Guilty by search

Here is another tidbit in the CBS memo saga, but with a different twist: a case of mistaken identity.

My name is Robert Strong, and I am indeed a college professor. I am not, however, the Robert Strong who spoke to CBS. I never met Killian, I never lived in Texas, and I never served in that state’s Air National Guard. But on the Internet none of this matters.

Ever since the 60 Minutes broadcast, I have been getting angry e-mails from Bush supporters who are sure that I am a key player in a vast left-wing conspiracy bent on diminishing the president’s not extraordinary record of military service.

How did I become the enemy du jour of all those spiteful Republicans? I guess it has something to do with Google. Last week, if you typed the words Professor Robert Strong in the popular search engine, a webpage that happens to be about me appeared at the top of the list. For those who have been filling my e-mail inbox with vicious vitriol, that was apparently evidence enough. CBS says that its Bush-bashing documents have been authenticated by Strong; Google tells everyone on the Internet that I am Professor Strong. That’s it. I am guilty as Googled.

At first, I found all of this a bit funny. Here I was in the midst of my 15 minutes of fame, and it was just a case of mistaken identity. But the more e-mails I read, the less amused I became. The meat they contain is more raw and distasteful than any spam I have ever encountered.

Read the full article for more info. (Hop on over to BugMeNot if you can’t get through.)

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