Eric Muller’s Michelle Malkin Obsession

UNC lawprof Eric Muller posts about Michelle Malkin, a lot, on his blog, Is That Legal?

Yesterday’s installment is a rather inexplicable rant saying that her recent syndicated column criticizing Charlotte Church’s transition from Christian rock teen queen to 20-year-old skank is hypocritical because–brace yourself!–Malkin wore a bikini and went to parties in 1992 and he has photos to prove it.

Aside from being absurdly illogical, Muller’s argument is rather weakened by the fact that the photos of Malkin are rather obvious forgeries.

Malkin is urging Muller’s firing from UNC and AllahPundit suggests a libel suit and/or retaliation in like fashion.

While I’ve defended the likes of Ward Churchill, William Woodward, Juan Cole, Joseph Woolcock, and many other professors and their rights to express views I find objectionable without incurring professional penalties, Muller’s obsessiveness and dishonesty are worrisome. Thinking nutty things is within the bounds of academic freedom; cyber-stalking is not.

UPDATE: Muller posted an update a few minutes ago atop his post:

UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: It appears that I was mistaken when I linked to the picture on flickr below, which I believed to be a picture of Michelle Malkin. I regret my error, and I apologize to Michelle Malkin for it. She has asked that I leave the post up — indeed, she has reprinted it — and so I will do as she wishes.

A decent gesture but the post itself, on the heels of some other bizarre ones about Malkin’s personal life, is still not what one would expect from someone in Muller’s position.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Joe says:

    What is it with the UNC law school. When I was a Tar Heel undergrad, one of the law profs was reprimanded for shoplifting. That was pretty innocuous. A third year law student walked down Franklin Street firing indiscriminately killing two. Not very innocuous. I haven’t followed the law school since I graduated, but it just seems really odd to me.

  2. Ugh says:

    The reason Muller posts alot on his blog about Malkin is her “In Defense of Internment” book, which, IIRC, he systematically picked apart on his blog soon after it was published. I’m guessing he can’t believe that someone who wrote something so awful, at least in his view, is so popular and a regular commentator on Foxnews.

    He has updated the post and apologized to Malkin, BTW.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Ugh: Taking Malkin to task on her book is reasonable enough; the two had competing works out on the subject. There have been several instances, though, that went beyond intellectual disagreement. See this post by Malkin, for example.

    The update wasn’t there when I posted this.

  4. Anderson says:

    Muller is too preoccupied with Malkin, sure, but it’s not “stalking.”

    Pretty lame of him to fall for that godawful Photoshop job, though.

    As for Malkin’s original column … why does anyone read her? You couldn’t figure it out from that.

  5. Jon Swift says:

    By all means, let us threaten the livelihoods of those who disagree with us.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    Muller is too preoccupied with Malkin, sure, but it’s not “stalking.”

    I dunno Anderson, the one where he chartted her travel announcements/travel times and posting intervals came pretty close to that line. He may not have crossed it, but given the direction he is going he will eventually unless he changes course.

  7. James Joyner says:

    Anderson: This post, since edited (for honorable enough reasons) by Muller, originally contained a minute-by-minute account of Malkin’s posting and travel schedule. It was pretty creepy.

    Jon: The issue isn’t agreement, it’s defamation.

  8. Eneils Bailey says:

    Yes, this is a creepy guy.
    My suggestion is that the UNC Law School demote him to teaching Sex Education and Driver’s Training. I will loan him my mule.

  9. Jon Swift says:

    I’m sorry, Mr. Joyner, I had completely forgotten about the Creepiness Exception to encouraging one’s readers to trying to get someone fired. I also know you to be someone who is fair-minded enough that if a conservative blogger printed contact information of a group of student protesters and encouraged her readers to contact them, and they did so with death threats, you would condemn that kind of creepiness unequivocally.

  10. Anderson says:

    Wasn’t the blogging-while-flying post supposed to address allegations that Malkin’s husband ghost-writes for her?

    In any event, let’s fervently hope that Muller is *not* perving on a skank like Malkin.

  11. James Joyner says:

    Jon:

    Not sure I take your point. Malkin published the office address of officers in a student group and some nuts sent out nasty emails. Why is Malkin responsible for that?

    By contrast, Muller wrote all the things for which he’s being condemned and then published them on his own site.

  12. alex says:

    It’s pretty clear, to me anyway, that Muller has a strange fascination with Malkin, perhaps even a bit of a school boy crush, and because he finds her political positions to be so evil, he makes himself feel better by tearing her apart on a daily basis.

  13. Ugh says:

    Wasn’t the blogging-while-flying post supposed to address allegations that Malkin’s husband ghost-writes for her?

    I think that’s rightm, or close to it, he had some reason for doing what he did, such that when I read his post originally it seemed to me more of the “something’s amiss here, let me look further into it” kind of curiousity rather than stalking.

  14. Steve Verdon says:

    I think that’s rightm, or close to it, he had some reason for doing what he did, such that when I read his post originally it seemed to me more of the “something’s amiss here, let me look further into it” kind of curiousity rather than stalking.

    Yes that was Muller’s claim, however, given that changing the times/dates of posts is particularly easy and that that is an obvious answer (toss in restaurants, coffee shops, etc. that offer WiFi as an added attraction) the degree to which he went after this anomaly struck me as quite inappropriate.

    Jon Swift,

    If Muller’s actions do turn into cyber-stalking then the universtiy administration will likely feel really stupid for not warning him off this path earlier. Further, if something unpleasant does result the university could find itself on the end of a rather nasty lawsuit.

    Bottomline: Muller is being really moronic.

  15. I’m still having trouble with the logic chain that says wearing a bikini 15 years ago should prevent you from talking about moral issues today. The fact that the picture was faked is just par for the course on the lefts “fake but accurate” standards. But even if accurate I don’t follow the reasoning.

  16. Matt says:

    yetanotherjohn,

    Well put. I found Malkin’s post pretty silly, given that I am partial to foul-mouthed slutty British girls. Nonetheless, there wasn’t really anything incriminating about the photoshopped Malkin shot. At least a Scotch tumbler and a bong could have been photoshopped in to make it look a little more skanky.

    Also- Malkin is such an easy-target that it really isn’t necessary to resort to these measures in order to criticize her. Muller seems like a man in need of a new hobby.

  17. jpe says:

    Malkin published the office address of officers in a student group and some nuts sent out nasty emails. Why is Malkin responsible for that?

    The same way I’d be responsible for it if I posted your work address and email and then told my crazed minions to let you have it. This is pretty basic stuff, isn’t it?