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Jewish Journal

Blog Wars

by Ilana Angel

January 27, 2012 | 3:01 pm

For those of you who read my blogs regularly, or have met me, you know I’m a little sarcastic and like to push the envelope when writing about reality television.  I am opinionated, sometimes harsh, occasionally funny, and always truthful.  I blog my truth and view on the shows we all love and hate.  I make no apologies for my opinions and am blessed that JewishJournal.com lets me say what I want, the way I want to say it.

This blog is popular and I am grateful.  I love that so many people read, and whether they agree of not, I like it when they share their opinions.  I get comments here, and also a lot of emails sent to me by email because people want to have conversations about the show without it being in a public setting.  I used to think that was odd, but over the past year I have come to understand the fear people have when sharing.

There are some blogs where if you make a comment that does not match those of the writer, you are quickly attacked.  People can be quite brutal when they are hiding behind the safety of the Internet.  If nobody knows who you are, then you are not accountable to anyone and therefore can be brutally honest, or intensely mean, and there is no proof it was ever you. The Internet is a wonderful and wacky place.

Over the past few months I have been under attack.  Important to note I am not talking about my blogs, or my employer, but me personally, by Lee Hennessee, Lynn Hudson, and now Michael Mazzella.  If you read reality television blogs you may or may not know who these people are, but they would like you to believe that everyone on the planet knows who they are.  The truth is they are known by many and are on a mission.

They seem to be hell bent on hurting me and I’m not sure why.  Lynn Hudson writes a blog about reality television, Lee Hennessee is a friend of hers who writes for her site, and Michael Mazzello is a young kid who has also started writing for Lynn.  They have individually and collectively decided to write about me, and none of what they write is true or flattering.  Furthermore, in my opinion, none of them are talented writers.


If I try to figure out when this attack on me started, we must begin with Jill Zarin.  Jill was a star of the Real Housewives of New York City and Lynn did not like her.  She was a staunch supporter of Bethenny Frankel, and when Bethenny and Jill had a falling out, Lynn sided with Bethenny, and while I don’t think I picked a side, I was certainly supportive of Jill.  I am unapologetic when it comes to my liking Jill Zarin.

Jill is good television and I was writing about television. By my seemingly aligning with Jill, I was on the attack list of Lynn and her followers.  The shift was subtle but quick.  My blog was increasing in readership and when people who had been loyal to Lynn were reading me and liking my work, she was not happy. I was not reading Lynn’s blog and to be honest, the only reason was I simply did not have the time.  I watch the shows, blog, and move on.

Lynn was becoming more and more hurtful to Jill, which is hard to believe when you consider she called her blog “I Hate Jill Zarin”.  The more she attacked Jill, the more I wanted to protect her.  I did not know Jill, but she was being unfairly hit at every turn by Lynn and her fans.  My voice became louder, my followers were growing, and before I knew it, we had been set up as enemies.  It’s a shame really, but too late to worry about it now.

My issue with Lynn is that while she has contacted me herself a couple of times, she gets her readers to attack me.  She’s a smart lady in that she does not do her dirty work.  She is a mother, wife and businesswoman, so her time would be better spent thinking about what her behavior says about her, rather than me.  It’s not just about me. Many innocent and lovely people are getting caught in the crossfire.  The biggest difference between Lynn and me is that I play fair.

If I have something to say, I say it myself.  There are no minions or “flying monkeys” as it were, who go around and attack Lynn for me.  My readers are certainly loyal, but they are also grown ups and not into the drama.  Some have been pushed to the limit, but have remained calm and walked away from the attacks with dignity.  I am in awe of these people.  They are heroes in their own ways and I am grateful for their support.

As for Lee Hennessee, she has had her lawyer write to say if I do not stop writing about her, she will sue me for slander.  Interesting since writing about someone does not constitute slander.  Her lawyer is a little confused as according to Law 101, and the First Amendment, slander is based on things being said or heard, and libel is when things are written or seen.  That her attorney was not clear on this was entertaining.

Michael is teenage kid who is trying to make a name for himself, and while he is a little aggressive and childish in his writing style, I think is probably a great kid and was so excited to get attention from an established writer, that he jumped in before he realized he was perhaps not aligning wit the right people.  I could be wrong.  He could know exactly what he’s ding and just not be as nice as I give him credit for being.

I get that when they write about me they get good numbers.  I get good numbers when I write about them too.  People seem interested in the “blog war” that we have going, but it’s not really a war.  I don’t know these people.  I have written about them, but I wrote about a lot of people I don’t know.  I am no bashing them on Twitter, accusing them or horrific things, and going out of my way to tarnish their reputations.

I have reached out to Lynn many times to make this all go away.  She is not interested in speaking with me.  I have tried to reason with Lee on Twitter, but each time I do, she becomes unhinged.  Lynn has several long term followers who attack everything I’ve written.  I wrote an article about loving my delicious child and I was called a pedophile.  I written bout a bad date and I was called an Internet whore.  It never stops.

To be perfectly honest, I’m tired.  I have worked really hard and am truly blessed to have a career doing what I love.  I fell into writing by accident and I really love it.  Both of my blogs have grown and taken on lives of their own.  I am safe and protected at The Jewish Journal.  I am first and foremost a Jewish woman trying to find my way and I am very loyal to this site, my bosses, and those who write here with me.

Lately, it is not only me getting attacked but also The Jewish Journal and even my child.  My gut reaction is to simply stop.  Cancel my Twitter, stop writing about reality television, and go back to simply chronicling my journey as a mother preparing for her only child to leave the nest.  It is the reality television writing that is causing me such stress.  By stress of course I mean distress.  The attacks are breaking my heart.

There are thousands of bloggers who write about reality television, but for some reason, I am getting attacked a little more often, and a little harsher than most.  I honestly don’t know why.  I’m a tough lady and I have survived worse things than being attacked on Twitter, but at the end of the day it is really hurting my feelings and makes me fearful.  Who are these people who hide in cyberspace and have such palpable hate for me?

Blogger Lynn Hudson and her contributing writers Lee Hennessee and Michael Mazzella spend a lot of time talking about me. They write articles dedicated to me and have mile long exchanges about me and my blog on Lynn’s site.  I suppose I could be flattered that they enjoy talking about me so much, but in the end I just feel sad for them.  They must have rather empty lives If they can dedicate so much time to my rather fabulous life.

Lynn Hudson needs to stop this mess.  She needs to tell her followers and friends to leave me alone.  There is room for both of us to do our thing and it is okay for people to like us both.  Michael Mazzella needs to realize that if he wants to have a serious career, he needs to start acting like an adult and understand that words matter.  He must figure out who he wants to be and write as that person, not the child he is now.

Lee Hennessee needs to get an attorney that knows the difference between slander and libel.  She also needs to stop her vile Twitter behavior.  It is unbecoming of a woman with her professional background.  Her lawyer wrote that my “slander” was going to impact the sale of her company as I was ruining her reputation.  Really?  Anyone on Twitter who sees what is being written, is aware of exactly who is ruining Lee’s reputation.  She is.

Some days I wake up ready to quit Twitter. By some days of course I mean everyday, but in the end I am not going to walk away from an important part of my work because a couple of mean girls and their little puppet are hurting my feelings.  I have the support of my job, and my child, and this too shall pass.  I have loyal readers who see what is happening and pay no attention to the ugliness that comes my way.  I have back up.

I am not the first person they have attacked.  Many people have quit before me and so for them, and for me, I will hang on another day.  Instead of quitting Twitter, we will create a fan page on Facebook so people can enjoy the blogs, and I will continue to Tweet because let’s face it, I’m hilarious on Twitter.  I will pray, and hope that the ugliness being directed at my family and me is a test I will pass and learn from.

I am no longer going to blog about any of these people.  I will.also not read anything that they write.  Will block those on Twitter and Facebook who want to start trouble, and to go one step further, I will block those who engage in the hate.  The blogosphere has room for everyone and I will choose what I want to see.  I’m going ino a bubble and feel good about my choice because what I see is breaking my heart.

Knowing Lynn’s MO like I do, she will see this blog as a sign of weakness, Lee will write an incoherent blog about it, and Michael will write that I am being unkind to his mentor.  It’s not weakness, and if I were interested in really fighting, I would win. This blog, and my choices are in the best interest of my child, my employer and myself. I’m a grown up and fighting with those weaker than me is no fun.

I will now, for the final time, extend an olive branch to Lynn Hudson as she holds the power over her friends.  Lynn, I am here if you ever want to talk and make this better.  I want this to stop.  I wish you success and peace and am open to anything that will bring the same to me.  I am wiling to talk and listen.  I just want this to be over because it’s exhausting.  It’s time for you to start keeping it real.

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