Sockdar

Last month Tracy Spenser posted [this comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/10/crime-of-the-century.php#commen…) on my blog:

Looks like Fumento has made a fool of you again? When are you ever going to learn?

www.fumento.com/weblog/ar

www.townhall.com/blogs/c-

And when are you going to stop encouraging a policy of genocide against people who just happen to have darker skin than yours?

Tracy Spencer was a pop singer in the 80s but our Tracy might be a different person.
i-0f3cef93732032ef1592df7c1f0bb154-Tracy_Spencer-Take_Me_Back.jpg Anyway, [as usual](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/category/fumento/), Fumento's post was full of mistakes, so I corrected them [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/10/fumento-2.php). In the [first comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/10/fumento-2.php#comment-11163) John Cross asked:
>Is this the same Fumento who promised:

>"Now I am going to do the worst possible thing you can do to somebody who measures his life by "hits." I'm not going to write to you again,"

Quick as a flash Tracy replied:

>Actually, not writing TO somebody is indeed not the same as not writing ABOUT them. Last I heard those words were not synonymous. As to Lambert's assertion that those were INDIAN mosquitoes and not SRI LANKAN ones, the expression "any port in a storm does come to mind." What? DDT checks their passports? It's the same type of mosquito; that's all that counts. From what I've seen, any time Lambert strays from John Lott he misses the target. As his blog continues to fade into the sunset he needs to learn the meaning of humility and become a single-issue blogger.

Well, that set off my sockdar -- a constant theme of Fumento's was how insignificant my blog was compared to his own towering eminence. Could he be using a [sock puppet](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_sock_puppet) to pretend that I was too unimportant for him to write to?
I looked up the location of Tracy's IP address: she was posting from Arlington, Virginia. And what do I find in Fumento's [biography](http://www.fumento.com/biography.html)?

>Michael Fumento lives in Arlington, Virginia

Hmm. So I emailed Fumento, informing him that [his Technorati rank](http://www.technorati.com/search/fumento.com%2Fweblog) was much much lower than [mine](http://www.technorati.com/search/timlambert.org) and offering to provide some pointers on how to improve his ranking. He wrote back with some reason or other why that didn't count, but the interesting thing was that his [IP address](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ip_address) was the same as Tracy's. It's a Comcast IP address and Comcast provides one IP address per household, so there can be only one conclusion:

Tracy Spenser is a crazed Michael Fumento fan and is posting from the same house as him. Michael: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE NOOOOW!!!

**Update:** Now Tracy has been [scrubbing criticism](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/11/fumento-wikipedia.php) from Fumento's wikipedia page.

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Somebody with IP address 69.143.188.141 has been doing John Lott style edits to Michael Fumento's Wikipedia page. For instance, this person removed the link to my criticism of Fumento. By a strange coincidence 69.143.188.141 just happens to be the IP address used by Tracy Spenser.
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There should be a science devoted to the naming of sockpuppets. For example did he mean Tracy Spenser the singer or was it a craftily composed variation of Spencer Tracy? In my opinion the Spencer Tracy persona seems to fit better with Mr. Fumento's self-styled image.

By John Cross (not verified) on 18 Nov 2005 #permalink

More pictures of Tracy Spencer, please.

I see Fumento is still using the same argument web popularity = peer-review. To this end I presented him with an interesting test of his scholarly ranking in the Fumento Follies post and suggested that he compare his web "peer-review" with that of Pamela Anderson. For the fun of it, I did this again. A check of the Getty Images Editorial web site (where I am a sys admin) still returns nothing for "Michael Fumento" under simple or Advanced Searches. Tracy Spenser also returns nothing. Pamela Anderson returns 1064 image hits in 84 Events, referenced to 96 People references, 65 Photographers, and 100 SQL Keywords. That site supplies over 80 percent of the world's published editorial imagery. Google searches of "Michael Fumento" return hits only form a relatively small collection of Far-Right web sites, and a few from mainstream outlets critical of his arguments. I couldn't find even one hit on a site supportive of him that wasn't tied to Right-Wing extremists. No journals, science publications, or governmental agencies of any nation.
Guess how many hits I found for Pamela Anderson, and across how many publications of all sorts.
I guess this makes Playboy a peer-reviewed journal. The man really should reconsider my offer. A centerfold spread of him may not be a pretty site, but if web popularity = credibility, it would certainly make his arguments irrefutable!

Maybe Fumento can do that centerfold spread with a sock puppet covering his naughty bits, Scott...

Best,

D