by David Safier
John Huppenthal fessed up to the Arizona Republic.
Late Tuesday, June 17, Huppenthal issued a statement exclusively to The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com about the reasons he commented on blog posts under the names "Falcon9" and "Thucydides" instead of his own. He also apologized, saying in the statement, "I sincerely regret if my comments have offended anyone."
No surprise here, including his politician's non-apology apology: "I sincerely regret if my comments have offended anyone." In typically clueless fashion, Huppenthal's statement is more of a defense of his actions than an apology, citing the anonymity of the Federalist Papers (which I mentioned in a post a few days ago) to justify his use of "Thucydides" and "Falcon9" to express his ideas in public. Yes, the Federalist Papers were anonymous, and yes, writing anonymously is fine. But Huppenthal went beyond mere anonymity and used the posts to defend and promote himself, frequently writing about himself in the third person. That's deception, pure and simple. It's so despised on the web, it's got its own name: sock puppetry.
The statement Huppenthal sent to the Republic didn't refer to his serial editing of Wikipedia in 2006, or at least it wasn't mentioned in the excerpts in the article. Also not mentioned was Huppenthal's own defense of his Wikipedia editing, saying it was "honest" because it wasn't anonymous.
Wikipedia has an option for posting anonymously. I chose not to do that. That's the honest man's trademark. He leaves his signature.
The man who's in charge of superintending our children's education needs to be a decent role model for children, not to mention the adults who voted for him, and issue a true apology for his ongoing deceptive practices.