole satire thing is dead to me, because the people who read it are treacherous backstabbers who lack any concept of loyalty. They tell you you’re special, you’re the only one, but they’re running out the door the moment someone new comes along with the promise of an easy thrill.

“Well I’m out. To be honest, I didn’t really want to walk away like this, but Colin Craig’s threat helped me to see that God hates satire. Every satirist is doomed to spend an eternity in the pits of Hell, for what could be more vicious and depraved than twisting the words of a man of God?

“Maybe if I get out now and devote the rest of my life to preaching the words of Our Eternal Saviour Our Lord Jesus Christ, May His Name Be Blessed, I can atone for all the nasty things I’ve written about people.

“I’m looking forward to being in Heaven with my harp and my ladies, looking down on that Civilian guy toasting in the fires of Hell. It’s a sight I’ll never get tired of. Let him suffer for being funnier than me!”

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