Thursday, February 22, 2007

And now, the other foot

The other day when I wrote about the Liberal Avenger comment alteration brouhaha, I was frankly disappointed by the eagerness of some on the left to dismiss this behavior (and to dismiss its "victim", Carlito, as a "troll" when his behavior on the thread in question seemed much less trollish than that of the regulars). Equally irksome, however, is stuff like this, in response to my post:

LA's attitude is apparently that it's all no big deal and we shouldn't be dinging them/him/her for it. Typical way left lying bastard thinking.

Or this:

A normal, sane, mature person would ask why the editor was even editing someone else's words except to correct formatting or to censor profanity. A typical left-liberal on the other hand, finds it entirely acceptable to edit a "wingnut's" words to sound "more intelligent," which is to say, more agreeable with the left-liberal's beliefs. Then, when all else fails, the left-liberal shouts indignantly about how they should be regarded as the hero of their own catastrophe. ...

Not every leftist is like this, but then not every Nazi had a stomach for genocide.

The generalizations about "typcial" leftists and liberals wouuld be bad enough even without the Nazi analogy.

Meanwhile, a blogger who goes by Daffyd uses the Liberal Avenger's comment alteration to argue that the hateful, ugly, misogynistic emails and blog comments directed at Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwen (the feminist bloggers briefly hired by the John Edwards campaign) may well be fakes and that Patterico was too hasty and credulous in expressing regret over this outpouring of vileness from the (frings of the) right. Then, Daffyd goes on to explicitly admit to a double standard:

And given the demonstrated penchant on the part of both women to invent straw-man attacks, demonize Republicans and the religious, and the unhealthy fascination of both women with the sexual organs... I'm simply not willing to extend them the same benefit of the doubt I give, e.g., Michelle Malkin.

(Malkin also claims to have received obscene, threatening e-mails from lefties; but in Malkin's case, since she has shown herself throughout her career to be sane, rational, and honest, even when we disagree, I believe her.)

Of course, we all know that Michelle Malkin would never invent straw men, or demonize liberals or secularists. (What an unhealthy fascination with the sexual organs has to do with inventing hate mail, I have no idea; for the record, I have no idea whether McEwen actually has such a fascination.) For examples of Malkin's sanity, honesty, and rationality, see here, or here, or here, or here. See here for Malkin's relentless flogging of the tissue of lies that was the "Save Terri Schiavo" campaign. For a final touch, see this June 2005 post about the Terri Schiavo autopsy: Malkin accuses the "mainstream media" of distorting the autopsy report by pointing out that the autopsy found no signs of trauma before Schiavo's collapse in 1990, yet neglecting to mention the report's statement that no such signs could have been found after all this time. (At issue are the completely unfounded allegations that Terri's husband Michael Schiavo may have put his wife in a coma by choking her.) But Malkin herself leaves out a highly relevant passage in the report immediately before the one she quotes: "No trauma was noted on any of the numerous physical exams or radiographs performed on Mrs. Schiavo on the day of, in the days after, or in the months after her initial collapse." In this manner, the insinuations that maybe there's something to that abuse/murder story after all are kept alive.

Why am I dredging up a 19-month-old post? Simply to point out that anyone who fulminates at The Liberal Avenger and the ex-Edwards bloggers while giving Malkin props for honesty, sanity, and rationality is so partisan, it's not even funny. True, Malkin has never tampered with a comment on her blog (she has none), but neither have McEwen or Marcotte (who do have them). And there is simply no reason I can see, other than partisanship, to believe her claims of having received vile, bigoted hate mail while disbelieving theirs.

Unfortunately, this kind of partisanship is pretty much the order of the day in the blogosphere.


Joan said...

It's easier for me to believe that Marcotte could have fabricated those hate emails because in tone and content, they sound a lot like stuff she herself has posted.

I don't believe Marcotte did, though -- there are plenty of foul-mouthed idiots with email accounts out there, on both sides of the political spectrum.

Michelle Malkin can generate buzz and controversy by covering substantive topics -- she does it all the time. She doesn't need to draw attention to herself by composing fake hate mail. Could she have done so? Sure, I guess so. But if you look at the sum of her output, it's pretty obvious that she has much better things to do with her time.

I'm not sure I can say the same thing about Marcotte -- but I have no desire to wade into the cesspool of her writing to make that determination. If you can't make your point with resorting to profanity and biological epithets, you are a poor writer, no matter how many accolades you collect from like-minded readers.

Jens Fiederer said...

Unfortunately, not all discourse is courteous and reasoned. Anybody out in the public eye who deals with subjects about which people are passionate is going to get some pretty vile email. There would be no reason to have to manufacture some!

thecobrasnose said...

Liberal Avenger keeps the goods coming:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I'll be sure to put <irony></irony> around any Nazi quips when talking about the left from now on. I would have thought someone like you might have realized that I was poking fun at them, using their own behavior against them since they commonly say conservative/libertarian = fascist = nazi; a complete conflation of several distinctly different ideologies.

But then, I have never understood the chummy feelings that many libertarians have toward the left. I have never shared them.

I guess I can't win for losing. It seems that the only time a big blog will link to something I write is if they can find the one post of the month where I indulged in some ideological musings, poking fun at a particular group, then taking great offense at it. C'est la vie.

knox said...

I'm no fan of Malkin... I think she often does more harm than good with her extreme views. But I don't think it's quite fair to class her with Marcotte, who can't voice an opinion on certain issues without delving into--not just profanity--but violent and sometimes deranged-sounding rants.

To me, this would be like lumping, I don't know, Larry David in with Andrew Dice Clay. They both have some politically incorrect material; but there's no comparison!

FWIW, the Terry Schiavo thing gave me the dry heaves and was/should have been an embarassment to all on the right. And I certainly don't doubt that Marcotte or McEwan received some crazy hate mail.

Cathy Young said...

Mike: it's really not a "chummy attitude toward the left." It's more a matter of not wanting to see anyone, right or left, stereotyped or reduced to caricature.

And knoxwhirled: point taken. I'm not equating Malkin with Marcotte; I'm just saying that I don't have any reason to suspect the one more or less than the other of making up hate mail.

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