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Monday, July 31, 2006

Holding the mirror to our own faces

This morning I read a diary at dKos and had to shake my head. Evidently, we, the bloggers who blog, just aren't receiving the message.

firestorm's dKos diary

As far as diaries go, it wasn't very good to begin with - some graphic pictures of dead children and some quotes from Free Republic commentors, which were the slack-jawed, no eyelid quality we've come to expect. But 'firestorm' intro'd his/her quoted comments with this:
Selective comments from freepers, we need to expose those haters' real identities...
Ah, boy... So, I read through the quoted comments and came to 'firestorm's' finale:

We should definitely track down the true identities of those freepers who advocate violence and glorify the death of innocent children. There is no difference between these beasts and Nazis, Bin Laden etc. We should hold freerepublic accountable for those comments full of hatred and violence... I suggest we should set up a team to monitor and record every freeper hater. Folks, don't underestimate them. I have no doubt if they can get away, they will have no problem killing every liberal.
Wrong, wrong, WRONG!!! I'm not here to defend anything the Freepers say, trust me. Their comments are typically churlish, inhumane, bigoted and light on facts. But they have a right to speak and they have a right to Privacy offline, just as liberal/progressive commentors do.

Based on the comments that firestorm provided, I'd be hard pressed to say that the Freepers are advocating violence but that's probably splitting hairs. And while some of them are glorifying the death of children, we, the rest of us out here, don't have the right to harass them offline or impinge on their privacy. It's that simple and we know it.

The diary received 113 comments (and hasn't been deleted, as of this post) and quite a few expressed the same thought I post here, i.e., bad form on the diarist's part. What I found odd was that more commentors were lamenting the substance of the diary (too short, no analysis, etc.). Having been around there for a while, though, I understand the dynamic - but I was really surprised that there wasn't more reaction to the diarist's calls for outing.

dKos has already felt the sting of overeager sleuths trying to use the exposure of personal information to intimidate members into silence. Frankly, I'm quite disappointed in firestorm's short memory or thoughtless attempt to turn the tables, whichever it may be. I'm sure his/her heart was in the right place and there certainly seems to be some emotion involved. But we know that it takes time and effort to create a post - and that should be enough time to think about what we write.

We hold liberal bloggers to the same standard as our friends across the aisle, here. I think I speak for all of us when I say that firestorm's post was over the line and should be denounced.

(If you decide to read the diary, the pictures are quite graphic.)

Rip -

I hope joo left a comment to thees effect, perrrhaps weeth a nice leenk to the Armando post to rrremind firestorm of what can happen eef pipples like heem get their weesh.

Good post, Rip.

I agree, Rip.

Besides, who the hell really wants to know more about Freepers?
What of course is interesting is the Freepers who HAVE told us that they read and post there. Tony Snow for example. And Ann Coulter. She says she is a "lurker".
The Freepers are her "peeps" as the not so hip kids say these days.

Today we hear of yet another envelope of white power sent to the New York Times.
I'm sure no one could have anticipated violence directed toward the New York Times. I'm sure that who ever did it just came to the conclusion all by himself.
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