A Piece of the Action
-- Bella Oxmyx, "A Piece of the Action," Star Trek
A good friend of mine (in the Bartcop sense), Spocko, over at Spocko's Brain has been doing a wonderful series of posts on his local right-wing trash-talk radio crew, which has joked about the death by electrocution of Bill Keller, the Executive Editor of the New York Times. The co-host of
Unlike David Neiwert over at Orcinus, Spocko doesn't merely document the atrocities on his blog*, complete with incriminating audio clips, he actually spends what looks to be an astonishing amount of time writing to the parent corporation(s) and sponsors of the offending radio station and shows. A great many of his blog entries are basically complaints in epistolary fashion, outlining abuses perpetrated and proposed remedies.
His letters have apparently been quite successful. He got a mention in a highly-flattering article in Salon (warning: subscription or day pass required to read full text; may not work with some browser/adblocker combinations) by the tremendously talented heavy hitter Joe Conason.
Unfortunately, he also got a spate of seriously nasty trolls, someone setting up a counterblog called Spocko's Vendetta (no link; I'm not doing them the favour), and someone else posting his photo on a blog, along with a veiled threat. It wouldn't be too out of line to suppose they're watching his blog like a flock of hawks, either.
Naturally, he's been a little worried about litigation, intimidation and threats, and says that their "outing" him completely is only a matter of time.
It seems the lesson here is pretty simple -- it's ok for a media figure to use the public airwaves to call for the deaths on spurious grounds of other media figures, but no matter how offensive, egregious, hatemongering, or ethically questionable that might be, it's not ok for a private citizen to object on any grounds. Right. Gotcha. Let's keep that in mind the next time some religious group in the US goes batshit insane and campaigns to the FCC to have fines levied against someone because they said "shit" on air at 2AM, shall we?
Keep up the good work, Spocko!
* I mean no disrespect to David Neiwert, since he's one of my favourite bloggers (yes, David, that's me who keeps hitting your site from Ontario, hoping madly that you've posted something) and surely the best meaty read in the blogosphere (edging Glenn Greenwald and Billmon and me, ha ha!, out by a bare margin).