It's not often I hear directly from the Dark Side. Its agents, I gather, tend to glue their ears mostly to talk radio, and their eyes to Bill O'Reilly, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page and the occasional right-wing blog. So it was with no small amount of surprise and delight when, upon opening an email early yesterday morning, I found this missive -- in response to my earlier praise of David Shuster's on-air destruction of Rep. Marsha Blackburn -- which I feel obliged to share with you:
[4:27AM] Have you read that your boy, David Schuster, was WRONG about the soldier that was killed in Congresswoman Blackburn's district. Turns out he wasn't from her district and his sickening game of using a soldier's death to play gotcha made him look like the next Dan Rather. You can read all about here:
[A link to "Newsbusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias," was provided, which availed a blank page.]
Keep up the great work, Douschebag!
My, my, such virulence, and misspelled virulence at that. Hence, right off the bat, the lady writer offered Confirmations #1 and #2 of the Dark Side's natural tendencies: the ad hominem attack, and the failure to capture its correct presentation.
Buried within Jen's foaming outburst was also Confirmation #3. This furious right-wing rep, the poor dear, had failed to grasp the point. I was presented a dilemma. Should I note in my response that the actual name of the fallen soldier was irrelevant to Shuster's principal point, which was that Blackburn was clearly out of touch with the fallen humanity of this senseless war, but had spent a great deal of time learning the history of the New York Times' ad rates? Or should I cut my correspondent loose and let her figure it out for herself?
Being that I was presently engaged in writing another column for that day, and presuming, playfully, that my own lack of handing her a tidy explanation of the larger point would send her sputtering into further obtuseness, I opted for the latter:
Thank you, Jen, for your complete lack of comprehension regarding the point Shuster made. I love it. Keep up the great work!
I demurred from returning any "douchebag" fire. Nevertheless my thoughtful omission prompted this immediate and even more unpleasant befuddlement:
[4:52AM] And what lack of comprehension is that? A repugnant ploy by Schuster to use a soldier killed in battle to score points with people like you? This woman was blindsided and the interviewer clearly had an agenda, like he always does. How do you think the soldier's family feels right now? And if I have the wrong perspective on this, why did Schuster apologize on the air last night?
I guess to expect you to post Schuster's embarassing error on your site would be too much to ask. You simply don't have the balls to do it. [At least Jen finally got my gender-needs correct.] Means to an end, right?
Needless to say, I won't be attending Schuster's class anymore. If NBC had any journalistic values, they would put him in detention.
I'd be more than happy, with balls still happily intact as well, to "post Schuster's [sic] embarassing [sic] error" on this site, except such a posting, of course, would be irrelevant to the issue at hand. And that, of course, is what the right seeks: irrelevancies -- the ways and means to change the topic.
Hence my final note:
Explaining the obvious to folks like you is like shooting ducks in the water, yet you're too stubbornly partisan to accept the explanations, so I won't waste my time. Figure it out yourself, if you can (and then ignore it, which you would).
So, for my part, this correspondence is at an end.
From which my correspondent concluded that my refusal to change the debate was my way to change the debate.
[5:22AM] You're one hell of a debater. Great points! Excellent retort. All clear and concise. Then again, I guess that's hard to do when you look like an assclown for telling your six readers that Schuster should be a teacher of journalism.
You'll ignore it by not posting an update on Schuster's apology on your site. That's what hacks do: Ignore, attack, only print news that fits their viewpoint, and change the debate.
Have fun living in your delusional world.
And there I had it, a touch of Confirmation #4 -- partial proof of my growing suspicion that some, most, perhaps the vast majority of right wingers are simply stupid. Their diminished capacity, I further suspect, is less a congenital defect than the result of far too many years of gluing themselves to simpleminded talk radio and assorted right-wing scribblings of overbearing oversimplification. And, naturally, attack, attack, attack.
If you, dear reader -- one of my six -- would care to elaborate on the essence of the Shuster-Blackburn episode for Ms. Jen's benefit, then be my guest and take a whack at it below. You would be graciously relieving me from speaking truth to the benighted. But I warn you ... well, just see Confirmation #s 1, 2, 3 and 4.