So, The Iceland Weather Report has been the focus of considerable attention over the past few days. Thursday we had just over 1,400 hits to the site in one day, mostly to this post, and this. [Although this would probably have provided better information.]
Basically, the matter revolves around one Paul Nikolov [who also goes by the name of Paul Fontaine], who just over a year ago appeared in the IWR comment box with a nasty, degrading comment penned in response to this post [now deleted since the Texan DA in question appeared in the comments and caused a ruckus], under the name ‘Paul’ but with no email or website address. In fact, it was so nasty that I deleted it on the spot … I felt quite sullied, having those words dripping with bile in my comments. Of course now I wish I’d showed more restraint – it would have been quite interesting for the world at large to have that comment as evidence.
‘Paul’ was careful not to leave an email or website address with that comment. However, as there are not many ‘Pauls’ in Iceland, particularly not who had aired similar views in a public forum, I was pretty sure I knew who it was. I put my money on a certain staff writer at alternative newspaper The Grapevine, the aforementioned Paul Nikolov, who had strongly expressed his views about Aron Pálmi Ágústsson which were very similar [albeit more controlled] to the view expressed in that comment. So after deleting it, I wrote a comment in response, in which I embedded a link to The Grapevine website, of which said Paul was editor at the time [and thus, I reasoned, presumably checked the site meter]. Sure enough, a few days later Paul appeared in my comments again. This time he didn’t even leave his name, but wrote an anonymous comment in response to mine, see here.
Then out of the blue a year later, I received in my comment box this little missive: Aron Pálmi should rot in jail [signed] Aron Pálmi. This time I was the one to check my site meter, and followed a link back to a site called cruel.com. There, someone writing under the name ‘Jadetree’ had left a message urging people to flame the Iceland Weather Report, to wit:
If you want to have some fun with this self-important twat, post a comment on her blog saying, “Aron Palmi should rot in jail!” She will delete your comment, and then hold forth at length about what a poor victim of brutal American justice he is. Repeat as often as desired.
Lovely, wouldn’t you agree? Or perhaps a little psychopathic? After all, I had done nothing but post an opinion on my own website, and had certainly done nothing to warrant such an underhanded and sleazy attack.
Of course I instantly recognized ‘Paul’. Indeed, this comment was a direct reference to our earlier exchange: I had deleted his comment, and had given him my reasons. A closer examination of the ‘Jadetree’ profile revealed that his home page was listed as www.grapevine.is. And, as if further proof was needed, a reader sent me this link in which a commenter named ‘Jadetree’ is identified as Paul F. Nikolov. Who, I repeat, had written angry diatribes about Aron Pálmi Ágústsson in The Grapevine. An open-and-shut case. Right?
Apparently not to Paul F. Nikolov. It didn’t take him long to find this post, and in the comments he wrote a saccharine little missive dotted with smileys in which he swore off all ties to ‘Jadetree’. His explanation: “I might’ve related the story of our last encounter to someone, and word got around. That happens in Iceland, as you know. One of these people, I imagine, decided to play a little joke by placing the comment about your blog on Cruel.Com.” [!] “For me to post such a comment in an online community, leaving myself wide open to scorn at a time when I’m trying to win over popular opinion, would be downright foolish, even for me. ”
Ah, yes. Here we come to the crux of the matter. Paul F. Nikolov is currently running for political office. And we’ve got parliamentary elections coming up in, oh, three weeks. He’s running for the Left-Green party, which espouses views that are in heavy contradiction to Paul’s fascist ones about Aron Pálmi [and, for that matter, ‘Jadetree’s’ comments about the disabled]. Unsurprisingly, Paul’s donned a halo and done a 180° turn on the Aron Pálmi issue.
The only problem is that someone dug up the little story of his former “disagreement” with the Iceland Weather Report and has posted it on a blog, which is linked to from the front page of the most popular website in Iceland. Thousands of people have now logged on to read about it. Many are outraged. Others are outraged on behalf of Paul F. Nikolov, who they see as a terrible victim in this “conspiracy”, where dark forces are trying to sabotage his political career by fabricating lies about him and linking him to some unknown, anonymous blogger named ‘Jadetree’ out there in the big bad world. Some have even gone so far as to maintain that the profile on cruel.com and blogger, including dates, are surely forged.
Which just goes to prove that people see not what is in front of them, but what they want to see.
Nikolov himself, predictably, has again sworn off any links to ‘Jadetree’ – “as I’ve done many times before”– [?] on his blog, claiming he is the victim of a “witch hunt”, rumours and fabrications.
Unfortunately, I’d say the greatest victim is the Left-Green party. Sadly, because they have a lot of good things in their manifesto, of which Paul F. Nikolov is not one. I’d probably have given them my vote, as I did last time; however, now I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.
[Back to the weather tomorrow.]