We Talk With the Man Behind KurtGreenbaumIsAPussy.com

ahfmIf you haven’t noticed by now, this Kurt Greenbaum story hasn’t gone away yet, and though we are trying to keep up-to-date on all the Greenbaum-iness of the internet, there is one place that has become the hub for all the coverage of this story, and part of the story itself: KurtGreenbaumIsAPussy.com (or for those with virgin ears: KurtGreenbaum.com)

We recently traded emails with the anonymous operator of the site.  Here is the interview:

Punching Kitty: First off, thanks for the links.  We are truly honored!

Thanks for giving attention to what I think is a very interesting and important public discussion about what happened here.

PK: Are you from the St. Louis area?

No answer.

PK: Am I to assume you are trying to stay anonymous, or do you want to tell us who you are?

No answer.

PK: Where did you find out about the Greenbaum story originally?

I think I saw it making some traction on Reddit and Digg.  It seemed to have legs so I started following it.  Then I realized how disturbing it was.

PK: Clearly you are fired up about the story.  What about all of this really pissed you off enough to make this site?

I think there are a few reasons for the depth of the response:

1.  His actions seem to be a grave betrayal and inconsistent with Internet culture.  They also seem to be inconsistent with newspaper culture; he, in effect, ratted out one of his anonymous sources, so whether you prefer old media or new media, this is very bad.

2.  His actions seem to be hypocritical.  He’s gone to some length to establish himself as an expert and journeyman in the field of “social media”, encouraging us to think of him as a bridge between the old media St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the new media Internet.  And then as soon as he sees something mildly vulgar, he uses old-school, thuggish, command-and-control tactics to impose his morality on someone else and costs them their job.  He wants us to trust him as being Internet-savvy, but then he completely blows it.  Because verifying identity on the Internet is so hard, the Internet is especially is especially twitchy and vindictive about rooting out impostors.

3.  One of the reasons I made the site was that Wikipedia is refusing to permit a page about him.  There needs to be a central repository for information about this story.  I saw a need…

4.  I created the site as a public service and as a small contribution to my responsibilities as an engaged citizen.  At first, I thought, “That’s It!  I’m buying a major American newspaper company and giving people a piece of my mind on the editorial page!”.  But then I realized I only had 30 minutes or so to work on this, so I made a website instead.  Old media is dead.

PK: How’s the site doing?  Getting a lot of page views?

So far 30,000+ page views.  See the current total at the top of the home page at www.KurtGreenbaumIsAPussy.com.  I’m expecting traffic to expand greatly tomorrow (Monday) morning.

PK: You also registered KurtGreenbaum.com as well and redirected it to KurtGreenBaumIsAPussy.com. How exicited were you when you realized he hadn’t registered it yet himself?!

I just simply couldn’t believe he hadn’t already registered them.  I went back to several news sources and repeatedly checked the spelling.  I see this as further proof that he’s actually rather clueless about the Internet.  And “KurtGreenbaumIsAPussy” was too good of a double entendre to pass up.

PK: Has Greenbaum or anyone connected to him tried to get ahold of you yet?

No, but I’d be willing to talk with him.  I’ll bet we could have a very interesting, mutually beneficial conversation.

PK: Well thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.  The site is hilarious.  Anything else you want to add?

I think there are a few open questions that need to be asked far and wide:

1.  What has been the response of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch?  They seem to be hunkering down and hoping this all blows over.

2.  What has been Kurt Greenbaum’s response?  He too seems to be hunkering down, restricting access to his social media accounts, blocking comments, etc.

3.  Given that the school Mr. Greenbaum called has a “headmaster”, that says private school, no public school.  Is it possible one of his children is a student at that school, and thus Greenbaum felt expanded license to contact them?

4.  Why haven’t we heard from the school itself, or the affected employee?  I’m surprised these facts haven’t yet come out.

5.  I suspect Greenbaum is using this as material for a book.  It might be an interesting read.  I hope it’s not simply a moan about how the Internet is destroying good old-fashioned Midwestern values.

Once again thanks to (Not) Kurt Greenbaum to taking the time to answer our questions.

We’re glad he threw in those point at the end of the interview, because he really has some interesting questions, #3 in particular.

Is it possible one of his children is a student at that school, and thus Greenbaum felt expanded license to contact them?

This is a great point, and if true, would actually loosen the noose (albeit, very slightly) around Greenbaum’s neck.

Once again, we would love to get a hold of the affected employee and even Mr. Greenbaum to get their sides of the story as well.  For any information you would like to share, 100% anonymously, hit us up at tips@punchingkitty.com or 314-266-TIPS (voice or text)