Pundit Exceptionalism

What did you think they would do, Ms. Parker?

Honestly, what did you think?

These are the people who called 9/11 widows grief pimps, who insinuated that those most affected by the national tragedy the mouthbreathers were trying to hump didn’t deserve to deal.

Didn’t deserve to live, in some cases.

What did you think they would do to you?

These are the people who laughed at Katrina victims, who mocked them as they drowned, and who said to people standing on rooftops in rags in the days after, tough rocks, your own fault, and by the way fuck you, for still being alive to shame me.

They said they’d shoot them, if they could.

What did you think they would do to you?

These are the people who called a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer a murderer.

These are the people who laughed at the idea of Timothy McVeigh making a detour to the New York Times Building.

These are the people who called Jill Carroll a traitor. After she was kidnapped. Held captive. Tormented.

These are the people who said Pat Tillman’s family should shut up and go away. That Cindy Sheehan was a whore. That Valerie Plame was a criminal. That Richard Clarke was a monster.

These are the people.

What did you think they would do to you?

Did you think it would be different because you’ve written favorably of their pet causes in the past? The past doesn’t exist to these people. There is no yesterday. There is no last week. There is no last year. There’s only today, and you’re with them or you’re not. When we call them ahistorical, did you think it was hyperbole? Do you think it now?

Did you think it would be different for you? You did, didn’t you. You poor, deluded thing. You thought your time in Wingnuttia would buy you out of jail. Would buy you the right to say something contrary. Would give you the benefit of the doubt. Some wiggle room, with them. You thought you were immune; when they threatened journalists and laughed at the death of “the dinosaur media” and fantasized about killing the people who disagreed with them, they didn’t meanyou. Surely notyou. They meant other people.

Colleagues maybe? Friends? Surely not. They didn’t mean anyone special little you could imagine knowing. And so it was okay, when their vitriol was directed at other people. People you’ve never met. People you don’t care about. And so you can be shocked when they turn on you, and say you had no idea this was lurking out there, this festering hatred, this rage. I feel something for you, though I’m having a hard time pinning it down. A combination, maybe, of disgust at your discovery of a wrong only when it stinks up your doorstep, anger at your lack of solidarity with your fellow journalists for so long, and finally pity. Pity at your utter foolishness.

They said:Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.

What did you think?

That they were kidding?

A.

13 thoughts on “Pundit Exceptionalism

  1. Jude says:

    How strange. I feel a strong rocking sensation in my socks.
    I can only assume that you’re responsible for this, A.

  2. pansypoo says:

    the publicans are in charge, kathy.

  3. Interrobang says:

    Not that I like to speculate about motives in cases like this, but honestly, shedidn’t think. She self-identifies as a conservative. Chances are, she’s spent the last 30 years thinking that conservatives are good, honest, decent people who can disagree honestly, and that liberals are the intolerant, hate-filled ones. Now, because she simply hasn’t been seeing, really seeing, what other self-identified conservatives have been saying, she’s stunned to be on the receiving end from her “own side.”

  4. TeddySanFran says:

    “(I hear you, Dixie Chicks.)”
    Maybe now, Kathleen, but not when it mattered.

  5. julia says:

    No, Interrobang, she’s also been saying what those other hate-filled conservatives were saying. Rememberthis?

    Here’s a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: “These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot.

    The woman used her pulpit to transmit an anonymous call (from a “friend” wrapped in the flag) for the deaths of politicians she disagrees with.
    She’s reaping the whirlwind. Sucks, that. Guess she shouldn’t have sowed the wind.
    Athenae, you rock.

  6. sp ocko says:

    I was starting to think that maybe the right wing had calmed down with their violent rhetoric directed toward people they didn’t agree with. What a surprise, I was wrong.
    I shouldn’t underestimate their willingness to attack people. I want my friends here to keep that in mind if I’m ever publicly outed. I think that death treats are wrong and if she is getting them she should go to the police. I don’t ever condone sending right wingers that kind of mail. I think Kathleen Parker will now understand why I’ve used a pseudonym.
    When she says, “But when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different than one’s own, then we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk. (I hear you, Dixie Chicks.)” she might not appreciate how many of her friends on the right say exactly these things.
    Will Parker do something about it now? Will she actively work to get some sort of sanction for people who call for the deaths of people with different opinions? How about talk radio hosts who call Code Pink traitors?
    Calling Code Pink Traitors
    How about hosts who talk about shooting the Dixie Chicks on the air?
    Shooting Dixie Chicks CDs
    (By the way notice how clever the host is, you see he is not actually talking about shooting the Dixie Chicks, just a CD of them singing and it’s just a sound effect anyway! It’s all in good fun!)
    SF Mayor Willie Brown used to have a reputation of finally noticing a problem when it happened to him. He could read reports but only when it happened to him was it real. Lots of wingnuts are like this, they lack empathy. Parker now has an obligation to do something about the problem. I want to hear more from her calling out the people on HER side that did this. Maybe she wants to ‘dialog’ with them. I think she should schedule a meeting with them and find out just who they are and how twisted they are. Would that turn her off?

  7. Califlander says:

    I think of Michael York’s question in the movie “Cabaret,” as he and and his wealthy German friend Fritz leave the tavern where the Nazis are singing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” …
    “Do you still think you can control them?”

  8. Gummo says:

    As always, Athenae, you get it right and express it beautifully.
    I hope you emailed this to Parker.

  9. BuggyQ says:

    Dare I hope that this means the wingiest of the wingnuts are beginning to be marginalized? If they’re starting to turn on their enablers, dare I hope that the enablers will start to recognize their mistake?
    Nah, didn’t think so.

  10. shoeflyin says:

    “Do you still think you can control them?”
    Good quote, I think I want to see that movie again. The last few years I keep thinking that I now understand how Nazi Germany happened.

  11. Gordon says:

    Well said, A. Thank you.

  12. darms says:

    Fucking moron. Ever think, Kathleen, that just because you’re on their side, that means they’re onyour side? Think again, asshole, & perchance you might want to give us peaceful types a second look…

  13. echo says:

    Nice piece.
    Reasoned and rythmic.
    Keep it up.

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