Host of the syndicated political talk show that ebars his name, broadcast for radio, television and online.
Involvement with Gamergate
Pakman joined the discussion when he started doing interviews with several key figures from Gamergate starting late October 2014:
- 27 October: Brianna Wu
- 28 October: Milo Yiannopoulos
- 29 October: Jennie Bharaj
- 30 October: John Bain a.k.a. TotalBiscuit
- 4 November: Arthur Chu
- 5 November: Fredrik Brennan a.k.a. Hotwheels
- 6 November: Liana Kerzner a.k.a. LianaK
- 7 November: Matthew Rappard a.k.a. SillySladar
Others were invited on the show but their interviews didn’t come to pass for various reasons:
- Stephen Totilo, who on 31 October was invitated via Twitter and politely declined https://archive.today/v1exp
- Zoe Quinn, who on 31 October was invited via Twitter, accused him of “public pressure” and enabling a “hate group”, among other claims from her and her peers, especially Alex Lifschitz. Please see the sections below for more details
- Oliver Campbell, scheduled to be interviewed on 3 November, cancelled it https://archive.today/QPKfW
Public reception of Gamergate interviews
Pakman’s very first piece on Gamergate, Brianna Wu’s interview, immediately drew criticism from the anti-GG side.
Brianna Wu’s criticism
Wu considered Pakman, who had so far not made any pronunciations on Gamergate, of being biased against her. During the interview itself, at about the 20:52 mark, she accuses Pakman of running a hit piece on her https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVcInunAss.
Totalbiscuit commented on this on the Youtube, stating that she seemed to expect the interview to be a platform for her to uncritically expose her side and was surprised when Pakman contested her claims and put her on the spotlight:
Soon after the interview, Wu took to Twitter to further her criticism of Pakman, whom she claimed was putting her “on trial” for being a victim https://archive.today/T4cqM, fitting with the anti-GG narrative that casts Gamergate as a harassment campaign:
She ends her diatribe by announcing she will “answer all these tough question [sic]” soon in an interview with journalist Glenn Fleishman. A few facts not mentioned in that Twitter conversation are that Fleishman is a friend of Wu’s since before Gamergate or the “Quinnspiracy” controversy that preceded it https://archive.today/3izMF https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aglennf%20to%3ASpacekatgal and donated to the Kickstarter of her game Revolution 60 https://archive.today/3qEvW#selection-463.0-463.15, whereas Wu has collaborated twice to Fleishman’s publication, The Magazine https://archive.today/CQ6Yp https://archive.today/3w6os and donated to two of his Kickstarters https://archive.today/EXQU2. Thus Fleishman’s bias in the interview is a foregone conclusion https://archive.today/wEkiA, as was his open stance against Gamergate as whole https://archive.today/FLFlq.
Milo Yiannopoulos gets involved
Yiannopoulos took umbrage at supposed lies about him that Wu said in Pakman’s interview https://archive.today/8Q7Ms https://archive.today/yusbO https://archive.today/9TMM9. This eventually led to more misunderstangs, explained on their respective pages.
Ben Kuchera’s preventive refusal
On 31 October, after receiving Totilo’s recusal for an interview, David Pakman lamented that they were having trouble finding anti-GG people to be on the show https://archive.today/4oHHz. After a random commenter suggested he ask Ben Kuchera, the latter preventively recused himself with a peculiar message that compared Gamergate to creationists https://archive.today/7N7dU. This reinforced the anti-GG narrative that GG, as a harassment campaign, has no merit whatsoever and doesn’t even deserve to be debated.
Zoe Quinn’s invitation
Still on 31 October, as Pakman sought for more anti-GG voices to be interviewed, he tweeted at Zoe Quinn asking if she would like to be interviewed. She immediately responded by accusing him of applying “public pressure” against people https://archive.today/U4oSF especially with GG’s “interference” involved https://archive.today/hurQE, and of legitimizing a “hate group” via a golden mean fallacy https://archive.today/LnIH4, before refusing the offer and requesting further conversations to be in private https://archive.today/5IrEF.
The implication of her accusations, in keeping with the standard anti-GG narrative, is that Gamergate has no valid points and isn’t even worthy of being discussed. As Pakman defended himself from these accusations, she further berated him for not asking in private https://archive.today/b3H77 https://archive.today/qXHmb. He apologized, claiming her replies were appearing out of order because of the software he was using, Hootsuite.
Still later on 31 October, Alex Lifschitz went on a rant because of Pakman’s requests for an interview. It’s pretty much impossible to highlight the most egregious tweets because it was effectively a day-long tantrum https://archive.today/L57Ze.
Regardless, on 1 November Quinn mentioned responded to David Pakman to talk about a possible interview deal in private https://archive.today/39CUy https://archive.today/h0W7V. As of yet, she wasn’t interviewed by Pakman.
The same day, Pakman mentioned on Twitter how he had received many accusations of “leading a hate mob against women” simply for stating his neutrality regarding GG during the previous day’s fracas with Zoe Quinn https://archive.today/SinMV.
Wu piles on again
Following the multiple attacks on Pakman that followed the fracas with Zoe Quinn on 31 October, Wu again weighed in against Pakman, accusing him of egocentrism and making this “about him”, which Pakman refuted https://archive.today/zJFEW.
Arthur Chu’s criticism
The interview with Arthur Chu happened on November 4.
The second and so far last anti-GG figure to be interviewed by Pakman, Arthur Chu already had demonstrated animosity towards Pakman due to perceived victim harassment when offering her an interview https://archive.today/iAFxm https://archive.today/gvlvY.
Chu started openly criticizing Pakman soon after the interview was done https://archive.today/4HzQT, to Pakman’s apparent surprise as he claims they agreed more often than not on the topics discussed. Later Chu claimed that his contention was that “the shows were set up as ‘Gotcha!’ zingers and whaddya know we did a half-hour on zinging me” https://archive.today/6HBsZ, which Pakman denied https://archive.today/qdrBO, without any proof presented by Chu.
Throughtout these Twitter conversations, Chu tries to smear Pakman’s reputation by claiming he is an unethical journalist who owes his career to a 2010 interview with Glenn Miller https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNrKqjYfv74 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH93qfvnxls, a white supremacist who came to national attention on 13 April 2014 after a shooting rampage in a Jewish retirement community http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Park_Jewish_Community_Center_shooting. Pakman and other Twitter users point out that the interview happened literally years before Miller’s crimes, which makes Chu’s accusations of sensationalism patently false, and moreover the interview tapes were handed as evidence to the FBI. However Chu still insisted that Miller’s 2010 interview and 2014 rampage where the springboard of Pakman’s career, while claiming his feud with Pakman wasn’t due to Gamergate but due to Pakman being only interested in “dirt” on his interviewees.
Days later, Arthur Chu put his contention in more simple, honest terms.
Yet a few days later, Chu wrote an article for The Daily Beast against Gamergate. Beside the usual narrative of misogyny and self-denefnse from personal accusations, he took the time to write Pakman “seems to enjoy doing sensationalistic clickbait interviews for the attention and the fireworks, without considering whether they make any positive impact” https://archive.today/u511N. Pakman responded in a tweet that Chu had shown no objections to their research process at the time of the interview but now rants about how it’s “evil” https://archive.today/W8H0j.
Further defamation and David Pakman’s defense
Besides rebuttals on Twitter seen in the section above, David Pakman has saw fit to follow the series of interviews with a few video “editorials” of sorts.
Pakman’s position on Gamergate itself
In the first non-interview video about Gamergate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9fiz35EP2I published on November 10, Pakman clarifies his position on GG itself. Claiming to be accused of bias for both sides and that he accepts neither label, he explains he clearly sees harassment and trolling coming from both sides, states that issues of sexism misogyny clearly exists but has not be presented with evidence that such issues are worse in the gaming industry than elsewhere, and that it’s clear that there’s no doubt about collusion in gaming journalism even tho obviously the field is obviously not a serious matter in the grand scheme of things. In the next video, he clarified that tho neutral in the issue, he sympathized more with the anti-GG side.
In the second “editorial” video about GG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kC7s7tfaEc, Pakman shares past instances where he was misidentified in the press (once as a former neo-Nazi, once as a dead gay suicidal teenager), and now it has happened again, thanks to CBC’s piece on Gamergate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELZXPvdH9AY from 13 November.
During the segment, as the voiceover says that Gamergate began as a hashtag for the discussion of ethics in gaming journalism but has degenerated into a harassment campaign, the camera shows tweets and videos of several different people on the pro-GG side. Due to this lack of clarity, it can be implied that these specific people were labeled as either common gamers discussing ethics or harassers, and among the visible people is Greg Pakman. Worse still, the footage of Pakman that they used was precisely his previous video, where he states his neutrality. So the CBC article not only spuriously implies several people might be harassers, but it demonstrates they didn’t do any research at all in showing David Pakman as pro-GG at all.
The third “editorial” video is about CBC’s clarification e-mail to Pakman regarding the use of his image on the segment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_782j_Cev8. It states that they didn’t imply he was a harasser, as his footage appears right as the voiceover mentions “initially a hashtag for the dicussion of ethics…”. However, it also states that his footage was chosen because he was an “early adopter” of GG discussion, which Pakman himself denies, claiming himself a latecomer to the debate. Thus the charge that CBC’s segment was badly researched remained.
During the fiasco of IGDA’s endorsement of the ggautoblocker program, it turned out that David Pakman’s personal twitter, @dpakman, was listed as one of the 10,000+ “harassers” within Gamergate https://archive.today/d7WUG#selection-4902.1-4951.7, despite the fact that his maain account, @davidpakmanshow, had been whitelisted long before https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/9fe7878983450b33f9fd716ae3799a2bd14b6e68
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