Posted by: Ben | December 28, 2011

Shooting Fish: Why Kotaku’s Joel Johnson is a contemptible bully

It’s one of those stories that turns up on the internet now and again. PR outfit (in this case Paul Christoforo of the oh-so-professionally named Ocean Marketting) displays lousy customer service, picks a fight with the wrong guy (in this case, Penny Arcade’s Mike Krahulik, aka Gabe), is ridiculed on the internet and ultimately gets fired. This is a particularly amusing example of the form.

But it isn’t enough for crack newshound Joel Johnson of Kotaku, who decided to do a bit of digging. He found that Christoforo had apparently been impersonating his client rival, which isn’t very nice.

Also not very nice was Johnson’s ill advised decision to link to some of Christoforo’s hobbies and forum posts from his personal life (none of which are related to the matter in any way – his hobbies appear to be bodybuilding and keeping tropical fish, neither of which are any of Kotaku’s bloody business, frankly.)

Kotaku has a vast readership of suggestible people who are never knowingly reluctant to launch into flame wars on behalf of their preferred video entertainment system. At the time of writing, this article has 170,565 “likes” on Facebook (and they can’t all be Johnson’s dummy accounts).

The highest rated commenter below is Ocean Marketting’s original disgruntled customer Dave, who states “I’m talking with the guy to try and clear this up, so I would like to urge some holiday restraint.” Let’s see if the other commenters agree with him.

Masterdingo: We are the internet, man. I hope that you get your controllers, I really do. But, in the meantime, we’ll be feasting on the corpse of Paul’s career. 🙂

Let’s hope it’s just his career, eh?

GarbageBear: When someone like this is presented to the world. . .such an easy target for everything they hate, you can’t expect people to hold back.
Especially, when relative anonymity is involved. The Legion can know everything about him, but he cannot pick apart the legion.
He brought it on himself.

What the hell does that even mean?

BallisticTomato: nope. no reason to give him a break. i hope he suffers and suffers greatly.. i feel bad for his family.. but his wife should have known better and found a better partner.

Parrotman01: This guy’s life is over. I’m not being melodramatic. This incident brought in so many other skeletons on this guy’s head. He has a newborn and a wife, and he lost his job. And with all this shit out in the open, he won’t find another job. And then the natural progression of losing shit starts.
I’m not defending this guy, you reap what you sow.

Skeletons on his head. Shit out in the open and about to be lost. It doesn’t look good.

Joseph: This complete Piece of Garbage and poor excuse for a Human Being mentioned in his apology email that he had a wife and a newborn. Two things here: 1. Who in their right mind would marry, and be impregnated by, this walking genetic defect? And 2. Someone, if they really care, should get said senseless woman and child away from this guy because, if things continue as they are, this walking ‘roid is going to put a pistol in his mouth possibly *after* he turns it on those closest to him. Not that I’m hoping he does. Far from it, but, well, I’ve seen this kind of train-wreak before. It never ends well.

Let’s here what Paul himself (@oceanstratagy) has to say on the matter?

Please stop calling my house

My family is at risk over controllers

I’m taking time off

So all’s well that ends well. After all, it’s only a person’s life we’re talking about, which, let’s face it, is essentially valueless in comparison to the brief amusement of thousands of incompletely-socialised teenagers and technically-adults.

And as a little coda, here’s Krahulik on bullying. You can decide for yourself whether he’s for or against it. I’m going for “for.”

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