1. No one there is arguing that they were private. When someone showed up to announce that the site was not private, Lawrence Watt-Evans said, "Nobody thought it was -- in fact, that was one subject under discussion. Usually, though, the rest of the online world doesn't pay much attention to SFF Net."
So this suggests sharing their discussion wasn't illegal; it was just unethical—at least, if you think legal eavesdropping is unethical. I realize the first requirement for practicing outrage journalism is to believe what's legal is ethical. But the question of misrepresentation stays very relevant.
3. Having read most of the thread, I have to agree with Sheils Finch when she said: "My quoted comment illustrated only the other side's rush to use name-calling as a tactic, "phenomenal buttheads." Too bad the spy didn't also take the rest: When I reminded the SFWA person who used the term that the signers included people such as Janis Ian and Dave Gerrold, both openly gay, and writers such as Nancy Kress and Harry Turtledove -- not known for their anti-feminist stances -- someone jumped in to accuse me of being a sexist pig and probably racist into the bargain. Which only goes to prove that some of them can't read."
4. Regarding the current title of Aja Romano's article, Ray Feist had a mighty solid rebuttal when he said: "Hey, you can't win. Three of the best books with my name on them are co-written with janny Wurts, so i hardly think I have a problem with women writers. The first woman writer I can remember going crazy over was Eudora Welty."
5. And having read the thread past the point of Aja Romano's article, I think Sean Fodera was right when he said: "The simple fact is that I have an entirely visceral distaste for MRK because of things she did and said directly to me. I have a similar difficulty overcoming my long-standing fear of dogs (as well as my fear of heights and spiders). Neither has a bearing on the other, except as direct examples of how subconscious fears can manifest despite conscious efforts. Bottom line is that I wrote every word she said, with none of the meaning attributed to the pull quotes."