Monday, July 13, 2009

Free Republic Racism, Amanda Marcotte and a Flashback

The hysteria today on leftwing blogs about Free Republic commenters' nasty comments about Malia Obama are sad, amusing, but predictable.

Here's the story in a nutshell:

Chris Parry, a reporter for the Vancouver Sun, wrote a story about some nasty comments Freepers made over a picture of Malia Obama. The comments he highlighted are atrocious and deserve the ridicule and condemnation they've received.

But Parry is no innocent bystander, asn the Gawker story notes.

Chris Parry, it appears, has advocated on his Daily Kos blog any number of egregious offenses, among them: posting hate speech on sites like Free Republic and blaming it on conservatives. Parry posted under the name "hollywoodoz" on Daily Kos, where his signature was "Fool me once, I'll punch you in the fucking head." Parry outed himself as hollywoodoz here, where he discloses the company he helped start. In essence: Parry, the journalist, found his story right where he'd been circling it for a very long time, and reported it as news. Sigh.

This isn't the first time that people have been accused of planting stories or inflammtory comments on blogs, either lef to right. During the campaign last year, many bloggers voiced concern about "plants" in the comments sections, comments designed to make both the blogger and the followers of whichever candidate was supported look racist/sexist, etc.

What I found interesting about Parry's story was that it reminded me of my very first post about Amanda Marcotte and Pandagon, highlighting the outrageous remarks made by her commenters about abortion. The post got me significant traffic from Pandagonistas outraged that I would point out that their opinions were the faces of abortion support hidden by the likes of NOW and NARAL. And, more significantly, they excoriated me for pointing out the outrageous and disgusting nature of their remarks.

I see little difference between the nasty remarks about Malia Obama and the disgusting remarks made by the Pandagonistas. Both sets are about innocent victims used as pawns in a bigger gambit. What's worse, though, is that there's probably a sizable number of Malia Obama supporters who didn't mind at all the nastiness directed at Trig Palin.