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Michelle Malkin loves a “Weatherman with a tan,” “has a herpe” (or How Twitchy “works”)

[ 53 ] April 19, 2013 |

I’m beginning to understand why Michelle Malkin and “The Twitchy Staff” publish everything under the byline “The Twitchy Staff.” If I blamed a missing person for the Boston bombing on account of him being mentioned on a police scanner while wearing a Che t-shirt, I wouldn’t want my name directly associated with it either. Or with stories like “We’re pretty sure Dzohokhar Tsarnaev is not Tweeting,” which carry all the authority of a poorly sourced rumor just in case it really happens to be him so that Malkin can engage in some blog-triumphalism if the improbable turns out to be true. Would Malkin do this under her own name? Of course not. As proof I offer as evidence that she hasn’t. It looks like she has, but a quick read of that post shifts all potential blame where she wants it: on the “Twitchy Team.” Who’s responsible for this irresponsible speculation? One of these people. Which one?

Wouldn’t you like to know.

But you never will, because the site’s designed to facilitate irresponsibility. Despite all Malkin’s proud declarations about the importance of citizen journalists, in the end she’d rather hide, like the coward she is, beyond an anonymous byline because she knows “mistakes were and will be made.” How does she know? Because that’s the point of the entire site. She’s free to publish anything she’d like without having to worry about annoying things like “consequences,” because not only is she not directly responsible for what she’s published, she’s merely aggregating what other people have written on Twitter. It’s a perpetual bullshit machine powered by anonymity. She can take credit for its “findings” when some infernal occlusion causes it to belch out something accurate, but for the most part she denies via “UPDATE” the endless stream of bullshit it was designed to produce.

This is a more sophisticated version of the long-standing tradition among conservative bloggers of denying-without-denouncing the sexism and racism and homophobia and xenophobia of their readers. The bloggers are merely exercising their right to speak freely about their conservative values and extending their readers the same opportunity. When those readers inevitably reveal themselves to be within earshot of the whistle, these same bloggers claim to have no idea where all these dogs came from. The problem with this approach is that eventually the stench of urine sticks to bloggers who quietly encourage their readers to lift their leg on the America dream. So Malkin created a forum where figuring out where that smell’s coming from is as difficult as distinguishing one yellow stain from another — we certainly can’t blame her for the mess or the miasma.

But I think we can. I think we should force Malkin to take responsibility for the state of her house. She wants to shift the blame to her roommates or their friends but her name is on the deed. Anything they do or say is ultimately attributable to her. (Hence the title of this post.) I normally wouldn’t make such an insistence, but since her site is designed to allow her an unconscionable deniability, I’m not sure what choice we have.

  • efgoldman

    We are all the New York Post.
    We are all CNN.

    We are all fucked.

  • c u n d gulag

    I keep thinking they need to either take away the capital “T” and start off with a capital “W,” to make it “Witchy,” or capitalize the first 4 letters, and make it “TWITchy?”

    Or, maybe, before the “itchy,” just put a “B.”

    Hopefully, some of the people she targets will sue Malkin for the flying-monkey poo her staff leaves behind.

    You’re a better man than I am, for even going to that site.
    There ain’t enough vodka, pot, and blood-pressure medication in my part of the world, so I don’t even think of going there.

    Besides, one of her trolls will be here shortly.
    Cue flying-monkey poo in 3… 2… 1…

    • LoriK

      I think we can do without the sexism of “witchy or “bitchy”, but TWITchy is acceptable on grounds of accuracy.

      • Squitchy also works and allows us to toss around a little prophylactic Melville.

      • c u n d gulag

        You’re right.

      • HP

        If we must have a sarcastic nickname for Malkin’s site, I suggest “Tweaky.”

    • SEK

      one of her trolls will be here shortly

      I doubt it. She’s more than happy to take pot-shots at Erik, but she’s not going to point her followers to a genuine critique. (Granted, the automatic twitter feed thing didn’t ping her. Maybe someone should alert @twitchyteam to this post, that way we know they’re deliberately ignoring it?)

  • owlbear1

    Malkin’s target audience wants to be frightened.

    They are looking for confusing information so they can speculate.

    Ultimately, they want “news” that is stupid and inaccurate. Useful only for stroking their own pet conspiracy theories.

  • Unless I’m missing something, Who done it = The name on the top of the masthead.

    Corporate responsibility, how the fuck does it work??

    A side note: I saw references here to “Twitchy” and thought it was some sort of in house reference to right wingers in general.

    I would never have dreamed in a zillion fucking years that anyone would deliberately create a website that brings Meth addicts to mind.

    Does this mean that The Poison Pen, or whatever that thing was called, is no more?

    • SEK

      Who done it = The name on the top of the masthead.

      Is my ad-blocker killing something with her name on the masthead? Because I know it’s hers, and it’s on the “About Us” page, but I don’t see it on the masthead.

      • Sorry, I was technobabbling. The website’s About Us is the masthead.

    • DrDick

      Meth addicts are the nicest things she and her followers bring to mind.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      I saw references here to “Twitchy” and thought it was some sort of in house reference to right wingers in general.

      And here I thought it was a not-so-veiled reference to Tourette syndrome.

      • DrDick

        Trust me, those of us with Tourette’s are nothing like that.

      • Royko

        A friend once jokingly predicted that the next social media evolution from Twitter would be “Twitch”, where your communication is limited to a single syllable: “Aargh!” “Ooo!” “Oof!”

        [patent pending]

        • allium

          For that you need access to the Interject.

    • IM

      A side note: I saw references here to “Twitchy” and thought it was some sort of in house reference to right wingers in general.

      For a while I thought it was just a derogatory nickname for one or more right-wing blogger.

  • joe from Lowell

    Oooh-oooh Twitchy Woman
    See how bad she wry-i-ites.
    Oooh-ooh Twitchy Woman
    She’s got some rubes in her si-i-ights.

    • Joey Maloney

      Needs more cheerleading, somehow.

    • the original spencer

      “I already have a song. It’s ‘Desperado.'”

      • Why don’t you come to your senses…?


    • She’s the Twitchy, the Acid Queen, pay before she starts.
      She’s the Twitchy, she’s guaranteed, to find out what your kitchen counters are made of…

      Hm, meter needs working.

  • Kurzleg

    Anyone want to hazard a guess to what fun and games the “Entertainment” link on the “About Us” page might lead?

    • Davis X. Machina

      The “About Us” links to DSM-IV

    • SEK

      Why, important news about Richard Marx, of course.

  • Bill

    It’s a perpetual bullshit machine powered by anonymity.

    Well said, sir. Well said indeed.

    • Royko

      It would be irresponsible not to bullshit.

    • Haystack

      Agree. Kudos.

  • Pingback: On Media Responsibility This Week | this cage is worms()

  • ColeDBiers

    “because the site’s designed to facilitate irresponsibility”

    And hundreds of others just like it…

  • Tybalt

    I normally wouldn’t make such an insistence

    Why ever not? I remain puzzled beyond belief by the mass insanity that demands a presumption that someone who publishes material and makes it available, isn’t the publisher.

    Just shrugging one’s shoulders and pointing vaguely elsewhere doesn’t do it for me.

    • rea

      Well, but (and this is particularly crucial for bloggers) federal law says that if you provide a forum on the internet, you’re not responsible for content. That means, for example, that if one of us says something foolishly libelous in comments, the LGM proprietors (and LGM’s host) can’t be sued over it. If it were not for that rule, blogging as we know it would be impossible, not to mention facebook and twitter

      • Shakezula

        Right, but if Our Hosts gave you the keys and you posted a long libelous entry about how Malkin and her crew engage in sex acts with goats, rabbits and dung beetles, that is a different matter.

        If she’s allowing the general public to serve as co-bloggers, she may have the same problem. (Worse, because she can’t lay her hands on the person who caused the trouble.)

        • Shakezula

          Sorry, I hit post and then realized that there must be some controls for what gets posted or hackers would be fighting for a chance to give the site a makeover.

  • If I was the Twitchy Team, I’d buy a jug of anal lubricant.

  • Haystack

    Loved the metaphorical leap-frogging in paragraph 4; from dog-whistle to dog-urine to yellow-stain.

    Dare we call it yellow-stain journalism?

    • SEK

      Too much dignity.

  • pete

    Great moments in Journalism: The reporter at the Uncle interview yelling over and over again “Do you love America?”

    Note also the person at the very end yelling at the Uncle walking away “Kill! Kill!”

    Obviously, I watched the whole thing. People, what a fvcking species.

  • gratuitous

    No, no, no, you’re all missing the point, which is pretty typical for you libruls. See, Twitchy is a *community* of folks, so nobody’s really individually responsible, but even then, you can’t really blame the Twitchy Staff for stuff that’s posted over their handle because . . . well, you just can’t.

    Now, let me explain to you about how Move On was, like, totally responsible for that contest they sponsored where one of the entries compared George W. Bush to Hitler, or how ACORN was totally corrupt because a heavily-edited video made it look like one or their staff members sort of endorsed child prostitution.

    ‘Scuse me.

    Huh. Somebody was just at the door, and offered me some “sauce for the gander.” I wonder what the hell that means???

    • NickT

      Or you could go back to posting as Jennie the Michelangelo of fecal face-painting.

  • Wouldn’t you like to know.

    Uhhh, no.

  • Hogan

    The bloggers are merely exercising their right to speak freely about their conservative values and extending their readers the same opportunity. When those readers inevitably reveal themselves to be within earshot of the whistle, these same bloggers claim to have no idea where all these dogs came from.


    • Random

      It’s a perpetual bullshit machine powered by anonymity.

      Yeah and this. I spit soda all over the monitor when I read this for some reason.

      I don’t even drink soda.

    • SEK

      Thanks. I feel like I wrote the fuck out of this, then squirreled it away by titling it as I did. But the title came first, so I felt it deserved its day in the sun. Sigh.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Cf. also Glenn Reynolds’s passive-aggressive linking-with-only-implicit-approval approach.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Heh. Indeed.

  • Always enjoy posting this link whenever Michelle is the subject,

    Definition of Malkin

    Definitions 2 & 3 would definitely account for Malkin’s mental acuity & ability.

  • Howard Beale IV

    I’m confused-is it Twitchy or Bitchy? Seems to be more the latter than former.

  • Lakisha Jones

    You libs can’t stand Michele because she’s smarter than you and a minority whose not one of you. Get over it. There are plenty of us out here and our numbers are growing every day.

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