Flame Warrior Profile: Killgore Trout

April 16, 2007

One of the reasons why I chose Mike Reed’s “Flame Warriors” as a theme for my blog was my fascination with this new medium that allows us humans to communicate in an instantaneous yet anonymous manner.   I think Reed’s observations were mostly based on discussions in message boards, but I’ve noticed that many of the tactics that he illustrated and described so eloquently on his site have even greater meaning when it comes to blogs, as the battleground (if you will) can encompass a multitude of sites. And I gotta say, it’s a jungle out there (here?).  For perfect example of how blogging can take the flame warrior idea to a whole new level, look no further than a netizen who goes by the handle …Killgore Trout*. 

Note- Since I am unable to determine with any certainty if Killgore is male or female, the following portion will contain many usages of “KT”, “the handle” and “the netizen”.  I have some sort of issue with referring to another human as “it”.  Call me old-fashioned. All I can figure is that he or she is probably a sci-fi buff.…so…. probably he.

Anyone who reads LGF with any frequency should recognize the handle, since KT has over 10,000 comment posts there, and is also credited quite often for submitting links to stories that make it to LGF’s main page.  In fact, it’s quite possible that Killgore contributes more to LGF than any other single lizard, now that I think about it. And if Killgore has a particular speciality, it would be reading and reporting back on diaries that appear on the Daily Kos. Here’s some diaries that got Killgore’s attention: 

Keep in mind, these were only the Kos diaries that made the front page of LGF.   Killgore has submitted countless more in the comment section.  In other words, I think it’s safe to say that Killgore reads more Kos diaries than I do. And on at least a couple of occasions during the last year, KT decided to do some posting on Kos as well, as one of the Kossacks pointed out: Trollbusters

Remember this diary: Imagine a world without Israel? So do I. So does LGF. I don’t think I’ve commented in any of the brazillion threads on the Lebanon/Israel conflict because I’m a pacifist, and my solution would be too simplistic and naive for most. However, this moby did comment:

**This diary was written by a moby. Check it’s comment history. It even labeled it a troll diary. Killgore Trout7/13/2006 01:06PM PDT [KT retracted this theory here upon further examination of the original diarist’s posts -CZ]
**[Re:]#43 J.D.: It’s a way to make the koskidz look worse than they actually are. It’s effective though, this diary has been making the rounds all day. There are plenty of real reasons to goof on the Koskidz, we don’t need trumped up ones. Killgore Trout 7/13/2006 01:13PM PDT
**[Re:]#89 Lynn B.: Be forewarned some of the comments are from moby’s as well. I know bvecause[sic] I wrote some of them yesterday. Killgore Trout 7/13/2006 01:22PM PDT
**So has kos been successfully Moby’d? Ward Cleaver 7/13/2006 01:26PM PDT

To post at one site in an attempt to elicit comments that can then be ridiculed at a distance by members of another is a tactic of subversion that I don’t believe flame warrior enthusiasts have seen before.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not quite sure if “moby” is the best term either.  From the LGF FAQ:

Q. What’s a “moby?”
A. Someone who is following the advice of techno-pop star Moby to plant items that are likely to alienate Bush supporters.  More: Punk the prez?

It’s not quite the same thing.  This wasn’t a case of posting stories about Bush’s border control policy in an effort to pick away at a few Bush voters. This is a new Flame Warrior variant (something unique to the blogs).  “Recon”, maybe?  On the other hand, as far as Kos is concerned, maybe Killgore is just a Lurker who occasionally plays Impostor:


It should also be mentioned that Killgore also has 2 LGF ‘sockpuppets’:

*Just for the record, I like Killgore.  I may not agree with everything he posts, but I believe there is a level of respect present there that can exist for fellow warrior netizens.  I’m pretty sure it’s mutual.  So, for KT and other visiting LGFer’s, consider this Killgore’s own open thread.

**Correction-  According to KT, this handle wasn’t his doing.  Maybe a secret admirer?


  1. Nice post but I have a few corrections for you.
    1)On the “Imagine a World Without Israel” you’re using the LGF comments as quoted by Koskidz. If you check the LGF thread I changed my mind about it being written by a Moby see: (#172 Killgore Trout)
    The koskidz seemed to have ommited that one.
    Also She’s was personal friend of Lizard Quella.

    2) My only Sockpuppet is Killgore Trout Stinks. Killgore Trout Rules! is someone else.

  2. Also for the sake of clarity for your readers it might be helpful to link to the LGF threads on the Dkos diaries as well, or at least except what was so interesting about them. Even I was confused at first glance why I found them interesting. Instead of making your readers go through the whole diary, make their life easier.

  3. Wow you found it pretty quick! I knew you’d be a good sport. 😉

    Anyway, yea I’m quoting the Kos diary, and not the actual LGF thread. The point was more about the Kossacks catching you admitting to ‘mobying’. Thanks for clarifying though.

    Oh, and for #2, who the heck is Killgore Trout Rules! then? hhhmmm…

  4. Also for the sake of clarity for your readers it might be helpful to link to the LGF threads on the Dkos diaries as well, or at least except what was so interesting about them. Even I was confused at first glance why I found them interesting. Instead of making your readers go through the whole diary, make their life easier.

    Well, the original intention was to post this on Kos instead of here. I decided against it. I suppose it would make some sense to link to the LGF thread, but the point is the # of diaries you’ve contributed to LGF.

  5. “All I can figure is that he or she is probably a sci-fi buff.…so…. probably he.”

    However, I love science-fiction, and I’m a she.

    ChenZhen…I read your posts, but I don’t get your point of view. You say you’re a pacifist. What does that mean, exactly? Should we wait till people who want to kill us are at the door, and then we’ll try to reaason with them with the force of our charming personalities?

    Please explain.

  6. Where did I say that I was a pacifist? Have have stated many times on here that I always supported the Afghanistan mission. I feel very strongly that the Iraq invasion has hurt our cause, both there and worldwide, however.

  7. Thanks for the corrections, ChenZen.

  8. 1) When the Iraq mission bears fruit, like it’s starting to do, will you admit that you were wrong Chen?

    2) Where’s my profile? :’)

  9. What fruit? The way I’ve always viewed it, it’s like we went into a building that had no fire, started a fire, and then decided our mission was to extinguish the it. Bearing fruit? What, like patting ourselves on the back that we’re putting out the fire?

    Remember way back, when the mission was simply disarmament?

    Anyway, I’d like to think that I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. So, when the al Qaedas are out of Iraq, and the county becomes the democratic utopia and beacon for freedom that Bush envisioned (and we haven’t spent trillions of dollars and 110K troops to do it), sure…I’ll admit that I was wrong.

    BTW- Your profile. I have to be careful that Charles doesn’t get the impression that the only reason I hang out on LGF is so that I can pick on you guys or something. Besides…you really don’t fit into a neat category.

  10. […] while after noticing this, I documented the adventures of Killgore Trout, who is easily LGF’s chief Kos reconnaissance agent. While […]

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