In doing google searches to find new material for this blog, yesterday we came across this comment made on November 15 on the "Waddling Thunder" blog of a Harvard Law School student, here, concerning a blog about Professor Tribe called "The Big Mahatma."
The student observed: "I really don't know what to make of this, but I've just noticed this extremely elaborate fake blog purporting to mock Professor Tribe. I haven't the foggiest idea who could be bothered enough to do this, but there it is. Bizarre."
The page hosted at the link was not terribly informative, as it posts only an "under construction" sign, indicating that sometime between November 15 and when we noticed this yesterday, there was something fairly elaborate on the page, which is now no longer there. This was the only mention we have been able to find of the fake blog -- which raises the question, why would someone do an "extremely elaborate fake blog" mocking Professor Tribe, and then not tell anyone about it?
To try to get some idea of what was at that link on November 15, we contacted various law students who we thought might be regular readers of the Waddling Thunder blog, and one of the students had actually seen the blog (though unfortunately had not made a copy) and was kind enough to write us back. This student described it as follows (information which might identify the student in ellipses):
Gilligan,This description of the fake blog, if anything, simply left us more confused about why someone would do something so obviously elaborate and then do nothing to publicize it, but we offer this information for whatever it might be worth.
The blog purported to be BY Professor Tribe, but it was executed in such as way as to be an obvious fake. There was a photo of Tribe in the user data box to the side and it went on at great length in pseudo-biographical fashion before discussing his befuddlement at being the subject of the recent allegations of plagiarism. I don't think it had a posted email address in the profile. The title was "The Big Mahatma" and it was several screens long, although only one post was made and there were no archives.
I found the blog around the first of November through checking my referrer logs. . . . When I clicked on the link, I wasn't able to see any links to my site, but upon some fooling around (Google cache? to be honest, I don't remember) I was able to find a previous version of the single giant post that currently graced the blog . . . . Unfortunately, I did not print the blog out or save it. I didn't link to it because it was so clearly someone poking a mean bit of fun at the professor (the first person narrative was stream-of-consciousness and rather unflattering) without casting any light on the plagiarism issue. I agree that it's a very odd occurrence and can only guess that the person in question had their jollies and is through, or that Professor Tribe somehow found out about it and asked the person to take it down.
If any of our readers have any more information on this fake blog, particularly a copy of some or all of it, please contact us so that we can try to get to the bottom of this, especially regarding anything on the blog related to the plagiarism story on Professor Tribe.