Once upon a time there used to be a very popular liberal weblog called Media Whores Online that mocked conservative talking heads, but it’s long since vanished. The liberal blogosphere loved it so much they couldn’t help but link to it often, especially the Media Whore Of The Year awards.
Today Erick Erikson at RedState wrote on the Cindy Sheehan media circus. It that piece he called her a “left wing media whore” (later amended to the less inflammatory “willing pawn of the media”). That set off a storm of faux outrage from the left, which is becoming a common spectacle these days. Of course they had to do a little rewrite of their own to make it more incindiary…
Steve Gilliard (who apparently can’t or won’t read) decided he could improve on Erikson’s “left wing media whore” line and just shorten it to “left wing whore,” whereupon he read him the Riot Act for slandering Cindy Sheehan as a “whore.” Given how often the left calls folks like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin “media whores,” it would have been pretty disingenuous to get outraged at that term, given that Sheehan sure looks to have traded in her amateur status as John Cole so forcefully demonstrates.
Duncan Black (better known as Atrios), who also couldn’t be bothered to read, repeated the Gilliard misquote, and then threw in Erickson’s IM address for good measure – just to make sure none of his readers would try to harass him via IM. DailyKos got into the act (including deleted links in the comments to his contact information, and next thing you know Erick was getting threatening phone calls at work and at home.
As Josh Trevino points out at Red State, just because Cindy Sheehan an lost a son in Iraq does not mean she’s not a media whore in the sense that bloggers have come to know. Doubt me on that? Check out all the bloggers who announce their media appearances with the term “media whore alert” Whether you blame her or the media, that’s really besides the point. Sheehan has become a cable news and Internet version of a reality TV star with a few more weeks on her run. She’ll have to keep amping up the dramatics to retain the media spotlight, meanwhile her family has literally fallen apart due to her newfound cause.
Back to the “media whore” designation… You’d think some of those liberal bloggers who are so fond of the word (Atrios Google results) might have more of a clue, but that’s expecting too much from them in light of their Bush Derangement Syndrome. Given the lefty outrage over the “media whore” label this Eschaton post (recapping a comment from Digby meant to mock the right) turns out to be far closer to the truth that the liberal blogosphere would like to admit.
Liberals still don’t get it.
The good Americans of the rural red states are so highly sophisticated that they are very familiar with the subtle irony and satire Coulter employs. They know her mildly inflammatory rhetoric is pretty much a (screamingly funny) joke and they see it as no more than poking harmless fun at a bunch of liberal New Yorkers.
This is so very different from what MWO does when they irresponsibly call members of the press “whores.” They are inciting the many violent politically active liberals of the urban blue states who take such terms literally and believe that the members of the media are actually turning tricks in the seedy areas of Washington DC. They are incapable of understanding that “whore” used in this context is a metaphor (something which is much too complex a concept for the parochial big city libs.) They might feel compelled to act out some vigilante justice and hurt some of these journalists because they think MWO wants them to. They’re that suggestible.
I’ve found that when speaking to liberals you need to speak very slowly and very literally. Many of them weren’t Christian homeschooled and spent an unfortunate amount of time in public universities. Unlike the worldly creationist intellectuals who enjoy Coulter, liberals just aren’t well educated enough to be able to distinguish rollicking good humor from an incitement to violence.
This debate just points out, once again, that radical liberals just don’t understand the difference between cosmopolitan red staters and the provincial inhabitants of blue state America. Until they do, they will never have a governing majority or a political mandate like the one George W. Bush currently enjoys.No one doubts that Sheehan’s grief is real, but that doesn’t mean her obsessive media driven agenda isn’t fair game for criticism. She and her media enablers have forced it on us. Most people see it for what it is – an opportunistic stunt.