Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You hate me. You really hate me!

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen gets a load of his readership.
Digital Lynch Mob

By Richard Cohen

Two weeks ago I wrote about Al Gore's new movie on global warming. I liked the film. In response, I instantly got more than 1,000 e-mails, most of them praising Gore, some calling him the usual names and some concluding there was no such thing as global warming, if only because Gore said there was. I put the messages aside for a slow day, when I would answer them. Then I wrote about Stephen Colbert and his unfunny performance at the White House correspondents' dinner.

Kapow! Within a day, I got more than 2,000 e-mails. A day later, I got 1,000 more. By the fourth day, the number had reached 3,499 -- a figure that does not include the usual offers of nubile Russian women or loot from African dictators. The Colbert messages began with Patrick Manley ("You wouldn't know funny if it slapped you in the face") and ended with Ron ("Colbert ROCKS, you MURDER") who was so proud of his thought that he copied countless others. Ron, you're a genius.

Truth to tell, I peeked into only a few of the e-mails. I did this because I would sometimes recognize a name I thought I knew, which was almost always a mistake. When I guilelessly clicked on the name, I would get a bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage right in the face…

It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age -- which I am -- I am simply out of it, wherever "it" may be. All in all, I was -- I am, and I guess I remain -- the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation...

But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated…

At a Democratic fundraiser somewhere in Blueland.

An aide to Hillary Clinton (whispering into her ear): “Senator, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

Clinton (raising her eyebrows slightly): “What’s the good news?”

Aide (still whispering): “The single largest contributor to the Democrat Party is here tonight.”

Clinton: “And the bad news?”

Aide (gesturing with his eyes): “He’s the guy over there, that red-faced ranter wearing the tinfoil hat, showering the hors d’oeuvres tray with spittle.”


Blogger Repack Rider said...

Cohen retreats to strawmen to disguise his utter lack of content.

It seems so simple, even a columnist could figure it out. If you don't want to be criticized, Mr. Cohen, don't be a moron.

How did this guy get a job where he has to type?

Make that, "get a job."

5/09/2006 3:47 PM  

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