Yesterday, as you are all aware, was a day ending in "y," so that means that Spider-Man writer Dan Slott was on Twitter, arguing with any fans or comics journalists who mentioned his name or his work. The topic of yesterday's argument? Well, it was Eddie Berganza of course. More specifically, it was complaining about the reporting of Eddie Berganza's naming as an alleged long-protected sexual harasser at DC Comics. Because in this situation, the most important thing isn't that a senior editor with multiple alleged sexual harassment issues that the company is aware of goes unpunished, with the company instead allegedly giving him a department in which no women are allowed to work and banning him from conventions in order to prevent another publicly damning incident. No, the real problem, of course, is that people "weren't doing it right" when they named Berganza on Twitter.
Slott began putting his foot in his mouth in a response to tweets from journalist Nick Hanover, with whom Slott has an ongoing grudge:
Slott quoted one of Hanover's tweets and responded:
Slott was attempting the "divide and conquer" method of deflecting from the real issue. By claiming that The Beat's Heidi MacDonald is the only one to have reported the story the "right" way, Slott seeks to discredit everyone else reporting on the story, and establish arbitrary guidelines for how people are allowed to talk about an alleged sexual harasser. An alleged sexual harasser, by the way, who has gone unpunished since at least 2010, and who has survived countless attempts to "handle it through the proper channels," leaving no other recourse but to take it to the court of public opinion.
(Updated for clarification: That's not to say that Heidi MacDonald isn't an icon of comics journalism and that The Beat isn't amongst the very small number of comics outlets that actually has our respect. Just that Slott's claim that Heidi's story was the only one reported the "right way" was an attempt to dismiss other perfectly legitimate stories and means of reporting on this issue.)
Journalist J.A. Micheline, reigning twitter battle champion of the world, was quick to call Slott out:
He wouldn't, of course. One of Slott's signature Twitter battle moves is the "gaslight quote tweet," a devastating attack in which, rather than respond directly to a tweet or series of tweets he disagrees with, Slott singles out one tweet and "quotes" it, causing the tweet to display in the timeline of his 100,000 followers (who wouldn't normally see @replies) with the intention of showing them only a small part of his opponent's argument to make the environment more favorable to his own points.
But Micheline, a veritable Twitter ring general, has studied the tapes, and was prepared for this line of attack. She quickly countered and renewed her offense:
Slott, on the ropes, resorted back to his original tactic: divide and conquer. Slott attempted this time to credit well-respected journalist Janelle Asselin as a means of implicitly discrediting Hanover.
But when you live by the sword, you die by the sword, and Slott's gambit backfired spectacularly as Asselin herself joined the fray:
Realizing he was outmatched, Slott tucked tail and ran, citing "work" as a reason to get off Twitter, as if that's ever stopped him before in the entire history of his online presence:
But the final blow against the beleaguered Spider-scribe came from his own stable, as Marvel Executive Vice President Tom Brevoort scolded Slott for making himself, and by extension Marvel, look like douchebags by publicly attacking whistleblowers:
Perhaps Brevoort was hoping Slott could take his social media dickery to a platform, like Tumblr, where Brevoort himself is routinely a smug asshole to fans, but where he can exercise more control over the responses. However, another superstar comics writer soon chimed with an even more explicit rebuke:
Slott has not returned to Twitter since. Has he finally decided to reflect on his behavior? Or is he simply licking his wounds and living to fight another day?
We'll have to wait and see.
While we're waiting, though, with Slott (temporarily?) vanquished, we can resume what we were doing in the first place: applying pressure on DC Comics to address the situation with Eddie Berganza.
If you're a comic book journalist, we urge you to write about it on your site. If you're not, please engage in the discussion on Twitter, or at the very least, retweet our tweet below to let DC's management know you want answers (or send them a tweet of your own):
Since DC has still not addressed the issue, we will reset the Has DC Done Something Stupid Today counter to 0 days once again.
Other sites that have followed the lead of Jennifer DeGuzman, Nick Hanover, and Janelle Asselin by reporting on Eddie Berganza this week (besides us):
(if we're missing any, let us know)
Will the biggest comics sites chime in soon? We hope they will.