Enough Already.

Releasing the private personal information of someone you have an online disagreement with is wrong. Threatening someone’s children because you don’t like their politics is wrong. “They started it” isn’t an excuse. Knock it off.

Deb is a nut. Anyone who goes after someone’s children, and who writes this, isn’t worth my support:

I agree that the right suffers from its share of whackjobs – I disagree that liberals should refrain from acting like them. I’m just as into kumbaya, om, peace, be the change you want to see as the next leftie but I think you need to speak the truth about how nutty the rabid right is and how conservative “mainstream media” is.

And I think it’s fine if some of us, like me, choose to emulate Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and O’Reilly and Hannity – why is it a bad thing if the left starts acting like it has a spine.

The left should act like it has a spine — but having a spine doesn’t mean not having a soul. And emulating right-wing blow-hards doesn’t exactly give us credibility or the moral high ground. Threatening and making sexual comments about peoples’ kids and families doesn’t give us the moral high ground. Similarly, attacking someone’s sexual orientation or physical appearance doesn’t give you the moral high ground. Stick to the issues at hand.

And while I’m not a big fan of going after someone’s information (even if it’s publicly posted) and reporting them to their bosses, Deb crossed a line when she brought Jeff’s kid into the discussion. If someone threatened my family, you can bet I’d be collecting all the information I could get on them, publicizing it, and reporting them to the police. This isn’t about a difference of opinion anymore. I think that Jeff’s response was fair, and he has my support.

But let’s be clear: This certainly isn’t an issue of “intolerant leftists.” Do off-the-handle left-leaning bloggers and commenters on left-leaning blogs sometimes write vile, indefensible things? You bet. But does the left-wing blogosphere circle the wagons around those people and defend them? Not so much. Do some individuals? Yeah, and in my opinion they’re completely misguided. But as a general rule, lefty bloggers call them out, as many of us are calling Deborah out right now. And we should.

My question is, are there voices on the right who are willing to criticize their own? Where are they? Gavin at Sadly, No! wonders the same thing. And it’s a must-read post, so head over there.


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13 comments for “Enough Already.

  1. July 10, 2006 at 5:52 am

    But let’s be clear: This certainly isn’t an issue of “intolerant leftists.” Do off-the-handle left-leaning bloggers and commenters on left-leaning blogs sometimes write vile, indefensible things? You bet. But does the left-wing blogosphere circle the wagons around those people and defend them? Not so much. Do some individuals? Yeah, and in my opinion they’re completely misguided. But as a general rule, lefty bloggers call them out, as many of us are calling Deborah out right now. And we should.

    Absolutely right. We can’t champion a blogger just because they’re “one of ours”. This exposing each other and especially the kids is wrong no matter who does it.

  2. July 10, 2006 at 7:35 am

    Why, in the name of all that is holy, are you commenting in this nutjob’s transgressions? Have you ever heard of or read Deb Frisch before yesterday? Has she ever commented here? My guess is not.

    The left has no obligation to deal with the transgressions, actual or fabricated, of a single commenter who no one has ever heard of and who self-identifies as a liberal. Is what she said about Goldstein’s kid bad? Of course and no right-minded person of any ideological strain would condone her statements. But liberal bloggers have no greater obligation to publicly condone the statements of an unknown commenter on a right-wing site than any other citizen has an obligation to publicly condemn the remarks made by some guy named Steve in Flagstaff about his neighbor Joe’s kids. Have you ever been to Flagstaff? I haven’t and I haven’t been to Deb Frisch’s blog before yesterday.

    Goldstein’s post that you link to is incredibly disingenious. No one in their right mind would suggest that Frisch is indicative of the left in general. Oh wait, except Goldstein who thinks that because someone identifies themselves as a “moonbat,” they’re obviously Markos Moulitsas’s right hand man.

    This, friends, is one of the professional voices of the self-righteous left.

    No, Jeff, she’s not. She’s an academic and she’s writes a website that got essentially no traffic before she became the Right’s posterchild for the unhinged left. All she is is a kook that trolled Goldstein’s site, said dumb and offensive things, and happens to also be a 9/11 conspiracy theorists. None of that makes her sound like a “professional voice of the…left”, self-righteous or not.

    So please, Jill, tell me why you’re wasting a single pixel on this site discussing the sins of someone who has no influence on you, who you have never heard of, and whose statements no American who isn’t being tracked by Megan’s Law would defend?

  3. July 10, 2006 at 8:04 am

    I also take issue with Jeff’s characterization of this woman as representative of “the left.” She’s not, obviously.

    But I also didn’t know who Rocco Dipippo was either, and I was happy to see Zuzu call him out on this site when he brought peoples’ kids into political debates.I wish right-wing bloggers, whether they had heard of him or not, would have disavowed his statements.

    And I wrote about this because a reader emailed me and altered me to it. I hadn’t heard of Deb, and I hadn’t been reading Protein Wisdom, so I didn’t know it was going on until someone solicited my opinion. And I think it’s important that we call out this kind of stuff, no matter where we see it, and even when the person doing it is completely insane, as Deb clearly is.

  4. zuzu
    July 10, 2006 at 11:17 am

    If someone threatened my family, you can bet I’d be collecting all the information I could get on them, publicizing it, and reporting them to the police. This isn’t about a difference of opinion anymore. I think that Jeff’s response was fair, and he has my support.

    Are you serious? Malkin’s got the comments excerpted (I can’t get into Jeff’s site), and while they’re sick, and creepy, and everything else, they don’t constitute a credible threat. I certainly agree that Jeff should have collected the information and gone to the police and complained to her boss (since she apparently publicizes her university affiliation while making sick comments about toddlers), but putting up her information with the subtext being “go get her” is going too far.

  5. KnifeGhost
    July 10, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    Absolutely right. We can’t champion a blogger just because they’re “one of ours”.

    And frankly, many people who claim the same political affiliations as I do are in absolutely no meaningful way “one of [mine].”

  6. July 10, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    I hadn’t heard of Rocco Dipippo either, but he is a contributor to Front Page Magazine, which is a legit outlet, unlike Frisch’s unknown blog. I think there is a difference there, particularly when Dipippo’s attack is just one of a chain seen originating by or at leading conservative sites.

  7. July 10, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    Where are they?

    Ostracized.

  8. Nobody
    July 10, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Followed the link to Sadly, No! It was fine, as far as it goes, until it got to the punchline. Not everything has to be used as a teching moment, or to further some other point. I think this post has it exactly right; you said what you think of it, and you didn’t try to score points.

    Zuzu has a point, you’re not, nor are any of the rest of the left, under any requirement to comment on this. But, where we do, we should comment only on this, and not turn it in to a fight over everything we don’t like about the right.

  9. ahem
    July 11, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Threatening and making sexual comments about peoples’ kids and families doesn’t give us the moral high ground.

    True, true. But it does ensure that only one side will be able to silence those who seek to challenge them on facts and arguments by doing just that, and more besides.

    If you go onto right-wing territory such as PW to challenge the arguments of Goldstein and his posse, you are placing your IP and potentially your privacy on the line. And their response is invariably ‘well, she asked for it’. So, don’t go there. Or if you do go there, use an anonymous proxy. Because Goldstein has and will use your IP to sniff you out. His commenters do and will try and identify you, threaten you and your employers, and ruin your life.

    It’s depressing to conclude that the only way to challenge Goldstein chez PW involves descending to his level, and to the level of his execrable posse. He and Frisch are carved from the same stone.

    In short, ignore the trolls. Especially the trolls with server logs. Don’t engage them, don’t reply to them if your domain is registered to your own name and address, delete comments from visitors they send, don’t take trackbacks from their sites. And especially don’t take the bait they chuck out about ‘ignoring’ what is, in essence, a troll-fight.

    I’m deeply serious about this.

  10. July 11, 2006 at 2:11 am

    Are you serious? Malkin’s got the comments excerpted (I can’t get into Jeff’s site), and while they’re sick, and creepy, and everything else, they don’t constitute a credible threat. I certainly agree that Jeff should have collected the information and gone to the police and complained to her boss (since she apparently publicizes her university affiliation while making sick comments about toddlers), but putting up her information with the subtext being “go get her” is going too far.

    This is true. The “go get her” thing bothered me, too. I think going to the police was the right reaction, but I agree that making her info public probably was not.

  11. July 11, 2006 at 2:55 am

    And in re-thinking this a bit, I’m with punkass marc. Can’t expect us to condemn something we didn’t know about; and now that everyone has condemned it, they’re still acting like we aren’t.

    And no one should have to apologize or take responsibility for what Deb said, unless we condoned or encouraged it. Which we didn’t.

  12. Nobody
    July 11, 2006 at 4:13 am

    Not everyone has condemned it. But that doesn’t matter. It’s not your responsibility if some other lefty hasn’t condemned it. It’s not every Righty’s responsibility if some other righty accuses all lefty’s of supporting nasty comments about todlers.

    This isn’t even a call for civility. It’s a call for calling out exactly, and only, the people you mean to call out. Better aim all around.

  13. piny
    July 11, 2006 at 9:20 am

    And in re-thinking this a bit, I’m with punkass marc. Can’t expect us to condemn something we didn’t know about; and now that everyone has condemned it, they’re still acting like we aren’t.

    And no one should have to apologize or take responsibility for what Deb said, unless we condoned or encouraged it. Which we didn’t.

    Well, yeah. I think there’s a little more of a burden on, say, someone who helped create an internet ethics manifesto and then watched one of the signatories or applauders do something unethical.

    I take a dim view of outing people under any circumstances. I take a dimmer view of the, “But it’s technically not private information!” dodge. This kind of information is only ever published to bring it to the attention of people who don’t have it, so they can use it to harass the target. I think that in most cases where harassment is warranted, the authorities should be involved, and not your blog constituency.

    I think that what Deb said was horrible. But I don’t read Deb’s blog, and had no idea who Deb was or what Deb had done until this post brought it to my attention.

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