more on “the angry left”

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Jonathan Weiler at Gadflyer follows up on the WaPo article mentioned here, and bemoans both the “angry left” stereotype and the false equivalences that the media use to prop it up. Weiler quotes Glenn Greenwald’s “Mistaking caricature and generalization for journalism,” which notes that extreme rhetoric “has been a staple of the mainstream Right for more or less two decades now:”

The Right's best-selling author calls liberals traitors and urges that they be beaten with baseball bats and attacked with bombs. Its most popular radio talk show host -- with his 20 million daily followers -- has spent the last 20 years urging that liberals be deported and praising the kidnappings of his political opponents, while other favorites on Right-wing radio routinely call for the imprisonment of leading Democrats. Similarly, some of the Right's favorite commentators have urged that those who espouse liberalism be tried for sedition, or worse.

One favorite right-wing commentator has written two books - one devoted to showing that liberals are mentally ill, and the other defending the internment of innocent American citizens in prison camps. The Right's leading elected officials and pundits just in the last couple of years have repeatedly taken to threatening federal judges who issue opinions they dislike.

[…]

…the Right, including its most powerful figures, long ago relinquished any limits when it comes to rhetorical attacks. The only difficult part of compiling this list is deciding what the worst offenders are and which examples should be left out. And that is to say nothing of the daily doses of hatred and bile that spew forth from the Right blogosphere, which I have no doubt someone else will be compiling shortly -- again.

It is just astonishing to have to read an endless article from the Post about the supposed rage and anger on the "Left" -- all based on the sought-out, most extreme sentiments of people with little or no real influence -- while the eliminationist and traitor rhetoric that has been a central rhetorical tool of the Right's primary power centers for decades is mentioned only in passing, only by way of explaining how the Right used to engage in this sort of rage-driven politics until the Left took over. But anyone who listens on any given day to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, or who reads the hate-mongering and treason-accusing screeds of Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Powerline, know how fundamentally false that picture is.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 21, 2006 1:16 PM.

Horowitz update was the previous entry in this blog.

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