When our Twitter timeline started lighting up with chatter over Blow’s anti-Mormon tweet, we wanted to see what it was he said. We went over to his Twitter page, which we can still view, even though, being blocked, we can’t follow him. There we found something truly shocking:
Time to scratch some of this right wing lice out of my timeline. Be back in a sec… #block
Remember when the Times lectured us on civility and warned of “eliminationist rhetoric” from the right? It was largely bunk. But here we have a Times columnist likening his political critics to vermin. To be sure, he is not actually going to exterminate them, as others who’ve used such metaphors down through history have been known to do. Blow’s comments, that is, are not dangerous. But they are profoundly disturbed and indecent.
Couldn’t agree more – Blow’s comments are “disturbed and indecent.” As was, though less pointedly so, the Gawker piece of about a month ago about the proxy baptism of Romney’s father-in-law. Which leads me to the real problem.
Both Blow and the author at Gawker have their jobs. As far as I know neither suffered financial penalty, suspension, or other truly punitive penalty. Nor did Jacob Weisberg last time. There is a reason – these things resonate with an audience – enough of an audience that it pays to publish this stuff.
This is not “opinion” to which everyone is entitled. This is not mere insult like me pointing out that what Hugh Hewitt knows about football could be held on the tip of a very sharp needle. This is bigotry, or as Lowell says “twigotry.” I worry deeply that our nation not only permits, but a significant portion apparently enjoys, such.
Speaking of Hugh Hewitt, he interviewed Ben Smith of Buzzfeed just a bit ago and they discussed why this sort of stuff is tolerated. (podcast here – subscription only) Smith did not have a lot of good answers. He even allowed that Buzzfeed would allow such in their comments provided no one else complained too loudly.
So there you have it America – bigotry and twigotry are tolerable unless we complain. We suggested such complaining way back in 2010. Please visit that link for a few suggestions about how to deal with this stuff – then get busy complaining.
And teach your children what constitutes bigotry and simple respect. It’s clear if you don’t no one else will.