Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Attention, Journalists!

You may be used to being reviled for the crude stereotype of the journalist as ambulance chaser or cheap sensationalist. You may well be used to being treated with suspicion and occasionally, contempt, in the course of your average working day.

I have news for you.

You are a traitor who deserves to die. Once more unto the trough, dear friends...


I appreciate that this may come as some surprise, since you probably consider that in your professional life you perform a valuable public service. The latest, but by no means least offensive, incident to cause this kind of outrage was the decision by the New York Times to publish this photograph of one of Moqtada Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, taken by Portuguese photographer Joao Silva.

This prompted these comments from this moron, all addressed to the photographer:

"...Putrid sack of shit, Joao Silva..."

(Who has) "The Courage to actively aid and abet an enemy of the United States of America?"

(And is one of) "...the terrorists' most valued allies..."

Misha finishes off with the fevered wish that, "... one day, Mr. Silva will get himself another 'perfect picture', only to discover the effects of high explosives going off in his immediate vicinity".

The ludicrousness of this post may be breathtaking, but it is the reader comments that are the real clincher. And you thought you got hate mail?

Nor is this the only example of such lunacy - see also here, here, here, here, here and, most batshit crazily of all, here.

You may wonder what the problem is with these fascist morons. After all, a couple of crazies with websites isn't exactly a threat to freedom of the press, is it?

Drumroll........

Some of these sites take enough hits to place them in the top 100 newspapers in America. The site from which the above quotes are taken has racked up 5,490, 658 hits since 2003, and that's not a particularly impressive figure.

Any of you working at national newspapers might be interested in this, but shrug and say, well, it's all just big talk, isn't it?

A spot of investigative journalism on this subject might turn up something like this, which is a link to the home address of a journalist who photographed Donald Rumsfeld's country retreat. For those too stupid to rely on a map, he helpfully includes satellite photographs.

What we have here, friends, is a de facto blackshirt movement being constantly and approvingly linked to by the most popular right-wing sites on the internet. These people are not cranks and wackos, way out of the mainstream - they are the right-wing blogosphere.

What do you think, might make a good human interest feature?

With apologies to Glenn Greenwald, whose page my confederates almost certainly do not read.

P.S. More craziness from the hermanos derechos tomorrow, but I couldn't let you go without seeing this penetrating insight into the hard realities of the current middle east crisis, could I?

It's good to see there are people who are looking out for the real victims in this conflict.

Update: Full credit must be given to the cartoonist, who has such confidence in his or her abilities that he or she has felt the need to write the names of the world leaders on their jackets. Either that, or the intended audience is far too ignorant to recognise them unaided.

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