I’m used to taking crap, so I laughed last week when a Vegas blogger asked why I was moderating a May 11 mayoral forum for a gay business group when I’m deaf and "bark like a fuckin' seal.” It’s not kind, but I was attacked daily for a year by an LA blogger convinced I spearheaded a conspiracy to conceal what actually killed Danny Gans, and that builds character. My partner now makes seal noises at me for giggles.
But then I looked a little closer at this blog, Peeping With Tom. It wouldn’t be worth taking note of except that its author, Tom Moilanen isn’t (just) some crackpot; he’s a College of Southern Nevada communications and media instructor. He’s teaching three sections right now.
Also, he’s got quite a mouth on him and cloaks it as these people always do in pseudo-noble “I-won’t-be cowed-by-political-correctness” malarkey. Try this on: “A model from Portugal castrated and killed a journalist. … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fantasized about shoving a corkscrew into some media person. Fuckin' journalists. Talk about lying, deceptive pond scum.”
Did I mention he teaches media? And sat on a panel as recently as last fall with KSNV and KLAS anchors for a journalism forum?
Moilanen also owns a porno rental shop called Price Video—who knew anyone rented videos or paid for porn anymore? If you’re a customer, you may have appeared on Peeping With Tom. Like, say, Phil, who has Parkinson’s and “falls down several times every visit, knocking over entire shelves of DVD box covers. He shakes like a crack addict, yet drives a car,” Moilanen writes. Or Jay, 50, who is “as bright as a freshly tarred parking lot, and about as dark, too, if you catch my racially tinged drift” and whose manners upset Moilanen so much, he concludes: “Fuck you Jay, you low-life coon.”
Coon. I wonder how amused CSN’s black faculty or students will be.
Moilanen also openly admits he flouts the Nevada law banning smoking indoors. “I love to smoke,” he writes. “And I smoke in the shop. … Do you think for one second I’m going to let some power-hungry politician tell me I can’t smoke in my own place? … Fuck those people.”
Sometimes Moilanen’s barbs are cloaked in libertarian political blather, but most of them are as pointless as they are nasty. Referring to another Las Vegas journalist as “one ugly dude,” he goes on to conclude: “Sorry, but there isn’t enough booze in this town to get anyone drunk enough to have any form of sex with that.”
CSN spokeswoman K.C. Brekken took the free speech line one might expect from such an institution: “Mr. Moilanen’s views as expressed in his blog do not represent those of the college. CSN cannot comment on an individual’s private viewpoints when those viewpoints do not or are not known to have intersected with that individual’s job duties.”
Oh, that’s fine. I don’t think the guy should be fired. I just think faculty, his students and his customers ought to know. And an argument can be made that a professor who explicitly describes soiling himself during a CSN lecture might just be tiptoeing up to that “intersection.”
For Moilanen’s part, I posted a blog comment asking him to contact me. When he emailed, he assumed I was sore about his slam on me and apologized. Among other things, he reasoned: “The voice I use on the blog is almost a character of sorts; it’s this overly acerbic tone, designed to entertain and ideally make people (all twelve of them) think.”
See, I worry about a media instructor so clueless as to think he can write such things on the Internet under his real name with his CSN affiliation listed as a credential and imagine nobody would ever notice. Don’t you?
As for me, I think I’ve recovered, but see for yourself. Come to Las Palmas in Commercial Center at 11:30 a.m. on May 11 to watch me quiz Carolyn Goodman and Chris Giunchigliani. I promise I’ll try not to bark.