I have to get this off my chest. I also think this is a very good point to be made, that I havent seen made yet. there is a real and profound difference between what well known conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh said regarding Georgetown student Sandra Fluke’s testimony on the neccesity of birth control being mandatory on health plans, and his subsequent character assassination of her on national radio- and the 140 character (or less) tweet that prominent neo-liberal blogger Matt Yglesias wrote regarding the sudden death of right-wing agent provacetuer Andrew Breitbart.
First off, Limbaugh’s attack on Fluke was a sustained effort that lasted for days. When he did apologize, it was after an impressive number of advertisers publicly pulled their support.
Whereas with Yglesias it appeared to be an off the cuff remark that I feel fits in the realm of thoughts that, “most people have, but don’t vocalize.” But he did. An additional difference between Limbaugh and Yglesias: Limbaugh has been down this road before. He has earned national fame/ignominy many times before for things he has said. Its part of the appeal of political commentary on radio: people wanting to either 1) have their views vindicated or, 2) wait for a particularly outrageous piece of commentary to come spewing out of Limbaugh, all for the purpose of gossip. I do not personally know Limbaugh or Yglesias. I’m inclined to just turn off Rush, and in turn, if I find a tweet about a topic Yglesias feels merit in and I am unconcerned, I scroll upwards, and banish it from my mind. This is not to say that when words or actions are spoken or shared that they should not be contested by the person that says them. Of course they should. But the infantile descent of criticism that has befallen Yglesias seems trite.
It does not advance the argument against Yglesias’ criticism of Brietbart by editing his Wikipedia page to include made-up habits of fecal ingestion or incest. If nothing else, it demeans the person you were supposedly defending; by saying that the best way to ‘get back’ at the villainous person who spoke ill of your friend/revered commentator is to make childish swipes at their dignity.
Defeat their ideas, and why their argument is wrong. If you can do that, you will have acted in the best interest of your friend and kept humanity from backsliding into an ignominious defeat for at least one more day