Monday, November 3, 2008

What's good for the goose...(Pt. I.)

An independent rag in Seattle, The Stranger, on Thu. Oct 30th decided to release an issue with an article, "Hell Houses" that featured photographs and addresses of local homes displaying McCain/Palin signs, singling them out for derision (and by implication, harassment). I'd glanced at the article, been mildly offended, but it was Phil's article over at RNS that really got me writing...

Subsequently, after some 1300 or so comments on the story (amazing their server didn't melt), the story first vanished (with links redirected to Drudge) and then re-appeared with addresses redacted.

Perhaps it had something to do with this, or this, or perhaps this? Seems a number of local bloggers came to the conclusion that tit for tat was fair game, and the staff and leadership of The Stranger found equal treatment...discomfiting.


I met Dan Savage (years ago) and he's a good, if consistently misguided, guy. I have no reason nor desire to wish any harm upon him or any member of the Stranger staff (well, except for that "stealing the Pride Parade thing, for which they shall rot in hell", but that's not really relevant to the current discussion).

However, sometimes when you see the lemmings rushing the cliff, it's best to just quietly stand aside and point out the spectacle to the young and unlettered as an educational phenomena.

Pointing the unwashed, vandals, or miscreants at some folks is pretty low risk (though most ethical publications refrain from such activity)... but doing the same to the folks with lawyers, guns, and sufficient money to make a project of such imprudent writers and publications, is at best an example of questionable judgment.

They might just, having vastly sufficient resources, find a way to express their dismay in a manner one would find deeply unsatisfactory.

This is, of course, *before* we consider the folks who somehow just don't fit into the "liberal elite" category who may consider singling out random folks who've simply put a campaign sign on their lawn to be placed at substantially increased risk at the hands of a rogue yellow journalist as a morally reprehensible act worthy of small acts of retribution - be it bad service at a restaurant, to refusing to purchase advertising, or the wide variety other perfectly lawful ways to dole out despair to the despicable.

Heh. Hey guys, you EARNED this one...I'm not participating, but I'll certainly sit back and nibble my popcorn when the process servers arrive.

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