The left and the media love to hyperventilate about the right wing “hate speech” on the Internet, but the anger and vitriol of the left dwarfs that of the right, especially where female or minority bloggers are concerned. Hateful comments are not uncommon at lefty blogs like Daily Kos. That kind of hostility forces the Huffington Post to occassionally close comments on articles involving certain topics like Israel, the military or even Margaret Thatcher.
Right Wing News addressed this trend in its excellent ongoing series “Blogging While Female: 5 Conservative Women Bloggers Talk About Gender Issues and the Blogosphere.” (Pt 2 here). RWN sampled a variety of righty opinion from Michelle Malkin, Mary Katherine Ham, LaShawn Barber, Rachel Lucas and more, and they discussed experiencing misogynistic and often disturbingly aggressive comments.
Pictures of them are photoshopped into violent or sexually explicit positions, and they are stalked, online and occasionally offline. Liberals track down their addresses and phone numbers and leave obscene messages, even threaten rape. Moderate blogger Ann Althouse nailed the root of the hostility, “...people on the Left think you are evil if you don't agree with them, that you're actually a bad person” (all bold mine).
When a conservative is both a minority and a woman, the frothing can escalates exponentially. Several years ago, Michelle Malkin had to move after liberal blogs and forums posted her phone number and maps to her home, encouraging people to stake out her house. However, when tech blogger Kathy Sierra received death threats, the media and blogosphere supported her and condemned the posters.
Malkin doesn't think she is singled out because of her gender, stating, “I think it has more to do with my ideology and I think...liberal racism is much more rampant than liberal sexism.” She explained the all-too-common double standard that allows liberals to mock her “foreign sounding” maiden name while Barack Obama's middle name is off limits: :
Again, I find it amusing in terms of liberal double standards that none of these people who are so worried about middle name calling had anything to say when Keith Olbermann went on cable TV and started invoking my foreign sounding maiden name (Maglalang) as some sort of game winning argument. There he is going Mag-la-gong, Mag-la-gong, mispronouncing it...I think if I weren't a conservative, there would have been more of an uproar about it...
Like Malkin, LaShawn Barber experienced the liberal intolerance for conservative minorities:
Early in my writing career...I used to get all these "Aunt Jemima," "self-hater," "race traitor" type emails. I never got the kind of sexual stuff that Michelle Malkin has been subjected to.
They focused on race, "You sell out," "You want to be white," "You're still black," "I don't know who you think you are."
Shelby Steele has written about the liberal “plantation” that punishes minorities who stray from liberal doctrine. Many on the "tolerant left" do not see the ironic racism when they criticize minorities for daring to express conservative beliefs. It is acceptable for whites to be communists or conservatives, but minorities are expected to remain within the loving arms of the DNC.
In college, Townhall blogger Amanda Carpenter experienced the kind of pornographic liberal photoshopping that would never be accepted if aimed at a Democrat. That kind of editing is why Rachel Lucas is wary of posting photos:
It's maybe 5% because of the stalkers, but it's mostly because I have seen what they do to other people. I have seen what they do to Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin. They photoshop them. Do nasty stuff to them. Like pictures of Michelle Malkin hanging from a noose. That sort of thing.
The “borderline bad stalker material” contributed to Lucas's decision to stop blogging for a while. Of course, her readers know that following through on those messages would end very, very badly for anyone who challenged Lucas, her Rhodesian Ridgeback and her handgun.
Obviously, the right can throw bombs as well, and not all on the left are hostile. However, the unique intolerance shown by the worshippers of tolerance exposes a very ugly undercurrent of anger and hatred that only seems to be growing.
Lynn contributes to NewsBusters. Email her at tvisgoodforyou2—at--y a h o o—dot--c o m