Monday, July 17, 2006

A Piece of the Action

The most co-operative man in this world is a dead man. And if you don't keep your mouth shut, you're gonna be co-operating.
-- 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 talkhate show host Melanie Morgan also suggested that Associated Press reporters "commit mass suicide," in order to "do the world a favour." Melanie Morgan has also expanded her eliminationist rhetoric to include the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times.

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).


Blogger spocko said...

?! Thank you! Just another reason just another reason I love Canadians!

BTW, did you know that all the Word Verification's on all the blogs in North America are typing all the works of Dickens?

It was the Best of times it was the Blust of times? Stupid blogger.

1:52 AM  
Blogger Samurai Sam said...

I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! I thought rightwing extremists were all about the civility? You know, it's OK to advocate for murder, war, genocide and such as long as you don't cuss or out anonymous bloggers.

Call Atrios: we need a blogger ethics panel, stat!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Samurai Sam said...

I'm pretty sure Blogger's word verify is listing the names of Lovecraft's Deep Ones.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

ROFL! All I know is that all the word verify things I ever get are about 14 letters long and look like words...sometimes.

Wow, this time, to make a liar out of me, I got "nrqfz." Good-oh!

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Gentlewoman said...

I don't have a blogger account, so I was unable to leave a comment over at Spocko's blog. I would like to think him for undertaking this task, and for perservering despite their thuggish tactics. Good on ya, Spocko!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Eli said...

They can't win on the merits, so they try to intimidate us off the field. The most annoying and dangerous of us, anyway. Fortunately or unfortunately, I think I'm pretty safe so far...

(Spocko of course knows that "annoying" is a compliment in this context)

11:58 PM  
Blogger Affixed to a Bird said...

2:25 PM  

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