Is it possible for blogging to go too far?
You might think that that’s like asking whether we’re getting enough wall-to-wall coverage of Anna Nicole Smith’s death. After all, to blog is freedom of speech raised to cyberspace perfection. Bloggers are proudly outside the media mainstream—they are determined to answer to no one but their own consciences. They are on the frontiers of a new kind of journalism—one that is not pre-packaged and filtered by corporation executives.
And you have to hand it to bloggers—sometimes they get the story right when the rest of the media don’t. We have only to remember Dan Rather’s “Memo-gate” a while back to see an example of blogging’s finest hour.
I like a good blog as much as the next computer geek—but I have to admit, it is possible for bloggers to go beyond the limits of sound reason, good taste, and religious sensitivity.
And I wish John Edwards would see it the same way.
Edwards’ Internet team includes a couple of bloggers known for hate speech. Rather than direct their venom at targets known for their capacity to fire back—such as the gay lobby—they have attacked people of faith. Since such people are naturally inclined to turn the other cheek, you might expect the controversy to end there. But, in this case, it won’t, thanks to a fellow named Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.
Donohue is understandably upset that Presidential candidate Edwards would have hate speech enthusiasts on his payroll. So Donohue has pledged to contact “hundreds of organizations” around the country letting them know what Edwards’ people are up to. As Donohue stated in a written release, “They will read for themselves the most hate-filled, blasphemous and obscene remarks—all of which were brought to the attention of Edwards—that have ever been written by any employee of a Presidential candidate.”
Donohue says his aim is to “ignite a national discussion on the incredible double standard that exists regarding bigotry in American life.”
To which I say: Good luck.
Christians, Caucasian men, and pro-lifers are the three groups in America that the media—liberal bloggers included—feel they have a right to ridicule. They view Christians as pompous, hypocritical windbags…Caucasian men as oppressive Neanderthals…and pro-lifers as crazy people (Why is it that supposedly ideologically neutral journalists get away with calling pro-life activists “abortion foes”? Why don’t they ever call pro-choicers “child foes”?)
I couldn’t be a more fervent champion of free speech. The pen—or the computer keyboard—is perhaps the most powerful weapon members of a democracy could ever hold. I recognize the fact that men and women serving in the Armed Forces have fought and died for the Constitutional rights we as Americans hold dear—and free speech is certainly among the most sacred rights we have.
However, it’s positively unconscionable for bloggers to attack Christians on the basis of their faith. We wouldn’t tolerate such attacks on those of the Jewish or Buddhist faiths, so why should we permit it when Christians are the victims? Donohue says he’s already received support from groups ranging from the National Democratic Ethnic Leadership Council to the Family Research Council. As Donohue so eloquently states, “We either have one shoe that fits all when it comes to fighting bigotry, or we have a phony, politically correct approach to the subject. That is the ultimate issue, not John Edwards.”