Sorry for all the cafepress panties lately. I'll get more creative once all three kids are in school.
I'm spoiled, because with very few exceptions, the commenters at this here little blog are bright, well-spoken, and civil. I've been trying to follow the comments regarding the Jill Carroll series, which spilled over to AOL, and I just about gagged. Commenters calling Jill Carroll a liar, a faker, a traitor, and worse, then ending the rant with "USA #1! France sucks!".
I know better than to get my panties in a wad over such types. Somebody has to be on the other side of the fast food drive-up window, but it must be special to have an IQ equal to that of an empty douchebag and have internet access.
And no, I wasn't thinking specifically of Chuck Roberts.
But speaking of douchebags, good for Arianna to call that douchebag on his use of "some people say" journalism. She's saying we've reached a tipping point on this one, and if we have, she tipped it. This example was particularly avoidable, in that Roberts could have said "Dick Cheney has said Lamont's win encourages al Queda types, what do you say?". Sometimes good journalism is easy. I thought Howard Kurtz looked downright embarrassed to have to quote the "some people say" on the transcript. He should say so.
Make no mistake, the journalists who open their pieholes for "some people say" know exactly what they are doing. We will not be able to stop it on Fox News, but we don't take them seriously as a news organization. "Some people say [Karl Rove talking point]" gets an attaboy at Fox. Everyone else? You are on notice. DDT. Don't do that.
I almost didn't write about Arianna because I like to cover things others aren't already talking about, and I don't particularly like talking about the soap opera of one celebrity journalist smacking down another. I'm not a Buddhist, but occasionally I know monkey mind when I see it. But I sincerely hope there is a sea change occuring, and that this particular smackdown marks the end of a pernicious journalistic practice (outside of Fox).
Finally, about the pieholes who commented on Jill Carroll, and other pieholes around the blogosphere: insert a platitude about free speech right here. Then go away. You can say it, but I don't have to listen.
That said, I want to end with an endorsement of Blogenfreude's Wingnut Round-Up, one of the best features to enter the discourse in my memory. See, I actually click on his links and read what the right-wing blogs have to say. So far, it's always as whacked and demented as Blogenfreude says, but I still think it's important to leave our safe left-wing bubble and read other views.
The sad thing about these right wing bloggers is that they think what they are saying is conservatism. They are too young to remember the old guard. A young Bill Buckley, Barry Goldwater, hell, even Nixon. These white guys espoused a philosophy, which, while nearly always wrong, at least had some intelligence behind it. You could actually debate these people. They would not stare blankly at you and lie. (Well, Nixon would, bad example.) Rupert Murdoch has ruined conservatism in his attempt to spread it. That so many people buy his version, is one of the greatest tragedies of our age.
UPDATE: Roberts has apologized. See? They can be taught!