When local blogger Ashe Dambala, as he calls himself to hide his identity, came to collect an award at a New Orleans bloggers' convention last weekend, two of his regular readers couldn't wait to see him -- so they could find out his real name and sue him for libel.
Assistant city attorney Bob Ellis and his wife, private attorney Daya Naef, had grown agitated at Dambala's suggestions of potential conflicts of interest between them, so they paid $30 each for admission to the confab, called Rising Tide, looking to face their accuser.
They would arrive to find Jacques Morial -- brother of the former mayor -- accepting the award on the winner's behalf, both amusing and disappointing fans who had hoped to see the political blogger unmasked. The couple's entrance, meanwhile, riled audience members, some of whom seemed offended that a blogger's target dared try to pierce his cloak of anonymity.
Ellis, in an interview, called Dambala a "delusional nut" who has "keyboard courage, " but doesn't "have the courage to meet me and have a cup of coffee."
Until now, that is.
Big thanks to Molly Reid of the Times-Picayune for this one. Not only does it feature the hullabaloo over Dambala, it also takes a good look at local blogs.
Go dig up the dead-tree edition of the paper, or head over to nola.com and look for " 'American Zombie' blogger outs himself while facing libel suit from City Hall employee". Another annoying habit their website has is that of changing the dead-tree headlines. Wish I could break my boycott of the site over this one. Sorry, folks.