Friday, February 09, 2007

Beyond Edwards bloggers - the big picture

The hapless Bill Donohue, the would-be arbiter of who is to be allowed employment in presidential campaigns, is going to be sorry he opened this can of worms. Leftopia has no fury like a blogger wrongfully scorned. The leftroots have been busy searching the archives of the internets and Nico of Think Progress comes up with the winning entry of the day revealing the true nature of this nutcake who has been inexplicably granted expert authority status by the media.

This same guy who is so offended by "the brats" who got a job with Edwards, leapt to the defense of George Bush’s Catholic outreach coordinator in the 04 campaign, who had sex with a drunken 18 year old and was forced to resign. Donohue made light of the whole thing with a Virgin Mary joke in a press release that was later taken down after an outcry by the Catholic readership of his publication. If I was a Catholic, I'd be embarassed to be mentioned in the same sentence as this man.

Of course, this is only one of many instances of Donohue's inconsistent calls for virtue and outright bigotry, yet here he was being merrily feted as a relevant contributor to the debate by a MSM apparently too lazy to vet their guest critic against some criteria of sanity. That's not surprising in this age of soundbite "journalism" but it doesn't make it any less irritating or in fact dangerous to a free society.

Glenn Greenwald has already addressed the wider significance of this story and details most of my thoughts so I won't repeat his points but I will add this much. Until now, the extremists like Malkin and Limbaugh and their hordes of hatemongers were able to dominate the discussion pretty much unchallenged. This week Leftopia showed its muscle and compelled the media to do their job instead of relying on sources who collectively invent their "facts" and then source from each other without verifiable proofs.

The real victory here was that the NYT's followup forced John McCain's resident blogger, who has his own history of unsavory posts, to contradict the whole premise of the faux scandal. He said he would caution against holding candidates responsible for what their bloggers and blog consultants have said in the past. Indeed, the "outraged" horde would do well to remember the sword cuts both ways.

But it's a mistake to view this as a contest between the two sides of Blogtopia. This wasn't about winners and losers in a momentary skirmish. It was about restoring some balance into political discourse at a time when the people need to hear both sides of the story and the airing of a full and fair debate in our mainstream media makes the public the real victors.
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Blogger nolocontendere said...

Righteous indignation seems to be the order of the day with the brownshirts. I think they saw how far the reaction to 9/11 took them and they apply it to every farking thing they can, hoping it'll score them some mileage. Hence getting the vapors over bloggers venting about religion or doing the potty mouth thing. They're like little children, trying to get away with as much as they can until they're called on the carpet and stopped.

11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

The good news is they're finally being called on the carpet Nolo.

12:16:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Indeed Libby. THEY won't ever get it, they'll just keep trucking along, always trying to twist it all around like Malkin did with her damned if you do/damned if you don't shtick. The good news will also be that this swiftboating crap will continually isolate them, marginalizing them each time it happens. And oh, I can hear them sharpening their Obama knives.

11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nolo - that's my hope. They get shriller as their number of true believers shrinks but they aren't the all powerful tipping point force that took down Dan Rather anymore.

I predicted they would lose steam in 06. Looks like I was just off by a year.

4:24:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Collins said...

Feh. He's the Catholic version of whoever's heading up NOW.

9:28:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I don't know who's heading up NOW these days but I doubt they could be as big a nutcake as Donohue. Glad to hear he's not a hero of yours Dan.

11:09:00 PM  

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