Rob Scoble's lawyer told him to STFU about sex pest claims. He didn't
And you'll never guess what happened next – or perhaps, depressingly, you can
Comment If you have cause to hire a lawyer, it is usually worthwhile listening to what they have to say.
Not so Robert Scoble who, having been thoroughly buried in the tech industry's avalanche of sexual harassment claims this week, decided that the best course of action was to write a blog post all about it. Against his lawyer's advice.
How do we know? Because it was one of the first things Slimy Scoble chose to reveal in what may go down as the most misguided effort at clearing their name since Antony Weiner appeared on TV and told the world he had been sending dick pics to at least five other women.
"I have rejected my lawyer's advice to not make a statement and in a spirit of healing I would like to address the issue head on with open and honest dialogue," starts Scoble's post – which is, unfathomably, still online at the time of writing.
Slimy Scoble signs off from job, seeks seclusion and treatmentREAD MORE
As the tech community sucked air through its collective teeth in the hope that what looked like an impending car crash might, maybe, perhaps, steer a careful course, the lumbering "tech evangelist" demonstrated just the kind of judgement that got him into hot water in the first place.
He started off by aimlessly attacking news stories revealing the accusations against him, and things only get worse from there.
Media reports of his alleged actions – which include groping and propositioning women out of the blue – were nothing more than click-bait, he argued. And, besides, how can he be guilty of sexual harassment if he wasn't the boss of any of the women accusing him of assaulting or pressuring them? And if he had done what people claimed, how would he still be in a job?
Here we go
"If I were guilty of all the things said about me I would still not be in a position to have sexually harassed anyone," he wrote. "I don’t have employees, I don’t cut checks for investment. None of the women who came forward were ever in a position where I could make or break their careers. Sexual harassment requires that I have such power."
Which is, of course, absolute nonsense. But we are already through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole at this point, so let's see what else Scoble has for us.
The women who have complained about the unwanted attention they received are "selling" false narratives because they felt "peer pressure to join the #MeToo bandwagon," he stated before adding that he "won't speculate on their motives."
It's a fairly safe bet that, at this point, Scoble's lawyers started dreaming of drafting a letter of client termination.
Scoble, a married man don't forget, then attacked one of the women who spoke out against him, claiming the pair had engaged in an "online affair" – whatever that means – and that she had attempted to blackmail him "when it became apparent that I didn't have the power to advance her career any more" by threatening to tell his wife, which she subsequently did.
As part of the "open and honest dialogue" that Scoble said he wanted to encourage, he then confessed to writing down his sexual fantasies and sending them to her. As readers instinctively reached for the nearest bucket, Scoble decided this was the best time to embark on a discussion of race.
"Another of the women who accused me, Sarah Kunst, is an African-American female entrepreneur," he staggered on. After Kunst mistook a completely innocent exchange for racism, she then, for some unfathomable reason, also decided to go complain to Scoble's wife. Why? Because she was drunk, alleged Scoble.
If you can believe it, it actually gets worse.
He attacked Michelle Greer – who claimed Scoble groped her under a table while they were coworkers at Rackspace – using some peculiarly specific language. "We never had any interactions in a private situation," he argued, and then – in a leap of logic that defies rationale explanation – claimed that means "neither of us was ashamed of our behavior." Greer said she complained immediately to her boss, and was told it would never happen again.
Famous meltdowns in our time— The Register (@TheRegister) October 25, 2017
* Windscale 1957
* Enrico Fermi Unit 1 1966
* Three Mile Island 1978
* Chernobyl 1986
* Robert Scoble 2017 pic.twitter.com/CXz9V5S8Qs
And then, amazingly, he attacked the woman who started the ball rolling by writing up her story of being allegedly harassed by Scoble. "Quinn Norton, by her own account, physically accosted me," Scoble whined, while failing to mention that she said she knocked him back only after he had, according to Quinn, grabbed her breast and butt without warning.
He then criticized her for pushing him away rather than calling for conference security. And for not telling the story sooner.
"She sat on her allegations for more than five years," he complained, demonstrating a staggering lack of self-awareness by painting himself as the victim. "Most telling however is that she makes it clear that her assault of me was premeditated. She planned to separate me from the woman I was making out with, she planned to scare me, and she planned to use her martial arts training to injure me."
Scoble then assured everyone that he is going to be fine, and that he's working on being a better person. He even finds time, mid-rant, to promote his new business endeavor.
And to close out this monstrosity of an explanation, he returned to his earlier theme about starting a discussion. "Another part of my love of social media has been that it creates dialog. I welcome dialog about the state of the industry, how we can make things better for people of all backgrounds, and how we can have responsible conversations."
Comments have been disabled on Scoble's blog post, but when he tweeted a link to it, people took him up on his offer of interaction. "Robert, you're the one who's disappointing here. I’d hoped you could be honest about yourself. This is self-enabling bullshit," noted journalist Tim Carmody.
"Seriously man, delete this now. This was a very bad call," responded one of the subjects of his ire, Quinn Norton.
"Wow. You should really listen to your lawyer," said Googler Adam Gutterman, speaking for just about everyone that read the post.
But of all the comments – not one of which has been anything but despairing – perhaps one by Swift On Security, in response to Quinn Norton, best sums the devastatingly stupid act that was writing and then publishing an angry, incoherent, victim-blaming post on such a sensitive subject.
"You gave him a fucking roadmap and he stuck his dick through it," Swift noted. Pretty much, yep. ?