Posted on | February 12, 2012 | 54 Comments
What can we say about Charles Johnson’s increasingly desperate efforts to simulate relevance?
We will now examine (a) what happened, (b) what Charles Johnson wants us to believe happened, and (c) what the discrepancy between (a) and (b) tells us about Charles Johnson’s pathetic idiocy.
OK, what happened: Fox News posted a story on its Web site about the death of singer Whitney Houston. This story attracted worldwide attention, and it appears that many people commenting in that (unmoderated) Internet venue said very ugly things about the recently deceased singer, making cruel remarks about her notorious struggles with drug addiction and employing racial epithets.
It now appears that Fox has closed commenting on the story and removed all the previous comments. However, as of 9 p.m. Sunday the story had been shared 2,400 times on Twitter and “liked” 14,000 times on Facebook, suggesting that it quickly reached a very broad readership.
Was this particular Fox story linked by Drudge or other major Web news aggregators? Were similarly derogatory comments were posted on Whitney Houston’s death at other news sites with unmoderated commenting policies?
I just throw those questions out there, as alternatives to the Charles Johnson Unified Field Theory of Every Damned Thing in the World:
There’s a real sickness running rampant in the right wing; the Fox News comment thread on Whitney Houston’s death is yet another disgusting deluge of outright racism.
“Right wing” + “Fox News” = RAAAAACISM!
Question: Do we know anything about the ideology or political affiliations of the people who left the scurrilous comments on the Fox News site?
Answer: No, we do not.
Once an item goes “viral” online, you cannot possibly generalize about the people commenting in an unmoderated format. For all we know, Fox News was the victim of a targeted effort by the Left — a category that arguably now includes Little Green Footballs — to create the appearance that Fox viewers are racists.
LGF’s Kilgore Trout once attempted such a dishonest trick aimed at Hot Air, and while I cannot state as a fact that the LGF crew is up to its old agitprop trickery, neither can I rule out the possibility. What I can say with certainty is that Johnson has clearly attempted to smear Fox News (and by extension, the “right wing”) by blaming them for these comments.
As to the attitudes reflected in the comments cited by LGF: Lots of white people in pop music — e.g., Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon of The Who, John Bonham of Led Zeppelin — have died as a consequence of substance abuse. Anecdotal examples are not proof of an ethnic trait, and even if statistical evidence demonstrates a correlation between a behavioral trait and an ethnic group, we should be cautious about asserting any particular axis of causality.
The Irish have a reputation for alcoholism, and perhaps deservedly so. But it is very difficult to say, for example, that stupid Micks are prone to drunkenness (a) because they’re Micks or (b) because they’re stupid.
Furthermore, while it might be observed that Ireland has produced a lot of stupid drunks but precious few nuclear physicists, if we generalize too broadly from that example, stupid drunken Micks might take exception to our observations about the correlation between the stupidity and drunkenness of his type. And then some smelly ignorant Paddy O’Sheeney at the end of the bar will likely give us a demonstration of the tendency toward brutish violence for which that damned race of wretched drunkards are so universally notorious.
Therefore, I urge you to refrain from expressing offensive ethnic stereotypes about the Irish. However, you can insult the Frogs without fear, as the French are most famous for the cowardice of their men and the promiscuity of their women.