So I read this Gene Weingarten incitement-to-lawsuit article in the Washington Post…

…and I’m struck by two things:

  • I find it highly entertaining that the best that Gene Weingarten can do these days is to find a remarkably bizarre (but apparently nonviolent*) crank, unload on him, and hope that everybody quietly agrees that the crazy ranters on the Right speak for half the country. Because there’s really no way that Weingarten can answer the serious critique from the sane opposition, because said critique (“Barack Obama has not only failed to live up to his promises, he’s utterly failed to live up to his promise.”) is so self-evidently true these days that trying to defend President Obama would be, in fact, a moment of unintentional high comedy.
  • On the other hand, I find it very worrisome that Weingarten published (and his editor let him publish) the full name (henceforth referred to as “D- S-“) and home state of the person who offended him with said crank emails.  I wonder what Weingarten will say when it comes out that D- S- has gotten death threats over the phone, his tires slashed, his family threatened, and/or any of the other things that unhinged people who happen to read the Washington Post do when they read that one of their idols has been insulted.

And before Weingarten shrugs about that, real quick: did he bother to check whether D- S- is the only person by that name in the USA? – Because D- S- is not. And there are reasons why we don’t encourage Crazy People On The Internet: because they’re, well, crazy. And they can jump the gun like nobody’s business.

Via Hot Air Headlines.

Moe Lane

*I get crazy-person emails all the time.  Nonviolent ones I toss; even if I use them for mockery, I do try to live by certain limits. Gene Weitgarten will probably get away with what he did, but ethically speaking he still did something that’s just simply wrong**.

**I’m sure that I’ve broken this rule myself, at some point.  Doesn’t make it right.