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February 27, 2007

The Left's Stock In Trade Is Hatred, And Dark Talk Of Assassinations

And that's the way it is.

Hollowpoint notes that Greenwald is right to some extent -- one can't claim that the comments on a blog are indicative of what the actual blogger believes.

Well, yeah-- but Greenwald set up a straw-man argument there, because that was NOT what was being claimed. The right wasn't claiming that that Arianna Huffington was saddened by fact that Dick Cheney escaped assassination; the right was claiming her readers and commenters were doing that, by and large, which is demonstrably true.

At least it was demonstrably true before she began deleting all the evidence.

It's not that blogger is responsible for the comments so much as the comments are, in fact, indicative of the beliefs of the left.

Greenwald isn't just saying bloggers aren't responsible for their comments -- he's also saying (slipping it in there real fast in his preferred mode of argument, the ipse dixit) that the comments *do not reflect the beliefs of the left at all.*

He offers no evidence as to this. Or even suppositions as to why this should be the case. Suppositions like, "People who comment on blogs are angrier and more impulsive than the general population on the left, and hence comments on blogs are not representative, randomly selected samples of the greater population, and hence without statistical validity."

Not only is there no evidence for such a claim, but the left CAN'T claim that, since they're so busy simultaneously arguing the netroots are the real face of the Democratic Party and should be treated as such.

Do such comments prove that everyone on the left is like this? Of course not. But given that fact that 20% of comments were pro-assassination, *and there were few commenters slamming them for their venom,* we can say, absent contrary evidence, that these comments DO represent a significant, if not majority, position on the left, and certainly the majority of the left is unwilling to rein in these people. They either quietly agree or else feel that political solidarity trumps the imperative to not engage in pro-assassination hate speech.

Furthermore, comments really are indicative, to at least some degree, of what is tolerated in a blog's comments. Few people make such comments here, even as jokes, because they know I have a hard-on about this point.

Apparently the Hufftards know that it's a, errr, free-fire zone for assassination talk over there.

Bloggers can, must, and do patrol for comments they think are simply out of line, hateful, irresponsible, and which reflect badly upon themselves. Do they do so so thoroughly as to scrub out/deter such comments? No, of course not. One can't be reading and writing stuff all day while simultaneously reading every damn comment on a popular blog, deleting offensive posts, issuing warnings, arguing with readers, etc.

It's impossible to do that, and probably undesirable to do so. I'm sure commenters wouldn't appreciate a heavy-handed thread-nanny watching over every word they wrote.

However, certainly a blogger can make it known, broadly, that he doesn't want hate speech in his comments, and those who find such a policy too constraining can find another blog more latitudinarian on death threats, hate-speech, etc.

The Daily Kos and Huffington Post -- and Glenn Greenwald himself -- cannot afford to deal too roughly with their anti-semites, racists, and assassination fantasy circle-jerkers.

Because those people aren't "a few bad apples." They're their core audience, and they are, in fact, the majority of the Angry Left.

More On Gleen: At Protein Wisdom.

Still, give the guy some credit: his self-righteousness these days is so freakin' pure you need to cut it with corn starch just to keep it from killing you during that first warm hit.

By the way, given that Gleen does nothing but engage in apologism for the pro-assassination left, and slam the pro-American right, can we drop the silly piffle of a lie that he's somehow "indpendent" or "libertarian" or a (apologies to P-Town Boy) "true conservative"?

Home is where the hate is.

Allah notes that DKos was worried he had so many "Truthers" on his site they would discredit him, and thus enacted a strictly-enforced no-9/11-conspiracy-theory policy.

It works, by and large. They're mostly Truthies over there but they're cautious about saying so directly. (They just "raise questions.")

So: Why hasn't Arianna had a no-assassination-solicitation policy beforehand?

Does she plan on having one going forward? Will she threaten to ban posters who engage in such dark, irresponsibile, potentially lethal talk?

I doubt it. It will all be swept under the carpet... until next time. And one thing we know from the left: There always is a next time.

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posted by Ace at 07:09 PM

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