CBS News "PublicEye" editor Brian Montopoli suggested in a recent blog post that conservatives are unfairly attacking liberal Web sites for comments posted by readers that lament that a terrorists attack in Afghanistan did not succeed in killing Vice President Cheney.
Montopoli says that both right and left-wing sites have their share of nutty commenters, which, to some degree is a fair point. There are fring loonies and flamers on the Internet on both sides of the aisle.
What Montopoli seems to miss then is that the objection conservatives like Sean Hannity have raised is not so much the sin of commission by nasty commenters but the sin of omission by Web site administrators and editors.
It's a legitimate question to ask why people wishing for the assassination of the Vice President of the United States are not banned from a politically-oriented site.
The CBS blogger also has skewed the matter by comparing this controversy with the Ward Churchill row from a few years ago:
The dustup sheds a light on an unfortunate habit of partisans on both sides, who love to publicize nasty rhetoric in order to illustrate the wrong-headedness of their ideological opponents. You might call it the Ward Churchill strategy. Churchill, as you may know, is a (once) obscure professor who wrote a ridiculous essay comparing the victims of the September 11th attacks to Nazis.
But Churchill is not your average Joe Sixpack flaming away at an online bulletin board, so Montopoli's attempt at a comparison here is odd at the very least. Churchill didn't merely say insensitive things about 9/11 victims. A review of his work proved that the professor was spoon-feeding his student error-laden propaganda and defending his unprofessional conduct under the guise of academic freedom.