My conclusion is this: The opponents of Sad Puppies of Sad Puppies 3 put them on the map, and probably took them from a fluke to a viable long-term institution.
I’ve seen a few comments that go something like this: “I’d never heard of the Sad Puppies before. I’ve been trying to figure out which side is right, but the sheer nastiness of the Sad Puppies’ critics makes me think they’re just sore losers. I’m more or less with the Puppies now.”
I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Jeff. What put the Sad and Rabid Puppies on the map was their effective but unsporting gaming of the Hugo nominations that let them dominate the ballot. Before that they were getting very little attention outside the readership of their own blogs.
And someone new to the controversy would have to be pretty selectively tone deaf not to notice the sheer nastiness among the puppies themselves.