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Friday, October 31, 2008

Ashley Rodd and the Poverty of Right Wing Talk...

Being out of the country at the time of the Ashley Todd hoax, I missed the right wing frenzy. Their frothing at the mouth came back to bite them. It just goes to demonstrate how desperate the right wing is for a narrative to justify their lies. The bankruptcy of their ideas is now evident to the world. They need a thread and that's what they got with the Ashley Todd story. Unfortunately for them, that was all that it was. On this issue they were discredited. That includes James Moody of Fox Noise who develops the scripts to be followed by Fox on-air. The fact is that right wing ideas are the real hoax. RGN

The aftermath of Ashley Todd’s story
By Jay Bookman | Friday, October 24, 2008, 04:50 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McCain volunteer Ashley Todd has now confessed that she made up the story about being attacked by a large black man who carved the letter “B” into her cheek.

The young lady has issues, and I hope she gets the help she needs. End of story.

But let’s talk in a little more depth about the eagerness and even glee with which some in the right-wing blogosphere jumped on that story and immediately claimed it as proof of their worst nightmares coming true. So much of that story was unbelievable from the very beginning, yet certain people wanted to believe it so badly that they ignored all the warning signs and launched into full battle cry.

Andy McCarthy at the National Review’s Corner responded with a post so embarrassing he has now taken it down so nobody can see it.

Dan Riehl at posted under the headline “Thugs for change,” claiming that “Obama’s run his campaign just like a street thug out of Chicago. Now we get to see what some of his worst supporters are like.”

Noel Sheppard at chastized AP for daring to be skeptical of the initial report. Most of all, he wanted to know why the AP didn’t report that the alleged perp was black. How dare they exclude a detail that had no bearing whatsoever on the alleged crime!!

Josh Painter at blamed the attack on Barack Obama, suggesting an “Obama thugocracy” was coming: When Obama “urged his supporters to get in their face, did it not occur to him that some of his more deranged followers might take him literally?” Painter asked.

He was echoed by fellow redstater Erick Erickson, who wrote: “Hey! The dude was just doing what The One asked him to. Full pardon on January 21st.”

At Atlas Shugs, they posted the woman’s photo and called it “the new face of the Republican Party.”

“Shame on those that doubted this poor girl,” the post read. “Always ready to jump on the side of the leftists and thugs. ugh. Americans, I implore you to get off your asses and save this country from the radical left coup on the White House, Senate and House…. Perhaps the Obots misunderstood Obama urging his followers to Get In Their Face and GET IN THEIR FACES!” They got the advanced course of Camp Obama to cut up their faces.”

But perhaps the most interesting response came from John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News:

“If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee,” Moody wrote. “If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”

Now, that is utter nonsense on two counts. First, while the incident did indeed turn out to be a hoax, it has in no way linked McCain to racebaiting and will have no impact whatsoever on the outcome of this race.

But Moody’s claim that Obama supporters might have revisited their position if the story were true is more intriguing, and more revealing as well. Moody claims that under those circumstances, people might suddenly feel they know less about Obama and thus change their vote. But what is the logical trail between those two thoughts?

Such an attack would tell people absolutely nothing about Obama.

The real explanation lies in the answer that Moody rejects: racism. A lot of white Americans voting for Obama have had to overcome various degrees of racism to get themselves to that point. That doesn’t make them bad people; to the contrary, they’re thinking things through, and that’s great.

However, for many of those people, an attack of the sort described by Ashley Todd would heighten those internal, emotional obstacles to voting for Obama. That’s precisely why some on the right — with notable exceptions such as Michelle Malkin, a person I do not ordinarily respect much — were so quick to try to make it a huge deal.

They ought to be ashamed.

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