Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a Page A1 story which, one blogger claims, connects conservative blogress Michelle “Malkin and her fans with anti-Semitic radio host Father Charles Coughlin, railing against Roosevelt in the 1930s.” Now that some conservatives have reacted to the Democratic Administration with venom and vitriol, the Post has suddenly discovered that the internet is home to some pretty nasty rhetoric.
To be fair to the paper, writer Ann Gerhart does acknowledge that the decline of civility in a “viral world” did not begin with conservative reaction to the incumbent President:
The nation’s political discourse seems sour, angry, even dangerous; “uglier than it’s ever been” is a phrase often volunteered — as if President George W. Bush had never been depicted as Hitler, declared a dunce and heckled by Code Pink during his second inaugural address.
She may acknowledge it today, but did the Post ever run a Page A1 article (on a Sunday no less) where they lamented the decline of civility in the Bush era?
Yesterday’s story focuses on the woes of Charisse Carney-Nunes, author of a children’s book, I Am Barack Obama, recently subject to a raft of hate e-mail after Malkin reported that she “uploaded the video of schoolchildren reciting a Barack Obama song/rap at Bernice Young elementary school in June“:
Carney-Nunes, who writes children’s books and was a year behind Obama at Harvard Law School, watched as strangers posted her personal information on the Internet. She read, “You’re a dirtbag commie propagandist trying to infect children with your failed Marxist ideology.” And “your Obama chant is right out of Africa.” And “get ready for a massive attack!!!” And “my friend GLENN BECK will also shove this in your face until justice is served.”
Michelle, for the record, never encouraged this type of discourse (while the article intimates she did). The epithets above are disgusting and juvenile, discrediting those who who penned them (and send them on the object of their revilement). The senders should have known better and acted differently. No matter how silly and syrupy her book may have been in praising the President, it is wrong to send her this kind of e-mails.
But, this left-of-center woman is not the first person to receive such blog-generated hate mail. We received our share of it during the Bush era–as did other conservative bloggers. And I highly doubt that the Post covered those attacks.
If some people perceive conservatives in general and Republicans in particular to be full of bile and bitterness, it is due in no small measure to articles like this recent front-page piece in the Post. They dwell on conservatives’ incivility and all but ignored the same level of vitriol when directed against those reviled right-wingers.
It’s as if they only discovered the bile of the blogosphere when a Democrat is in the White House–and (his and) their political allies its victims.