Writer named on Shitty Media Men list sues its creator

On Wednesday, just shy of a year after he says the “Shitty Media Men” list began making the rounds online, the writer Stephen Elliott – who was listed by several women for alleged “rape accusations and sexual harassment” – has filed a defamation suit against its creator, the journalist Moira Donegan, who has written for the Guardian, asking for $1.5m in damages.

Claiming their actions were “malicious in nature”, Elliott also included in his suit 30 “Jane Does” – the currently anonymous women who contributed to the list last year. He intends to identify them.

According to his complaint, filed in a New York district court, Elliott and his lawyer plan to subpoena Google metadata to obtain the identities of those who contributed to the list, uncovering their “names, email address, pseudonyms and/or ‘Internet handles’”.

Google told the Daily Beast it would “oppose any attempt by Mr Elliott to obtain information about this document from us”. The data is likely to be gone from the company’s systems anyway, the site noted.

Created in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein allegations and then burgeoning #MeToo movement, the list was intended to serve as a way for women in media to warn one another about potential aggressors in their workplaces. Anonymous contributors added names and allegations, and the crowdsourced Google spreadsheet quickly filled with reports of harassment, abuse, and other misconduct – all intended to be taken with a “grain of salt”, according to directions included at the top of the document.

The list didn’t stay secret for long and soon after a slew of articles were published, Donegan came forward as its creator.

“In the beginning, I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged,” she wrote in an essay published by New York Magazine’s The Cut. “The hope was to create an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation.”

Elliott, who vehemently denies the allegations that were listed under his name, says that inclusion on the list destroyed his career and caused depression. His suit comes on the heels of a personal essay, published in September, called How An Anonymous Accusation Derailed My Life, in which he describes his sexual preferences and how difficult his life has been since the list emerged.

Responses to the essay were swift, and included a tweet thread in which one of his former colleagues, Lyz Lenz, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review and an array of other publications, detailed the ways in which she said he had harassed her.

“Since your name was on the list I have gotten so many emails from women talking about the harassment you put them through. I’m talking so they don’t have to,” she wrote.

Support for Donegan came quickly, and on Thursday a GoFundMe had been created to help cover any potential legal fees. In less than 20 hours, 1,275 people had donated and the fund had grown to over $63,500. “Moira Donegan did us all a huge favor,” the page’s creator, Lauren Hough, wrote in the description. “She made our world safer, and she has paid more than her share. Now she’s going to need some help.”

Elliott has aligned himself with the attorney Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who specializes in fighting sexual assault claims and who has raised concern over Title IX protections. Miltenberg made a name for himself representing hundreds of male college students accused of sexual assault, challenging what he has told reporters is a system that is unfair to men.

Donegan could not be reached for comment. On Twitter, she posted a link to the essay she wrote last year, saying: “I opened the spreadsheet a year ago today, and I wrote this essay, the hardest thing I’ve ever written, a few months later. I still stand by it.”


Terror in Paradise: Trinidad and Tobago Is Now a Jihad Hotspot

The Ministry of Tourism for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago hosts a website extolling the many exquisite charms of the “true Caribbean” to be found there. The islands offer rich history, culture, biodiversity, and lodging with views “to die for.”

Of late, though, a diaspora of Trinidad and Tobago emigres have preferred the views in Syria and Iraq, and the company of Islamic terrorist group ISIS. At least 130 of T&T’s 1.2 million citizens left their white and turquoise shorelines to fight with vicious Islamists half a world away. How did that happen? “Entire families went,” including at least 42 children, according to findings in a recent study by UK professor Simon Cottee of Kent University.

While the answer to how this pocket of Islamic terror developed is complex, now that ISIS is territorially defeated and its thousands of surviving foreign terrorist fighters are dispersing to all points, a more pressing question has arisen. What will T&T returnees and their sympathizing community do next without a pressing, defined cause like promulgating an ISIS caliphate?


The United Kingdom, which governed the tourist-heavy islands until their independence in 1976, has this to say on its “Foreign travel advice” website:

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad & Tobago. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded spaces and places visited by foreigners.

Closer to American interests and overland smuggling lanes to the U.S. Southern border, the United States and some of its allies in Latin America are worried about T&T, too.

Shia groups like Hezbollah, along with its sponsor the government of Iran, have long held criminal and intelligence footholds throughout South America, as I explained in a recent update on the subject. This has included Venezuela and its offshore island of Marguerite, about 150 nautical miles from Trinidad.

But Sunni extremists like ISIS? That’s a newer upward trend, as I wrote recentlywhen recounting a suspected plot by local ISIS sympathizers in Suriname, just around the coastal bend, to kill the U.S. ambassador in the former Dutch colony. Sizeable communities of South and Southeast Asian Muslim communities live in Suriname, Guyana, and Panama. A steady stream of migration from the Middle East dates to the early 2000s, attracted by free-trade zones in the region, according to the Jamestown Foundation and other sources. Visa-free travel is allowed throughout the Caribbean.


Trinidad & Tobago is a hotspot fitting the profile. Only about five percent of its population is Muslim, according to the CIA’s World Factbook. But this five percent are causing outsized global security concern. A hardline Sunni Islamist mosque and its imams have been accused of ginning up all kinds of trouble for decades. In 1990, a Muslim organization known as Jamaat al Muslimeen attempted a coup against the government. More than 40 Islamist insurgents stormed Parliament, taking the prime minister and most of his cabinet hostage for six days. In 2007, members of Jamaat al Muslimeen were tied to a plot to bomb New York’s JFK airport; one of its members was sentenced to life in prison.

The dark cloud has persisted, but U.S. security appears to be on top of the situation.

Earlier this year, troops with the U.S. Army’s Southern Command participated in anti-terror raids helping to capture four “high value targets” allegedly plotting to attack the annual “Carnival” celebrations. In 2017, Southern Command’s Admiral Kurt Tidd said: “Some of the individuals who left Trinidad-Tobago” have shown up “on film engaged in terrorist acts” and have committed murders in Syria. Even theNew York Times couldn’t ignore the developing threat from T&T’s jihadists, posting a story in 2017 citing American officials who fear “that Trinidadian fighters could return from the Middle East and attack American diplomatic and oil installations in Trinidad, or even take a three-and-a-half hour flight to Miami.”

Just last month, the U.S. Treasury Department showed that American security agencies remain on heightened alert. The Department listed two citizens of T&T on its terrorism sanctions list. It is now illegal for anyone or any entity to engage in transactions with dual U.S.-Trinidad citizen Emraan Ali and Trinidadian ISIS supporter Eddie Aleong. They join six other Trinidadian individuals or entities on the international sanctions list for terrorism involvement.

The Treasury Department accuses both men of working together to raise and send cash to Trinidadian ISIS fighters in the conflict zone. In 2015, Ali lived for a time at an ISIS guest house in Raqqah, Syria, the fallen ISIS caliphate “capital,” while Aleong is suspected of facilitating money transfers to ISIS as recently as March 2018.

According to local island press reports, the whereabouts of the 51-year-old Ali remain unknown since he and his wife departed to Syria several years ago. Ali married the daughter of an island imam recently interviewed by the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian. “I don’t get no information on them; I don’t know where they are,” said Imam Nazim Mohammed. Aleong is believed to still be in the area.

Islanders who joined ISIS are more of a concern than recruits from other countries, partly because they speak English. T&T nationals did “very well” in ISIS, former U.S. Ambassador John L. Estrada told the New York Times. “They are high up in the ranks, they are very respected, and they are English-speaking. ISIL have used them for propaganda to spread their message through the Caribbean.”


Issue 15 of the ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq shows why it might be a problem if and when Trinidadian ISIS fighters come home. The magazine featured an interview with “Abu Sa’d al-Trinidadi,” a convert to Islam who had joined the group in Syria. He described how he and a small group of like-minded island co-religionists, after seeing the light, accumulated weapons, ammunition, and money to eventually “make hijrah” but also to be used in the meantime so that “whenever the disbelievers in Trinidad would kill or harm a Muslim, we would take revenge. … We were successful in many operations.” His wife was arrested at one point, apparently on suspicion of plotting to assassinate the prime minister and cabinet members, “but the police weren’t able to make a case against us.” He and two friends finally left for Syria after a delay to “exact revenge on two kafir criminals we were hunting,” an operation “carried out in the middle of the city in broad daylight and caught on camera.”

The U.S. government in recent years has pushed the island nation to do counterterrorism, according to a newly released U.S. State Department Countries Reports on Terrorism reflecting calendar year 2017.

“The threat from the possible return of foreign terrorist fighters remains a primary concern,” the report states, referring to T&T foreign terrorist fighters.

Also for the first time, in November 2017, the Trinidad and Tobago National Security Council approved a national counterterrorism strategy, and has shared intelligence with the United States.

Fingers crossed.


‘Everything went into that church’: How one woman says she lost her family to a Korean ‘doomsday cult’

When Seo-Yeon Lee came home to Seoul from the Pennsylvania college she was attending, she found out her mother was suffering from the early stages of uterine cancer — and that she was refusing treatment.

Lee says her mom, Eun Jae Jeong, had become distrustful of medicine and feared doctors would inject her with a tracking chip — something she’d heard about at her new church.


‘Everything went into that church’: How one woman says she lost her family to a Korean ‘doomsday cult’

Coming Out as … MOGAI? The Weird and Dangerous World of Queer Feminism


Today was National Coming Out Day, which I celebrated by reading feminist Tumblr blogs and a recent memoir by lesbian blogger Katie Heaney that I’ll be writing about at length later. Heaney’s story is interesting enough (if you consider “interesting” a synonym for patheticor ludicrous) to deserve the 3,000-word treatment, and I don’t want to spoil it for you, so instead let’s talk about MOGAI and Queer Feminism.

The University of Western Washington in Bellingham offers a minor in Queer Studies, and one of the core classes in that program is Queer Literature (ENG227), taught by “Queer intersectional feminist” Professor Kelly Magee. In 2014, Professor Magee had her students post their class assignments to a blog, and one of the students contributed this:

LGBT+, Queer, and MOGAI — Why Does It Matter?
Throughout the course, many people have brought up the fact that LGBT is typically seen as an outdated term. For individuals of a marginalized sexual orientation, the trend has typically been towards calling our community “queer”. I think it’s interesting to note why these terms shift, and what is considered correct.
The term “queer” initially began as a slur or epithet. This was a word specifically designed to hurt people and put them down for experiencing different sexual and romantic attractions. Many people have reclaimed this term for plenty of different reasons — for political reasons, to give a unified umbrella term for marginalized orientations, or to avoid the messy “alphabet soup” of LGBTQIAPDG+. The LGBT term typically fetishizes the L, focuses on the G, and ignores the B and T entirely. Not to mention the fact that it fails to include pansexual, asexual, genderqueer/fluid, demisexual, and intersex people, as well as a multitude of other sexual orientations and gender identities. Additionally, people tend to think that A stands for ally, instead of asexual, which tends to give straight people access to queer communities.
Many people have elected to use the term MOGAI instead. This stands for Marginalized Orientation, Gender And Intersex. This allows everyone who identifies as queer to be united under a single term, without this term being a slur or focusing on one identity. This also includes intersex individuals, a group that receives a large amount of discrimination and a very small amount of public awareness.
I would like to see this class as a whole move towards discussions based not specifically on gay issues, but the issues of many sexual orientations and gender identities. It is important to note that queer readings of literature can include gender identity and expression as well, not simply a homosexual vs. heterosexual or male vs. female dichotomy.

“MOGAI” opens Pandora’s Box, because what does it mean to say that someone’s sexuality or gender identity is “marginalized”? There are all kinds of kinky freaks out there among the millions and millions of men who are not homosexual. It was the interests (not to mention the money) of homosexual men that originally brought “gay liberation” into existence circa 1969, and it was the AIDS crisis of the 1980s that made this movement an important constituency within the Democrat Party. Say what you want about lesbians or transgender people’s role in the gay-rights movement, but it was wealthy male homosexuals who had the political influence that guaranteed the movement’s success. Much of the energy of lesbian activism, meanwhile, was channeled into the feminist movement and university Women’s Studies programs

What has happened in recent years, because of the success of gay rights and feminism — especially in academia — is that a lot of weirdos and perverts who aren’t homosexual have decided that they, too, are “marginalized” in some way, and therefore deserving of inclusion in the rainbow-flag-waving coalition of people who have sexual “rights.”

See, if you’re a woman, you’ve got sexual “rights.” If you’re gay, you’ve got sexual “rights.” If you’re a heterosexual male? The only rights you’ve got are summarized by the Miranda warning: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you . . .”

This is where “MOGAI” comes in, by telling perverts — transvestites, BDSM weirdos, “furries,” whatever — they’re “part of the queer community” which, according to the trendy rhetoric of inclusion, has no argument for refusing admission to these freaks. MOGAI is a magnet for creeps, and “Queer Feminism” is a magnet for emotionally disturbed women, so when you put the two together, you’ve basically formed a Wolves and Sheep Alliance. Anyone familiar with human nature can predict how this will turn out. All a creepy dude has to do is get a weird haircut and some facial piercings, call himself MOGAI, and he has to be welcomed into the “movement,” because diversity!

My advice to any young person, especially on a university campus, is to avoid that whole freak show — Gender Studies, Queer Studies, LGBT activism — and instead hang out with sane, normal people. Even on the 21st-century university campus, there are still sane, normal people and, no matter what your preference or orientation, you’re going to be happier and safer hanging out with them than with those MOGAI weirdos.