Right-wing blogger mentality

Generalizations are dangerous things. But I’ve seen enough of this trend to make the following generalization: When faced with an embarrassing story about one of their own, right-wing bloggers have a maddening tendency to change the topic from what their guy did to some “personality flaw” or whatever dirt they can dig up on the aggrieved party, the one “their guy” hurt, or the reporter who uncovered their guy’s misdeed.

Witness the famous racial slur uttered by Senator George Allen as he referred to a dark-skinned man at his campaign rally as a “macaca.” That was captured on videotape and Allen has sort-of apologized and there’s no denying it was a shameful moment.

Fast-forward to this post by a moderately popular rightie blogger who decided it would be a worthwhile thing to dig for dirt on the Indian man Allen insulted. He felt the WaPo was being too nice in describing him. Surely there had to be some mean things they could say about the man! After digging and digging, he came up with a lot of shit, which he diligently posted – but then he realized it may have been about someone else with the same name!

The question is, what would inspire an intelligent man to take this course of action, to try to blacken the reputation of a stranger who did absolutley nothing wrong? What’s the point? Are we supposed to see this as brilliant sleuthing – or an act of pure childishness?

I find this to be a trend unique to the rightie bloggers, though I’m sure someone can come up with examples fom the left. I remember most vividly the condemnation from university professors when Malkin’s repellent In Defense of Internment was published – the Malkinites, instead of answering the professors’ very specific complaints of shoddy details (for which Malkin eventually apologized) and lack of peer review, went after the backgrounds of individual professors on the list to prove they were – sin of all sins – liberals. Then the smearing began. It doesn’t matter who you are or how innocent your actions. Once the wingnuts have you in your sites, you’re dead meat.

It’s ugly out there on the Internet. Google lets you find the worst of anyone in seconds (whether any of what you find is true or not is another story). That someone like the above-cited blogger could so carelessly and casually dig up dirt on someone for no discernible reason, and to catalog it in a matter that could harm that person for years to come — well, let it suffice to say that it’s a cruel and deranged thing to do.

Update: I’m glad to see I’m not the only blogger who thought this was outrageous.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

How pathetic that a blogger would try to swiftboat a university student.

August 28, 2006 @ 4:59 am | Comment

Richard you are so right, this tactic is is the unenviable hallmark of the contemporary Ameriican right.

I suppose that to someone unable to frame a response to an intellectual argument, the next best thing is to slime someone. Abetted by the lazy corporate media and the free-wheeling realm of blogging, it’s become something of an artform among the neocon set.

And as their simplistic, self-serving ideas and their sham idols go down in flames, the sliming rises in intensity. No surprise there.

August 28, 2006 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

Slime is the only tool they have left. Get ready to see them apply it liberally (ha ha) as the elections near.

August 28, 2006 @ 8:43 pm | Comment

And Slim, did you see the spoof site from TBogg? My colleagues ran to my office to see why I was laughing so hard. The point is, anyone can write anything about anyone on the Internet. That doesn’t make it the truth.

August 28, 2006 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

This exemplifies another reason I wanted to get out of the U.S. I’m afraid there is a potential for some sort of civil war. Not in the “Red States trying to conquer the territory of the Blue States” but more like Iraq, where people physically attack each other based on ideology. A battle of each against all. There is so much division and hatred in American society now. Christians hate the gays, whites hate the blacks, citizens hate the Mexicans… I’m old enough to remember the social tension during the Vietnam War, and I don’t recall it being as deep as it is now. Except for the white vs. black, and I was living in the South then.

As an example, when the latest Iraq war started, my wife and I hung a French flag out our window as a protest. We were living in liberal San Francisco then. We got hate mail through our postal slot, and one man even came to our front door and accosted my wife. Cowardly bastard waited until I left to walk my dog, so I couldn’t have it out with him. And this is in a left-wing city!

When America finally does get kicked out of Iraq in defeat, and when the U.S. economy implodes, people are going to turn on each other in the hard times. Someone doesn’t like your bumper sticker; they smash your windscreen. Drunks in a bar having a political stoush; one shoots the other. Those “right-to-shoot-first” laws that state legislatures are passing all over the South will only exacerbate the trend.

The U.S. might get its karma by turning into a bit of what it has created in Iraq…

August 29, 2006 @ 12:58 am | Comment

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