November 10, 2005

Not that we don't like to shoot people in the head for real

It's always the bloggers' fault, isn't it? As if it's not enough that we're behind the Paris riots, now we have Mary Mapes' neighbor Jim Schutze comparing us to the KKK. But there are a couple of items in Schutze's column that could use some clearing up. First he writes that "The people who made the most adamant accusations [that the Killian documents were forged] were anonymous amateurs on the Internet, not known experts." They may have been amateurs (and may even have been wrong, though Mapes will have to work awfully hard to convince anyone of that) but conjuring up the boogeyman of anonymity won't wash here (as if that were an automatically discrediting attribute anyway). In fact, the bloggers who challenged the documents were plenty happy to have their real names known; some of them even got on TV. Wikipedia exhaustively chronicles the debate, and you'll see that every challenge to the documents has a name attached to it (or in some cases the name of a blog on which you'll find the name of the person himself).

Then there's Mapes's concern about people staking out her house to take pictures of her, digging up information about her from public documents, and interviewing her former colleagues. Have I mentioned that Mapes worked for 60 Minutes?

Finally there's this quote from Mapes: "There also were on the Internet--I found this out eventually, I wasn't even looking at it, because it was so upsetting--there were [mentions] of me having a red dot on my head, having a laser scope on my head. Which is what? Like a gun sight on my head? And if someone can lean out to shoot a picture, can they lean out and shoot me? Can they shoot into my window? What the heck is going on here?" While anyone can understand Mapes's fear in her circumstances, Schutze might have pointed out that if she had looked at the blog in question, she would have realized that in fact this whole red dot thing was a metaphor, not a threat. It was used by an anonymous blogger (just kidding — actually John Ellis, the Bush cousin who helped steal the 2000 election) who quite clearly meant that the rifle was being aimed not by him and other conservatives, but by her fellow members of the liberal media elite. The appearance of the red dot stood for "the day when the tone of voice of your CBS colleagues (especially your 'superiors') changes dramatically... Today is the day that they begin in earnest to try to ruin the rest of your life." All in all, his metaphor turned out to be a pretty good one, as even Mapes would probably agree.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Yeah, b-but... but... BLOGGERS!!!

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