I’m not John Wasserman! Sloper says Brooklyn Paper commentator is giving him a bad name

Mistaken identity: John Wasserman of Park Slope says he’s not responsible for hundreds of silly (and sometimes inflammmatory) comments posted to The Brooklyn Paper’s website by a commenter who calls himself “John Wasserman from Prospect Heights.”
The Brooklyn Paper
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If you’ll excuse him, he isn’t the prolific commentator, but he has the same name — and that name is John Wasserman.

Pardon the interruption.

A Park Slope student says The Brooklyn Paper’s politest troll is giving him a bad name, because people think he is responsible for some ridiculous outlandish remarks on our website.

“I really hope people stop confusing me with ‘John Wasserman from Prospect Heights,’ ” said John Wasserman, a 22-year-old Brooklyn College junior studying political science. “It’s happened to me more times than I can count.”

Until recently, the Sloper’s homonymic counterpart didn’t cause him too much grief, but that changed when the internet’s Wasserman suggested councilman and hero to animals Steve Levin (D–Williamsbu­rg) was going to wed a cat he rescued from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Young Wasserman is a member of three Brooklyn Democratic clubs and has political aspirations of his own, he said. He worked on Greenpoint District Leader Nick Rizzo’s 2014 election. So he had to answer to Rizzo when the Wasserman statement made its rounds in political circles, he said.

“I had to tell my former boss that I wasn’t the one who said Steve Levin was marrying a cat,” said the Wasserman from Park Slope.

Rizzo said he never thought the comment was a big deal, but he does have a theory about the Internet Wasserman’s motivations — and how the real John Wasserman should deal with it.

“It’s my belief that that persons’s name isn’t ‘John Wasserman’ but that he’s trying to troll the real John Wasserman [from Park Slope],” Rizzo said. “If John is serious about a career in public service, he’s got to get used to people using his name on the internet.”

Still, the imposter Wasserman’s off-color comment probably won’t hurt young Wasserman’s budding political future, Rizzo said.

“John is an amazing young man,” he said. “He is an extremely hard worker — he’s smart, he relates well to people, he’s got a real good heart. He’ll go far.”

Levin declined to comment for this story.

Longtime readers will no doubt be familiar with John Wasserman from Prospect Heights — the commentator who nitpicks minor details in articles and others readers’ remarks but is sure to always apologize for the interruption.

He (or she) also mistakenly refers to Bill Roundy’s world-renowned Bar Scrawl cartoons as “photographs.”

Until recently, the man behind the moniker was a relative mystery.

But an individual identifying himself as the commentator John Wasserman e-mailed The Brooklyn Paper on April 7 seeking to replace the venerable Carmine Santa Maria as a Sunday columnist. He did not return our e-mails seeking a comment for this story.

But, at this point, Wasserman-the-commenter may be more phenomenon than individual. Flame wars routinely erupt in article comments among two or more people claiming to be Wasserman — suggesting that, if there is a “real John Wasserman,” there are also several imposters.

Indeed, people have left nearly 1,000 comments posted from about 50 different internet protocol addresses — the unique number that Internet Service Providers assign to customers’ computers — since 2012, according to Brooklyn Paper web genius Sylvan Migdal.

The Slope Wasserman shared his address with the Paper, and it didn’t match any of the addresses used to post comments under the name John Wasserman.

Residential internet customers’ addresses can change over time, and the Slope Wasserman could conceivably be commenting from a device other than the laptop whose address he showed us, but overall, the evidence suggests that the Slope Wasserman is not the same person as John Wasserman from Prospect Heights, Migdal confirms.

Brooklyn newspaper references to John Wasserman date back to at least 1915 — when a Brooklyn Daily Eagle article notes that a John Wasserman graduated from Brooklyn’s PS 10, a Brooklyn Public Library database shows.

The Paper did not have a comments section in 1915 — and actually didn’t begin publishing until 1977 — but it has published letters to the editor since then. However, an archive search yielded not one letter from one John Wasserman.

The Park Slope Wasserman disagrees with the Prospect Heights commentator’s politics, but the Sloper said the troll has one thing going for him.

“He has a great name,” he said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 2:46 am, May 28, 2015
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Brooklyn Heights says:
He's not me either! Pardon nothing!
John Wasserman
May 28, 2015, 1:54 am
Is This Really News from NYC says:
You have to be kidding me. Of all the things to report on happening in Brooklyn, this is news worthy? I once went to school with a kid named Michael Jackson. Needless to say he wasn't the King Of Pop. I also know a gut named Ronald McDonald, he doesn't wear a clown outfit. Also none of the guys I know named Muhammad are actual prophets.
May 28, 2015, 7:12 am
Jon Wassermann from Park Slope says:
This doesn't pass the Wassermann test.
May 28, 2015, 9:07 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
John Wasserman is one of the only good things about this paper. The commenter, not the Rizzo acolyte.

Saying a council member didn't marry a cat isn't off-color. It's a fact. A fact true of nearly everyone.

Maybe the Brooklyn Paper should get a real commenting system. It would be nice to have threaded comments. And one time a mentally disturbed guy pretended to be me, which was annoying.
May 28, 2015, 9:41 am
Savannah from Not Georgia says:
Ach, of course Mike likes him! Nothing like troll love, is there?
May 28, 2015, 10:53 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Gardens says:
It couldn't be me, either. Good day!
May 28, 2015, 11:47 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Now (and I hate to say this), your own John Wasserman has been out sick and has just returned to work. Imagine my surprise (located above). Please refrain from commenting under my name (John Wasserman) until I've read the above article.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
John Wasserman
May 28, 2015, 12:13 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Savannah thinks I'm a troll because I don't reflexively hate everything that isn't like me, don't resent every store that doesn't cater to me, and am tired of the voters who foisted a housing shortage on us.

I like John Wasserman because he and I are the only funny people around here, but he's nice enough to be funny for you and I'm only mean because I have a lot of contempt for my fellow commenters who resent everything that doesn't cater to them and wish New York was crime ridden again.
May 28, 2015, 12:21 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hello Max. John Wasserman. I've just written you a letter on the computer, but here is what it says (in case the letter takes too long to get to your headquarters at the paper:

Dear Max,

I really have to apologize here, if that's okay with you. I've been feeling under the weather and have not been checking my text messages, and (and I hate to say it) the Brooklyn Paper articles.

I would be happy to give an interview. Unfortunately, I feel it would be a serious breach of security if you were to meet me (John Wasserman) in person at this point in time.

Please let me know how we shall proceed, and I most certainly bid you a pleasant day.

John Wasserman

PS. I was more than just a little heartbroken when I did not hear back from your paper in regards to my proposed feature article...But one must "pick up the pieces" as the fellow says. I did feel like I was onto something. Something people would enjoy reading (if you don't mind my saying so).
May 28, 2015, 12:37 pm
You gotta be from Kidding me says:
"I like John Wasserman because he and I are the only funny people around here, but he's nice enough to be funny for you and I'm only mean because..."

So says the guy that likes to hurl insults at anyone that doesn't agree with his "upzone the whole NYC" and "cars aren't made for cities" agenda. And as far as being "funny"... there must be a new definition...
May 28, 2015, 1:22 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Yes, I hurl insults at nativist fools who hate cities. "If you want to live in a dense urban environment without needing a car, GO BACK TO OHIO!" What else am I supposed to do with you guys? You need ridicule. That opinion is not one that deserves respect or debate. Only scorn.

As I said, John Wasserman is nice and I am not. I admire him for it.
May 28, 2015, 2 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Look at me! I am make the commenting too!
May 28, 2015, 2:29 pm
utter failure from the blogosphere says:
I now see my mistake. I have been commenting under a variety of pen names, thinking what I had to say was what mattered, when instead I should have been cultivating my brand.
May 28, 2015, 3:44 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hello, Utter Failure (if that IS in fact your real name). John Wasserman. Please don't be so hard on yourself (and I don't mean to pry). The world also needs ditch diggers, as the fellow often says. There is hope for you yet if you are serious about cultivating a brand name. I suggest tuning into the "Shark Tank" marathon for starters.
Pardon the suggestion, but somebody had to say it. In this case that person is John Wasserman.
John Wasserman/Tractor Salesman/Patriot
May 28, 2015, 4:01 pm
Peter Engel from Downtown Brooklyn says:
I just always assumed John Wasserman was one of Tal Barzillai's multiple personalities.
May 28, 2015, 8:39 pm
John Wasserman from Coney Island says:
Thank you. You are an inspiration to us all.
May 28, 2015, 9:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville says:
May 28, 2015, 11:15 pm
Joan Wassergirl from Prospect Park says:
Only interviewing a man? Sexism much?
May 29, 2015, 2:55 am
Spatacus from Greece says:
I am John Wasserman!
May 29, 2015, 10:40 am
Tal Barziali from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry Peter, but I am one of a kind, and have multiple personalities seems more like your style, not mine, plus you need to stop with the impersonations.
May 29, 2015, 3:30 pm
Rumple Dumble from West Side Connecticut says:
Suing Brooklyn Paper for defamation by allowing anonymous posting would probably the best thing to happen to the paper.
Think he could find a willing lawyer in NYC?
May 29, 2015, 10 pm
Joe from Greenpoint says:
We are all John Wasserman now!
May 29, 2015, 10:01 pm
Sidney says:
Wouldn't it be funny if this is your singular claim to writing fame? Of all the pseudonyms that you use the nebbish Wasserman is almost famous. Adorable.
May 30, 2015, 7:40 pm
RC says:
He's such an anarchist!
May 31, 2015, 8:20 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Why y'all wasting space on this vapid nonsense?
June 1, 2015, 7:31 am
Wohn Jasserman says:
I'm so confused - who is this?
June 2, 2015, 4:29 am
Joan from Wasserman says:
June 8, 2015, 9:56 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Confused, very confused.
June 29, 2016, 4:32 pm

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