Saturday, August 25, 2007

If It's Summer Silly Season, It's Gotta Be Another Blog War

I have spent more time, energy and emotion than common sense would dictate arguing about a prank that Joe Stanley pulled off against the Old Dominion Bloggers Alliance. I've been on Not Larry Sabato and Daily Whackjob posting replies all day, not in defense of Stanley's actions, which were tackless and tacky, but criticizing the ODBA's actions, which led to Stanley's retaliation. Because it was what they did first that led to his action of redirecting their Website to a site that encourages pedophilia.

Stanley's prank is an embarrassment. It showed poor judgment. He could have redirected to something dumb and embarrassing but not so fraught with baggage and certainly not something X-rated. It's the nature of the site - pedophilia, for God's sake - that demands a condemnation. So here it is.

Joe Stanley doesn't represent me. I've never even met the man. But I would never, never put up a link to a site like that. Too many children have been hurt by monsters like those on the site, called North America Man Boy Alliance. Icck, just it's name makes my skin crawl.

But nothing raises my hackles as much as false charges of anti-semitism. And basically the members of ODBA made a concerted effort to revive an ugly charge of anti-semitism against Joe Stanley for a cartoon he did last summer, parodying Harris Miller for his work as a lobbyist in support of outsourcing and guest worker visas for the high tech industry. That all occurred during Miller's primary with Jim Webb.

The truth is the ODBA crew were in collusion to smear candidate Roscoe Reynolds by linking him to Stanley, who is doing some consulting for Reynolds. It was an attempt at guilt by association. They wanted to revive the anti-semitism charge to discredit Reynolds. This is a campaign race where racisim and anti-semitism are not issues. Or weren't until this miserable, exploitative group decided to insert it as an issue. Jew baiting for fun and games. That's all it is.

But the real heart of the matter is the ODBA still blames both Joe Stanley and Ben Tribbett for George Allen's maccaca moment. They hate both Tribett and Stanley because their own candidate displayed racism and his bullying nature and it was caught on videotape. And Tribbett and Stanley were key players in that embarrassing tape getting distributed as widely as it did on the blogosphere. So to turn the tables, they want to portray Stanley as an anti-semite.

The best write up from a disinterested source, who doesn't even like NLS, comes from Terry at Slantblog. So, I'm going to urge you to go to the link, and let him have the final word.


Mad Hatter said...

Excellent finger-pointing - what the ODBA did supposedly led Joe to do this?

Joe did it because he is scum. No excuses need be given for it. That doesn't mean that many members of ODBA aren't scum as well.

And it amuses me that one of the main things you get upset at is... fake anti-semitism? Surely you can find something more worthy of your wrath than that.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Um, considering my father is a Polish born Jew who lost family in the Holocaust and he, himself, was an American GI who was one of the first soldiers inside a concentration camp to liberate it, actually, no I can't find anything more worthy of my wrath, MH. And it is insulting for you to suggest otherwise.

This was no diversionary tactic for me but the heart of the issue - what some members of the ODBA did first, which brought on the retaliatory (and stupid) actions of Joe Stanley.

Also, if Democrats don't point out those ODBA members' Jew baiting and false accusations about that cartoon, certain members of that group will keep reviving the charges in every election cycle to slander Democrats. They will continually point to those of us who supported Jim Webb and defended that cartoon and accuse us of anti-semitism as a way to smear candidates we are associated with. Guilt by association is their specialty. As well as lying. I repeat, that's true of some members of the ODBa. Not all are part of this.

Also, since that cartoon ran on Raising Kaine, they are, by default, accusing Lowell and Josh, two Jews themselves, of anti-semitism. And all their fellow Jews who defended them and supported Jim Webb, including me.

When a bunch of no nothing non-Jewish wingnuts (not the whole ODBA, but the ones involved in this particular incident) accuse Jews of anti-semitism, yes, the Jew baiting annoys me, and no I can't think of anything more worthy of my wrath. And again, it is insulting for you to suggest otherwise.

It also occurs to me that basically, those ODBA members were also acting in collusion to bring up the charge to deprive Joe Stanley of his livelihood, which is political consulting. If they want to bring legal action, which I've heard they keep threatening to do, counter-suit anybody?

And, btw, it was their collusion, exposed by Ben on NLS, that led directly to Joe's prank. What he did was retaliation. Stupid, but that was the motive. So, no it didn't come out of nowhere because Joe just got an itch to do something stupid and tastless.

So, yes it is worthy of my wrath.

I have condemned Joe's joke many times over and on several sites. But you gotta condemn both or you have a double standard in a half, and it is still insulting for you to suggest otherwise.

Got that, MH?

kilo said...

Scholars of political literature had mixed reactions upon seeing the flier.

"That doesn't look so good. There's no question to me that's replete with anti-Semitic stereotypes," said Mark Feldstein, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. "I'm not someone who readily cries anti-Semitism, but I think it's hard to look at this and not see a number of anti-Semitic stereotypes plugged into this ad, from the hook nose to the 'antichrist' to the money-grubbing character."

Bruce Newman, a professor of marketing at DePaul University and editor of the Journal of Political Marketing, said it reminded him of 1930s German propaganda, where the Jewish character was subtly made out to be the thieving villain. "It very much crosses the line," said Newman, who is Jewish. "I'm speaking with my professional hat on now. It's a modern-day caricature of the quote-unquote villain, the one who's out to make life difficult and hurt people in the town. I've seen literature from those days and this offends me quite a bit."

I guess the writers here are wingnuts also AIAW? Many people were offended.
BTW-Comparing a photoshop picture to NAMBLA is absurd.

LindaBudz said...

This may seem a bit off-topic, but I just have to say it.

I understand your and others' outrage at what you perceive as false accusations of anti-Semitism (and which may in fact be false accusations ... I have not followed this story very closely).

But I see folks on the left glibly making accusations of racism all the time when debating those who are opposed to illegal immigration.

Calling others racist is a serious charge, and I hope you are just as outraged at false accusations on the liberal side of the debates.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Linda, you are right and I am equally concerned about false charges of racism. I don't take the charge lightly.

Kilo, you are quite right that others had that reaction. The question is were they simply shown the literature with no context? Did they see a picture of Harris Miller? Did they know it was, in fact, an accurate likeness of the man? And did they realize the debate about a lobbyist supporting outsourcing that was going on? Especially the person from DePaul, which if I'm not mistaken is in Illinois and not Virginia. Did he know what was actually being spoofed and that the flier was carried on a site hosted by Jews?

If I had seen that flier without knowing any context I might have come to that same conclusion. Marc Fisher, on the other hand, said it did not strike him as anti-semitic. He had been following the whole controversy and knew the entire context.

Having said that, I do retract any accusation that all those who jumped on it are themselves anti-semitic. But some were willing to support a charge that might have been false for political gain. And some might sincerely have been disturbed about anti-semitism. I won't rule that out either. I actually believe Shawn Kenney was sincerely disturbed by it in the beginning. I respect him a lot.

But there is definitely, at this point, so long after that original controversy, where all this was argued once before, a suspicion that this is more about political opportunisim than genuine concern for anti-semitism among some of those still exploiting it. And some came late and really didn't know this back history, so I don't blame them either.

Also, I did not compare the awful link to that odious site with a photoshopped picture. (at least I didn't mean to) I agree that was a reprehensible link. But it too had a context, though Joe went way too far. At this point, it really has turned into a tit for tat that hurts the credibility of both sides.

I can not be responsible for what somebody I don't know did. I have condemned it in no uncertain terms. But I also think there was a concerted effort to smear any candidate associated with Joe which was a dirty prank too.

Given what he did in retaliation, it makes it hard to defend him.

But that doesn't excuse what was done to him either, which was basically an attempt to deprive him of a living using a probably false charge to discredit him and any candidate associated with him.

I'm not a mind reader, but I suspect you are one of those who knew all this and did it anyway.

If that's not true, I'm willing to listen and even apologize to you. But I do remain something of a skeptic until proven otherwise.