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Sunday, February 12, 2006
The Non-Cartoon Jihad

Discussed by the WaPo's Jim Brady:

Out in the Web woodshed, a handful of bloggers called me gutless or a puppet; some of them compared me to assorted body parts and characterized me as the worst person to come along since, well, Deborah Howell. And any nasty posts I didn't see myself, my friends gleefully provided to me via e-mail. A few friends said they came close to jumping online to defend me, but chose not to for fear they'd be next in line for a public flogging.

This all raises a question: Why are people so angry? It was a mistake, it was corrected. Part of the explanation may be the extremely partisan times we live in. For all the good things it has brought our society, the Web has also fostered ideological hermits, who only talk to folks who believe exactly what they do. This creates an echo chamber that only further convinces people that they are right, and everyone else is not only wrong, but an idiot or worse. So when an incident like this one arises, it's not enough to point out an error; they must prove that the error had nefarious origins. In some places on the Web, everything happens on a grassy knoll.

Another culprit in Web rage: the Internet's anonymity. It seems to flick off the inhibition switch that stops people from saying certain things in person. During the Howell flap, many of the e-mails I received that called me gutless, a coward or both were unsigned.

Not surprisingly, Brady's letter is being greated with more calls of death to the infidels.

And now Brady comes back with a truculent regurgitation of right-wing bias, as if to prove that he might be accountable to someone, but that someone is not 'the left' or 'partisans'. In his bitchy little note, he wouldn't even name Jane Hamsher or Atrios by name, even though he quoted both of them. They were intentionally nameless and faceless mean angry bloggers. Jane of course is an accomplished screenwriter, novelist, and journalist, Duncan has a PhD in economics. Riff raff.

That's about right. Black may have a PhD, and Hamsher may be an accomplished screenwriter, but they're both leftofascist trash. Hamsher recently congratulated a jihad against conservative books on Amazon in which a bunch of "liberals" left nasty reviews.
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