A law professor from the University of Chicago who wrote a blog post challenging President Obama's stance against tax relief for the "super rich" has been forced to delete his post after an "electronic lynch mob" attacked him and threatened his family.
In his original post, Todd Henderson contested the notion that a household income of $250,000 makes one "super rich."
That makes me super rich and subject to a big tax hike if the president has his way. I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.
Henderson went on to reveal details of his family’s budget and their expenditures. His personal post soon went viral around the Web, garnering lots of attention -- much of it critical, angry and -- according to Henderson -- threatening. As a result, Henderson deleted his post, but noted that he still stood by his opinion:
The reason I took the very unusual step of deleting them is because my wife, who did not approve of my original post and disagrees vehemently with my opinion, did not consent to the publication of personal details about our family. In retrospect, it was a highly effective but incredibly stupid thing to do. The electronic lynch mob that has attacked and harassed me — you should see the emails sent to me personally! — has made my family feel threatened and insecure. We recently had a very early preemie, and this was a quite inopportune time to bring this on my family. For the record, I still think the planned tax increases will negatively impact my family and my country, but that is basically all I should have said. To my wife, my three children, and to anyone who was offended by my remarks, please accept my apologies. To those with pitchforks trying to attack me instead of my message, I feel sorry for you. You have caused untold damage to me personally. I may be wrong, even stupid, but I don’t think I deserved that.
Citing the incident's "firestorm" of "lies and misinformation," Henderson has decided to end his blogging career. "I misunderstood the technology, and the consequences are devastating for me personally," he writes. "I am sad to leave, but my family has to come first, and my blogging has caused them incalculable damage."