comsc US Politics | AMERICAblog News: What is Michelle Malkin's problem?
Join Email List | About us | AMERICAblog Gay
Elections | Economic Crisis | Jobs | TSA | Limbaugh | Fun Stuff

What is Michelle Malkin's problem?

| Reddit | Tumblr | Digg | FARK

I try not to weigh in on the blog wars. I actually have a number of right-wing bloggers, like Krempasky and Captain Ed, who I consider friends, or at least colleagues (hell, I even got along with the Powerline guys). And you'll note that it's rare that I ever write anything critical of any bloggers on the right or left. But top right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin, like Ann Coulter and a few others on the right (read: most of FOX News), have a record of vitriol and crossing the line of decency that puts them in a special category occasionally meriting public comment.

Malkin is the right-wing's top blogger. Among her other extremist views, Malkin wrote a book recently defending the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. (Malkin denies that her book defends the internment of Japanese-Americans. The book is entitled "In Defense of Internment.")

Malkin is now on a kick to get comedienne Rosie O'Donnell fired from ABC's show "The View." Rosie is a regular subject of derision by right-wingers who hate the fact that she's unabashedly liberal and an open lesbian. Just last night, CNN host Glenn Beck suggested that Rosie isn't really a woman (presumably because she's a lesbian). And today Malkin is calling on her readers to boycott advertisers who put their products on "The View" because Rosie said something Malkin doesn't agree with.

Why is Malkin trying to destroy a woman's career? Because Rosie is a bigot? No. Because Rosie is a biased journalist? No, she's a comedian hosting a talk show alongside an avowed conservative (who spoke at the Republican Convention, no less) who balances her out. No, Rosie's crime is having said that she think it's fishy the way one of the side buildings at the World Trade Center collapsed.

That's it.

And in Malkin's view, in the right-wing view, that's reason enough for Rosie to lose her entire career.

It's one thing to have the right to free speech. Malkin has it. I have it. You have it. It's quite another to abuse that right. When you're in a position of power you learn to exercise that power judiciously, or at least you should. You don't just try to end someone's career simply because you disagree with them. That's not enough of a reason. Because they routinely espouse bigotry against millions of Americans (e.g., CNN host Glenn Beck)? Sure, that's a pretty good reason. Because they're supposed to be objective reporters and they're biased as hell (all of FOX News)? Again, good reason. But saying it doesn't make it so - you need to be able to prove it.

Of course, Malkin isn't know for her judiciousness. In a particularly vicious episode a year or two back, Malkin published the personal contact information (including phone numbers) for some local college undergrads who were protesting the war (see a theme here? disagree with Malkin, go to jail, do not collect $200). She sic'd her hundreds of thousands of readers on the under-21 students, with predictably vicious results. Malkin didn't see anything wrong with her actions, though she did object when someone retaliated and posted her personal contact information online.

Unfortunately, some people with power find intellectual rigor (and honesty) a luxury they simply can't, or choose not to, afford. They think that just because Rosie has some kooky views about September 11 - and I think her views are a bit kooky - she needs to be destroyed. That's rather sick, and it's rather sad. It's also rather un-American (though so is internment, to normal people).

I'm not opposed to boycotts, I've supported them myself. But I've never supported a boycott simply because I disagreed with someone, however strongly. If that were the standard, all the blogs on the left and the right would be boycotting each other non-stop. And to all of our credit, we don't.

Malkin's venom, like Coulter's, is something I usually write off as not representative of the right, or the right-wing blogs. But still, I'm tired of living in a country where Republicans decide that someone isn't permitted to have a career because they're either a liberal, a lesbian, or both. That doesn't sound like free speech, it smacks of bigotry and fascism. Though it's perhaps not surprising, coming from the author of "In Defense of Internment."

blog comments powered by Disqus