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Blogger Joshua Scott Albert of Staph Meal would like to tell you how he self imploded.

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Joshua of Staph Meal
Joshua Scott Albert of Staph Meal. Image via gawker.

How not to attempt to be a blogger.

The first thing I noted after reading gawker‘s hilarious account of failed blogger (or as he likes to think of himself as provocateur) Joshua Scott Albert of  Staph Meal is that his eponymous website is up for sale. Why is it up for sale you wonder? Cause the kid despite going for the big guns failed miserably, but that shit normally happens when you attempt to take no prisoners and metaphorically try to shoot everyone dead in your path…

Gawker‘s account begins as follows:

26-year-old Joshua Scott Albert is finally shutting up. “My attorney said don’t say anything to anyone at all,” Albert told me on the phone yesterday. “He said don’t talk to your mother, although my mother’s been dead since I’ve been 12.” Albert should take his advice. He’s currently in about as much trouble as you can be for saying things.

What kind of trouble you wonder? A whole lot of trouble. As a fugitive on the run for a week and now set to turn himself into tomorrow Albert is guilty of stupid shit that amounts to vindictive trolling. Listing the names and addresses of people he has a beef with (they don’t teach you that shit in journalism school Josh) on the web and the far more serious crimes to commit murder (yes Josh is the new species of blogger), terrorist threats and harassment and not to mention a Facebook page he created advocating murder of Philadelphia cops and Mitt Romney. Well you get a pass on Romney Josh.

From there gawker goes on to explain how Josh started his blog back in 2011 in an effort to expose bullshit behavior courtesy of some Philadelphia restaurants (yes Josh is from Philly) and there’s even a moment that gawker attempts to understand what motivated our collective hero:

“I try to get a reaction out of people, and I try to push boundaries and make people kind of question things,”

But Staph Meal for a while was a hot commodity as gawker notes:

Within days of its September launch Staph Meal set the tight-knit Philly foodie world on fire, as the blog called out well-respected chefs for scumbag behavior, backed by anonymous testimonies from workers and laced with profanity. An early post featured the story of a server who walked into a bathroom to find a restaurant owner “doing coke with another server… at only 9 am.”

Who doesn’t relish reading up about stupid and hilarious behavior courtesy of people who ought to know better? But then again if some chef wants to stack a crack pipe through his nose I say why not?

And how did Josh handle criticism of his combative journalism style?

Staph Meal had no boundaries . In one particularly memorable response to his critics, Staph Meal posted a picture of his dick under the headline: “If You Don’t Like What I Do Here Is My Dick, Gag On It.”

And gag them bixches did. From there gawker go on to describe all the stupid shit Josh did to get people’s goat but at the end of it even gawker who have a reputation for being corrosive and abrupt (admit it Nick) have this to say:

But while a crusading anonymous blogger is an intriguing story, a pissed-off 25-year-old restaurant worker with a blog is not. When Albert revealed himself, interest in Staph Meal suddenly dropped off. In apparent bid to recapture his brief flame of attention, Albert began in recent months to lash out with increasingly provocative posts targeted at those most likely to respond.

And then there is this insightful reflection:

Joshua Scott Albert is what happens when a troll gets his kicks riding waves of online outrage, but can’t handle the tsunami when he goes too far. These people flare up and burn out regularly, and there’s a tragic edge to many of their stories because for all the horrible shit they say a lot of them have deep-seated personal problems that are fed by and feed their trolling. Saying Joshua Scott Albert had a bad childhood is like saying Syria isn’t a great vacation spot.

But now that Joshua Albert as of this afternoon is in custody whilst his lawyer Lloyd Long had the following below to say, which is food for thought but me still thinks bixch went over the line and wasn’t inciting provocative discussion which is ultimately what a good blogger does but physical and dangerous repercussions.

Offers Lloyd Long:

Freedom of speech in this great nation has always included the freedom to offend. Although I do not agree with what my client said, I agree with him that his speech is legally protected and that no crime was committed. It is a dangerous course to charge individuals with crimes for expressing unpopular or offensive opinions.

Never mind for those interested Staph Meal is up for sale. Surely there’s someone amongst you out there who is willing to take on the world the way Joshua Albert intended? Long pause. Well maybe not…

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1 COMMENT

  1. Well, one of the reasons interest dropped once he was outed was his anonymous persona was built up as a seasoned restaurant insider — when it was revealed he was a kid whose time in the industry consisted mainly of Chick-fil-A his authority….waned. He also closed and reopened the blog several times in a wearying “gotcha” way and deleted comments which called him out on his many factual inaccuracies. He NEVER acted like a journalist getting a story by attempting confirmation of alleged facts or asking for comments from the target of his hit piece. And when he started running out of material his restaurant posts were less about practices at the restaurants themselves and more about vile personal innuendos about people’s out-of-kitchen love lives or recreational habits. When a nice, naive young journalist tried to engage him via facebook looking for a possible interview he put the entirety of the the not entirely good for her career private discussion on his blog, while brutally mocking her appearance. Some people are trying to at least in part justify JSA as somehow a beneficial food blogger — frankly, he wasn’t and seemed to care alot more about HIS hits and profiles than the servers he claims to have defended.

    His “politics” mainly consisted of hysterical attacks on the Philly PD (which go back a while); a penchant for mocking murder victims and their families who he deemed unrepresentative of the overall murder profile in the city and a belief that he could make a step up in noteriety by proving Mayor Nutter was having an affair (which fizzled out quickly when it was explained to JSA that actual real adults occasionally are seen in public in a group that contains a female, and might be seen sitting next to said female, and that doesn’t proof adultery). He apparently did a lot of Occupy muppetry, but they seemed to have turned on him after a while and in any case it wasn’t a political blog in that regard.

    The pages he is being charged with were of course just FB pages, so have to be taken on their own merit. All of the stuff about his hysterically nasty writings on his blog, the “humor” some might find there is irrelevant. Just because if you read all of Staphmeals “work” you realize the man is a damaged joke who probably doesn’t want to kill people in his heart of heart (or lack thereof) doesn’t change the fact the potential reader of his FB posts may very well have taken this “joke” very seriously indeed.

    If the First Amendment protects this, then pretty much any no talent hack with anger management issues can publish whatever direct incitements against individuals he wishes on social media as long as using the most absurdly generous broad definition possible you can find some nanotrace of “political comment” and/or “satire” and/or humor in what was done. This seems dangerous — I wouldn’t want today’s hard right allowed to have, in essence, a “Staphmeal Defense — We were kinda sorta kidding” for endless death threats and bounty offers on Obama if wins, e.g.

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