“Your Not Helping” blogger “Tom Johnson” is Wally Smith, a University of Alabama Graduate Student.

I’ve always felt that if Wally the Wanker came back with his old, stupid and obnoxious trick, that I would out him. He came back. I considered outing him but have been quite distracted with important things like changing diapers and feeding tiny bits of chicken to Huxley. Meanwhile, blogger Ophelia Benson has spilled the beans, here.

I did not destroy Wally’s pathetic excuse for a blog, but he/they blamed me for it, and that’s how I got the nickname Teh Blogslayer. I did not out him today, Ophelia did. But Wally will probably blame me for that to. Or at least, I hope he does.

I’m not sure if this has been said anywhere yet (really, I’m busy) but the only reason Mooney, Benson, or Dan did not out him originally is because a few people (whom I suppose should remain nameless unless they want to talk) had reasonably good information that Wally was on the verge of suicide.

Whatever. Wally, welcome to the blogosphere. As you.

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34 thoughts on ““Your Not Helping” blogger “Tom Johnson” is Wally Smith, a University of Alabama Graduate Student.

  1. Wally was on the verge of suicide.

    And you believed that? Are we sure this person relaying this info to you exists? Did Mooney ‘check up on that’ too?

  2. My information was not from Mooney. I did not believe it. But believing it or not is not the point. Anyway, there were zero chance that he would keep his mouth shut or just go away, it was only a matter of time.

  3. Glendon, LOL.

    The point is, with a modicum of patience, it isn’t that hard to be either Olympian or Holier than Thou (depending on which ancient religion one prefers as a source for metaphors). One does not just fuck goats. First, there should be a nice dinner with the right wine, and perhaps a show. If you get my drift, as it were.

  4. One. Drug Monkey. He sent an email to about 100 people screaming about how horrible a person I am because I outed Wally.

    It said:

    “I think one of our fellow bloggers better have a damn good reason for gratuitous, vindictive outing behavior. Particularly when it is broadcast in the top banner as a “select” post.

    Greg, if you are just pursuing some sort of personal vendetta of petty revenge and there is no functional purpose here, this is WAY over the line.


    For a beer, I’ll post my response.

  5. But it should be a stout because I don’t really drink beer so much these days, but I love stout. But maybe one of those nice Belgian beers with lots of character.

  6. Is there any reason why an obnoxious arsehole should not be outed?
    Is there a law protecting arseholiness?

    And what about those idiots writhing in sympathy with that particular arsehole? Maybe out them too.

  7. I, Jason Thibeault, hereby swear that on our next encounter, I will gladly and promptly provide Greg Laden with a Belgian stout with a lot of character.

    And I mean that in the beer sense, not in the human trafficking or prostitution sense.

  8. I can buy you a beer without getting any emails posted. (And I should soon.) I don’t really need to fan the flames of any disagreements in which people have gotten so personally invested that they’ve lost their ability to read or empathize–of which I count at least half a dozen examples in the three threads on this I’ve read. They’ll fester in perpetuity just fine on their own.

  9. Peter: Yes, it is not the case that someone should out someone because the are an obnoxious asshole. One person’s obnoxious asshole is another persons’ freedom fighter. The only people I’ve ever outed were commenters who got a warning and didn’t stop (go see the thread on Pharyngula corresponding to the current topic to see all the rending of cloth over that one) or individuals who made physical threats via email or comments (look for “FTD” and “Christian” and “PZ Myers” and “Lost job” on Google for that one!)

    As much as one might want to out someone it is better to just not do it.

    Though, I was seriously thinking about it with Wally the Wanker. And, in the end, I probably would not have done it. But, in actual end, it was done and I’m rather glad.

    You see, he really did promise to be good. And he knew that if he wasn’t good he’d be outed. Then he wasn’t good. And now he’s outed. So tough noogies.

  10. I can’t wrap my head around why outing this pustule puckerer is considered by some to be a Bad Thing. Dude had his chance and blew it. Future employers should know he’s a dastardly dude.

    Why does outing an asshole as an asshole somehow in turn make one an asshole themselves? *scratches head*

  11. I argued for his protection too and expressly turned down the opportunity to out him months ago. But if he cannot resist engaging in this behavior even after promising he would not, then, seriously he does not deserve the trust accorded to scientists and professors in academia.

    Someone as prone to harassment as Wally Smith does not deserve the kind of power over students and over information that comes with a career in academia.

  12. Yeah, the idea is that people are pseudos for career or self protection. Any woman blogger will tell you that just being ID’s as a female gets you instant rape threats. There are people who’s job would be on the line. It is not for another person to lightly judge someone worthy of career ending or stalking or worse.

    However, with pseudonymity comes some degree of responsibility. Several of us have restrained ourselves for a long time and I support OB’s decision to do this now. Drug Monkey’s breathless and over the top accusations occured for only one reason: He is afraid that someday I will out him. Which I won’t, and I’ve told him that numerous times. But doesn’t get it.

  13. I remember this guy. He was a sock puppet on Chris Mooney’s blog. Chris banned Ophelia for no good reason and was uncharacteristically protective of this guy, even after he was exposed. There was a nasty fight that carried over onto the CFI boards regarding this. Chris still owes Ophelia an apology. My take on it was that Mooney’s credibility took a hit from it, and any respect I had for him was flushed down the toilet. In the end, I told them it was his (Chris Mooney’s) blog to screw up. I will never visit it again.

  14. It’s really funny when people try the same tactics on the same people expecting they will work better the second time than the disastrous way they worked the first. The blog-drama outrage is pure hilarity, though. I don’t know why I relish it so. Maybe I’m a bit of a sadist. (Or masochist, since it takes one to slog through it some days.)

  15. And now Wally Smith will be the excuse given for outing non-assholes. Not that it matters, assholes will always be assholes even without justification. I didn’t really follow this whole drama, but I seriously hope he can continue his education and career after learning from this.

  16. Fred, for the record, the grad dept and university he was at was fully aware of not only what everyone else who has followed this closely knows, but more. This outing by O.B. is trivial in that regard.

    There is the issue that I think PZ brought up: Does one really trust a colleague with this track record? That really doesn’t concern me. I doubt he was ever going to become a colleague of anyone, and if he does, he may just have to go the extra mile to prove himself. Wally, meet bed. As it were.

  17. I just feel bad for him. Some of my behavior has been even worse than his while I’ve struggled with mental illness. Not that I’m dismissing his behavior, or my own. I still worry about what impact my past behavior (and possible future behavior) will have and it’s a terrible dread. I guess I’m just really close to the way he must feel right now.

    There wasn’t really an option though, was there? He wasn’t going to stop.

  18. Actually, I felt all along that he should just come clean and openly join the wonderful and mutually supportive community of bloggers. And that’s coming from one of his main targets.

  19. But of course, there are also all those commenters on YNH that sided with him against me and PZ Myers and Ophelia and Dan who weren’t his sock puppets. They have yet to be made to pay.

    If they existed. Anybody ever figure that out?

  20. Fred, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t going to stop. It might just be that I heard what I wanted to hear, but those points in his apologies where he talked about obsession rang pretty true. I hope that knowing how easy it will be to catch him in the future will help him step away from that.

  21. Andrew: Yes, Drug Monkey sent me such a sweet note apologizing for his mistake and promising that from now on he’s read my blog posts before he puked on them.

    Oh, and did you hear, the Governor of Wisconsin decided to support the Unions, and some pig in Iowa just started flying around with no explanation!

  22. Here’s a cached version of Wally Smith’s Curriculum Vitae, from his WordPress Account.


    For the benefit of anyone googling him up, this is a Walter H. Smith, a.k.a. W.H. Smith, a.k.a. Walter Smith, a.k.a. Wally Smith, from Gainesville, GA, who went to Piedmont College and got a degree in biology under Dr. Carlos D. Camp, and then on to graduate studies with Leslie J. Rissler in Biological Sciences at the University of Alabama (at Tuscaloosa).

    His publications include:

    Smith, W.H. In prep. Southeastern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon grobmani). In: Outdoor Alabama â?? Alabama Wildlife and their Conservation Status. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Montgomery, AL.

    Rissler, L.J. and W.H. Smith. 2010. Mapping amphibian contact zones and phylogeographic break hotspots across the U.S. Molecular Ecology. 19:5404-5416.

    Smith, W.H. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Talladega National Forest. USDA Forest Service. (Collaborative field guide/checklist project with Auburn University and USDA Forest Service).

    Smith, W.H. and L.J. Rissler. 2010. Quantifying disturbance in terrestrial communities: abundance-biomass comparisons of herpetofauna closely track forest succession. Restoration Ecology. 18:195-204.

    Smith, W.H. 2009. Spotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti). In: Outdoor Alabama â?? Alabama Wildlife and their Conservation Status. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Montgomery, AL.

    Smith, W.H. 2009. Ocoee Salamander (Desmognathus ocoee). In: Outdoor Alabama â?? Alabama Wildlife and their Conservation Status. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Montgomery, AL.

    Smith, W.H. 2009. Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga). In: Outdoor Alabama â?? Alabama Wildlife and their Conservation Status. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Montgomery, AL.

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