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Today’s Hack Puzzle


Many right-wing bloggers were remarkably “successful” in finding ways to justify Rand Paul’s goons stomping on a defenseless woman’s head. The Christine O’Donnell case presents a similarly difficult problem: how do you blame the Democratic Party for a story put out on an apolitical gossip website that has earned nearly universal condemnation from liberals and Democrats? Col. Mustard rises to the challenge with some Grade A hackwork:

I don’t believe for a second that the criticisms of Gawker by most of the left-blogosphere are genuine.

These are crocodile tears from people who are afraid that the backlash will help O’Donnell politically, so they are pretending to unite in her defense on this limited point. Just read almost any of their posts, and they condemn Gawker while taking pains to point out that O’Donnell still is crazy and dangerous.

The left-blogosphere and media enabled Gawker, and if there is any justice, the monster they created will come back to bite them in the voting booth on November 2.

He goes on to claim that liberals “cheered on” Gawker for sexist attacks on Sarah Palin, while carefully omitting any evidence for the assertion.

The problem here, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is that there isn’t the slightest contradiction between believing that O’Donnell is “crazy and dangerous” (in the sense of having crazy political positions) and believing that the Gawker post was sexist. The fact that O’Donnell advances a lot of reactionary (including anti-feminist) ideas isn’t a license to engage in sexist attacks. Indeed, I would argue that people whose commitment to feminist principles (unlike that of Jacobson and most other right-wing bloggers) doesn’t begin and end with insulating female Republican politicians from both legitimate and illegitimate attacks have rather more credibility on the subject.

Relatedly, I have some further thoughts on why attempts to justify Gawker’s actions by invoking “hypocrisy” won’t fly. My position on this goes a lot farther than, for example, Jill’s; even if the story was less overtly sexist, it would still be irrelevant.

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