March 30, 2012

J.K. Trotter's Joe Asch IvyGate Meltdown!

IvyGate editor J.K. Trotter today unleashed a mouth-foaming, veins-bulging, pants-crapping diatribe more worthy of IvyGate heroines Sara Ackerman and Margherita Viggiano against DartBlogger Joe Asch. Trotter, whose IvyGate Blog makes its name (and money) by publicly embarrassing private students of the Ivy League, took issue's with Mr. Asch's nefarious attempt to "ruin a student journalist’s life"(!) by posting --get this-- a picture of her with --drum roll-- a cup of alcohol! In a frat basement? Oh S**T! That's, like, as damaging as being outed as a communist in the '50s... or having sex at BYU... or having nudie pics taken by your jilted ex-lover published on IvyGate!
Earlier today, at 4:15 AM, prolific Dartmouth blogger Joseph Asch (D ’79, YLS ’83) tried to ruin a student journalist’s life...

Asch attached a grainy picture of the student holding a small plastic cup at hip level, and standing in what Asch claimed to be the house of Sigma Alpha Epsilon...

A fifty-something Dartmouth alumnus taunted and intimidated a young college student and campus journalist by implying that the student had broken the law for underage drinking. Using a grainy picture of the student holding a clear plastic cup, with nothing in it, as proof.

Due only to said staff member’s age, Asch’s post—and its suggestion of underage drinking—placed the staff member “in very serious legal danger..." IvyGate, 30 March 2012
In his since-deleted post, Mr. Asch criticized The Dartmouth's lack of investigative journalism on recent very-public hazing allegations, when other Ivy League papers routinely devote such coverage to their scandals. It was patently wrong for Mr. Asch to insinuate that the paper's silence was due to its editors being in bed with the fraternities. And it was even worse for him to prove it by reprinting a private photograph that paper's editor uploaded of herself on the extremely public website Facebook, showing her holding alcohol, at a party, in the house against which all the nationally-covered hazing allegations are directed.

Trotter's two-part, fourteen-hundred-word rant is right. How dare Mr. Asch, "a fifty-something" adult, try to 'intimidate' and nearly 'ruin' the life of a twenty-something adult by placing her “in very serious legal danger” (Grave danger? Is there another kind?) in republishing a rather benign photograph already on the internet? (What if H-Po's CyberNET Under-aged-drinking DartBlog Taskforce got a hold of that!? Think of the consequences!) Mr. Asch has since apologized to the student, but that wasn't good enough for Trotter, who remained offended on her behalf.
Oh, god. Dartblog’s Joseph Asch just issued a slimy, lying non-apology for his intimidation of a student journalist. IvyGate 30 March 2012
So thank you, IvyGate. Thank you for continuing to be the self-righteous ulcer of morality that the Ivy League needs, not the one it deserves. Oh, and thank you for disabling the comments on those two posts. It would have been hell to read all the one-liners about what hypocritical douches you are.

Seriously though, I'm a big fan.


  1. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Yeah, speak truth to humor! Or humor to sarcasm!... or irony to douchebags! Wait, I dun confoosed myself again. The bottom line is that the very public head of campus's only major media outlet who wielding sphinctertight control over editorial decisions should be able to post pictures of herself drinking underage in the fraternity whose hazing allegations her paper refuses to report on without anyone drawing attenton to them. That goes for you too Ivygate. You dun goofed!

  2. Honestly, just who the FUCK does Trotter think she is. (No man would have gotten so emotional over a facebook photo, right guys?) Has she even read IvyGate? I'm surprised IvyGate didn't just take the picture and send it to Emily Fletcher's parents.

  3. Good post (and necessary, I think—my post was perhaps overheated) but to clarify:

    1) There was no alcohol. I have the photo, and there is no alcohol visible in the student's cup. So Asch didn't prove anything.

    2) Anyone could have uploaded that photo—I don't know who did, but it probably wasn't the student. (It's kind of a bad photo—just very low quality.) And, again, there wasn't any alcohol visible. The cup was visible empty.

    3) Asch was not trying to "embarrass" the student. (Which is, yes, what we sometimes do.) He was using the photo to score political points. Which he has tried to do (in the past) by claiming to be on the side of students. There's a difference between posting a photo because it is newsworthy or entertaining and posting a photo in order to advance one's own agenda.

    4) Um, we disabled the comments so as not to reveal the student's name. Which this blog, or at least its author, seems interested in as well.

  4. DefinitelyNotJoeAsch11:37 AM

    I can buy points 2 (part 1), 3, and 4, though re: #2-- unless ‘the subject’ uploaded it or had accepted a tag, I don’t think Asch would have the freetime to find the pic on facebook (one of Asch’s minions, maybe) and re: #4—the protections you are giving this ‘subject’ are extraordinary given Ivygate’s mission and history. Do you know her personally? Is she you?

    What I can’t buy is your assertion that Asch tried to endanger her by uploading a photo of her drinking underage, when you simultaneously say the cup was empty. Even if it was a full bottle of Jack, what law school dean, future employer, or student period hasn’t drank underage? Who besides those obligated to enforce a law no one agrees with cares? What are we, puritans?

    But does this cup honestly look empty to you?
    (thanks google reader cache)

  5. DefinitelyNotJoeAsch:

    Very good questions.

    1) No, I don’t know her personally. (And obviously she isn’t me!) As for protections: they’re extraordinary for IvyGate, but we didn’t post the photo. Joseph Asch did. And Asch has explicit political goals—the most notable of which are the termination of specific administrators and the institutional/reputational ruin of The Dartmouth.

    IvyGate, on the other hand, has nothing resembling a political line. We’re an entertainment/gossip blog directed Ivy League students. We don’t sell ourselves as advocates of any group.

    In contrast, Asch’s entire appeal is his quasi-paternal devotion to the welfare of Dartmouth students, whom he feels obligated to protect against the whims (real or imaginary) of Dartmouth’s administration. As I explained in my first post, Asch’s reputation is based upon his advocacy for Dartmouth students. But (again, as I said in my post) he threw all of that away in order to score a political point against the D.

    If Asch wants to be measured by a higher standard, he should appreciate others for holding him to it.

    2) As for the cup: You’re totally right about the contradiction there, but that’s a difficult one for others to see because Asch deleted the photo, THEN (in his apology) states she was holding a beer. So now it’s on his word, at least for those who can’t bother to locate the photo in a cache somewhere, that there was beer in the cup.

    What I’m saying is Asch uploaded a photo with the student holding the cup, stated there’s beer in it, insinuated that the student was drinking underage, then deleted the photo and the insinuation, but not his assertion about the cup containing beer. THAT he really needed to include, apparently.

    So he gets to apologize sort of jokingly, without taking any responsibility for what he did. Seriously, look at what he did in the original post, then at his apology. The first contains your standard Asch charlatanry; the second makes it sound like he uploaded a picture to Facebook and added a funny caption.

    And yeah, it’s all Puritan nonsense, and yes, obviously almost everybody drinks underage. But this particular form of Puritan nonsense is one Asch has treated with a considerable amount of diligence and thought in the past:

    How seriously are we to take Asch on anything if he can throw a student—any student—under the bus when it services his political viewpoint, and apologize by not apologizing?

    As for the emptiness of the cup: it does look empty—of alcohol. There may or may not be alcohol in there, but the photo is not conclusive like, say, this photo:

    But again, less important than the photo itself is Asch’s statement that the photo clearly showed the student holding a beer. If Asch wants us to hold others accountable for quite literally the smallest and dumbest infractions, it’d be nice if he did the same to himself.