Stupid House-Dividing Personified: Melody Hensley

As readers of this publication’s About page know,

This blog is dedicated to the stupid, house-dividing things skeptics say about each other when they should be out saying intelligent, woo-bashing things about anti-vaccinators or homeopathy.

In the few short months this reporter has been writing about that topic, no person has come anywhere near as close to the Platonic ideal of stupid and house-dividing than the Executive Director of the Washington DC branch of the Center for Inquiry (CFI-DC) Melody Hensley.

Melody Hensley as a koala

Ms. Hensley as a koala on the left. Some unknown male impersonator on the right.

Earlier today, Ms. Hensley sent out the following tweet:

I blocked everyone but 2 ppl that follow the Elevatorgate account & I lost 20 followers. Why would you follow me & someone that harasses me?

This is idiotic in a number of ways. People follow other people on Twitter for many other reasons besides agreement with their statements. Ms. Hensley has chosen to take a role as a public figure in an organization which has outreach as one of their major goals, and as such is expected to treat the people who wish to read her work a little less cavalierly. But the main reason, as this reporter tweeted earlier today, is that if she were asking a legitimate question, she had just blocked everyone who could possibly give her a straight answer.

But people whom she didn’t block gave her straight answers too, and she had textbook cognitive-dissonance replies to them all:

Todd W.: Some may follow that account to keep tabs on what they’re saying. Just speculating.

Melody:  Or they may want to keep tabs on me and I’m not taking that chance.

Emily Dietle: @bethpresswood @MelodyHensley I agree w/Beth. There are many reasons to follow & it never=endorsement. Some ppl manage w/auto-follows, too.

Melody: @emilyhasbooks @Bethpresswood Don’t want to take a chance. Better to lose some followers than risk having creepy people following me.

What “obsessed nut jobs” might look like.

Melody: If you follow ppl that harass me & other wmn I will delete you. I understand that following ≠ endorsement but I don’t want to take chances.

Crommunist: I’m not sure what deleting people accomplishes in that case. They can still see your tweets, even if blocked.

Official SpokesGay: It makes it just a little harder, crom.

Melody: They just have to go out of their way a bit more, which they will do because they are obsessed nut jobs.

Before today, this reporter had so little exposure to Ms. Hensley that her name didn’t even ring a bell when she sent that tweet out. This reporter’s Twitter followed number did not go down, so SkepDirt was not affected by her ill-conceived action. But now Ms. Hensley is a shining beacon on this reporter’s radar.

Why is that? Is it because she’s a woman? No. It’s because she’s an idiot. She has no understanding of what her very public position entails, she has a warped view of how Twitter works, and she has no clue about how lumping potential donors in with the likes of actual detractors merely for the offense of followcrime can hurt her organization financially.

Melody, some sad but needed advice:

You are clearly averse to social risks. That isn’t anything to be ashamed of. But the Executive Director of an outreach program needs to be someone who can go out and be comfortable around people who might not be entirely in agreement with that organization’s goals.

You are who you are, Melody, and the position is the position it is. You and it are simply not a good match. The next step for you to take is clear.

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One Response to Stupid House-Dividing Personified: Melody Hensley

  1. deminthon says:

    No one with Ms. Hensley’s level of intelligence should have a position of authority at CFI.

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