On Saturday, someone posting a comment at the liberal blog Crooks & Liars under the pseudonym “Prof B in LA” accused Fox News contributor Michelle Fields of going “full retard.” Fields says the person responsible is her former Pepperdine University professor, Russell Burgos. Burgos denies it (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). After Twitchy assembled evidence linking Burgos to “Prof B in LA,” he acknowledged that he blogged under that pseudonym up until March 2014. However, he said he no longer does so, and no longer has access to the account. The implication is that the “Prof B in LA” account was hacked at some point since March, with its password changed to block Burgos from accessing it.
Now comes word that Prof B in LA’s original “full retard” comment was edited just yesterday. Somebody has access to the account.
Here is the original comment, posted on Saturday using Disqus’ commenting platform:
And here is the edited comment, screencapped yesterday by Jennifer Logue:
Fields confirmed that the post was changed:
“Prof in LA” — whoever controls that account now — wanted to make the point that the “full retard” terminology came from Kirk Lazarus, a fictional character in the popular movie Tropic Thunder. Why would some hacker go to such trouble? It almost seems as though the “hacker” was trying to defend himself from accusations that the language he used was insensitive.
Interestingly, in our email exchange with Burgos yesterday, he made a similar point:
As I have said to people who sent e-mail, I’m sympathetic to their concern about the language used in that blog post. I do understand it comes from a popular movie and is part of the cultural lexicon, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be repeated. [Emphasis added.]
He also said this:
I concur with your commenters that use of the term “full retard” is offensive. I understand it comes from a movie and is available on YouTube, but that does not make it less hurtful. [Emphasis added.]
Why did Burgos take pains to point this out? It almost seems as if he was trying to defend the “hacker” — and did so by making the exact same point that the “hacker” made.
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Michelle Fields stated that Burgos has been writing insulting comments about her for years:
Here is one of those insulting comments. Remember, this was posted more than a year before Burgos’ “Prof B in LA” account was allegedly hacked:
So Professor Burgos — that is, the real Professor Burgos — insulted Fields two years ago, just like the “hacker” did on Saturday.
Both indicated that Fields was a former student. Both noted her libertarian leanings. Both criticized her political views.
Burgos and his “hacker” sure do seem to be on the same wavelength.
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It would be very interesting to know the “hacker’s” IP address. We have asked Professor Burgos if he would be willing to authorize Disqus to disclose that information publicly. We’ll update this post if and when we hear back.
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Tweeter claiming to be Prof. Russell Burgos says Michelle Fields got him mixed up with someone else; Update: The real Burgos confirms Twitter account is his; Update: Burgos’ story seems to change; Updated with latest email from Burgos; Updated with new tweets from Fields