Thursday, August 03, 2006


I can hardly blame the John Coles of the right for enjoying a nice tasty glass of schadenfreudenberry wine (stolen from Balloon Juice commenter Krista) as they savor this news.

I have trouble articulating exactly how I feel about the whole thing, maybe because my feelings are so mixed. Personally I found that photoshopped picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface (reproduced here) to be unfunny, a complete dud as an attempt at satire, and yes, offensive. Offensively over-the-top as a criticism of anything Lieberman has done in his campaign. I wouldn't reject the use of of such caricatures out of hand, but certainly in this instance, it seemed disproportionate and inappropriate under the circumstances, which circumstances should include Lieberman's civil rights record as a whole.

All that said, I think many of the people on the right raising holy hell about this are big fat stinking hypocrites who don't give a rat's ass about civil rights or offending black people (I'm lookin' your way, Michelle Malkin). Moreover, I wholeheartedly support Jane Hamsher's (and Jeff Goldstein's, and and anyone else's) right to be offensive, outrageous, provocative, edgy, profane, etc, on their blogs. More power to'em. But still. When you're that closely associated with a hot Senate campaign, and the race is tight, and you've not hesitated to accuse other people of racism and you know you're under scrutiny . . . well, if that is the climate and you still think it's a good idea to put up a caricature of the other candidate in blackface, you've had a major brain fart. To say the least. Moreover, I know, oh yes I KNOW in my heart, that if the shoe was on the other foot - if a blogger associated with a Republican candidate did the same thing - many of my fave lefty bloggers would be howling with outrage.

Of course, I strongly suspect most right wing bloggers would refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing. So I give Ms. Hamsher credit for doing the right thing by promptly removing the picture from her post and apologizing.

I don't think it's possible to reconcile being an uninhibited Internet flame-thrower and take-no-prisoners type of blogger with being a very public campaign operative (paid or unpaid). That's why when Hillary Clinton approached ME to be her blog liaison, I said, "no thanks." Because I didn't want to give up my freedom to bring you, my global readership, my uncensored thoughts. So Senator Clinton had to settle for Peter Daou.

Anyway . . . my point is, if you're going to be really offensive to a lot of people, at least try to be funny. Or at least don't do it when you're enmeshed in a tight campaign. That's all I'm sayin'.

Update: Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog has a fun post about the aforementioned big fat stinking hypocrites.


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