A blog that recently gained national attention for revealing the hypocrisy behind one of the South's most conservative newspapers has become the target of hackers.
The Birmingham Skews has been forced to change its Internet host after an attack from hackers. That came not long after the blog revealed that Birmingham News columnist John Archibald, who had made fun of several public figures and their bankruptcies, had filed for bankruptcy himself. In the process, Archibald looked like a fool, first denying the personal bankruptcy, then claiming he didn't remember a foreclosure on his own house, then essentially blaming the whole affair on his wife.
The unnamed author of The Birmingham Skews has vowed to look into the dirty laundry of several News staffers. That apparently caused enough discomfort to make someone want to shut down the uppity blog. The hacking attack, of course, only makes it appear that folks at Alabama's largest newspaper have something to hide.
What has The Birmingham Skews been experiencing in recent days? We had noticed that the site suddenly took on a radically different look. Well, it turns out there is a reason for that:
As you have probably noticed, the Birmingham Skews has a different look and is coming to you from a different host. That is because I was hacked. Sometime on Sunday morning, someone hacked into my Gmail, my blog, and my Twitter accounts and took over those accounts. I have since ported the Skews to this host, and recently regained access to my Gmail.
Someone or some organization has targeted me, and tried to eliminate this blog and mute my voice. They hacked into my personal accounts. They do not like what I am doing with the Birmingham Skews, and have tried to shut me down. What these people have done isn’t just unethical, it is illegal.
Who did this? The Skews has some leads:
These are some IP addresses that I managed to capture, and are people who are associated with the hacking:
Conveniently, some of those IP addresses are associated with an area where the Birmingham News’ parent company has a presence. This was an organized, orchestrated effort to attack the Skews and criminally take over my accounts. Whoever did this has committed a crime in an effort to identify and silence me.
I share in the outrage over this underhanded attempt to silence The Birmingham Skews. But I am not surprised that it happened. After all, I was cheated out of my job as an editor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) after I started my blog that reports on uncomfortable truths about our state's conservative elites:
Blog About Siegelman, Lose Your Job
Did I really get fired for writing a blog, on my own time, about the Don Siegelman case? Yes, I did--and a UAB human-resources official named Anita Bonasera admitted as much in a phone conversation that I tape recorded:
Audio: UAB and the Cost of Blogging About the Siegelman Case
My guess is that The Birmingham News thugs would have tried to cost the Skews' author his job, but he posts anonymously and they apparently have not been able to track down his workplace. That's probably why they resorted to hacking.
The Skews story is rich with irony for your humble blogger. I long have suspected that individuals at The Birmingham News either helped cause my termination--or they know who did. Dale Turnbough, the associate vice president for public relations who signed my bogus termination letter, is charged essentially with placating the local media, keeping them at bay. I feel certain that Turnbough would have no problem cheating me out of my job if she thought it would make Birmingham News higher-ups happy. Heck, that might have help buy UAB lots of puffy publicity.
If the News folks weren't actively involved in my termination, I would bet what's left of my mortgage that they know who was behind it. I met separately with Archibald and his editor, Tom Scarritt, about the clear corruption in Shelby County that prompted me to start this blog. They both blew me off, clearly because the bad guys were Republicans.
That's how top dogs at The Birmingham News think--and I know that from personal experience.
Am I pleased that the Skews is zeroing in on the News? You're darned tootin' I am. In fact, I might help in that effort. I've become pretty adept at using public records to unearth sleaze on Birmingham elites--in the press, the law, in government, in business. The Schnauzer is sniffing in some pretty interesting corners these days--and you never know what rats might fly out from under cover.