Thursday, July 13, 2006

Shooting Frisch in a Barrel

In a severe blow to our Second Amendment rights Louisiana became the 22nd state this week to ban Internet hunting. Internet pioneer John Lockwood came up with the brilliant idea to let hunters shoot exotic animals on a game farm in Texas from the comfort of their own living rooms, without having to suffer such inconveniences as severe cold or the sun getting in their eyes or other hunters' faces getting between them and their quarry. Sportsmen from around the country had the opportunity to sit in front of their computers in their pajamas, order up the game of their choice, aim the crosshairs with their mouse and shoot. Their prey was then mounted and shipped directly to their homes.

Unfortunately, some Luddite legislators don't appreciate that Internet hunting represents a shining example of what the Internet does best, which is to give people a sense of distance and objectivity that frees them from the distraction of having to deal with the messy consequences of their actions. Sadly for Deb Frisch, though, she learned the hard way that sometimes the virtual hunter can become the prey when the conservative bloggers sighted her in their crosshairs. Like the unfortunate creatures on John Lockwood's farm, Ms. Frisch didn't have a chance once she had become a target conservative sharp shooters. And before the left-wing blogosphere even had time to take their virtual bee-bee guns out of their holsters, they had already lost the latest blog war.

Jeff Goldstein is one of the most respected and thoughtful bloggers on the right side of the blogosphere. Michelle Malkin calls him an "inspiration." Mike Patterico marvels at his "clever way with words," which should not be surprising since he is a semiotician and a former college English professor. He delights in battling commenters on his blog with his cocky and colorful wit, which often involves virtual dueling with his male member, which is apparently quite large, at least in Internet inches. I think it would take a semiotician, such as, well, himself, to deconstruct what lies behind this phallocentric obsession, but it's all in good fun.

At first Dr. Frisch, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, thought she could play with the big boys when she posted increasingly disturbed comments on Jeff Goldstein's blog, going so far as to say she saw Goldstein as "not human at all." However, she crossed the line when instead responding to Goldstein's sexually charged ripostes with counterripostes aimed at Goldstein himself, she made threatening comments about his two-year-old son. The fact that the comments were easily traced back to Frisch and that she made no attempt to hide her identity after taunting fellow commenters by saying "Bring it on!" hints at a persecution complex that would take a professional psychologist, such as, well, herself, to adequately analyze.

Conservatives were shocked that Frisch would break the sacred covenant that all bloggers follow, which reserves ad hominem attacks only for very special circumstances and attacks on family members only as a regrettable last resort. Many conservatives already believe that liberals are somewhat disturbed and see liberalism itself as a dangerous pathology. Some believe that liberals have a "death wish" and that their ultimate goal is suicidally "destroying the West." Ace of Spades believes that the "madness" of liberalism is the result of their not being able to comprehend how an intellectual like Jeff Goldstein could possibly be a conservative. You can imagine how difficult it is to have rational discourse with an opponent you think is deranged so the fact that conservatives are even able to talk with liberals at all is a testament to our remarkable civility. But when someone like Deb Frisch seems only too eager to present herself as Exhibit A for Moonbat insanity, it is too much for conservatives to resist.

Conservative bloggers piled on like a swarm of killer bees, not only writing outraged posts on their blogs about Frisch but also inundating Frisch's boss with thousands of emails demanding that she be fired. They also did everything they could to make sure any future employers will be well aware of this incident if they do a Google search on her name. Bad credit may disappear after seven years, but the Google cache lives forever. By the end of the weekend she had become a poster child for unhinged liberalism and had been utterly destroyed personally, badgered into resigning from her position at the University of Arizona and suffering the ignominy of having her name turned into an Internet verb. All in a day's work for the right-wing blogosphere. Just imagine if Frisch had represented an actual threat!

But where was the liberal blogosphere while all this was going on? Apparently, liberal bloggers were too busy over the holiday weekend spending time with their gay families and plotting the destruction of America to bother reading the comments section of Jeff Goldstein's blog, which was suspiciously down for much of that weekend due to a denial of service attack. I suppose if Osama Bin Laden himself had left a comment on Goldstein's blog, liberals would claim they didn't notice. But Confederate Yankee took their silence to be more serious than mere inattention to the latest right-wing blogswarm. He theorized that they were signaling approval with what he called the "toddler-threatening community." No matter that this community consisted of only one member, by not condemning Frisch promptly, liberals had become unindicted co-conspirators in the war against America's children. When liberals finally returned from their weekend leisure activities, they offered lame excuses for not hanging on every word that is spouted on right-wing blogs and tardy condemnations of Frisch. "What Frisch did was vile," said Brad at Sadly, No, while Talk Left denounced Frisch's "inexcusable behavior," comments that are sadly typical of the equivocal and ambiguous condemnations of Frisch by the left.

Days later--an eternity in the blogosphere--Glenn Greenwald stepped forward, not to defend Frisch, but to point out what he saw as hypocrisy among conservatives. He highlighted a jocular post by Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, who, with his inimitable sense of humor, called for the lynching of Supreme Court Justices and recommended "shooting the koranimal swine" at Guantanamo. Apparently, liberals don't have a sense of humor. Not content with shooting Frisch in a barrel, conservatives decided they would teach the liberal blogosphere a lesson by going after bigger prey, someone with a blog many people actually read and who also has a book on the bestseller list to boot. Little Green Footballs called Greenwald "the left's most dishonest blogger." Sister Toldjah called him a "hypocrite." Patterico said he was a "douchebag." Glenn Reynolds, as usual, cleverly stayed above the fray by subtly distancing himself from posts he gleefully linked to that attacked Greenwald, while simultaneously managing to get in a few digs at the liberal blogger himself. And Dan Riehl not only called Greenwald a "twit of the left," he attacked Greenwald's credentials as a lawyer and investigated his New York bar status. That should teach Greenwald to be more careful the next time he tangles with the right-wing blogosphere. As Jack Murtha learned too late, the conservative blogosphere takes no prisoners when it comes to enforcing standards of civil behavior, though I might add that if we did take prisoners we would be perfectly justified in torturing them since they wouldn't be covered by the Geneva Conventions.

While virtual hunting maybe dead for now in 22 states, John Lockwood certainly has a visionary idea of the potential the Internet holds for the future. We may not be able yet to fire an actual gun over the Internet at exotic game or Supreme Court members or Muslims or New York Times editors or illegal immigrants or liberal bloggers, but we can fire virtual and rhetorical guns at them, which I suppose will have to do for now.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Comedian Jenée: People are Idiots OTA #17


Anonymous said...

Conservatives were shocked that Frisch would break the sacred covenant that all bloggers follow, which reserves ad hominem attacks only for very special circumstances and attacks on family members only as a regrettable last resort.

Jeff Goldstein, a.k.a. Count Cockula is the king of personal attacks. This is the second time he's baited a troll into saying something offensive about his son.

If count cockula is one of the most respected rightwing bloggers, it's an even more fetid cesspool than I thought.

Poor Satchel. In kindergarden, when the class learns to google, all the kids will google themselves and find pictures of the trip to Disney World, etc. Some won't be on the web at all yet!

But when the teacher asks everyone to say what they found when they googled themselves, Satchel wll say

“Why Daddy, why does Jeff Goldstein have to make Satchel grow into a cockslapping faggot?”

Anonymous said...

[S]he posted increasingly disturbed comments on Jeff Goldstein's blog, going so far as to say she saw Goldstein as "not human at all."

I for one will reserve judgment on this question until I see Mr Goldstein pass a Turing test. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.

Anonymous said...

RobW that was literally chuckle-out-loud. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

there are conservative sites that say things just as vile said...

I saw a lot of helpful data above!

The 2008 Weblog Awards