Sunday, April 10, 2005

Lynch Mob Justice

The day after a lynching is dour one. Coming from an old southern family with long lines and memories, that is the image that comes to mind in the Schiavo Talking Points Memo fracas over the lynch mob that was so sure the memo was fake and then to wake up the next morning and find that it was not. No one was in actual fault for a lynching. No one actually handled the rope. Individuals may have to admit they were in the crowd but they are not the one who strung the man up. Someone else was actually to blame for the lynching.

What I really admire is Powerline’s ability weasel out from under the charge. His slight of hand in admitting they were wrong and at the same time they claim the greater wrong was in the MSM’s reporting of the story. Maybe it’s their lawyer training for an adversarial role, but John Hinderaker’s response to fucking up royally is something to read here and here and admire for his ability to deflect the onus charge of being an agent provocateur of a lynching.

I liked:
this story serves as an object lesson in how the mainstream media can take a dopey, one-page memo by an unknown staffer and use it to discredit the entire Republican party. The memo that was called fake and now is real is not as significant as the mistakes the MSM made in reporting it. It’s those rumors that were to blame for the lynching. The story is not an object lesson in how a group of people with influence and recently attained position can abuse their new found fame making wild accusations with no regard for their position in the blogoshpere.

The Blog of the Year deserves that title. It should become like an albatross tied around their neck at least until the end of the year when Time decides to award that title again.

When Eason Jordan was brought down there was talk in the blogoshpere about what would happen when the blog mob was wrong. Many like me knew it was coming – that a lynching would occur. Eventually the blog mob would go after someone and they would be wrong, or there would be some sort of Kristallnacht. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon but maybe that is a sign of these fast times. And the lefties should not think they are immune from the same mistake. It could and probably will happen to them eventually.

But it will probably happen to the right again before it happens to the left. There were not many liberals in the old southern lynch mobs. They didn’t participate, but they did nothing to stop it either. (I’m speaking generally and for effect, please don’t site me instances when some idealistic conscientious soul tried to stop a lynch mob and was the worse for it.) What makes the right so much better organized and able to take cohesive action also makes them tend to err so exceedingly.

Liberals tend to look at both sides and equivocate. Organizing liberals is like herding cats – cool cat, mind you, but the effect is still the unsystematic same. There is a place for conservatives in the liberal world, but the opposite is not true. Conservatives think the world would be better if they were no liberals. And, if you are far enough to the right, the center looks liberal to you -- so watch out when the lynch mobs or brown shirts are roaming

When the talk of blog mob lynching was going around, I was of the feeling that the blogoshpere would prevent it from happening just as it has kept the MSM in check lately. But it appears we have to chalk this one up to the MSM. Of course we don’t know why Sen. Mel Martinez suddenly popped up and admitted the infamously real memo came from his office, although he did not know it at the time. (Is he stupid or does he think we are?) Maybe he was fixing to get fingered by the MSM and though it best to make the news rather than answer to it. I thought Jack Shafer had a good wrap up on the story. (I was getting a funny window when I went to the site, but click the print item and you can see it.)

It will be interesting to see if this is the end of this lynching or if the left wing blogs will hound the right wing blogs for what they did. That’s what the right wing blogs would have done. They’ve done it in the past and will probably forget their own transgressions and do it again in the future. The left wing blog will probably not go after the right wing blogs with the organized efficiency of the right wing blogs – look back at my note about cats above. That is so liberal of them.
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