Michaele Jordan, in her MidAmeriCon II Report posted by Amazing Stories on October 28, purported to have the true reason Dave Truesdale’s membership was revoked — that he published his remarks while the convention was going on. A few File 770 commenters found this version more appealing than the official statement. However, MACII Chair Ruth Lichtwardt says that is not the case.
The committee’s explanation appeared in Issue 9 of the convention daily newzine on Saturday, August 20:
At the beginning of a panel on The State of Short Fiction on Friday, Dave Truesdale read a prepared statement that contained inflammatory comments that were considered inciteful by a number of people at the panel. After consulting with the Incident Report Team, the Division Heads revoked Dave’s membership. They issued the following statement: “Dave Truesdale’s membership was revoked because he violated MidAmeriCon II’s Code of Conduct. Specifically, he caused ‘significant interference with event operations and caused excessive discomfort to others’”
However, Jordan asserts that while working in the convention Press Room she heard that was not the reason, it was something else:
… immediately upon exiting the panel — he posted his entire speech on-line…. It was this posting of his speech that got him ousted. (You heard about that, right? I gather there’s been quite a furor about it.) Vague on-line references about the Code of Conduct aside, Mr. Truesdale and all other program participants were explicitly told to give MidAmericon II first publication rights, and forbidden to publicize their remarks until after the con was over.
Many claimed later that he was ejected for “inciteful remarks”, but whatever his remarks were, that was not the reason. I was there, first at the panel and then in the Press Room. He was kicked out for posting, in clear violation of his agreement with the con, and I knew this long before I managed to track down on-line what he said…
As someone who had been scheduled to be a program participant and received the standard emails, I had no recollection of MACII making any request or restriction about publishing at-con remarks as part of that correspondence. (No Worldcon that I have ever participated in has tried to impose such a restriction.) So Jordan’s claim about a real reason that was different from the one announced struck me as highly unlikely.
I reached out to Ruth Lichtwardt, Chair of MidAmeriCon II, and asked her to comment. Lichtwardt replied:
I can absolutely assure you that at the time I made the decision to revoke Dave Truesdale’s membership and notified him, neither the Incident Response Team or I had any idea that he had recorded the panel or that he was going to post it. We learned of the recording afterward so it had no bearing on the original decision.
Thank you for asking!
Michaele Jordan’s version couldn’t have happened: the decision to revoke Truesdale’s membership was made (for the announced reason) before those involved heard he’d recorded the panel and published his statements.