Research Question: How Reliable is Richard Williams’s Old Virginia Blog?

Had it not been for Kevin Levin, I probably would never have heard of Richard Williams’s Old Virginia Blog, which over the years has become better known for its author’s rants about political correctness (as well as his distain for certain blogs, including this one) than for anything having to do with the study of the American past. During that time Williams has abdicated offering original commentary in favor of presenting his blog as a largely uncritical clipping service of conservative news sources supplimented by his own distinctive prose stylings. Readers of his blog (which will now most assuredly reach double digits) already know of his boasting that proclaim his subjectivity and bias is superior to everyone else’s (Williams believes that one’s political position explains nearly everything about them and how they see the world, although only he really knows what they think), as well as his assumption that people who don’t post about what he thinks they should post about are part of some left-wing (and usually Marxist) conspiracy to upend American values, which he thinks are best reflected through the experiment in Confederate independence.

Or so some might say.

So let’s test this proposition and in the process assess Mr. Williams’s blog by exploring his most recent post, reproduced below:

polston OVB

This is his only post on this news item. For the item to which he links, look here.

So, folks … let’s do a little research, and see whether this post is complete, sufficient, and accurate in understanding the incident it purports to highlight. Tell us what you find and how what you find might alter your understanding of the story as presented by Mr. Williams.

Oh, yes, and then be on the lookout for the whailing and whining that are sure to follow from Virginia Whine Country.


11 thoughts on “Research Question: How Reliable is Richard Williams’s Old Virginia Blog?

  1. ROBERT WOODY April 13, 2017 / 9:51 am

    Another example of like minded bloggers echoing baseless claims that are upended with the smallest bit of research.

    From Scott Maxwell commentary, 3/29/17
    The Orlando Sentinel:

    “Of course, the full story wasn’t really that simple. Court records — generated after the professor filed a request for “protection against stalking” from the student — also showed the school generally considered the student to be a discipline problem and that administrators had repeatedly spoken to him about his behavior.

    But to get that full story, Russon had to do two things:

    1. Research.

    2. Want to tell all sides of the story.

    That was too much for many of the websites.”

    Snopes has the court papers and emails involved.

    • Joshism April 14, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      “Snopes has the court papers and emails involved.”

      Ah, but Snopes are a bunch of lying liberals so a good conservative can’t trust anything they supposedly debunk.

  2. Jimmy Dick April 14, 2017 / 7:34 am

    Richard Williams is just the template that Jerry Dunsford used to develop his ranting rhetoric. He is just another version of KKKonnie Chastain. None of them can tell the truth. All of them need psychiatric help. All of them cherry pick the past and present to support their fanatical ideology.

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 14, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      I’m beginning to believe that there’s not any significant difference between Dunford, Chastain, and Williams. At best the differences are window dressing.

      • Shoshana Bee April 16, 2017 / 12:47 pm

        Don’t forget George Purvis — he fits into that bowl of mixed nuts, too.

  3. bob carey April 14, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    I started out in a vain search for the course description of Middle Eastern Humanities.
    I then did some background on Polston, this episode has given him credibility in right wing circles, to the point of a fourteen minute spot on Hannity”s radio show and apparently a spot on the TV show as well (I didn’t watch the TV version), One of Hannity’s other guest said that the professor in question was on the FBI”s terror watch list, does the FBI publish such a list? I suspect not, therefore the guest was either using un-named sources or simply lying. Either version would come under “fake news”. This is the same conclusion that the Orlando Sentinel came up with.
    My next step was looking at some of the blogs which carried this Polston story (I guess I can be suspect of being a troll) these blogs all repeated each other to the point of boredom. They basically repeated Polston’s version. Much like Richard Williams. These blogs did not mention that the College considered Polston a discipline problem before the events in question.
    In conclusion it seems that both sides claim to have witnesses to the events in question and it appears that the lawyers have become involved and I will reserve any judgment until this is settled legally. Therefore I think that Williams should also reserve judgment.
    On a personal observation, does anyone else think that Polston looks a little bit like Dylan Roof?

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 14, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      In short, Richard Williams uses sources uncritically to support his preexisting biases. He fails to examine the factual accuracy of his claims. He often passes on fake news as truth.

      Funny, that’s what he accuses other people of doing.

  4. C. Meyer April 14, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Mr. Williams is the anti-elite Elitist….

  5. Joshism April 14, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    “largely uncritical clipping service of conservative news sources”

    Well, nothing says Old South like blatant conservatism bordering on the reactionary.

    “Williams believes that one’s political position explains nearly everything about them and how they see the world”

    Given that political, religious, and philosophical beliefs are usually pretty intertwined he’s not completely off base in that regard. However, he presumably is lumping everyone together as either Conservatives or Liberals which is grossly oversimplifying.

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