[Last in a Six-Part Series]
[Previous parts in series: Thucky and Me, Our Magical Year (Part 1); Thucky and Me, Our Magical Year (Part 2); Thucky and Me, Our Magical Year (Part 3); Thucky and Me, Our Magical Year (Part 4); Thucky and Me, Our Magical Year (Part 5)]
Well, all good things must come to an end, as they say. I knew my “special relationship” with ole Thuck was over once I let others in on the secret, but couldn’t decide on when, or how. In the meantime, I’d discovered that accusing the Thuckster of lying was virtually certain to rankle him.
So, leading up to the outing, I put up a few delightful posts with “Thucky” (or some derivative thereof) and “lying” in the title, or some words to that effect. There was Thucky on Double Secret Probation, Lies, Damned Lies, and Thucky’s Statistics, Did Thucky Lie Again?, and Is Thucky Lying (again)?
One of Thucky’s most ridiculous moments came when he thought he could drive a wedge between me and the BlueMeanie by posting this comment denigrating me and complimenting the BlueMeanie.
I would also argue that you debase the blog with posts like these. Go look at the posts on Iraq and BMs post on the state economy. Those posts elevate the blog.
The irony is that the BlueMeanie was far, far less of a Thucky fan than I. While Thucky was doing his phony sucking up, the BlueMeanie was all over me to finish my research and get on with the outing.
I also began asking Thucky in the comment section if his conduct was dishonest. I think I posed this question to him 15 times:
Again, I ask you, is it dishonest, using a pseudonym, to refer to yourself in the third person, creating the false appearance that you are not the person to whom you refer?
At the same time, the readers were squawking, or so I thought:
Here are Patricia and AZ Territory, commenting on The Company Thucky Keeps: Tom Horne:
I don’t understand why this troll is garnering enough attention to have entire columns written about him. Thirty percent of America has ridiculous political beliefs, and he’s right there with them. Let’s let Thucydides start his own blog, instead of using this one as his home base.
Patricia, I’ve gotta agree with you there. When the format changed, ol’ Thuckster said he wouldn’t darken these doors again. Apparently he likes the limelight. I repeat what my Grandpa often said –don’t try to teach a pig to sing, it will never work and it annoys the hell out of the pig. Time to leave the trollpig and move on to some more pressing topics.
So, I tried to buy some time:
Tell you what, AZterritory. If he’s not singing by the end of September, I’ll call it quits.
I was hoping for the first day of Summer . . . LOL.
The post, by the way, was a reminder to Thucky about this gem of a comment he’d made previously:
What Horne did may have been illegal but it was honest. What Rottellini did was legal but it was absolutely corrupt. Of all the entities in this conflict, only Horne wasn’t screwing us.
What I didn’t realize until about 10 minutes ago is that Patricia likely knew full well who Thucky was and was just busting my chops. Just three days before expressing irritation at me for spending so much time on “this troll,” Patricia had posted this comment to a BlueMeanie post where ole Thuckenthal had written one of his “correlation must be causation because it supports my position” comments.” Here’s Patricia:
Once again correlation not causation. Are you really John Huppenthal?
None of this really mattered in the end. It turned out that the Thuckmeister pulled a stunt that practically begged me to unmask him. He decided it would be a fine idea to skip out on debates in which he’d already agreed to participate. So, after naming him John “Empty Chair” Huppenthal in a post or two, it struck me: This is where Thucky and Huppenthal must collide! Thucky should be standing in for Huppenthal at the debates.
Breaking: Thucky to Stand in For Huppenthal at Next Debate was the beginning of the outing. I was curious to see how ole Thuck would react if I came dangerously close to outing him, without actually doing so. The post was in part a “best of” post of Thucky’s comments, but focusing on the ones where he spoke about Huppenthal in the third person.
And Thucky didn’t disappoint. He pretty much invited my to out him, telling me how proud he was of his comments and suggesting that I publish all his comments:
Thanks for looking up some of my comments and repeating them. They don’t embarrass me. In fact, a few of them are quite impressive. In fairness, why don’t you have Thucydides day and repeat all of my comments?
So, are you Huppenthal?
If you are, can you answer the question I’ve aked repeatedly here: Is it dishonest, using a pseudonym, to refer to yourself in the third person, leaving the false impression that you are not the person to whom you refer? If you’re having trouble grasping the ethical issue here, you may want to click on the link BlueMeanie provided in his comment to this post.
Before that exchange, however, Patricia, apparently anxious to get on with the outing, made the connection directly:
Are they ever seen together? I think Thucydides and Huppenthal are one and the same.
My response, which Thucky saw before daring me to publish his comments:
Wow, Patricia, that’s quite an indictment! You’re suggesting that one of the highest elected officials in the state is leading a double life, spending untold hours of the day and night posting literally hundreds of comments, many espousing fairly deranged views, at virtually every political blogsite in the state, and affirmatively misleading the public by referring to himself in the third person.
But I suppose anything is possible.
While this was happening, I was briefing Steve Lemons of The New Times on all of Thucky’s exploits. Obviously, this story had to move to the local media, and I wanted Steve to be the first to know about it. My thought was that he could run a piece on it, at which point the mainstream print and television media would cover the story.
But it didn’t work out that way.
The following week, I went up with Does ANYONE Actually Like John Huppenthal? No more beating around the bush:
Okay, for the few of you who have not figured this out yet, by all indication our friend Thucky is John Huppenthal, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is the fifth highest elected office in the state.
This may be a first. I don’t know of any other elected official who has led a double life as a serial blog troll besides John Huppenthal. Chalk that up to Arizona having the market cornered on political craziness, I guess.
After inviting me to do this, Thucky became unglued, saying that I was the troll.
Unbeknownst to me, Brahm Resnick had been following the drama for several weeks. The day after this post, I received a call from him, asking if I had time to talk about the Peloponnesian Wars.
And the rest is history.